Of all the cities in Southeast Asia, I see Da Nang as the one with the most potential for transformation from a provincial city to a global destination.
Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam, roughly halfway between Hanoi and Saigon. Being located in central Vietnam makes it an attractive base for businesses serving all of Vietnam. The city is located on a river by the sea, with mountains a short distance away. The airport is a ten minute drive from the central city area, and it’s the terminus of the East–West Economic Corridor, which will one day link Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.
Tourists usually fly to Danang and go straight to Hoi An. I can see a future where Da Nang becomes the destination in itself, and you visit Hoi An as a side trip. On my last trip to Da Nang I thought that one of the Middle East carriers would soon be flying there, and sure enough Qatar are adding Da Nang to their network.
And then there is China. Geographically, Da Nang is one of the closest tropical cities to China. It’s already apparent that Chinese tourism will play a big role in the future of Da Nang.
At the time of this post there were flights from 25 cities in China (Beihai, Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Huai’an, Jinan, Lanzhou, Macau, Nanchang, Nanning, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, Zunyi).
The stretch of beach between Da nang and Hoi An will eventually be lined with resorts to cater for this tourism boom. It remains to be seen if these developments are managed responsibly, as there are already reports of erosion on some beaches as a result of construction and nearby hydropower dams.
Here are some of the big projects that are underway or are planned in the future. I’ll be continually updating this list, so let me know if there are any new ones to be added.
Times Square Da Nang
[Image via timesquare-danang.com.]
Occupying a prime location on the seafront, Times Square Da Nang is set to become a landmark of beachside Da Nang with two 50-storey towers dominating the skyline.
M Landmark Residences, Marriott Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments
[Image via alphanam.com.vn.]
M Landmark Residences, Marriott Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments Da Nang. This is between the bridge and the Hilton project, so with the government office tower and the Novotel nearby this stretch of the riverfront is accumulating an impressive skyline.
Wyndham Soleil Danang
[Image via skyscrapercenter.com.]
The Wyndham Soleil Danang will be the tallest building in Danang at 199 metres. I’m amazed the designers had such self control to not add another metre on top and round it up to 200 metres.
The four-tower complex will stand at 57-storeys at its tallest point and will consist hotel rooms, apartments, conference facilities, and retail.
Holiday Inn Danang
[Image via coreasiapm.com.]
Address: Corner Hoang Sa and Nguyen Huy Chuong.
The Holiday Inn Danang is a seafront development that will stand 41 storeys / 150 metres high and will include apartments along with the hotel.
[Image via thanhnien.vn.]
Cocobay is a development between Danang and Hoi An which will be a self-contained destination leisure city. In addition to hotels and apartments there will be an amusement park, live entertainment complexes, theatres, sporting facilities, a pedestrian street with activities, restaurants, and a beach club to name the main highlights.
The centrepiece of the project is Cocobay Towers. The twin towers of approximately 200 metres will be connected by two sky bridges that form a loop on the 48th floor.
[Image via atkinsglobal.com.]
If you’ve flown around Vietnam in the last few years you might have seen Ronaldo promoting the development on airport billboards and inflight magazines.
Sunrise Bay Da Nang
[Image via sunrisebaysdanang.com.]
Sunrise Bay is a proposed development in Da Nang Bay, to the north of the city. It started out as Danang D-City in 2007 and it is still waiting to get started.
It’s unclear if that is part of another proposal of a Dubai-like urban area, which is also in the bay. This would be in the flight path of the airport so there wouldn’t be any Dubai-like skyscrapers there.
Hilton Da Nang Hotel Complex
Address: 50 Bach Dang.
Hilton Da Nang Hotel Complex has a prime location near the Han River Bridge. In between the two towers is a restaurant on a distinctive concrete lattice podium.
Da Nang City Center Square
[Image via inhabitat.com]
Da Nang City Center Square is a proposed public plaza by the Han River in downtown Danang. The space would encompass Bach Dang along the river, Nguyen Thai Hoc, Phan Chau Trinh, and Hung Vuong streets. The space would include landscaped gardens and water features, with a canopy inspired by a lotus.
One report says it will include a rebuilt Han Market, so it seems that the current market building would be demolished.
IMG Da Nang
[Image via img.vn]
Address: Lot No. A2 Commercial High-rise Commercial Complex, Da Nang.
IMG Da Nang is a proposed 5-Star hotel and apartment development on Bach Dang, near the Dragon Bridge.
Movenpick Hotel & Residences – Risemount Apartment
[Image via realestatevietnam.com.vn]
[Image via skyscrapercity.com]
Han Riverside features 4 x 33 floor towers at the northern end of the Han River, next to the Movenpick project.
[Image via coteccons.vn]
I’ve included Hoi An here because eventually the stretch of land between Danang and Hoi An will be one continuous urban area. Hoiana is the name of the casino development south of Hoi An, and the 163-hectare site will include a resort, conference space, a shopping centre, and an 18-hole golf course. The overall development will be four times the size of the Cotai Strip in Macau, and it’s being developed by Suncity Group which operates casinos in Macau. Construction commenced in 2017 and is expected to completed in 2019.
Son Tra Peninsula
[Image via som.com]
Last but not least controversially is Son Tra Peninsula, which remains under threat from over-development. Officials have already suspended construction of one unauthorized resort, though it seems it is only a matter of time before more development continues.
The plan from Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) is at least sympathetic to the natural environment to the peninsula. It proposes to designate the island a national park, while building compact, higher-density developments.
Cancelled / Never Built
[Image via english.vietnamnet.vn.]