Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang, Vietnam

My time in Da Nang is almost over and I would like to reflect on my Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam.

These are priceless Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Volunteering in Vietnam Clinicexperiences and with them I hope to inspire you to travel to this beautiful country and meet the wonderful people who live here…

…my Top 5 highlights of Da Nang VietnamTop 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Vietnam Adventures

1) Working in the clinic with Dr. Alkan

Working in the clinic with Dr. Alkan went very well.

It was a private clinic: mostly foreigners and those who could afford to pay – not quite what I was looking for, as I would like to do more volunteer work in underserved communities.

However, Dr. Alkan is an excellent teacher and I very much enjoyed his tutelage.Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Vietnam Womens Volunteer Group

2) Helping with a Vietnamese Women Volunteer Group

Two to four days a week, this beautiful group of Vietnamese women, cook food and deliver it to those in need.

Their cause is entirely supported by money raised from local businesses and supplemented with their own.

I had the wonderful privilege to share in their efforts and help hand food out at a local old folks home and hospital.

Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Vietnam Women Helping those in NeedThe wide smiles of the elderly and the grateful desperation of the masses at the hospital were their reward.

These women extended their kindness to me by making me an honorary member – t-shirt and all! (:

I will never forget these women and their love and dedication to their people.


3) An Elderly Care Home run by Nuns and College Students

The third of my Top 5 highlights of Da Nang Vietnam was an elderly care home that is run by Nuns and College
Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Vietnam Elderly Care Run by Nuns + College StudentsThe old folks home that I visited above was a marvel in and of itself.

Started by a group of nun’s who took in the elderly they found living on the street. They fund their work by providing room and board to college students coming to the city to study.

In exchange for their stay, these students help take care of the elderly, clean, garden, and raise pigs and rabbits to sell.

These nun’s and students were some of the warmest, delightful people I have ever met. The grounds and rooms were impeccably clean and cared for and the elderly loved like their own.

4) Connections and Orphan Voice in Vietnam

The 4th of my Top 5 highlights of Da Nang Vietnam was meeting a wonderful group of believers in Da Nang. The service was strictly foreigners, as the Vietnamese are forbidden by their communist government to attend.

Some of the Vietnamese believers, however, would join us after the service for lunch and so would join in the fellowship that way.

At the service I met a beautifully inspiring family living out my dream!

Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Orphan Voices, Cindy and Tom BrewerCindy and Tony Brewer – founded ‘A Helping Hand’ adoption agency and are now working with Orphan Voice in Vietnam.

They adopted five baby girls within four years, while in their 40’s!  Talk about inspiring -you can change the world at any age!

Their eldest girl was adopted from china, and then shortly after they adopted two girls from the USA, followed by twins from China. Their girls are now 12, 11, 9, 8 and 8.

Sitting with this family at dinner, I am amazed at the deep love and unceasing energy that flows so freely.

Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Brewer Family

They were going back to the USA for a few months and I had the privilege of taking the girls out for some fun while Cindy took care of errands.

We had a bonfire on the beach roasting hotdog and marshmallows and went for a carefully supervised night swim in the ocean! (:

The next day I helped the girls pack and then we said goodbye.

This is a family a will definitely keep in touch with.

Here is a look at Downtown Da Nang… gives you a good idea of what it looks and sounds like…

5) The Glowing Beaches of Hoi An

The last of my top 5 highlights of Da Nang Vietnam was the Glowing Beaches of Hoi An…

One night Two German friends, I met at my hostel, and I decided to walk the 20 km stretch of beach from Hoi An back to Da Nang.

Top 5 Highlights of Da Nang Vietnam, Blue Glowing Ocean

The Glowing Beaches of Hoi An

The beach is dotted with the orange glow of lanterns as people sit on mats in the sand and enjoy the local seafood cuisine.

The moon is full, the sky silver with white puffy clouds and specks of stars.

As we walk along the waves shimmering bubbles crash up the shore washing up a glowing-blue phosphorescence that runs along the sand.  I have never seen anything like this before.

…and then a shooting star arcs across the sky – its long tail nearly pierce the moon. It is huge that and as it is propelled, it breaks apart into three separate strands, each flying to the opposite horizon.

Such beauty cannot be expressed in words!

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  1. How wonderful to hear about your great love for people and building relationships wherever you go. Helping out at the old peoples home sounds special. You were blessed to have served them with such joy. The family you wrote about taking them to the beach, I bet they never had such a GREAT babysitter.

