Surfspace is a co-working space located in Da Nang, Central Vietnam. While closer to the city’s Hàn River, the South China Sea is also nearby. It is owned by DNES, another coworking space located further north in the city.
WHAT IS IT LIKE?
The place has a relaxed ambiance despite the productivity going on inside. There’s lots of plants and natural light filtering in. Despite a nightclub below and a gym with hardcore music above, the place is relatively quiet. It also lives up to its name by having nautical decorations such as oars around the room.
WHY DID I END UP USING SURFSPACE FOR FIVE WEEKS?
I’m an eighteen-year-old studying an online degree in International Studies while travelling South East Asia with start-up Global Grad. Considering I’m recommended to study 36 hours a week, I definitely saw the walls of Surfspace often.
HOW COME GLOBAL GRAD CHOSE TO USE SURFSPACE?
Multiple reasons. The space has many connections with local and international companies and they host events almost every Sunday. We visited a few of these and noted how they encourage the work of start-ups and networking.
One event I personally attended was for International Women’s Day. Despite the incorrect belief that most of the presentations would be in English, we were provided a translator and had support from Surfspace and other start-ups. Alongside the breaks were plenty of chances to network.
DID I LIKE SURFSPACE?
Personally, using Surfspace had many advantages, such as them having lockers. I haven’t noticed these at other co-working spaces I’ve been in. Since I have a large folder and five textbooks, it was much easier to leave them there than have to carry them back to my hostel.
Sometimes I wanted to study on Saturdays, which were often used to renovate the main room for events. Rather than being told I had to leave, I was quickly accommodated to another room. Wherever in the building I was, I could still access their high-speed WiFi and the other facilities such as free water.
Surfspace is also ideally located for getting food. As a vegetarian, I benefitted from the faux-meat restaurant opposite the co-working space. Nearby are also café’s such as Highlands as well as independent companies. Within a ten-minute walk, there are plenty of food outlets offering local and Western dishes.
THE SOCIAL VIBE
It was also easy to meet other people using the space. We were in the open-plan area as were plenty of regulars. Several times I heard foreign users organising casual meet-ups, and locals would stop and have lunch together. In other co-working spaces, I felt much more isolated. The staff were also very approachable with queries and were very welcoming.
MORE ON THE EVENTS
As mentioned, myself and my fellow Global Grad-der’s found the events beneficial, and Global Grad’s CEO Steff Wright hosted his own at DNES. Despite being on a Sunday morning, they struggled to accommodate us as more arrived than expected. This shows how far reaching and popular the events are. Organising the event was efficient and it was well-received.
Overall, using Surfspace has been a pleasant experience. I felt welcomed by the staff and could easily find and make contacts. The location was accessible from my hostel and for going to other locations, be it for food or tourism. I definitely picked up a productive vibe as soon as I entered the space which meant I got plenty of work done. I can easily see why it was picked to be Global Grad’s ‘study hub’ for Da Nang as well as for multiple other businesses.
About the author
Jasmin Dawling is one of Global Grad’s January 2019 students and is completing a full-time Bachelor’s degree with the Open University in International Studies. While this is her first time formally blogging, she has had plenty of writing experience in the past, from novel writing since the age of six to working on the school newspaper. Apart from seeing the sights of South East Asia and working on her degree, Jasmin spends most of her time either procrastinating or writing down her novel ideas, be it on her travelling-inspired new ideas or the 7-part series she’s been toying with for almost ten years.