A Script: Three Towns in Central Vietnam

A Script: Three Towns in Central Vietnam

Rewind to March 8, 1965. The opening scene. Picture a lazy day Da Nang. A fisherman stands on the beach. He checks the wind, scratches his ass, then sniffs his finger. Mmm…fishy. The camera pans from shore to sea. There’s soldiers. That’s odd. Quickly, arrange all the dancing girls and hand-shaking dignitaries. And, with that, Vietnam was at war…  

True story folks. History was made on this beach. Now it’s all high-rise and tiki bars. But, having said that, I don’t mind the place. It’s nice and relaxed, not over-run quite yet. The whole town has free wifi. Are you listening Australia? This place can’t deal with flushed toilet paper but still has you covered.

Check out the My Son ruins. They’re a diet Angkor Wat. The military museum is also worth a look, or you can try and catch a wave. Unfortunately, it was flat while I was there. It’s true that Charlie don’t surf, but, then again, neither did I.   

South from Da Nang is the hamlet of Hoi An. Now, I’m almost militantly nonchalant, but this place is alright. The town is tinged by a wistful old-world charm. Reverential stained houses line cool cobbled lanes. Apparently, it’s one of the most romantic places in Asia. But, alas, I was fresh out of luck. Love had eluded me yet again. But, as they say, you’ve gotta learn to love yourself – which is frustratingly tough in a dorm with cold showers.

North from Da Nang you’ll find Hue – an Imperial citadel astride the Perfume river. Be sure to see it. It’s a clash of ages, and a national metaphor. Moats and walls surround the old city – which became a backdrop for intense hand-to-hand combat in contemporary times.

Fast forward to the present. The final scene. Again, a lazy Da Nang. The camera pans from sea to shore. There’s tourists. That’s good. Quickly, arrange all the dancing girls and hand-shaking dignitaries. And, with that, Vietnam had moved on…