As I look back on the past year, my lens is “radical hope”. It’s Dominican Junot Díaz’s advice and comfort to his sad and scared sister in a letter the author wrote her soon after the US presidential election last November.

In a country with 3,444 km of shoreline, a beach would have to be pretty special to stand out, right? So what’s so special about Nha Trang? OK, tick the boxes. Six kilometres of fine white sand set against a backdrop of forested hills. Clear turquoise water. Excellent swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Catamarans, diving equipment, surf boards, paddle boards, kayaks, para-sails, and wind kites up for hire. Massages and beauty treatments available at the wave of a hand. Food and cold beer on demand. Seafood galore — what’s not to like?

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