    The beach scene with the picture so awesome. Love all the pictures. Keep writing! love you so much, ellie

    • Thanks Mom! I have had some wonderful times and all of these people have blessed me and touched my life! The beaches remind me of Papua New Guinea and all our wonderful memories of being at Wewak!
      love you… Shelly

  2. Hey Shelly, check this out…

    Is this what you are talking about: “As we walk along the waves shimmering bubbles crash up the shore washing up a blue-glowing, running phosphorescence”
    ~~~~~~~~ it was just on yahoo news… Evidently, this blue glowing is caused by plankton bloom -also phytoplankton Lingulodinium polyedrum- which creates a chemical reaction with the movement of the waves causing the blue glowing bioluminescence.

    In the Los Angeles Times Peter J. Franks, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor, described the chemical reaction of the phytoplankton:

    “When jostled, each organism will give off a flash of blue light created by a chemical reaction within the cell. When billions and billions of cells are jostled — say, by a breaking wave — you get a seriously spectacular flash of light.”

    In the day time, it appears as a red tide that makes the color brown and gives off a smell. They have it in San Diego at the moment and it doesn’t usually last this long. It can be mildly toxic but not necessarily toxic to people.

    There are quite a few videos of it on youtube, but this is an amazing video of surfers on the blue glowing waves is impressive!

    Red Tide Surfing San Diego 2011 Bioluminescence by Man’s Best Media

    • Very cool videos, Sonja… I do not think it is the same bioluminescense causing the glowing in Da Nang – but wow! I would love to go to cali or wherever that bioluminescence is because that is really cool!

  3. ps. doesn’t the guy surfing (in the 2nd video) remind you a little of Brent? -some of his mannerisms… maybe Brent has a brother after all?!

  4. Hey Shelly,

    Thanks for all of the stories of your travels! And the pictures are truly amazing! We love getting those! What an awesome visit to the caves! I’m sure that you only scratched the surface of things to do and see there.

    How long will you be in Thailand? We love hearing from you!


  5. This is the exact info i’m looking for, thanks! Arron

  6. Very inspiring story about Cindy and Tony Brewer and Orphan Voice in Vietnam. They must have so much patience and love… very cool story. It’s a great example like you said of changing the world at any age!

    The glowing beach photos are beautiful! -makes me want to visit Vietnam. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  7. I love the idea of the home for the elderly that you talked about. What a wonderful way to take care of the elderly who have no one as well as helping the college students with room and board.
    I think that it would teach the college students character and compassion that can not be learned any other way.
    This would be a wonderful option to include in the way we take care of the elderly in the Western world.
    It would be so great to see more photos and hear more about how it works. Thank you for sharing that beautiful story!

    • Hello Courtney,

      Isn’t it such a wonderful idea! I totally agree with you about implementing this idea in the western world – I think it could really make a difference in both the young and the old. Old people have so much knowledge and life to share and it is healthy for any young person to spend time with them and in return offer their youthful strength and care. What do you do? You should start it! (:

  8. It’s obvious that the focus of your Top 5 highlights of Da Nang, Vietnam are on the beauty of kind human beings loving and serving each other. That is refreshing and inspiring in a world that often focuses on negative things! Thank you for your positive focus and sharing the beauty that is in this world! I am inspired by the women who help the poor as well as the nuns and college students who take care of the elderly poor. The family adopting 5 baby girls is truly creating a more beautiful world.

  9. Wow -that bioluminesence glowing ocean is super cool. makes me want to surf it as well… is the surf in Vietnam good?

    • Hey Robbie,

      So those videos posted by my sister are not of Vietnam. The bioluminescence is not quite as cool as that – just do not want you to be disappointed. (:
      In the winter months oct – feb the surf is suppose to be pretty good. It was fairly low when I was there in Aug. but should be picking up. So yes, you should visit Vietnam and go for a surf – especially on a full moon night! (:

  10. I loved reading through your interesting yet really informative insights. I am looking forward to reading much more of your most recent articles and blogs.

  11. How long were you in Da Nang for? Do you recommend visiting it -or where you there just to do volunteer work? On the video the guy said it isn’t really a touristy area? What do you think about that? Thanks for your recommendations! Cheers -Jess

  12. Video clips from the Da Nang area including “China Beach”, “Marble Mtn.”, “Monkey Mtn.” and the downtown area.


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