Sunrise at China Beach Da Nang
With our expedition of Central Vietnam nearing its end, after all the potpourri of sights, sounds, and tastes that invaded our senses in this whirlwind exploration, I was really looking forward in having a relaxing climax on this journey. So when I made the itinerary for this trip, I made sure we had a downtime at China Beach Da Nang.
We passed this area several times to and fro cities but managed to elude the call of the waves. The place really reminded me of Baywalk in Manila but with an added long stretch of beach. There are stalls there by the beach which sells some snacks and drinks and they would offer you their beach chairs as long as you buy from their stall.
China Beach Crowd on a weekend
Twenty or so years ago, this site used to be a rest and recreation area for the American soldiers during the Vietnam War. So it’s a sight of where soldiers are being airlifted, and soldiers surfing and treading its long stretch of light golden sand beach. There was even a China Beach hit TV series back in the 80’s which I must admit I can’t seem to remember seeing. But I do remember a series on Amazing Race before where Zack and Floe were having a hard time navigating those round boats and Floe kept on complaining and crying.
Vietnam’s Round boats
This is quite a peculiar beach. We got here in the afternoon on a weekend and we were greeted by hordes of people that almost filled the whole shore stretch of beach. I could swear the whole population in China is there! I guess the whole lot of people from Da Nang is here to pass time since this is so close to the city. I had a mental note not to visit the place on a weekend.
China Beach Da Nang crowd
We took some of the chairs being offered and had some drinks to freshen up. I could hardly get a good picture with the entire crowd though. Still I think I manage to relax a bit. I decided to swim and started heading towards the beach, it was low tide then so I had to go further and the water was cold as it was nearing night time. I think, I swam a bit for a few minutes and when I was already enjoying the water, I started hearing whistles all around. Is there an emergency nearby? Someone drowning? I looked around to see a man on one of those round boats whistling and seem to signal everyone to go back to the shore. Why? I thought. Couldn’t understand some of the conversations but then I heard somewhere that the beach is already closed! Closed? Ok. This is a first for me, a beach getting closed.
Low Sun Riders
I joined the others heading back. That really severed my fun but I guess it was safety measures as well. This beach is so accessible that even children unnoticed could dive in. Anyways the morning at the beach next day was more scenic with the sunrise, less crowd and a lot of people into several activities like jogging, exercises and yoga.
That’s the end of the line for our Central Vietnam trip. Shortly that morning we headed to the airport which is less than an hour from the beach. As we flew back to Singapore, I looked at the land below and I can’t help but say to myself “Cam on for a wonderful time!”
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.