Vietnam is the perfect place to travel as a solo woman

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It’s 5am and I’m jogging down the coastal boardwalk with dozens of others. The sun hasn’t yet started to pierce through the clouds and early-morning exercisers have filled parks and spilt onto the road.

There’s a distinct calmness occupying the typically bustling strip – aptly lined with high-rise hotels, bars and cafes – as locals and visitors take advantage of the coolness before the humid 30 degree heat sets in.

It’s an atmosphere I relish in at home in Sydney, and look forward to when travelling interstate to coastal cities in Queensland and Western Australia. California’s Venice Beach is much the same.

This time, I’m in Danang, Vietnam.

Sun Tra Beach Road is a beautiful strip of road lining Sun Tra beach and fuses “party city” Danang with awe-inspiring mountains, guarded by an enormous 67-metre statue of Lady Buddha.

I’m so distracted by the stunning landscape that I clip my toe on the path and topple over. Embarrassingly gaining attention of an elderly woman who immediately rushes to my aid. She’s very worried about the blood on my knee, and while I smile and assure her I’m OK, her eyes follow me as I hobble myself back into a jog.

I’ve been in Danang mere hours and quickly learn this type of kindness is part of the local DNA.

This tropical destination has proven to be one of the safest places to travel.This tropical destination has proven to be one of the safest places to travel.

It’s no surprise I’m distracted though, there’s palm-trees lining the beach path and the lengthy strip of clean ocean is gently filling up with paddle boarders and surfers.

I liken the scene to Surfer’s Paradise, where the coastline is dotted with towering resorts and it’s long, flat boardwalk attracts young fit people with cute dogs.

What else strikes me is how safe I feel, which is a sensation – particularly as a single woman travelling overseas – can’t be understated. I haven’t felt compelled to take a wide birth around anyone or look behind to see if I’m being followed.

The running routes are so scenic.The running routes are so scenic.Not unlike the Gold Coast’s Surfer’s Paradise!Not unlike the Gold Coast’s Surfer’s Paradise!

It’s clear other female travellers feel the same. I’m passing plenty that are comfortable enough to wear headphones – something avoided in Sydney when the sun isn’t out.

It rolls around to 6am and the exercisers are replaced by locals setting up their kerbside stalls selling traditional Vietnamese coffee, juice, and uber sweet tropical fruit like pineapple and mango. Every delicacy passing my lips I proclaim to be the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

In the ensuing hours I indulge in a breakfast of fruit, fresh salad, purple potato and rice, take myself for a 45 minute $10 massage and pay a visit to the local Q Market to pick up some essentials.

Lady Buddah protects Danang from disasters.Lady Buddah protects Danang from disasters.

Later and a bit further down the beach at Tho Quang I learn how locals use “basket boats” to taxi themselves out to big fishing boats on which they spend virtually all night before returning and selling produce to locals gathered on the shoreline. A short drive up the road is Mediterranean-themed restaurant Son Tra Marina Bay which is so Instagramable it’s easily mistakeable for the Mamma Mia set on the Greek island Skopelos. A photo shoot feels mandatory and I obviously oblige.

An Instagrammable Mamma Mia set at Son Tra Marina Bay.An Instagrammable Mamma Mia set at Son Tra Marina Bay.The Imperial City in Hue is a fascinating place to visit.The Imperial City in Hue is a fascinating place to visit.

I’m later taught about Lady Buddha from the massive statue overlooking Danang, which many locals believe has kept the city protected from major typhoon damage since its was erected in 2010. The region was completely wiped out prior to its erection and has not experienced a disaster of the same scale since.

Back in the city at Han Market my eyes are left watering at the sight of a shelf of giant avocados that almost look too heavy to carry. Around the corner, I pay A$2.50 for a 1kg mango. Up the street at Cong Caphe, I’m initially taken aback by the staff uniform – army green pants, military-style hat and a T-shirt emblazoned with the hammer and sickle – but soon after I’m blown away by the most incredible coffee I’ve ever had. It was an iced coconut slushy textured coffee topped in decadent whipped coconut cream. The glass table alos served as a quirky way for diners from across the globe to connect. Opportunistic hopeful lovers left short messages and a contact number, while others left kind notes about their time in Danang, and some simply left business cards.

Cong Caphe staff wore these striking uniforms.Cong Caphe staff wore these striking uniforms.Vietnam has a bit of everything.Vietnam has a bit of everything.

When visiting the shop known for having the “best banh mi in the world” in Hoi An, I learnt this method of connection was common but open for interpretation. At Banh Mi Phuong, diners skipped the notes and instead left copies of their headshots.

While also in Hoi An, about an hour from Danang, I once again was enamoured by the Vietnamese people and their propensity to turn anything into a party. I was sitting in a basket boat being paddled through a maze of water coconut trees by a woman, who I’m certain would beat Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in an arm wrestle, when we emerged from the foliage to arrive at a water festival you would more likely expect to encounter in Ibiza or Budapest than Southest Asia.

This basket boat tour was not what I was expecting.This basket boat tour was not what I was expecting.

Why Vietnam is a premium choice for Aussies

Based on ABS data Vietnam ranks seven in top 10 destinations for short-term resident returns in Australia based on data collected to February 2023.

There are 132,000 short-term resident returns in Australia based on 2022 data.

Flights to Vietnam from the east coast of Australia can also often cost less than a flight west following the recent launch of VietJet at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports.

Aussies can access extreme low-cost fares by the airline’s website every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, like an economy class return fare from $200, which includes taxes and fees.

Routes included are those from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Ho Chi Minh City until October 25th this year.

“Vietnamese people are humble, friendly, welcoming and eager to show young travellers a great time – they make all the difference for a solo traveller wanting to get an authentic experience of local life,” a representative of the airline told

T”heir tourism infrastructure is booming – If you’re travelling solo, you can travel between most cities by train or bus.

“There is an established tourist trail that hits all the main sites in Vietnam. If you decide to travel solo, there’s no need to stress about where to go. Main sites on Vietnam’s tourist trail include places like Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and the Mekong Delta.”

Reporter travelled as a guest of VietJet.

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