During Roark’s time in Vietnam, we connected with a man named Sakai who is the head of the Da Nang Surf Club. Sakai happens to be Japanese and lives and operates sushi bars throughout the country. Sakai showed us the local surf spots and even joked with us that there were many bones buried under “China Beach’s” sand as a result from the war with America. The truth be told there are no war bones under the sand and that the locals don’t like the term “China Beach” which was coined by American GI’s after they landed there during the Tet Offensive to later become an R&R spot. Local Vietnamese don’t like the term because of the its nicknaming during the conflict with America, they don’t prefer it because of the current turmoil with China. The Irony being that the communist North Vietnamese leaned on China for support during the war with America and now the unified Vietnam is strengthening ties with America (President Obama was there this past May) for support against an encroaching China.
Politics aside, post-war Da Nang has re-built itself into a beautiful seaside resort with fun surf and great nightlife. We enjoyed our time tracing Roark’s footsteps and searching for the mystical downrailer he rode in the South China Sea and encourage everyone to see and enjoy the beauty for yourself. Make sure to look up Sakai and enjoy his sushi perfection if you do. He’ll know you’re part of the Revival if you’re wearing this Da Nang Surf Club T-Shirt.