China Beach, Marble and Monkey Mountain

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March 16th 2008
Published: March 17th 2008
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China Beach, Marble and Monkey Mountain

Where I live in Danang is a half block from China Beach. It is the real beach of TVs China Beach fame.

I live at Hoa’s Place, a seven dollar a night backpacker’s favorite spot. The beds are hard and the shower puts out just enough water to bathe but I wouldn’t call it a shower.

We have had nothing but cold rainy miserable weather here in Danang.

It is within walking distance to china beach and Marble Mountain. That is all; the rest is a long ride anywhere. Before I came here I just didn’t realize how big Danang is and it is growing all the time. It is the most modern looking city in Vietnam that I know.

Down the road north of me is a lot of old concrete helicopter hangers that were once the base of a very active helicopter operations. Just North of it was a Seabee unit and South was the hospital of “China Beach” fame. Then of course East is that famous China Beach that goes almost to Hoi An. Along that beach several multimillion dollar resorts are being built.

Oklahoma CapOklahoma CapOklahoma Cap

When I took the bus to the airport I saw this
1992, China Beach was the site of the first International Surfing competition in Vietnam.

Just west of me about a block away is one of the five marble mountains and Non Nuoc Hamlet. This small village is made up of stone workers. During the war it was called “Dogpatch” after a derelict town in the comic strip “Ltl Abner.” It was a shanty town made up of war refugees from the countryside living in shacks. It is a little more prosperous today as the town skilled artisans make the marble into about everything you can imagine.

The five marble mountains represent natural elements so are named: Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (Fire), Kim So (Metal or Gold) and Tho Son (Earth).

The largest and most famous mountain is Thuy Son and the steps up the mountain begin right in the village of Non Nuoc. It has several natural caves that first Hindu and later Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. It is a popular place for pilgrimages.

All the temples and caves don’t impress me so much. I have been in so many in Vietnam. I walked the walk up the mountain for the beauty of the whole thing. The views of China Beach is spectacular, everything there is worth seeing just for the beauty of it alone.

Monkey Mountain is another great beauty spot but if there are monkeys, I didn’t see any of them. In this trip we took a motorbike up the mountain and then walked down to the beach and had dinner. This was a lot of exercise but it was worth it to have a great dinner there on the beach a beautiful place.

They are in the process of building a huge Buddha Statue on the mountain. Most of the mountain I understand is a military base and is off limits.

Additional photos below
Photos: 75, Displayed: 24



I am told American. I think it is French.

18th March 2008

China Beach
It was interesting to see the pictures and learn more about China Beach. Your travelblogs are always special. Camilla
19th March 2008

bamboo boat
I find it very interesting the style (round!) boat that the fisherman use. Kind of reminds me of a water ride at Silver Dollar City! I don't think I would be skilled enough to navigate it.
29th October 2008

this is where I live
I KNOW all the girl is this picture,
29th October 2008

am sure the end of the trip they will try to sell you marble?
22nd April 2009

China Beach
Nice pictures, I grew up there... a lot of memory I used to walk barefoot to school from Son tra to An Cu along China Beach. Of note, I can navigate those round boat from shore to fishing boat... Lots of memories.
27th January 2010

The changes
I was there in 1969-1970 the area was beatiful from the mountain, looking towatd China Beach, but up close it wasn't as nice. The change is really great and doesn't look anything like when I was ther great job in making it very appealing. I lived half way up the mountain at water point just below the radio station AFRVN.
5th March 2010

I remember
Stationed there in 72 with the Air Force. Some of the craters there I probably witnessed when the mortars used to hit. Loved the people there,they were always very friendly. I do wish I could go back to see what it is like now.
14th July 2010

DaNang Bridge
One of my best friends was a Seabee and helped build that bridge back in '67 or so. I would take it in '69 when I arrived in country. Funny, he was standing on some scafolding and kept hearing a "ding, ding'. He'd look around and see paint chipped off and got mad. Then someone pointed at a VC down near an embankment. The Marines removed him in some fashion. probably no din, din for him that night.
28th November 2010

Beautiful Pictures
It's very heart warming to see Vietnam in a seemingly prosperous condition. When I was there it was a very depressing war zone. I was a security police officer at Danang Air Base in 1968, then I went to Dong Ha in 1969 for nine monthe and returned to Danang to finish my second tour. In 1969 we new that the war was not a winning situation and that we needed to leave and allow the Vietnamese people continue their lives. I would love to visit Vietnam however, I have concerns about my safety. I wonder it has a high crime rate.
28th November 2010

Crime in Vietnam
There is little major crime. It is pick pocket type crime. If you are prepared and alert you will be alright. It is more safe than American cities.
19th December 2010

I was a member of MCB-9 and in June of 65 we landed just east of marble mtn. our camp was just north of marble mtn Camp Adiner an incredtable experance
26th March 2011

i was stationed in viet nam 67 to 69.i enjoyed your photes.good work.keep it up.
18th February 2012

Monkey Mountain
I spend two years there, from 72-73. I would to find a diamond shaped Monkey Mountain patch[ has monkey on it and you wear it on your shoulder. The scenes you show here look very nice there now. I hope they are all living well and without all the problems of the past.

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