With its rapidly evolving property scene, classy F&B options, historic hotspots and world-class golfing, Danang continues to lure sun-chasing investors
In less than a decade, Vietnam’s unofficial third city has evolved from being a mere jumpoff point to historic Hoi An to the country’s premier portal for overseas property investment. Relatively free from the pollution that frequently chokes Hanoi to the north and the heavy construction and traffic congestion in southern Ho Chi Minh City, Danang is dialling up desirability with its enviable coastal location, high-end real estate, and a burgeoning culinary scene and nightlife, attracting both local and global out-of-towners. With its recently upgraded international airport, nearby cultural heritage hotspots, and leisure options ranging from world-class golf courses to lazy days on the beach, it may not be long before Danang is vying with regional resort behemoths like Phuket and Bali for international attention.
X2 Hoi An Resort & Residences
Less than an hour’s ride from Danang, the multi-award-winning resort crosses most of the boxes for second homeowners in search of sun, sea and sand on one of Vietnam’s most coveted stretches of coast. Residences within the sevenhectare development range from 70 two- to four-bedroom villas and 31 duplex loft units to 56 signature suites, all of which benefit from operator Cross Hotels & Resorts’ (formerly BHMA) renowned design expertise and subtle touches of feng shui. With the freehold and leasehold properties integrated within the wider resort, high-quality onsite amenities are a given. Beyond being only moments from the powdery sands of My Khe Beach and Hoi An’s UNESCO-endorsed ancient town, residents can unwind at the resort-style infinity pool, signature restaurant, and onsite hydroponic gardens.
Wyndham Soleil Danang
Comprising the city’s tallest residential buildings, the four-tower complex located on Danang’s sandy outskirts does not fall short on quality or quantity. The 3,200-unit property managed by Wyndham, one of the world’s leading hotel groups, features a coral-inspired façade and a combination of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, all offering panoramas of the sea, Han River, and nearby mountains. Upscale facilities within the towers, three of which are connected by sky bridges, include four rooftop infinity pools, a state-of-the-art gym, spa, and wellness centre. Upon completion, the 57-storey tower will be capped by an upscale restaurant accommodating 1,000 guests, while the first three storeys will host an international-standard shopping mall.
Travel tastemaker Lonely Planet argues that this casual back-alley eatery might serve Vietnam’s best tacos. In a city famed for its mi quang noodles and fresh seafood banh xeo (crispy pancake), the palate occasionally welcomes a culinary change of pace. Setting these Mexican street food staples apart is the Taiwanese detour they have taken en route to a sleepy Danang street, courtesy of owner Elin Lin. Expect to chow down on fusion tacos brimming with such concoctions as wasabi coleslaw and ginger-infused fish or grilled chicken with tamarind sauce. Don’t expect craft beers, a wine list, or any form of curated atmosphere here. This is a basic affair with plastic chairs and tin tables where the food takes centre stage.
For a relatively low-rise city, Danang has its fill of rooftop spots, but few compete with Sky 36. The highest bar in Vietnam, the neon-lit peak of the Novotel is famed for its live performances, lively clientele, and lavish drinks. The drawcard for most is obviously the 360-degree views encompassing sea, city and mountains, but audiophiles and cocktail connoisseurs are also catered for with one of the best sound systems in town and top-notch mixologists behind the bar. Drinks at Sky 36 run the gamut from imported beers to premium spirits, as well as a selection of wines by the glass. Opt for the National Color cocktail, a concoction of almond liqueur, pineapple juice, falernum syrup and grenadine or the Vietnamese Sangria—red wine, rum and local fresh fruit.
Laguna Golf Lang Co
An easy hour’s drive from Danang Airport, Laguna Golf Lang Co is well worth the extra effort to visit. Nestled between mountains and the ocean, the course — designed by UK great Sir Nick Faldo — is tricky to categorise. While it would be pushing it to call the course a “links”, the classic “out-and-back” routing and invigorating tang of the salty air certainly offer a nod to the British Isles. The ocean heaves into view at the ninth — a par-4 played alongside the beach. Equally stunning is the short 11th, played from an elevated tee to a green surrounded by rock features. The mountains encroach closest to the course at this point, with a tumbling waterfall prominent in the near distance. Other excellent holes, meanwhile, include the closing 18th, a rollercoaster ride of a long hole that plays back to the clubhouse.
A fascinating insight into local city life, Han Market may initially seem like Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Thanh Market in miniature but has plenty to offer. While better known as a platform for some of the area’s leading artisans to share their wares as well as an affordable spot to unearth home essentials and discover an array of handcrafted jewellery, the covered two-storey market is also home to just about every Vietnamese dish imaginable. The food court is a local institution serving everything from pho (the beef noodle soup regarded as the national dish) and bahn mi (Vietnamesestyle baguette) to bun bo (spicy beef noodle soup). The one plate to savour here, however, is mi quang, Danang’s specialty dish, which typically consists of turmerictinged noodles in a tangy broth laden with pork, shrimp and peanuts.
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