If someone ever asked me which city in Vietnam I would recommend for travelling, spending vacation or even settling down, the answer would be neither Hanoi – the ancient capital where I was born, nor Ho Chi Minh City where people live a hustle life. Rather, I would choose Da Nang – a hidden treasure land in the central of the S-shaped country.
Da Nang is well-known among foreign travelers as a port city where some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located. These beaches have indeed made it become an ideal vacationing spot and therefore attracted a great number of tourists, especially in the summer. But this city has a lot more charms than that.
Three years ago when I had the chance to visit Da Nang, I was captivated by the harmonious combination between different parts of nature as well as culture there.
That is where you can find various topographical features, from the steep mountain ranges with green trees, low coastal salting plains to white sand beaches. That is where we can enjoy both sea water and fresh water from Han River – the river that runs across the city. This is also where the beauty of two UNESCO heritage archaeological site lies – the historical remains of Champa kingdom and the majestic Marble Mountains.
I also fell in love with the structure and urban planning of this city. In Da Nang, multiple bridges of all types and designs are built across Han River, connecting eastern side and western side. These include the Dragon Bridge which has a water and fire spitting system. Beautifully-designed green parks and promenades along the two river banks are actually the results of the city’s great investment in urban planning.
Another impressive aspect of Da Nang is that authorities and citizens have been making serious attempts to urbanize the city without destroying the environment. With the objective of becoming a smart city, they are now having several industrial and public transport projects in operation but still strictly follow the regulations of protecting the environment.
Thanks to effective planning strategies and the cooperation of citizens, in 2011 it was recognized by ASEAN as an environmentally sustainable city and placed in top 20 cities in the world that have the lowest amount of carbon dioxide. This even encourages this green city to continue its future plans so that by 2020, it can proudly catch up with other environmentally sustainable cities in the world.
If you have the chance to visit Vietnam, Da Nang can be an ideal place to rest, play, enjoy the nature and you can even gain some understanding about urbanization in Vietnam as well.
By Nguyen Nguyet Minh, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam