Es­cape To

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

New Hori­zons – Forty years af­ter the war’s end, Danang dis­plays new­found lux­ury and lo­cal charm

E“ very Marine in 1 Corps got to spend a few days at China Beach at least once dur­ing their 13-month tours,”writes jour­nal­ist Michael Herr in his 1977 book Dis­patches, a vis­ceral, per­sonal ac­count of the Viet­nam War.

“It was a place where they could go swim­ming or surf­ing, get drunk, get stoned, get laid, get straight, groove in the scivvie houses, rent sail­boats or just sleep.”

It was on the sandy shores of Danang that 50 years ago the first US ground troops ar­rived at the start of the long, bloody con­flict, strid­ing from their boats through the warm wa­ters of the bay, lo­cated mid­way down Viet­nam’s S-shaped coast­line.

You only have to read Dis­patches to get a sense of just how sense­less the en­su­ing ten-year war was, one in which 58,000 US sol­diers were killed, and three mil­lion Viet­namese per­ished, twothirds of them civil­ians.

Against this back­ground, you can ap­pre­ci­ate how rapidly the coun­try has re­built it­self, and the in­cred­i­ble ca­pac­ity of the lo­cal peo­ple for for­give­ness.

Th­ese days, Danang is a thriv­ing port city of over one mil­lion peo­ple. Down by the surf, fish­er­men mend their cir­cu­lar bas­ket boats, just as they have al­ways done, but all along the seafront prom­e­nade, glitzy karaoke bars, golf cour­ses and lux­ury ho­tels are ar­riv­ing at an re­mark­able pace.

Among lo­cal brands such as the lux­u­ri­ous Na­man Re­treat and Fu­sion Maia, there’s a Pull­man and a Hy­att Re­gency. A Sher­a­ton will open in 2018.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.