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Published: April 29th 2013
The rule sheet in the room, Phu Quoc.
The perfect end to my trip in Southeast Asia, nine days lazing on a beach, not doing very much at all!
7th Dec: I left the hostel in Saigon, with Hanh, the owner giving me a lift to the bus station. It was madness! She was driving the scooter, I was sitting behind her. Her daughter didn't want to eave her mam, so she was upfront, in front of Hanh and then we had my two backpacks. We had to ask a random bloke in the street to heft the backpacks onto the bike. We drove somewhere random in Saigon, and she dropped me off. I was to take this first random bus to the proper bus depot, where we would change onto the proper bus that would take me to Rach Gia. Got on the proper bus and then we drove for a few hours during the night to Rach Gia. I think the journey was about six or seven hours, and we arrived in Rach Gia in the middle of the night.
8th Dec: The bus station was quite far from the port, so we were at the mercy of the taxi mafia. I had previously asked
Hanh, how much I should pay for a moto to the port. I was well pissed off as this other western guy just agreed to their super inflated price. I was trying to tell him to haggle down, as I had been told we should pay less. But no, he was too scared of being stranded in this ghetto little bus station. Dickhead! So because of him I ended up getting ripped off.
When I arrived at the port I had a few hours to kill before the boat left, so just sat chilling on a bench, thank god it isn't cold. Then went off to buy some fags. The bloke at the stall next to the boat wouldn't budge on his inflated price. So I walked away, cigarettes are a set price (I think). Due to my tired state I was very pissed off, and didn't want to let him get one up on me. I went to a stall further along and bought them for the correct price. I'm a bit sick of people thinking I'm minted because I'm a tourist. I've had to scrimp and save for this trip, and I'll be on the dole, when
I get home.
Anyway, rant over. I had some breakfast at the evil man's stall before I got on the boat. The boat took two and a half hours. The sea was fairly calm. I was sitting next to a young mother, who had just given birth, and her mother. Apparanty the hospital on Phu Quoc is pretty bad, so lots of expectant mothers, and other sick people go to the mainland to give birth, and for other treatments. The granny of the family got quite seasick as was spewing a bit. I hate people being sick as it makes me feel ill. Anyway I got talking to a Vietnamese lad that heading back home to the island and that passed the time on the boat.
We arrived at the island, and got on the bus that would take us to the main town. Thanks to Thang for telling me to buy a ticket on the boat, otherwise I woud of been easy prey for the taxi mafia. The drive to the main town took a while, and when we arrived we went for a nice ice coffee. Then Thang drove me on his bike to a cheap
guesthouse. Haha I think he gets commission from them. Anyway it was only $10 dollars a night for a room in the garden. Beach front rooms are a lot more expensive, maybe triple the price. Once I got my room I curled up in the bed and crashed for a few hours.
When I woke up I headed down to the beach, said hi to Thang, and then chilled in the sun for a bit. The beach is pretty narrow, but the guesthouse provide sunloungers, which is good. Watched the sunset, and that evening headed out with Thang into the main town, fir dinner at the fish market, and then to one of the bars near the guesthouse for a couple of beers.
9th - 16th Dec: Not really much to report. My days generally followed the same pattern. Wake up, go to the guesthouse restaurant for brekky, usually eggs or bread and cheese. Then head down to the beach, grab a sunlounger, nap, read and swim in the sea. Then when I felt a bit hungry head along the beach to a cute little shack restaurant there, that was cheap. Lunch was usually deep fried prawns or
squid with a fruit shake. One day though I was craving a burger and went to a different place up the track leading from the guesthouse to the main road. The bun was covered in ants. Rank! Sent it back and got a fresh one, well bun anyway!
After lunch I would head back to the beach and continue the same routine as I followed in the mornings. The beach was a great place to people watch, as there were always people, locals and tourists, coming and going. One day there seemed to be an impromptu fish market, when a fisherman and his family rocked uo and started selling different kinds of fish from bags on the sand. It was an interesting sight to witness. Occasionally if it was raining I would read in the guesthouse restaurant or if the weather was okay, take a wander into town. Late in the afternoon I would get a massage or my nails done, there was a couple of women working kind of at our resort. They were sweet, and worked hard all day long. They were funny, too, as they used to slag the women off that worked at the hotel
next door. They said they were lazy, and it was true, as they sat around a lot, and didn't do much work. The two women, who wokred at our hotel always used to pop over to say hi on a morning when they arrived, which was nice and garaunteed them more custom.
Evenings were spent Nicola, a lass also staying at the guesthouse and or Thang. We would go for dinner at the fish market, or just meet up for drinks on the local, and play pool. Some nights I would just chill at the Indian restaurant near the guesthouse, or have some cans and read outside.
One day I did a snorkelling tour. It was canny. We got picked up, and then headed to the pearl farm, where you could do your shopping. Then we headed out on the boat, cruised around the island, and spent a few hours fishing and snorkelling. We ate the fish we had caught for lunch, and sea urchins, can't remember what they tasted like now, but they can't of been too bad as I had a second. Then we cruised around a bit more and then returned to Phu Quoc. We
stopped at a goregous beach on the way back. When I win the lottery, I'll go back and stay at that beach, it was stunning.
17th Dec: Time to leave Phu Quoc, as my flight of Bangkok is in a couple of days, and I have to make my back there. I was up at the crack of dawn, got a taxi into town and got the bus to the ferry. The weather wasn't great, and it was raining quite a bit. The water was really choppy. I was shitting myself for the second I got on the boat. The boat was full and I was right near the front. If owt was going to happen there would be a stampede to the exit, which was through the other end of the boat. I didn't fancy my chances at all. To make matters worse the captain drove (?) like a maniac. We were going full pelt into waves, and bouncing up and down. I kept my sunglasses on and shed a couple of tears, as I feared an imminent death. Those two and a half hours were as bad as being on any airplane (I hate flying). We made
it back to the mainland, I wanted to kiss the ground, got a shared taxi, and headed to the bus station. We got to the bus station just in time, as the bus was due to leave. I hopped in my seat, and settled down for the long and boring journey.
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