Vibrant Vietnam - 2007

DA NANG Da Nang is a name with great resonance for Americans. We knew that city was important in shipping during the War and we also knew about China Beach, a place of R & R for the men and women who served over there. Our guide explained as we drove along the coastal highway with spitting rains still blurring our view from the van, that we would not see much of anything to remind us of the American presence there those 40 years ago. And he was quite right. We saw nothing to remind us of our troops ever having been there. As a matter of fact, Lan only casually (and seemingly reluctantly) pointed out China Beach when we specifically asked about it. Perhaps his grudging admission was just another reminder that for young Vietnamese anything calling the “American War” to mind is not really worth remembering! There is nothing on that beach now except what nature furnishes; nothing that would have told us that this section of coast was China Beach. The ocean was nudging at the shore pretty insistently as we passed and sporadic waves were already pushing up over the dunes and into the rice paddies. The wind and rain continued and we knew that significant flooding could not be far behind us.


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