Waves crash violently, drowning the hushed screams of children who play along the shore.
Hammocks sway under huts made of bamboo and woven palms that rustle in the gentle wind.
Reggae music and French chatter emanate from the beachfront bar where I sit drinking from a coconut, my feet covered in sand.
In the distance islands struggle to appear through a thick haze.
Fishermen steer in the rough sea aboard the small round boats used by their people for centuries.
Local women sweep debris from the sand, covered head to toe in garments to block the rays of the sun. A few wander my way selling peanuts and boiled quail eggs.
The sun is behind me now shielding sunbathers with its dramatic shadows.
I exchange shy smiles with the French bartender, who is quite possibly the most beautiful man I have ever seen.
In the distance the town of Hoi An bustles with temples, markets, and mouth watering street food. For now, it will have to wait.
My time in Vietnam has not been easy, but today I feel filled with such hope I could explode.
I feel gratitude for my incredible life that I am so blessed to be living.
I feel greater awareness of who I am and where I belong.
I feel confident that my dreams are not only possible, but inevitable.
I feel excited by the possibilities that I know this journey will bring.
In one week my visa in this beautiful, complicated, fascinating country will expire.
I never thought I would say this, but I don’t ever want to leave.
How to Get to An Bang
Most people base themselves in nearby Hoi An and spend the day in An Bang. From Hoi An Old Town, head away from the river on Hai Bai Trung. Follow the road for about 4km and you will reach the beach. Ignore the women blowing whistles shouting at you to park your bike. You can park it for free on the road behind the beach.
Where to Sleep in An Bang
Few budget accommodations exist in An Bang, but if you want to stay at the beach it’s worth the splurge. An Bang Seaside Village Homestay has beautiful little cabins starting at $50 for two people.
Where to Chill in An Bang
Part of the charm of An Bang beach is that there are only a few little bars and restaurants lining the beach. My favorite place to hang out is Le Banyan Bar. The place is owned by two French couples who could not be more friendly. My first night here they were already inviting me to meet them in Bangkok and letting me hold their baby. Oh, and did I mention how beautiful the bartender is? Right, it needs to be said again. Come at sunset for a young coconut or a glass of French wine.