My Khe beach
Khe Beach is located about 6km east of Danang and about 24km north
of Hoi An. It’s a seven-kilometre stretch of smooth sand with an
average width between 50m and 70m. The gradient is gentle, and its
sheltered position in the lee of the Son Tra peninsula softens the
autumn winds that restrict swimming further down the coast.
The lack of
large waves, less than average pollution, and an annual mean temperature
around 25 oC, makes it a safe place to swim for adults and children
much confusion about the location of the place that the US military
used for ‘rest and relaxation’ during the war‘. Known as My Khe Beach
and made famous by a television series of the same name,
opinions differ wildly. The people who ought to know, the locals
and returning US war veterans, haven't a clue.
aren't much bothered and the vets are usually unable to identify
a specific section of a continuous strand of sand stretching for
miles in both directions. Backed the beach with poplar trees in
the mid-nineties doesn't help either!
are two leading theories - one says it’s a small section of My Khe
beach close to the Furama luxury beach resort, and the other claims
it’s the entire beach up to Monkey Mountain to the east of Danang
Who cares, anyway
– My Khe is a very good beach whatever it’s called.
in Vietnam are seldom private, and My Khe is no exception. Visitors
are likely to share the beach with the locals, and there are plenty
of them. Most of us aren't very good at swimming, but we love splashing
about in the water and making a lot of noise.
for foreigners, we don't like dark skin so we avoid the water during
the day. Our times are the early morning and evening.
you'll often encounter Vietnamese fishing parties. The technique
is to use a couple of sampans to take a very long fine mesh net
about half a kilometre offshore.
Once the net
is in place, two teams of people (mostly women) each take ropes
tied to the ends of the net and begin to pull them up the beach.
each person reaches the limit of beach space, she or he drops the
rope on the ground and walks back to the water’s edge to repeat
The whole operation
takes about half a day and results in a few buckets of tiny fish
that are sold for a few dollars. Watching the process and seeing
the scant reward to be shared among ten or fifteen people gives
a powerful insight into the reality of poverty.
Around the hotel
area there's plenty of seafood restaurants and stalls, and large
numbers of local vendors traverse the beach selling all kinds of
foods and drinks. They can be irritating sometimes – if they're
too persistent, ignoring the nuisance is the best strategy.