Da Nang, Vietnam 2013

It had been only two days since we first landed in Vietnam and yet it was time to fly again. We made our way northward to Đà Nẵng, one of the major port cities in Vietnam and the largest city in Central Vietnam.

My mom and I started our day with a brief stroll through Ho Chi Minh.

My DIY bowl of pho for breakfast, since the broth isn't vegetarian. :)

My hacky soup-less breakfast pho (broth isn’t veggie).

A quiet morning

A quiet morning in Ho Chi Minh.

Families and friends break bread together.

Families and friends break bread together.

And then we took off! Mountaintops peaking over woolen clouds was a wonderful thing to see.

mountains and clouds

We descended through a thicket of  gray, where we lost the sun. Chilly, was my first thought when we landed. This I was not prepared for, in my shorts and light t-shirt. Tangles of cool wind wrapped themselves around my bare legs and arms. Luckily for us, lunch was the first order of business. Hot pot at 4U (For You) Restaurant.

hot hot pot

This being an oceanside city, we went to a seafood restaurant. Naturally, all the hot pot was seafood hot pot. My mom and I fended off the cold with sips of hot tea that grew less hot with each draft that came through the windows. We looked at the other tables’ bubbling pots of warmth longingly and prayed that hot soup would be one of the things served.

Alas, our first dish was a plate of seaweed and sesame mushrooms, stir-fried with veggie ham. And a large plate of plain, steamed cauliflower. Tasty, but too much faux meat for my taste.

mushrooms and veggie meat

a giant plate of cauliflower

Doughy buns stuffed with cabbage. Too much dough, too little stuffing. The dough was too wet: mushy and sticky. We ate only the stuffing.

vegetable buns

Rice noodles stir-fried with red chilies, yam leaves, and peanuts followed. There were more peanuts than noodles. Slices of veggie ham laced the edges of the plate–an afterthought, perhaps to make it “meatier”.

rice noodles with peanuts

Then came the long-awaited soup: a thick, curry soup with deep-fried tofu cubes, fake “beef” slices, and woodear dropped in. Hot, but it would’ve been more comforting had it been less greasy.

greasy curry soup

Lunch finished with a plate of pineapple and grapes to aid digestion. A good way to end a hefty meal. Suffice to say, this was a lot of food and we couldn’t even get through 1/3 of what was served. We shared the rest of our food with the other tables so it wouldn’t go to waste.

fruit for dessert

Overall, I thought it was decent. Good enough. The others in our group looked pretty satisfied with their seafood feast. 4U has a higher price point, so if you’re willing to take a gamble, go for it. If not, I’m sure Da Nang has plenty of better and less expensive seafood options that also have a seaside dining balcony.

the view from our room

We retreated to the contemporary Hyatt Regency Danang Resort for a siesta. This was an absolutely wonderful resort–I highly recommend staying there if it’s within budget. Most of the hotel is open-air, so we were able to soak in the briny ocean air under the comfort of sleek luxury.

the pool at hyatt regency da nang

The hotel spans several buildings, some of them residences. It’s essentially a college campus. In the heart of it is a palm tree-lined Roman Grecian pool over which gentle bridges arch and fountains feed into its waters.

our room at hyatt regency da nang

We lucked out with an oceanview, balcony room. A large, swivel-y sofa chair outside was the perfect retreat. And if you simply couldn’t tear yourself away from the view, don’t despair! The glass shower sits adjacent to the balcony, so all you have to do is roll up the shades to be able to bask in seaside glory as you shower. Our room was spacious, impeccable, and so relaxing.

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