Made famous by the American war (and the TV show), China Beach first rose to fame when its close proximity to Da Nang led to it being used as an R&R destination for American soldiers.
Though subsequent decades left it with a tranquil vibe of abandonment, crowds of Americans and other foreigners will soon be returning for some more R&R.
Though China Beach initially avoided the development that other beaches like Nha Trang undertook after Vietnam opened its doors to tourism, it's now looking to become the country's next big beach resort.
On our last visit in September 2008, the China Beach beachfront, stretching from the Son Tra peninsula to the north, down to Cua Dai Beach outside Hoi An to the south, was being prepped for a massive transformation.
Thousands of acres of beachfront property have been appropriated by the government for use by international hotel conglomerates to build four and five-star luxury resorts, and major chains like Raffles and Hyatt have already erected billboards.
This has resulted in a large number of Vietnamese being uprooted and relocated -- vast tracts of land currently contain nothing but half-demolished buildings.
There have even been rumours that the long-time backpacker mecca, Hoa's Place, is on the chopping block. For the time being, you can still find peace and relaxation on these sands -- though you'd better get here soon.
Text and/or map last updated on 21st August, 2009.
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Nothing like a China Beach
This area is certainly a bit like a 'new development area' as we call them in China. However, there are neighborhoods forming and the beach front to the north of the public park has the very reasonably priced and relaxing Temple Bar. To the south of the roundabout is Sunset Bar and the local seafood places that are frequented by locals and expats alike. Many expats call the west side around here home as it is a five minute walk to the beach and the stretches north and south of the public park are not overly developed with resorts - just don't head too far south, that's where the new Chinese businessman focused casinos are. I recommend staying in the area where Pham Van Dong intersects with Hoang Sa. It looks dead, but the price is right, the beach and local cafes are close, and with a motorbike rental the rest of the city is only a five minute ride away. Currently there is great beach still to be had here, the water is clean, the sand is pure, and the place is relatively empty in January and February. Don't let the wide open streets and the many empty lots fool you, this place has a vibration to it that you'll really start to feel if you give it time. Quick access to Monkey Mountain, Marble Mountain, and Hoi'an as well - without having to deal with the traffic in the city centre.
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By caseyprich (dabbler)
Written on 1st February, 2012 after a visit to China Beach in ,
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