This trip has confirmed my love of Vietnamese coffee. It is stronger than espresso and they drink it sweet, either using sugar or evaporated milk to sweeten it. The other thing I learned on this trip is that drinking or eating hot soup or coffee in hot weather does not cause any discomfort. It was about as hot and muggy as it can get in Danang today but eating Pho didn’t make it any worse.
We had breakfast before we set out. The breakfast buffet is very good.
The last time I was in Danang (2011) I stayed at the Furama Beach Resort, which is right across the street from the Sea Phoenix Hotel we are using on this trip. Today we decided to venture across the street to see how the other half lives. We stopped and had a drink while checking out the views of China Beach and it was pleasant.
Incidentally, they discourage calling the beach “China Beach”, probably because that’s what we called it. They are very ambivalent about using overt references to, what they call the “American War”. If it suites their purpose, such as to advertise a tourist attraction like Khe Sanh or the Chu Chi tunnels, they are fine with it but otherwise they emphasize the Vietnamese names. I have seen several places where the “American War” was characterized as a war America waged to colonize Vietnam. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it. I’ve always seen it as a clumsy attempt on our part to influence the outcome of a civil war.
Our next order of business was to stop at a shopping Mall down the street from our hotel to pick up a few things. Jim wanted some tonic water and I wanted to buy some Vietnamese coffee. We got both but it did feel strange walking around a supermarket in Vietnam a few miles from where we were running patrols and taking incoming fire 50 years before.