VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

South Central Coast

Quang Ngai - Around Quang Ngai - Sa Huynh - Quy Nhon - Around Quy Nhon - Song Cau - Tuy Hoa - Beaches North Of Nha Trang - Nha Trang - Around Nha Trang - Phan Rang Thap Cham - Ninh Chu Beach - Ca Na - Vinh Hao - Mui Ne Beach - Phan Thiet - Ta Cu Mountain

AROUND QUANG NGAI

SonMy (MyLai):
It's unfathomable that this pleasant rural spot could have been the setting of horrific crimes during the American War. On the morning of 16 March 1968, US troops swept through four hamlets in the Son My subdistrict, systematically killing 504 villagers, many of them elderly and children. The largest mass killing took place in Xom Lang (Thuan Yen) sub hamlet, where the Son My Memorial (admission 10,000d;8-1130am& 1-4.30pm Mon-Fri) now stands. However, it is one of the other hamlets that lent the name the world remembers - the My Lai Massacre. The memorial is centred around a dramatic stone sculpture of an elderly woman holding up her fist in defiance, a dead child in her arms, as the rest other family die at her feel. Many visitors bring incense to burn here. The US military ploughed the ground to destroy the evidence of their crimes, but the scene has been recreated to reflect the aftermath of that fateful day. Burnt-out shells of homes stand in their original locations, each marked with a plaque listing the names and ages of the family that once resided there. The concrete connecting the ruins is coloured to represent a dirt path, and indented with the heavy bootprints of American soldiers and the bare footprints of fleeing villagers. The fact that the event was painstakingly documented by a US military photographer is quite bizarre in its own right. These graphic images are now the showcase of a small museum on the site. While a distressing ex-perience, the display ends on a hopeful note -chronicling the efforts of the local people to rebuild their lives after liberation. A prominent section honours the GIs who tried to stop the carnage, shielding a group of villagers from certain death, and those responsible for blowing the whistle. The road to Son My passes through particularly beautiful countryside: rice paddies, cassava patches and vegetable gardens shaded bycasuarinas and eucalyptus trees. However, if you look closely you can still make out the odd bomb crater, and the bare tops of hills are testimony to the continuing environmental devastation caused by Agent Orange.
GETTING THERE & AWAY
The best way to get to Son My is by motorbike or regular taxi. The return bike trip, including waiting time, shouldn't cost more than 50,000d. From Quang Ngai head north on Đ Quang Trung (Hwy 1A) and cross the long bridge over the Tra Khuc River. Take the first right (eastward, parallel to the river) where a triangular concrete stele indicates the way and follow the road for 12km. The memorial is just past a small hospital.
My Khe Beach
Only a couple of kilometres from the & My Memorial, My Khe (not to be confused with the other My Khe Beach near Danang is a superb beach, with fine white sand and clear water. It stretches for kilometres along a long, thin, casuarina-lined spit of sand,separated from the mainland by Song Kinh Giang, a body of water about 150m inland from the beach. The beach's charm is greatly enhanced by its lack of development, although,this means limited accommodation options.Still, if you want an idyllic beach largely yourself, this is the place to come... for i time being. If tourist numbers increase, I shell of an additional building is already place to double the size of the resort. You'll reach the beach after crossing bridge, 2 kilometres further along the road heading past the Son My memorial.
SLEEPING & EATING
My Khe Restaurant (Tell 843 316; Tmh Khe commune;r 100,000d) Hidden from sight behind a large yellow wall to the north of the road is the lo commune, with a row of restaurants along the beach. This one, near where the paving broad -ens out, also has basic stilt houses to rent, each with its own bathroom, fan and TV.
My Khe Resort (Tmh Khe; r/ste US$20/30;Although not really a resort, this small new hotel is great value v smart, clean rooms looking over the beach Breakfast is included at the beachfront rest. rant across the road. You'll find this attract green and yellow building 100m to the! once you reach the beach.