Day 48: Phu Quoc beach bums
Claire: One of our new favourite things to do is hire a motorbike to explore. It just gives us so much freedom and independence and it's so cheap too (anything between £2-5 per day!). The roads aren't the best in Phu Quoc, the majority are red dirt roads with bumps and holes galore! It certainly makes for an entertaining ride. Our first beach put stop was actual paradise...
Paradise until we got stung by jellyfish larvae! Such a weird tingly stingy sensation that Gav and I both felt exactly the same time, a sudden itch over bits of our bodies as we were bobbing up and down in the sea. Thankfully it's not as bad as being stung by adult jellyfish but the rash on my leg was pretty big.
Dragonfruit has fast become my favourite tropical fruit. I have it everyday. Sometimes twice! We bought one on the beach and also some juicy mango from this local island trader. Delicious.
We gathered as we had the bike for the day we should explore the rest of the island. We ventured to a few other beaches north of where we were but in honesty they weren't as idyllic as where we'd been so we ended up heading back to the hotel pool to rinse off the salt water, sand and stings.
Dinner was ITALIAN.... oh my word, it was amazing. It was so nice to taste some different flavours and our first bit of pasta in maybe 7 weeks. The food throughout our trip has been amazing, but when we reached Phu Quoc everything seemed to be a bit samey?! We think it's perhaps all toned down for tourists here.
Gav's day 48 takeaway
- Phu Quoc is looking more like the sun, sea and sand mini holiday in the middle of our travels that we've been waiting for. But, whilst the island has some charm and hidden gems, I feel I'm seeing a trend in Vietnam that means they aren't celebrating the culture and beauty of the island in order to create a more sustainable and community-centric vision of tourism. But instead they again seem to be aspiring to create some kind of big 21st century resort culture that doesn't educate or integrate the local community and landscape into the plan, which I think is sad to see. Google image search Phu Quoc and you'll find these idyllic images of paradise. But visit the island and you'll understand whilst this does exist (when you pay the right price or find the right beach), it's a fraction of the story for an island with what I see as a confused identity, which then leads to my main takeaway point for the day...
- Drunken Russians.
- Shall I elaborate?
- Ok then.
- We hired our moped to get out about for the day, including being able to eat at a place of our choosing rather than what's walkable (nothing was walkable). And upon our return to have a drink on the terrace, we come back to find some young Russians so shitfaced flailing in the pool that I felt obliged to keep half an eye out for a potential drowning incident. But nobody drowned (as far as I know). So anyway, my point is, if you don't centre your offering around anything but the idyllic cropped photos the travel blogs use to make their content look better. Then not only will people discover it's not quite as idyllic as they first thought, but the geography, culture and experiences people encounter around that will not give them other highlights and distractions that might create a sustainable and enjoyable ecosystem. Which in turn 'might' drive people to drink. Or more specifically it might have driven 3 young culture hungry Russians to down a bottle of vodka each to drown their sorrows and annoy us when we're trying to enjoy a nightcap and a game of cards after a nice day! So there.