Following our long travel day from Hue to Da Nang (see Road Move) we were happy to arrive at the Sofia Boutique Hotel. The hotel staff were overly attentive and we were slightly annoyed with an up-charge to pay for Ben as the third person in our room. We booked through ExpediaforTD and the reservation was clear on how many people were coming. We also booked a room with a balcony but were given one without. Colleen often gets annoyed with herself for not being more demanding. Not backing down this time, we got one of the nicer rooms in the building.
We set out in search of dinner and it wasn’t as easy as you would think. We were still craving local Vietnamese fare and all the places around the hotel were catering to tourists. We found a side street and ended up in a Vietnamese seafood restaurant called Ky Em.
439,000VND or $24.40CAD for a feast including beer. We did note that the locals buy their beer in the restaurant by the case (either 12s or 24s) depending on how many people in the group. They buy it warm and add giant ice cubes. At least our way of buying single beer made them ice-cold. Though Colleen needed to add ice to blend in.
My Khe Beach (China Beach)
My Khe Beach is a nine-kilometre stretch of smooth sand with an average width between 50m and 70m – it is a long walk from the lounge chair to the water so wear sandals as you will burn your feet!
My Khe beach was the site of the American R&R centre (and hospital) that was popularized by the TV show China Beach.
The beach sand is white and powdery. The water is warm like bath water even at night. It was beautiful, especially at night.
Lady Buddha Da Nang
The Lady Buddha statue is the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam. She’s located at Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula 9 km away from My Khe beach. Lady Buddha Da Nang is 67m high and the base has a width of 35m, equivalent to a 30-storey building.
Only 2 Days – Too Short
Based on previous recommendations, we planned to spend just one or two days in Da Nang. We quite enjoyed it so it would have been nice to spend an extra couple of days. We didn’t get to see the Dragon Bridge lit up at night (a frequent suggestion from the locals). Apparently it breathes fire on Saturdays and Sundays and some hotel staff were incredulous that we weren’t staying the weekend to witness it.
We visited a nearby shopping mall that was comparable to Esplanade Laurier or World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa. We were in search of flip-flops for Ben. Fortunately we found a store like Walmart, Viacom, which sells everything including live fish. Beer was only 9,000VND a can (or 0.48 cents CAD).
Our third day in Da Nang included a walk about town and a little incident which you can read about in Wounded in Da Nang. We have to give the hotel staff at the Sofia Boutique Hotel a huge shout out here. They were awesome and made a huge difference in alleviating some stress in our trip to hospital. We got an escort and translator. And they even extended our checkout time without being asked. Much appreciated.
Next stop Hoi An, the Ancient City.
Colleen went on a bit of a rant about our time there in her Live from Hoi An post but overall it was lovely and not to be missed.