Beached!

Trip Start Oct 03, 2011
1
17
28
Trip End Dec 25, 2011


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What I did
Sand, sand and more sand. Squid Fishing & the night market

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, November 17, 2011

We are surprised at the size of the modern shiny airport in the Mekong, but even more surprised when we get inside. Can Tho Airport boasts 3 flights a day, and the many staff that work there clearly don't have a lot to do - the place is completely deserted of other travellers when we arrive. We sit down for a bowl of Pho (noodle soup) and Amy is delighted to find a veggie one - less so when her mouth practically catches fire from the amount of chillies present - Michael to the rescue once again!

The view from the plane over the delta is absolutely stunning, only then do we get an appreciation of the scale of the flooding that takes place to keep the paddy fields bursting with rice - cycling alongside it doesn't reveal the scale of the river system, spreading away from us to the horizon.

We have no accommodation booked on Phu Quoc as the one we did arrange cancelled at the last minute, so we head straight to an ice cream parlour with internet access to see if we can get something sorted. They quickly suffer from a power cut so Michael sets off in the baking sun to see what he can find in the way of accommodation, while Amy looks after the bags.*

(*puts her feet up and has a pineapple juice.)

A couple of hours later and we are ensconced in our beautifully air conditioned little beachside hut, watching Laos play Vietnam at football (on tv you understand). It's very entertaining (what isn't compared to Bradford City?) with end to end play, several dodgy tackles and a Laos captain who is red carded then turns round and punches the guy he'd tackled just for good measure. What more could you want in a match?

By the time it's cooled off slightly and we're ready for tea, it's started chucking it down with rain. We decide to eat in at the little restaurant that's part of the hotel and save exploring for tomorrow.

Phu Quoc is basically an up-and-coming holiday destination, currently relatively unspoilt, but probably going to be pretty horrendous in a few years time. We make the most of lounging on the beach (factor 50 and under a shady tree for Amy, factor 30 and a bit of sun for Michael), reading lots of books, swimming in the lovely sea, and basically doing not a lot! We've earnt it after all that cycling ;-)

We attempt a bit of squid fishing one evening, heading out to sea on a bunting and light decked boat to catch them - 4 are caught by the rest of the boat, but sadly, we can only manage a plastic bag each. This reveals the downside of the island - although it is relatively pristine on shore, there seems to be very little knowledge of waste disposal, with the sea being the answer for most pieces of rubbish. A steady stream of it floats past our fishing boat and we are a little less enamoured with the place, reckoning they are setting themselves up for no tourists at all in the future unless the problem is tackled fairly soon!

However, there's not a lot we can do about it at the moment, so the next day we content ourselves with more lounging, and then later a trip to the night market, which contains the most horrendous display of souvenir's we've seen in a while - handbag made of hundreds of tiny fake pearls anyone? Lovely. Better than that are the food stalls bursting at the seams with a variety of fish. After trying to choose some, we decide to just go with the hostess's recommendations, with Michael waving vaguely at the grill - several dishes later, we are completely stuffed and hoping they don't bring us any more, after a succession of sea snails, mussels, shrimp rolls - but no squid, we had enough of that last night! It's difficult to work out what we're actually eating, as some boys we've met are downing some tuna that looks and tastes nothing like any tuna we've seen before!

We feel thoroughly relaxed after our beach break, all ready to get back to the bustle of Ho Chi Minh!

Love Amy & Michael, xxx
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