Fast, reliable internet is a novelty we don’t often enjoy, so I’m a bit behind and will try to catch up while we are staying in one place for a few days.
After our journey through the Mekong Delta to the southwestern coast of Vietnam, we boarded a ferry and arrived on the island of Phu Quoc. It is the largest island in Vietnam and is right on the border with Cambodia, conveniently for us as that is our next stop. Phu Quoc is known for its fish sauce and black pepper. Also, for its white sandy beaches, calm waters and diving. For us, it is also known for many Russian tourists and very expensive, well, everything.
Despite being on the Vietnamese coast for the last few weeks, we had barely seen the sun and were excited for some beach time, though not too much, as our skin isn’t well suited for it. Lucky for us, the trees grow really close to the water and we were able to find some shade right along the beach.
The first day we rented a scooter and rode to a few of the beaches in the north. They were a lot less crowded than the ones near our hostel, in Duong Dong. We stopped in Mango Bay, commandeered some beach chairs from the resort and enjoyed the calm, warm gulf waters before dipping in their pool.
I had read about a hostel along a nearby beach that had great food and excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. We backtracked a bit to find it, parked our scooter at the end of a road along the beach and followed a sign down the water, already starving. We had to jump over a rocky shore and cut across a fancy resort’s beach, but we made it and had a great view. That apparently, is the easy way to reach them. However, when we arrived, the cook was at the market, but would be back soon we were told. We waited about an hour with a couple of beers and the very pregnant cook/proprietor returned with fresh fish and shrimp. We had a vague notion before we came that maybe we would end up staying here, as our hostel in town was pretty expensive and this place was supposed to be cheap and great. After seeing the “rooms” though, that wasn’t much of an option. There were mosquito nets, but the walls were blue tarps and you could clearly see sunlight through the roof. Luckily, we decided against it, as it poured that night and I can’t imagine the guests stayed dry.
After a long, delicious lunch, we visited another northern beach, with even less people, but more trash. All over Asia, we’ve discovered that people just throw their trash wherever. Its really sad and only a few places do you actually see trash cans. And who knows if anyone even empties those. Mostly, people will just burn small piles along the street. But anyway, we rode back to town and spent the next two days exploring the nearby beaches.
We had originally planned to stay until our Vietnamese visa ran out, but the island is pretty expensive and we decided to leave a few days early. We can’t spend much time in the sun anyway.
Another crazy bus/boat journey ahead….to Phnom Penh, Cambodia