During the Vietnam War, U.S. soldiers headed to China Beach, a stretch of pristine sand near the port city of Da Nang, for R&R. But that 10-km-long beach isn't particularly restful or relaxing these days, as it undergoes an unprecedented building boom. At least six luxury resorts are rising there, including a Hyatt, a Meridien, and a Raffles. Once they open, they'll create hundreds of much-needed jobs — and, Vietnam hopes, an invasion of foreigners. But this time, it'll be on its own terms.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.