Paradise!

Trip Start Nov 30, 2012
1
8
14
Trip End Jan 14, 2013


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 1

We were up & out of bed just as the music stopped...06:00! We packed our last few bits, grabbed some egg in a roll & made our way to the airport. Everything went smoothly & we checked in an hour before our flight.

Saigon was quite an impressive sight from the air. We could see District 1, where we stayed, clearly as the plane flew over the city.

By the time the seatbelt light went out we were told we would be making our decent after 5 minutes. We flew over the island but seemed to fly over it just as quick. As we passed though we saw what we thought was a runway. It seemed a bit small & too close to the sea so we convinced ourselves that it definitely wasn't it. The plane flew away from the island for about 10 minutes before it finally started to turn. The further it went the more we realised that the runway we had seen was in fact our runway & we were about to experience a surreal landing. As we approached the it the last thing we saw was people sunbathing on the beach before we hit the tarmac.

On the ground safe & sound we made our way off the plane. Phu Quoc airport was brand new. It was so new, in fact, that the fire extinguishers were being prepared to go on the walls as we collected our backpacks.

We headed outside & sure enough our transfer was waiting for us. Now, Phu Quoc is only 54km long. We landed at the newly built International Airport which we knew was bang in the middle of the island. We also knew that our resort was on the same coast line as the airport. With this in mind we thought we would be looking at a 10 minute journey, max...35 minutes later of winding, unmade roads we made it to Mango Bay. We were greeted by Deng who took us to the bar for a welcome drink & some fruit. He gave us a quick introduction to the resort then showed us to our room.

With it being an eco resort we were already aware that certain things would be different. We read the introduction pack on our bed & it's fair to say we were both really impressed. There was no fridge but if we wanted anything cooling they would fill the icebox in our room for us. The bungalow was open on three sides for about a metre from the ceiling down, allowing fresh air (& mozzies) in. The bathroom was out the back, sharing it's space with the garden. I know it sounds weird but it was really nice. There was no T.V, phone or air-conditioning but we knew this before we got there. They done everything they could to ensure minimum damage was done to the environment.

We unpacked a few bits & thought we would head to the beach for the afternoon & work on our tan. The sea was beautiful. We got some snorkel masks & headed to the reef. Lisa's exact words were 'if I see anything bigger than my forearm, I'm out of here!'

We stayed on the beach for a few hours before deciding we would go back to the room & get to the restaurant on the beach to have dinner whilst the sun set. The food was out of this world & that's where we stayed for a couple of hours before getting some sleep. We wanted to be up early in the morning because we were getting picked up to go to the other resort we had booked for our second night at around 12:00. It meant squeezing in some sunny hours on the sand!

Day 2

We grabbed breakfast around 08:00 & caught some more sun until 11:00. Neither of us really wanted to leave but it was nice to leave knowing there was nothing we didn't like about it. Mango Bay was amazing.

We got picked up at 12:00 & set off on our supposedly 3km journey. It was more like 10km. Not a big difference over such a short distance but you really feel it on the back of a bike with your backpack bouncing around to every bump on the unmade road.

About 20 minutes later & we were there. Ecological Gardens. The place looked completely dead as we headed up to our room. Someone brought us over a plate of pineapple & Vietnamese tea until about 10 minutes later when another guy came over & handed me a phone. I spoke with a lady, Sue, who told us she would be there shortly. Our first impression of this place wasn't great. Our room was quite new but nowhere near the standard we had had the night before. There was no shower, just a toilet with a drainage hole cut out in the corner. We were bang smack in the middle of the jungle surrounded by stinking Vietnamese men who didn't speak a word of English. We had a quick walk about to see what else was around. All we found was a swimming pool that was greener than the creek our bungalow was built over.

By now we had seen enough & we seriously wanted to leave. Our plan was to get to the new place, get a bike & go to the National Park. After almost two hours of sitting about fighting mosquitos our paradise island had turned into a nightmare. We went down again to ask to speak to someone but there was absolutely no way we could communicate with them. Just as we were about to go back to our room the smelly guy gave me his phone. It was the lady from Mango Bay. They had under charged us & wanted to come & see us to settle the bill. When I told Lisa what she wanted we both decided straight away without even talking about it that we wanted to go back.

About half an hour later the lady from Mango Bay, Ngan, turned up. The first thing we said to her was that we hated it where we were & basically begged her to take us back with her. She said there was no problem but was a bit worried about telling the people where we were meant to be staying. We headed towards what was meant to be the reception area where we finally met Sue. We had only waited two hours! I approached her delicately & tried my best not to offend her or her jungle, explaining that we only had that day as we were leaving for Cambodia in the morning. There was no way we could find this resort in the dark which meant if we stayed there we wouldn't be able to go anywhere else. At least at Mango Bay we could sit on the beach & have a nice meal. After tip toeing around her ever increasing angry looking face she said OK but charged us 50%2525 of the room. We would have paid all of it. She then charged us for the lift back to Mango Bay as well but by now we really didn't care. It was so nice to be on our way out of this hell hole!

Back at Mango Bay we checked into another bungalow & booked our ticket to Cambodia for the following day. Within an hour we were back on the beach wishing we had never left it in the first place!
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