Have you ever dreamed of working remotely from a tropical island and going surfing or diving into the ocean as soon as you are finished with your tasks of the day? I met an ex-Amazon software engineer dude that does exactly that a few years back in Singapore. It’d been really cold where I currently reside, and I decided to go somewhere warmer to finally experience what it’s like to be a digital nomad for a few days. I opened my laptop, did a quick googling, and semi-spontaneously bought a ticket to Danang, Vietnam. I was on the plane headed to Danang 2 days later.
What’s important when you go on a workcation..? Safety!
One of the amazing things about Danang is that it has an incredibly low crime index, and their WIFI is pretty fast. You can stay at a nice 4-star hotel that has a rooftop bar and an infinite pool beside it for about 50 US dollars a night, and when you need to focus on work, you can go out to a nearby cafe without needing to worry about your laptop getting stolen.
I initially planned to just use my credit card to pay for everything, but I gave up after a day or two. You could totally get by with a credit card if you plan to stay in the tourist spots; however, that would impose a lot of limitations on what you could do. Renting a surfboard, visiting local historical places, and paying at a laundromat would all require cash.
You probably won’t just work there. Danang is way too awesome
I initially headed there, thinking that I’ll mostly work and might potentially explore the city a bit if I have the time (Why did I even think it was possible.) I ended up spending most of my time exploring, eating, surfing, and chilling at a cafe. There are laundromats everywhere in Danang, so you can go surfing or go for a jog in the morning and take your sweaty clothes to one of the laundromats afterward. They’ll wash and dry them for you for 2 dollars per kilogram within a day.
There’s a UNESCO world heritage site called Hoi An just 30 mins away from Danang, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Besides that little dog I encountered in the town of Hoi An, (I still wonder if that dog belonged to someone or if he was just a stray dog) they have rows and rows of souvenir shops selling Southeast Asian-style handmade crafts with colorful lanterns hanging from their roofs and awnings. Maybe you should visit Hoi An in the evening if you're into taking photos. (I’m not, but I still went back to take pictures of those awesomely lit-up lanterns.)
Unfortunately, though, a lot of shops and restaurants in Hoi An didn’t accept credit cards — you can probably tell how much I hate using cash by now — and I ended up getting cash from an ATM with my credit card. They have ATMs here and there, so if your credit card allows you to withdraw cash, maybe you don’t need to worry about it so much (even if you are a hardcore cash hater like me.)
Unlike certain other Asian countries — like China and South Korea — Google maps works just fine in Vietnam. The only mobile app you might want to install is Grab, and you’re all set. I didn’t try using Google Pay/Google Wallet, but it’s supposed to work in Vietnam as well.
Looks like the coronavirus situation is improving in many parts of the world, hopefully they won’t start getting tribalistic and sakoku the fuck out of themselves again…