Julie saw the shot and said, "it looks like an old time-y postcard." I think she meant both the photo and the reality.
An Bang beach is not the most glamorous beach in the world but it is pretty magical.
This section of South China Sea was often choppy and grey. It's bounded by low lying mountains and threaded with clouds. Sometimes, you can see Cham island in the distance. Cham island is of the Cham people, the Hindu Indigenous group responsible for the My Son ruins.
Along the mainland coast line, there are villages largely populated by fishermen and those working the rice paddies and crops a bit inland. Fishermen ride out in round, basket-like boats that they paddle with long oars. They use big nets to catch fish.
After the hustle and bustle of Hoi An, it's cobble-stoned streets, wild markets, and laughing tailors, An Bang felt sleepy and just right.
As I mentioned in the My Son post, the temperature took an unusual turn. On the night of the full moon, the highs went from the high 80s to a few days of highs in the 50s and 60s. It wasn't what we hoped for at the beach, but we still had fun. There were many walks, bike rides, and some still swam. And of course, you're never far from a massage!
A few of our participants had birthdays during or near the dates of the retreat. I'd been trying to figure out a bakery and a way to honor these milestones. Linh, always with an ear to the ground, made it happen.
One night at dinner we sang and ate cake with Shameka and Christine. We saved a piece for Marie who was working remotely. This retreat was part of her investigation into working remotely and traveling consistently. So far so good!
When day broke, we took practice and took in the sun. One of my favorite parts of this beach are the easily accessible beach chairs and umbrellas. You can either pay a very low fee to rent them or simply buy something from the owner and the chair is yours for the day. I love Vietnamese iced coffee and that was sufficient payment. I'll never get over being served Vietnamese iced coffee on a lounge chair on the South China Sea. I may have peaked.
In addition to selling fresh coconuts with straws, drinks, fruit, and food, you could also buy various trinkets. I won't lie-- I may have purchased some gifts for those back home while on a lounger.
Practice on the beach can be a bit distracting. Sand gets EVERYWHERE, it can be hard to hear with the wind, and sometimes cool thanks to the same wind. For these reasons, we practiced in the garden of one of our homestays. We had more privacy and more shelter from breezes. So many crows took flight during our beach-y sojourn.
The whole group. Twenty-two brave adventurers who flew around the world to see what they found.