Arriving into Brisbane to speak at the International Living Australia conference, I had quite a few expectations…I expected the gathered group of expat hopefuls to be friendly and curious. They were. I expected the weather to be similar to that of my home in Da Nang, Vietnam. It was. I expected to see a clean...
Da Nang, Vietnam Resources
Here in Vietnam, the French built over a hundred villas in the mountains south of Hue and north of Da Nang during the colonial times because of the cooler air at the higher altitude. But in the wake of the First Indochina War and the Vietnam War (known here as the American War), the villas were abandoned and fell into ruin.
The country that took the top spot for the lowest cost of living in the inaugural International Living Australia Global Retirement Rankings is Vietnam. A fascinating and vibrant destination, rich in natural beauty, steeped in history and brimming with opportunity.
My husband David and I love Vietnam. And when it comes to finding a place to call home here, we’ve been spoiled for choice since the day we arrived. We loved Nha Trang’s spectacular bay, ringed by a long expanse of golden-sand beach, sparkling turquoise water and lush green islands that seemed to shimmer in the distance.
When I talk to friends who’ve never visited Southeast Asia about my life in Vietnam, they’re often surprised by some of the things I take for granted. Reliable WiFi in every cafe and restaurant, modern shopping centres, cinemas that show English language movies, even an ice rink. But that’s Vietnam for you…full of surprises.
Hoi An is just 30 minutes south of Da Nang. This small city is home to about 300 expats, including many Australians. Hoi An is full of businesses that cater to the large number of international visitors who come to see its historic communal halls, temples and residences—preserved for centuries following the 16th and 17th century settlement of Chinese, Japanese and European traders.
Time really does change everything. In August 1962, a bunch of young Aussies got off a plane in Vietnam. They took part in a war that lasted the next 13 years and cost 521 Australian lives...
Wide streets and leafy boulevards, a riverfront promenade, kilometres of powdery sand, a cafe on almost every corner...when it comes to Southeast Asian cities, Da Nang is one of the most surprising. Ringed by mountains on one side and overlooking the South China Sea on the other, Da Nang offers a laidback pace of life and a refreshing sense of space.
Da Nang, central Vietnam’s biggest city, lies on the coast of the Eastern Sea. A river runs through the centre, necessitating a number of bridges that connect the city to the white sand beaches. One of them, shaped like a dragon and illuminated by thousands of lights, changes colour at night and blows fire from its "mouth" in a spectacular weekly display...
“Honestly, after living here, going back to Australia full-time would be disappointing,” says Gary Stapleton, 63. “Australia is very regimented. I don’t feel I’m really living when I’m there. “Vietnam is different. People here have a great deal of respect for older people. I like that. Vietnam is also much more vibrant, entertaining and interesting. Plus, I love the beaches and the laidback lifestyle here.”