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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Vung Tau, Cap St Jacques, Phuoc Thuy Province, Vietnam 1966/67

Photos courtesy of John Hansen
Vung Tau 1966/67

Rather peaceable scenes from Vung Tau. This used to be known as Cap St Jacques during the time of the French. I have old photos from my wife’s family of that period.

During the French war a column of military was wiped out between the town and Baria.
We worked at Van Kiep which was next to Baria. When I arrived in 1965 we would hire three wheeled lambretta cum taxi type vehicles to take us there. A rather lonely trip but the road was mostly secure in the day, although bridges would be blown at night. Later we had a ¾ ton with a big white star on its side just to tell everyone who we were. Later still we all had our own Japanese cars which were better yet.

Vung Tau was an R&R centre for the Americans and a very wild place. John and I sought refuge in the officer’s mess at the Pacific Hotel, one of those more civilized centres of mankind. I taught one of the girls there how to make the perfect bloody Mary although usually I would drop in for a cold beer and chilled sliced cucumber before driving up to Van Kiep.

Later I lost the taste for it and moved to Long Hai, the only occidental in town. Most spooky at night and a dodgy drive into Van Kiep. A column of Vietnamese with their American advisers was wiped out on that road in 1966.

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