A UAE national freelance travel photographer documenting her travels ever since she got her very first Canon in 2003 and decided to share her love and passion with the world through Instagram. Meet Ayesha. A friend. A passionate traveler and a Vietnam lover just like ourselves. Follow her on instagram.
Here is her diary
Destination Da Nang – Vietnam
Many Island escapes come to mind when choosing a short holiday escape (this is ranging from Thailand all the way to Indonesia ), but we wanted to go beyond our comfort zone and pick a remote and an undiscovered destination! What can I say, the whole experience we had at Vietnam went beyond our expectation. The people are very welcoming to tourists making our stay very hospitable, and the Landscape is so beautiful (and so green! Almost like something out of Jurassic Park.. I was waiting for that T-rex to come out at some stage) and different from other parts of Asia that I have visited. I was very busy with my camera during the five days I was there.
Stayed in Intercontinental Da Nang Hotel
I would have to admit I primarily think the reason I fell in love with Da Nang was because of the resort. The Resort is situated 30 minutes outside of the city center but that is the nature of these resorts.
Resort: It was massive (I think massive is an understatement when there is a Telefreak that actually takes you from the reception all the way down to the beach access) ! It took me almost one full day to find little beautiful hidden gems around the resort and took me all five day enjoy all various facilities within the resort.
We had booked the Executive suite and would recommend others to do so as well. The rooms are spacious and they have such beautiful balcony with a great view that you can spend hours relaxing in.
Food: We tried out most of the restaurants found a very good variety; the breakfast buffet had a good selection of Asian and European cuisines. We tried out the café at the beach its fun to go to a restaurant barefoot! For dinner we got all dressed up and tried their French restaurant, It has a nice ambiance and the quality was like any gourmet restaurant you could have dined in Europe.
Staff: The staff were exceptionally friendly and very accommodating. Majority of them spoke English well and they understood requirements quite clearly
In your suitcase My Whole Camera gear, I cannot leave home without my babies! I would recommend your lucky pair of close sandals (the roads are quite dirty and dusty and I had to let my heels retire for the week), some awesome looking pair of light shirts for the day (it gets very humid) semi-casual outfit and a light sweater in case you decide to dine out for the night.
As a city break we spent a lot of time at the beach, although it wasn’t an ideal weather during February but it was still good enough to grab your book and lay by the beach.
Our group had some avid golfers so our day would start bright an early for a round of Golf while I was a very avid Caddy! Da nang is becoming potentially an ideal destination for many Asians as hub for Golf breaks which they have two golf courses right now. This could be something you avid golfers should keep in mind!
Most of the explorations begin after lunch! we would go through the city and explore the area, we visited the markets ( it was extra special as we were there during the new year celebrations.) They have very interesting temples that was open for tourists to visit. As a photographer we visited many various panoramic points of the city and spent hours with one on one time with my Canon! We end the night visiting other resorts to try different dining experiences
We took a day as well to visit the UNESCO heritage site of Hoi an a 45 minute drive from Da Nang which was exceptionally amazing for any type of photographer to capture colors, food and culture.
Shopped at We did not go shopping but if you are into the world of Arts Hoi An has a lot of stores that cater to art lovers, well worth checking out.
Dined In We dived into all the local cuisines as much as possible, by far my favorite was a local restaurant in the city of Hoi an (cannot recall the name) but I particularly love Vietnamese food as they like to spread a lot of great flavor and infuse rich herbs such as lemon grass, basil and ginger. One thing I would say to all those who go must try Vietnamese Coffee and frappe, forget Starbucks and all other retailers this is what Coffee is all about, I perhaps overdosed and overindulged a bit too much on them during the week.
Tip One Tip I would say is we would usually book one of the Taxi driver for a nominal fee to take us around the city, we would get the bell boys to help us negotiate because most drivers do not speak English. This is especially important as we were further from the city but cabs could almost be found in the main touristic areas.
Mode of Travel There are no direct flights to Da nang we flew to Ho Chi Min city via emirates and used their local carriers Vietnam airlines (which I highly recommend) to Da nang.