North To Danang (Or Hoi An)

Russell has left Ho Chi Minh City for the last time and headed north, to Danang.  Danang is located about halfway between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.  It is a major port and industrial city and the largest city in central Vietnam.

China Beach

Danang also is a familiar name to those who grew up during the Vietnam War.  The United States had a major air base there, and the last United States ground combat operations in the Vietnam War happened in the Danang area.  The beach American soldiers called “China Beach” is on the outskirts of Danang and was a popular spot for American troops on leave.  According to a 2003 Time magazine article, the beach was home to aggressive beggars that local officials believed caused the tourist trade to bypass Danang for other nearby Vietnamese cities where the begging was a bit less persistent.  It will be interesting to see whether Russell encounters any well-tanned panhandlers during his stay in Danang.

Edited to add:  Russell has just reported by e-mail that he has stopped in Hoi An, a neighboring city that is smaller and less industrial than Danang, close by China Beach, and known for making “made to measure” clothing.  I’d say its about time for Russell to get a tailor-made suit.

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