On my last day in Danang, I decided to go out for a walk.
Ordinary as this may sound, it was quite the novel event. In Vietnam, one does not walk much of anywhere.
One rides. Motorbikes are the preferred mode of getting around.
But just this once, I left my rented Nouvo parked in the shady garage, and headed out to take a walk around the block.
^ This year, my daughter has moved out from the older neighborhoods of Danang City and taken an apartment across the river on the new side of town. New hotels, resorts and spas springs up right and left, as the tourist industry capitalizes on the beautiful sweeping South China Sea beach, and my daughter's high rise joins a bustling new area of residential homes and flats.
A tall stand of palms guards the entrance to my daughter's building.
^ Purple flowers against the white walls of this villa are punctuated by red letters from a nearby hotel floating against the blue sky.
^ The first few homes are chic and deliciously designed. Geometric gates on stone pillars fringed with blooming vines offer a glimpse into this darling courtyard.
^ Pink and white bougainvillea - seemingly the official flower of Southeast Asia - flow toward a tiny alley, one of the few visual reminders that this is not an elegant American neighborhood.
^ Orange flowers against a blue wall with a pair of floating French doors. Though still charming, this residence on the other side of the block is older and less well kept than the others.
^ Back to the ritzy side of the street. This grand home stands tall and proud, with the Vietnamese flag flying at the third floor balcony.
^ Another gorgeous modern courtyard draws me in. As much as I love the greenery and wooden vertical fencing, I really want to hop inside and see where that staircase leads.
^ One of the few other high rises on the block, this steep, stark apartment canyon filled with steel windows and air conditioning units sets a somber tone. but the peekaboo window out front with some greenery poking through adds a touch of much needed playfulness.
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And if you enjoyed stepping around that block with me, here's another little treat I offer to you.