The Cham museum is interesting if you happen to be into carvings from the Cham Period, being as it is the most comprehensive collection of Cham sculpture in the world, however without that interest the museum itself feels stuffy and stagnant with mostly plain walls, tiled floors and the majority
of items mounted without much thought on how to engage those who casually visit. The whole exhibit feels like it's being housed in the forgotten wing of a sixth form college and while it's undoubtably referentially excellent for those with more than a passing interest, I wouldn't in anyway refer to it as Da Nang's main attraction. In fact the 2 other museums here are probably more suitable for those looking for an overview of this part of the world. The Da Nang museum covers a broader history of Da Nang itself, the geography and nature, the cultures and the conflicts in a fluid, easy and interesting way where as the Ho Chi Minh Museum contains a replica of the Ho Chi Minh house in Ha Noi as well as a courtyard full of weapons and vehicles seized from various armies, much like the outside of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city.
In fact, Da Nang is a little reminiscent of a quieter version of Ho Chi Minh. The buildings and boulevards bear the same architectural french colonial traits and many of the shops found in the southern city are also present here. During rush hours the roads can become similarly manic but unlike Saigon where scooters and bikes would frequently blind side you, mounting onto pavements to carry on their journey when the roads would become jammed, the roads here never tend to get completely clogged and the bikes tend to stay primarily on the roads unless pulling off to park up. It's still very much Vietnam and still seemingly chaos to the uninitiated, but it's a type of chaos that gives the tourist at least a chance of coming away from a walk unscathed.
What is a little less predictable is the traffic flow. Vietnamese drive on the right hand side is a statement that should probably be suffixed with "when it suits them" and with low obstacles and obstructions frequently forcing you into the road, it's sometime unnerving to step into the path of a vehicle that isn't following the rules. It isn't long though before you get used to not being complacent, and that will probably come just after the first time that you step out in front of something that you assumed wouldn't be there, Dropping off of a kerb to get around one of the many bikes being repaired, trucks unloading or parked up food carts soon becomes secondary to quickly looking around to make sure the coast is clear enough to do so.
Stepping out of the 2nd escalator you can immediately hear the music, but only after the short climb up the stairs to the open air venue do you really feel it, the energy, the movement, the energy, the positivity. I have to state that with the exception of a couple of instances I have never really enjoyed clubs, preferring a good live band in a feel good venue as opposed to one that I used to associate with people in designer clothes, drinking designer drinks looking for a designer fight. Places where your only form of of communication with the around you is a nod or few misunderstood words as you struggle over the bass heavy "toons" that reverberate endlessly around the 6 walls with no means of escape. The Skybar just isn't that kind of place.
Yes there is drink, a lot of it and it isn't cheap but the music, loud and bass heavy isn't oppressive, it's only form of containment is offered by the floor from which is can bounce and escape into the cool, night air. Everyone, bar none wears a smile and there is no visible ill intent anywhere. Drinks can be waited for at the bar or brought to you by one of the staff leaving you to just enjoy your time without such petty frustration, enjoying the shows frequently put on by either separate performers the club has brought in to perform or the bar staff who occasional just break out into juggling flame lit bottles All the time the music keeps going, the drinks keep flowing, the people keep dancing and you are still able to have either a good clear conversation, or not if you've lost a count of your intake.
The downside to all this is the late night excitement is that it ends up with me having to apologise for waking up the staff at the Orange hotel where I stayed and whose insistence to me that my rolling in when I did wasn't a problem actually did nothing to alleviate my self imposed sense of guilt. I had tried in vain to wake the young lad who had slept dutifully by the glass door at the entrance, but each time I saw movement in his eyes indicating that something was registering (even fully opening at one point) it was immediately followed by a nothingness that would lead me to quietly tap again as gently as I could in order not to disturb anyone else that I didn't need to. It didn't work and eventually the door was opened by 2 of the girls who had come to investigate. It's very difficult to say sorry sincerely enough as you disappear into a lift to go to bed, trying to whisper and slip away knowing that you've inconvenienced 3 more people than you should have. So as a sub text I will write that the Orange Hotel where I stayed for 5 nights as well as all of the staff there were amazing, and although far from the least expensive place in central Da Nang at which I could have stayed, I doubt that there could be anywhere better or more focused on making the guest feel welcome and at home. For that I have to give them massive thanks and admiration because having live with myself for 42 odd years now, I know at times that I can probably make it very, very hard to be nice to, but they managed it somehow.
And then I accidentally stole their Laundry Bag.