Our Vietnam adventure begins in Da Nang, Vietnam's third biggest city (behind Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi), located on the central part of the coast. While it is pretty big, it's pretty calm and quiet right now, although it appears they are trying to rapidly change that by turning it into a resort destination to take advantage of the beautiful beach it abuts.
Back during the Vietnam War (or the American War, as they call it in Vietnam), Da Nang served as the main U.S. and South Vietnamese air base and also the R&R locale for thousands of American soldiers because of the beautiful beach that they called China Beach (the Vietnamese have different names for each section of the 30 km long stretch of white sand beach, including My Khe, My An, Non Nuoc, etc.). The area was many soldier's first point of entry into Vietnam, and because of the evacuation hospital there (which you might remember from the late '80s show "China Beach") meant that many wounded soldiers were airlifted there, Tim's boss being one of them.
Now the beach is pretty quiet (at least until high tourist season), with tourists relaxing on the beach by day, locals hitting it up to swim in the early evening, and fishermen cruising by at all times of the day. This crew of fisherdudes puttered down the coastline each morning with the Cham Islands in the distance and Son Tra peninsula and giant Buddha statue behind them.
Tim actually had meetings the first few days we were in Da Nang, so he didn't get to enjoy the beach quite as much as me. Wa waaaa.