New Year’s Eve here in Hoi An, a 4-hour dive from Hue through mountains and along the sea. Lots of water buffalo and rice paddies.

We stop at China Beach, famous recreational spot for US soldiers on leave during the war. The sand is golden and clean, the surf boiling with breakers – a surfer’s dream.

Hoi An is a beautifully preserved city – a combination of French, Vietnamese, and Chinese architecture, lots of bright colors, verandas, and tropical flowers. It is a city where one can get cheap custom made clothing and shoes done within a day or two. Of course one must be carefully measured and return for fittings.

We ring in the New Year with the group – the streets are packed with tourists.

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