Thursday, April 8, 2010

Vietnam's Most Liveable City?

From the moment we arrived in DaNang's airport we could feel the ease of this city. The 3rd largest city in Vietnam, DaNang is a major port city with a relaxed vibe.DaNang reminded us of cities like Tacoma, Washington - large, bedding community with not much to do, but a nice place to live. We visited friends of our aunt/uncle who couldn't have been nicer. Such nice hosts. Their traditional multi-level skinny tall house had been remodeled recently and the five-story home included some modern architectural detail rarely seen in houses. For example three floors contained their own karaoke room.The entrance to the house was the typical heavy metal doors found in Vietnam due to the lack of security front doors usually consist of heavy metal gates that lock shut. But once inside the long front entrance lined with scooters looked like a Honda showroom.A large koi pond placed underneath the spiral staircase separated the kitchen from the entryway.And the top 5th floor was a large outdoor patio used to cool off at night and container gardening.It was nice to see interesting architectural features, such as built-ins and decorative door and window elements.We say DaNang is the most liveable city in Vietnam for many reasons, one would be the accessibility to goods and services due to the busy port system and its proximity to the Marble Mountains and the ocean. This can be seen throughout the house with marble used all along the staircase, it would cost a fortune back home to have a 4 story marble staircase.Something else we noticed about DaNang's easy going nature is that scooters still out number cars, along with the large boulevards made for fun times scooting around.On top of that, being so close to the ocean provides DaNang with a cool breezy environment, much different from the sweltering heat of Saigon. In fact, we found ourselves cold and needing to borrow sweatshirts to stay warm - unheard of!
But much like cities like Tacoma, there isn't much to do, with only a few boulevards of shopping and few restaurants other than the big seafood emporiums on along the beach. So what do you do when there's not much to do? According to our host - drink! And drink and drink and drink! There goes that bottle of cognac we brought as a gift!

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