Between Hôi An and Đà Nẵng are the finest beaches in Vietnam. Waves crash onshore as we walk barefoot upon a stretch of fine sand – we stroll China Beach, where US soldiers went for R & R during the war. The water of the China Sea is warm. Vietnamese call it the East Sea to avoid using the ‘China’ word. I see many unreadable signs, unmistakably propaganda, interspersed with the gentle, smiling face of Ho Chi Minh, particularly around schools.