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Da Nang

Orientation

In 2013 Da Nang attracted more than three million visitors and of those only 600,000 were Westerners -- the other 2.4 million were Asian travellers. For accommodation this means that standards are high and (for a city) cheap -- the best hotels and guesthouses are all well located and priced at around $20 to $40 a night, including an Asian buffet breakfast. (If you don't want the breakfast, see if you can get a rate without and eat elsewhere.) For budget accommodation, outside the city you can grab a decent room for $10 to $15 a night, but in downtown Da Nang the standard of guesthouses and hotels in this price range drops to almost unbearable, with a few badly located exceptions. If you are travelling on a tight budget, look at the guesthouses on the east side of the river on Tran Hung Dao or near the beach in Ngu Hahn Son district. Travel to the city from here will only cost a couple of dollars and there are plenty of places to eat, drink and relax.

Da Nang has installed free mega WiFi, which can be accessed from all over the city and is pretty reliable. ATMs are located all over the city, with the highest concentration nearest the big swing bridge, Han River Bridge on riverside Bach Dang Street. Donga banks have the highest withdrawal limits (five million VND, approx US$250), but you can make multiple withdrawals. The ATM withdrawal fee is 20,000 VND per transaction, but do remember you will also be charged by your home bank. If you have an HSBC account there is a branch on Tran Phu Street, or look out for Techcom ATMs which link to HSBC. For travellers cheques at 2 percent and direct bank transfers at 3.3 percent go to either Vietcom or Sacom Bank, both on Bach Dang Street. Opening hours are from 07:30 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 17:00 weekdays. At weekends Sacom Bank opens from 07:30 to 11:30.

For international standard medical treatment most resorts, hotels and taxis will know the Family Medical Practice on Nguyen Van Linh Street, which is available for emergencies and callouts around the clock, seven days per week. They can also help arrange medical evacuation if needed, dealing directly with most travel insurance companies on your behalf. Charges for a consultation start at around $70. A better alternative may be to go straight to a hospital -- Da Nang has many and believe us, if you've had a bad motorbike accident they know what they are doing. The main problems are after-care and low hygiene standards.

The Hoan My Hospital on Nguyen Cong Tru Street is your best bet for everything from a gippy tummy through to the worst that could possibly happen. The care here is excellent, standards are international and so are a lot of the surgeons and nursing staff. And prices are far cheaper then at Family Medical.

If you do find yourself in another hospital, practically all of them have an English-speaking doctor or nursing staff, so seek them out, contact Hoan My and organise relocation as soon as is physically possible. You'll need to clear your bills and get a doctor from Hoan My to sign you over into their care and arrange transportation. We can't stress how important this is, especially post surgery. Local hospitals are not set up to deal with after-care.

For dental emergencies, East Meets West Dental Centre on Nui Thanh Street is an excellent international-standard facility. The Vietnamese staff are supported by qualified dental practitioners from all over the world and they also provide free dental care for thousands of poor children and families in Central Vietnam every year.

If you need to ship something back home, Da Nang's central post office is located on Nguyen Van Linh Street. International shipping is provided through reliable companies like DHL and EMS. To tie in with customs procedures you'll need to use their packaging service and fill out a customs form.

Da Nang Post Office: 251 Nguyen Van Linh St; T: (0511) 3652 334; open Mon-Fri 07:00-19:00
East Meets West Dental Centre: 269 Nui Thanh St; T: (0511) 3624 222; http://www.eastmeetswest.org
Family Medical Practice: 50-52 Nguyen Van Linh St; T: (0511) 358 2699 http://www.vietnammedicalpractice.com/
Hoan My Hospital: 161 Nguyen Van Linh St; T: (0511) 365 0676; http://www.hoanmy.com
HSBC: 17 Tran Phu St; http://www.hsbc.com.vn/
Sacom Bank: 130 Bach Dang St; T: (0511) 358 2612; http://www.sacombank.com.vn/
TechCom Bank: 136 Tran Phu St; T: (0511) 384 0885; http://www.techcombank.com.vn
Vietcom Bank: 140 Le Loi St; T: (0511) 382 2110; http://www.vietcombank.com.vn/

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