Big city on the coast, with small but very cute Cham museum.
Danang is big, but like all Vietnamese towns, the centre is remarkably small, and cosy. Just a few streets, on the banks of the Han River, is where everything happens – and to be fair, that is not a lot. However, Danang has one of the cutest museums I have ever seen, the Cham museum, with a collection of sculptures from the old Champa empire. Champa art is more frivolous than most of the Khmer sculpturing you see, and especially the smaller, supporting sculptures are much more varied, yet finely executed. I also like the history of the museum, which was started when one Charles Lemire needed space to display his collection of sculptures “discovered during his travels” – what better euphemism for robbery can you think of?
Danang is at the coast, where the Han River flows into the sea. Large fishing fleet, moored in the river. Also an enormous stretch of sandy beach, over 30 km of it, and most famous as Rest & Recuperation destination for American GIs during the Vietnam War. But there are no people now. The fishermen here use some kind of funny basket to go around the nets, close to shore, and many of those are stored on the beach. However, not for long anymore, there is an incredible amount of construction going on, resorts and hotels, but more than that, enormous apartment complexes, all along the coast. Vietnam is getting a middle class.