NON NUOC-WHERE CHARLIE SURFS
Da Nang, Vietnam
Just outside Da Nang is the very long and lovely Non Nuoc, a wide, white sand beach, better known as “China Beach”. The surf here is fairly placid most of the year, but in typhoon season swells push across the South China Sea and create great conditions for waveriders. Here I witnessed the refutation of Colonel Kilgore’s Law (from Apocalypse Now): “Charlie Don’t Surf”. In a hemispherical wicker coracle, sealed with pitch and looking like an impossibly unstable, oversized thimble, a fisherman paddled straight out through the waves. He had one oar and was standing up all the way. He returned in the same manner, still bone-dry. Charlie Do Surf! Three years ago the first professional surfing contest was held here, much to the delight of local surfers eager to see foreigners meet the challenge of the waves.
The local Vietnamese love this beach, especially around Tet (Lunar New Year), when huge spiral “magazines” of bangers detonate with the sound of a thousand rounds from an AK-47.
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