Eat and meet
China BeachThe dining draw at China Beach is -- prepare to be surprised -- seafood! You'll have a hard time finding anything else, really, so good luck hunting for vegetarians or anyone with a seafood allergy. All of the hotels and resorts have kitchens, but for a quality seafood meal your best bet is to head to the seafood restaurants lining My Khe Beach.
Da Nang is known for its seafood restaurants, mostly located along the water on My Khe Beach. The offerings here range from good to unbelievably fantastic -- you could easily find yourself having the best meal you've had your entire trip. The beachfront places all offer the same menu, and point-and-pick buckets of seafood that allow you circumvent the menus (which are usually in Vietnamese only). Cheap bottles of Huda beer appear at your table so fast you'll have to tackle the waitress to keep her from serving you more. There are more than 40 places to choose from, but we've had excellent luck just going to the ones that are the most popular with locals. The Son, a lone beachside place to the north of the white sculpture was one spot we found consistently superb dishes.
On the sea side of the beach road, south of the white sculpture, there's a line of upscale seafood places, but here's the deal: the roadside places are so good, you won't get anything better by paying more -- just a table cloth and a balcony overlooking the water. Of the lot, the northernmost restaurant, Phuoc My 2, earns consistent praise from locals and travellers alike, and they have an English menu.
To the north of My Khe beach, in a cove on Son Tra peninsula, is Bai But (But Beach, just in case Phuoc My didn't get you laughing). The sole restaurant there is Buddha Bay, with seating under palms all along the water, and a fresh seafood market you can wander through to select your meal. The ocean fresh food and tropical atmosphere here are tops, especially in the evenings.
Further South, Hoa's Place is known for its lively communal dinners. While the food is good, the menu is pretty small -- the main draw here is the company. Once you go through that, you can check out the seafood places a few steps away on the beach. They serve pretty tasty seafood and basic Vietnamese dishes, and though the restaurants lack ambience, the view of the waves more than makes up for it. For pizza, Western food, and a more extensive (more expensive) Vietnamese meal, try the Sandy Beach Resort 400m to the south. Otherwise, gather a group and head into Da Nang.
Buddha Bay: Hoang Sa, Da Nang. T: (0511) 3920 399. http://www.buddha.com.vn. Hours: 09:00 to 23:00
Phuoc My II: My Khe Beach, Da Nang. T: (0511) 3942 399, F: (0511) 3942 399. Open daily, 08:00 to 22:00
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