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Published: February 25th 2016
After last night's fruitless yomping, we just couldnt make ourselves go on a snorkel trip, so planned to do very little and then go into town for the night market. Russell, the Canadian who'd recommended Phuong Binh, also had a good place to eat in town, although we were by this time seriously doubting his distances. He'd also slightly put us off hiring a scooter with tales of illegality, police, insurance claims, so I posted on the TA Vietnam forum to ask if anyone had any information about how much we would pay as a bribe if stopped by the police. Grief! Did I really just do that? Then wish I hadn't, as I got a VERY arsy reply, would I think of mentioning bribes to someone visiting Bournemouth? Replied of course not (you tosser!) - traffic police don't survive on bribes in the UK! Decided not to look at any more replies, asked an Irish guy actually ON a scooter and he said the roads were OK and no police anywhere.
Last night the some kind of Scandinavians had their group of noisy kids round again. They were naynaynaying and hurdybloodygurdying outside on the veranda while the kids were
inside just through the thin wall from us, shrieking and bouncing off the furniture. Granted, it finished at 10pm but zero peace and quiet for us. We went to reception after breakfast and asked how long they are staying. Just one more night, so too much hassle to move! At breakfast Khanh, the trip buy came round, no hard sell. We asked him if it would be OK snorkelling at the north end of the island and he said it's clearer there. Gill was worried about the wind, not being great on a boat, and he said it is calm by lunchtime, which doesn't really help as we are on the boat in the morning. The tour company is John's Tours, went with them before. We decided on the go by boat and back by land, a bit more expensive but in the way back you visit a pepper farm and the fish sauce factory. I bet that smells lovely! No pearls though - phew! $30 each with lunch, vegetarians catered for!
Nothing happened on the beach except for the odd leaf falling from the trees and the usual retail, braved a chicken samosa today, no ill effects so
far! The massage lady was surrounded by vastly under occupied hotel staff. One raked the same little bit of beach over and over, the security guard was there all day, alternating between hammock and chair, and there was another guy in a green hat, so I couldn't bring myself to get worked on with such an audience.
We walked into town, taking a few pictures of the not pretty building works and a few unfortunate creatures. The night market was just setting up and the people are stony faced and as friendly as rattlesnakes in the main, not liking anyone taking photos. We followed our noses and found Buddy's Icecream place. It looked totally different. That's because it is - relocated since I was last here, thought I was going nuts yesterday, as I was so sure where it was! We followed our instructions after a couple of drinks, turn left after the market, past the temple and go where lots of locals are sitting on plastic seats. Great location on the sea, very very tricky for farangs. No menu. Look at all the fish stuff and the smaller things eg kebabs are 50,000 for 4. The lady was
a bit impatient, and we nearly overextended ourselves with okra, but got there in the end. Sort of scallop kebabs and 4 huge barbecued prawns for £4.50, including really tasty rice and salad garnish. No idea what, exactly. The toilets were a delight, a man came out and wanted to shake my hand. I declined, just as well, nowhere to wash your hands......
Then walked to the small temple on the little promontory with the lighthouse (only a 25watt bulb in it, not going to be any good to a ship in distress) and when we looked in through a window there was a very old lady asleep on the top of a table, all curled up. No other farangs up there. We strolled along the breakwater, lots of teenagers and a man called Tommy, lives in Phoenix AZ, with his girlfriend. i took a picture of them and then the girlfriend wanted one of us and him. Very friendly and chatty. Some teenage boys were sitting on the wall singing, stopped and laughed, all self-conscious. it was all lovely and relaxed.
Walked back through the market and had a mango icecream. Quite a performance making it. Violent
machete chopping, then spread it out on a freezing plate and roll it into curls. Walked back, eyeing up the backpackers to eat at tomorrow night. It had white table cloths and everything. Went into the co-op and bought snacks. The girl on security was super-excited to say thank you on the way out. Then into the chilled out coffee place on the corner (Peach Coffee) for free hibiscus tea nd the smallest gin and tonic in the world. No other customers and a young teenage boy with ill thought-out smurf hair.
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