Where I’m At: March, 2019 – Da Nang edition

Where I’m At: March, 2019 – Da Nang edition

Greetings from Danang and another edition of Where I’m At – my monthly summary of where I’ve been and other site news.

Where I’ve Been


The month began in Kuala Lumpur and from there I went to Penang. My trip was timed to escape the Tet shutdown in Vietnam, and to meet my parents here who were on holiday. I ended up spending half the month in Penang, and even after all these visits I still love it. Not sure I would consider living there, but I’m happy to visit once a year.

Penang was a good place to celebrate the lunar new year as it’s a big holiday there. I estimated that about 3/4 of businesses were open, so it wasn’t totally shut down like in Vietnam.

This year is the year of the Pig, which happens to be my year. You would think that would be a good thing, but apparently not. According to this temple I needed to make an extra prayer to get me through the year.

Animals of the year of the pig

This trip I spent some looking looking around the Seven Streets Precinct, which I have dubbed the Brooklyn of Penang. This formerly run-down area is in the midst of transformation, so I’ll be back to check up on this.

Lebuh Presgrave in the Seven Streets Precinct


Old shophouses of Ipoh

About halfway between KL and Penang is the city of Ipoh. I’ve been there before, but in the years since then the city has undergone a renaissance of sorts, and the stock of historic buildings are now being renovated and repurposed. The fast train from KL to Penang stops there, which has contributed to the rise of new Ipoh.

Here is my full trip report: The rebirth of Ipoh Old Town.


In between trips I’ve been back in home base Saigon. I’ve been working on two big guides about the city. The first is a complete guide to District 2, which is one of the biggest urban development areas in Southeast Asia. Here is the completed guide to District 2.

District 2 redevelopment site

Before I published it I realised I needed some photos to go with it, and one of the best places to get a photo is from the Bitexco Tower. I had never been up it, and as I am now compiling a guide on things to do in Saigon I had the perfect excuse to do something touristy.

Bitexco Financial Tower

Here is a view of the compact houses of District 4 and the new city area of District 7 in the background.


From Penang to Danang – starting and finishing the month in two favourite ‘nangs in Asia (whatever that means). I was just in Danang last year and it’s a place I like going back to, so when a friend said he was going there for a couple of weeks I didn’t need much coercion to visit. While I’m here I’ll be checking out new cafes to work from as well as updating the Danang construction list. Also check out the where to stay in Da Nang guide.

10 years of Nomadic Notes

Twitter anniversary 10 years

On the 5th of February I got a notification on Twitter that @nomadicnotes is 10 years old. I register social media accounts as soon as I register a new domain, so that means that nomadicnotes.com is now 10 years old. I registered my first domain sometime in 2001 when I first started learning web design and went nomadic in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I started blogging about my travels.

Learning how to make and market web sites set me up for my location independent life, and starting a travel blog opened even more doors and introduced me to new people. I’m a strong advocate for starting a travel blog (or any kind of blog), as you never know who is reading or what impact it will have.

ICYMI – Last Months Posts

I have mostly caught up with trip reports now, so I’ll have time now to write some other articles.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai by train – best train times to see some of the highlights of Thailand.

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  1. Spectacular!
    Loved reading it throughout.

  2. I think Kuala Lumpur part was the most interesting part in your journey,isn’t it ?

  3. Hi James, Very nice article about Danang, previously my most favorite Vietnamese city. The amount of development in the last three years is remarkable. The new resorts, high rise buildings and increase in tourism has significantly changed this city. Three years ago most of the visitors we met were from Hanoi and Saigon. Today, with the large influx of expats and foreign visitors the city no longer feels like the same town. The ideal Vietnamese city for me is less developed and has a more friendly, local feel. For me I prefer the smaller coastal cities of Phan Rang or Quy Nhon.

  4. wellcome to da nang

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