Dec 4, 2010

paradise takes shape in phu quoc island...

well we finally arrived in vietnam after a horrendous border crossing from cambodia which saw our bus brake down, us get shoved with 15 other people into a 13 seater mini-van, having to spend a night in ha tien after missing our connecting ferry and our hotel reservation getting cancelled on the island, which is not good in peak season. after trekking down the hot sand and finding another place to stay (which ended up being better than our initial place), we began our holiday on the island. ok breathe jamee... ahh... now that long winded whinge is over, i will change my tune to a more positive one and fill you in on possibly our favourite place yet.

note. phu quoc is an island off the bottom of vietnam, located in the south china sea, which - given its close proximity to cambodia is also claimed as theirs.

the white sand, palm trees, coconut cocktails and blue water were more than inviting and after the few days it took to finally get there and certainly made it all the more worth it. long beach is a beautiful stretch of sand that houses many different resorts, bungalows and guesthouses and overall seemed to have a pleasant balance between what western tourists want out of a holiday while still keeping a real vietnamese cultural vibe. we stayed in a gorgeous bungalow just back from the beach, and it was utter perfection.

after spending two days lounging on the beach (one day was had relatively sore heads due to a very social evening we had with laura and ro, a couple en route to melbourne) we opted to get out and about and see the rest of the island. we ended up getting tempted to join a day trip out on the boat, fishing, snorkelling, eating and resting. it was a great day out and so nice to be out on the ocean. it also gave us the opportunity to drive past phuc quocs infamous prison which was the site of some of vietnams most horrendous war crimes, in world war two.

our final day on the island was spent exploring on motorbike. our mission was to find a deserted beach, or as close to a stretch of sand that was not inhabited but a. other tourists or b. water buffalo and local huts. it didn't take long. we found a spot with a cute little seafood restaurant and spent the day lounging in the sun, sipping cold beers and eating tuna steak and salads. it was a surreal experience that made us feel as though we had been let in on a secret. we had to, still have to, process the fact that this is how we spend our days. it was probably one of our most memorable and i hope you can all see why in the pictures.

pics. phu quoc beach, relaxing at amigos, us on the day trip, snorkelling spot, deserted beach and the sunsetting over a local fishing boat.