Phu Quoc paradise island

20 Jan

Phu Quoc paradise island

Phu Quoc paradise island

Phu Quoc – according to the guidebook – is where travelers go to take holidays from their holidays. So it is definitely the easiest way to start Vietnam – as many other travelers reported. The beaches are nice, the food relatively international, there’s not really many things to do or to see – but relax – which I did.

The toughest part of Phu Quoc is to get there. There are only two boats a day which are quite full and a bit expensive (220000 Dong-10 Euro – hm, maybe it is not that expensive after all I just realized…). When getting there (as in most bus stations and ports) you need to fight your way through herds of moto-guys and taxis that all want lots of dollars for a ride that costs only 40000 Dong. I am quite hard in my bargaining, and mostly get the price I want, but many tourists here pay the few extra ‘stupid white’ dollars (Dong I should say as normally they don’t use dollars in Vietnam).

phu_quoc-172

The bungalow resort

Similarly for the Bungalow resort where I stayed. They wanted to put me in an ugly room for 17 US$ instead of a nice bungalow, but when I showed the woman that I was not impressed and would walk around some of the other hotels, I soon had a bungalow for 15 US$ (as the guidebook listed). She also gave the argument that the bungalows were full on the next day, so that’s why I would have to stay in a room instead. But then when I decided to stay there, all of a sudden the bungalow was free for all the time I was there. So in Vietnam it takes more stamina to get what you want at the price you want.

One of the days, I went to the hairdresser. Maybe not such big news, but it was a great experience in itself. I think I ended up in some kind of project or school (as all the boys and girls there were wearing badges – never seen any hairdresser in Belgium wear an ID badge). With my phrase book and notepad, we came to an agreement of 40000 Dong (even though I was not really sure what was included in that). Explaining to cut my hair, short, was quite easy – and then all of a sudden there are 4 guys and girls tending to me. One guy with a hunch back and his hair died blond (probably family ;-) cut my hear – then they took me to wash my hair (and scratch my head – ouch!) – followed by a head massage, and especially lots of laughing and giggling. Conversation was a bit limited to the first lesson from their English school book: e.g. “What’s your name?”, “Where you from?” and “How old are you?” – when I asked her how old she thinks I am, she estimated 25 years old.  I LOOOOOOVE ASIA ;-)

Renting a motorbike...

Renting a motorbike...

Phu Quoc is quite a big island, with protected forests in the North. The best way to have a look around is to rent a motor bike. They have the ‘automatic’ mopeds for foreigners, at double the price. So I just got one of the local machines with gears. I didn’t have a clue how to operate the gears (with the foot) but one is never to old to learn… and after quite some laughs and gasps of the rental guys (the guys that rent out the bikes I mean of course) I managed and set off to roam around the island. It was really great fun to stop and go wherever I wanted – have a coffee here, some Pho soup there, another drink on the other side of the island etc. But only half of the roads crossing through the island are paved – the other ones are made of nice island red-brown dirt. And at the end of the day, my clothes also had adopted this colour.

More sunsets...

More sunsets...

For the rest life on an revolves around the beach: reading, swimming, walking, listening to music, climbing the palm trees, getting a massage-pedicure-hair removel (all the beach women in straw hats insisting you should) – and teaming up with others. I met a straight Swiss guy (I was probably the only gay on the island – lol), who was asking himself quite some questions about life and love – so all of a sudden I find myself relationship-counseling for a straight guy – hehe. I vaguely remembered some experiences from my faraway past. But also did quite some lateral thinking – transferring gay principles to a straight relationship. Let’s see how effective my advice is ;-)

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6 Responses to “Phu Quoc paradise island”

  1. Stevie B 27 January 2009 at 12:20 #

    hey Toon,

    prachtige foto’s!!!!!

    Blijf ze maar doorsturen!!!

  2. Miriel 30 January 2009 at 17:24 #

    Isso é que é vida boa… viajar, descansar, dormir, comer… e descobrir. Até agora estou a gostar muito de ler as tuas experiências, de certo modo vou viajando um pouco também!

    Diverte-te e continua com as tuas descobertas,

    Miriel

  3. Pink Hilverdink 3 February 2009 at 00:10 #

    So this is the bungalow for 17 dollars??? Good deal!! We did not get this type of thing for this price… And great story about your hair dresser experience and your love-coaching;-)

    Motorbike-taxis in our experience were a lot cheaper though… or did you not mean to go from the city to your own place? We payed only 15000 ‘rupies’ for that…

    Celebrating New Year out there? Enjoy!!

    Cheers, Pink

  4. GUI 20 February 2009 at 16:12 #

    E ainda por cima es tuga … I am also going to Phu Quoc in two days … I didnt catch this hair removal thing but anyway, I’ll manage to follow your advices … Now it s my time to be the only g in town … Thanks!

  5. conortje 22 February 2010 at 15:23 #

    Hi there – just wondering what the name of the bungalow resort is – would you recommend it?

  6. Tony Geudens 22 February 2010 at 20:00 #

    I can’t remember exactly the name, but the further you go away from the town centre, along the beach you will find more relaxed and cheaper bungalows ;-) Best is just to walk around a bit and ask prices – and then choose

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