Quang Ngai and Around

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, March 8, 2009

Itching to get a little off the beaten track we took a bus from Hoi An down the coast to Quang Ngai a smallish town without much domestic or foriegn tourist interest and then a motorbike to the nearby My Khe beach.

We had trouble finding somewhere to stay at first but eventually found a beachside restaurant with small bungalows out the back. They seemed pretty excited about our arrival and although the tried to crank up the prices a little at first ended up settling down and being really nice and friendly, giving us free coconuts and use of a scooter. 

I started to notice polite gestures such and accepting something with both hands or touching your elbow when giving something; things I remember from being in Thailand (nearly 6 years ago now!). You don't get this much in the bigger cities and tourist sites where you're more or less viewed as a giant wallet with legs.

A small village nearby was the site of one of the worst atrocities of the Vietnam war, the My Lai massacre. American soldiers exectuted hundreds of men, women and children. Raped and tortured some then torched everything that would burn. Not a single shot was fired against them. Command attempted to cover up the crimes by bulldozing the area and ordering the soldiers not to talk to journalists. But some did talk, there was even one army photographer who recorded the unbelieveable scenes. When it reached the American public the news further reduced support for the war and had a devastating affect on army moral. The memorial and museum now on the site of the old village are compelling. The worst news being that the area of Vietnam still contain landmines which from time to time claim fresh casualties of the war, over 30 years later.

On a lighter note, the morning before we moved on Jess and I helped a small fishing boat pull its nets into shore. They caught a whole bunch of fish, squid, eels and beer cans. As well as one really massive fish. As big as my arm I tell ya! Photographic evidence to follow.

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