Chickened out of the scooter and Cao Dai Temple

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Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Kien Giang » Phu Quoc Island
February 28th 2016
Published: February 28th 2016
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After much deliberation we decided against hiring a scooter. Sad face :0( Although Gill has a full bike license and is super careful, and both of our insurances cover us for bikes up to 50cc if wearing helmets (flipflops and shorts not mentioned!) we know that we'd be illegal as we have no Vietnamese license, therefore our insurance would be invalid! The road we wanted to go on was paved and quiet for most of the way, then probabably a track, and we have seen loads of farangs riding about, but the locals are just too unpredictable and we couldn't risk the worst happening. Oh, the wisdom of age! How dull......

We had new and if anything, even noisier neighbours. We have not been lucky with the peace and tranquillity aspect. Last night it was Ridiculous and Annoying Russians, having a bit of a party on their veranda and playing music and singing along - 'The vindsss of chaaaaaange', tra la bloody la, until 11pm, when it was like someone suddenly turned off the tap, hopefully there was a complaint!

At breakfast there was a guy on the beach sitting on a wooden contraption winding in a fishing net by hand. He used his right hand and both feet to turn the wheel, his left hand to coil the rope into a blue plastic bucket. We couldn't see the extent of the net, but you could see a couple of white floats, and they were way, way out to sea. Each wind brought it in about 4 inches and it looked really heavy. The method can't have changed for hundreds of years, except that he was listening to western music on his phone while he did it! Another guy came to shore in his motorised bucket boat and unloaded half a bucket of fish, didn't seem much for a morning's work. He was lucky to have a motor. Those without have to self-propel using one wide paddle.

So our choice this morning was to see if we could book last minute and go on the South Island snorkel trip, but neither of us really fancied the snorkel bit, so that we'd get to go to Sao Beach, but I remember last time you only had about an hour there, or negotiate for a taxi, and have him wait for us. Never totally relaxed with someone just waiting while we lie on the beach. In any case, it was quite dull first thing, so we decided to walk into town, chill out at Buddy's with a coffee and trundle back later. Still very humid walking along, takes about 40mins into town once you've negotiated around all the piles of rubble and odd stretches of paving with scooters parked. We stayed at Buddy's for ages, sitting outside using their wifi watching the mad loads on scooters go past.

Then walked round the corner to the Cao Dai temple, this religion is an amalgamation of bits of about 6 others eg Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism, Taoism etc, as seen in the images inside. Take shoes off but no need to cover shoulders. some people were hanging around downstairs chatting and eating, in their white robes. They beckoned us in and up the stairs to the main room where 2 women were sweeping, up the tiniest staircase to look down on the praying area. Men one side, women the other. The ceremony was at 12 so we didn't wait, no problem taking photos. Very colourful. Very hot and humid walking back. Bought cold drinks from our little shop. Down to the beach and sit in the shade to wait for the samosa lady so we could buy lunch, supplemented by the CHEESE we took illegally from breakfast, along with a few bananas!

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