Exploring the South Da Nang Beaches

On a map, my apartment looks a block away from beach.  In reality, there are a string of giant, high-security resorts blocking my access.  One of the things I was most looking forward to, about living here, is going for a jog on the beach every morning… and I’m still clinging onto that dream.  So today I decided to explore and find all the public beach access points in South Đà Nẵng.

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Marble dolphin statue marking the entry to the beach next to the Marble Mountains (cross Trường Sa Road just north of the Melia Đà Nẵng)

I have started doing some charting work for Google Maps, since they’re missing many of the local businesses.  So hopefully after this week you’ll be able to find the public access points on your map app.  I also came away with a practical piece of information: the public beach access points are marked by these little blue penguin statues.  So if you’re walking along the beach and looking for a way out, just locate one of them.

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Blue penguin statues mark the public beach access points

Now, we want to make sure to take care of our public beaches, so there are some important rules to keep it safe for everyone.  Most notably, no herding cattle.

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The main beach in Đà Nẵng is called Mỹ Khê (basically pronounced ‘mee kay’), and it is usually fairly crowded; not annoyingly so, but never empty.  However, start walking south and you will quickly lose sight of the crowds and have the entire beach to yourself.  Make sure to bring plenty of water, because there isn’t much for sale out there.

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The beach to the south of Khue My Dong 16 Road is usually deserted.

In my search I came across what appeared to be an abandoned resort, which I thought was fascinating.  On Google maps the closest thing I can find is labeled “Villas Golf 24,” but it still appears to be taking reservations.  Hmm, a mystery.

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Abandoned beach resort
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The grounds looked groomed, but rust had settled over the metal on the buildings, and the area was deserted.

Apparently there was a typhoon up north yesterday, which caused us to have nice big waves down here.  As I approached the Mỹ Khê area, a few of the resorts were renting body boards.  Premier Village was charging 200,000 dong for an hour rental, but they had a big line so I decided to keep searching.  A little further south I found Furama Culinary Resort offering board rentals.  They asked my room number and I told them I wasn’t staying there.  

“Visitor?” they asked.  I nodded.  They smiled, handed me a board, and didn’t even ask for payment or paperwork.  Yes!

Had an absolute blast body boarding in the waves.  Furama had hired a life guard who was watching everyone on the beach, not just resort guests.  He was super friendly and spoke English pretty well.  I set my stuff next to him and he was happy to watch my bag.  There really isn’t any crime on the beach anyway, but just in case.

When I brought the board back, I asked if I owed anything.  The friendly staff said no, but I could buy a drink if I wanted.  I ordered a nice Australian craft beer.  They gave me a towel, waved me to a beach chair, and I sat there drinking for the next hour.  Including tip, it cost me 120,000 dong ($5).  Pretty awesome deal!

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Next time I’ll explore the Northern beaches!

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