Phu Quoc Island: November 18-25

We arrived in Phu Quoc by plane from Ho Chi Minh City on November     18th and checked into a lovely small hotel called “Paris Beach Hotel”. It is located right on the beach and we managed to get a room for $38.00 US per night with free breakfast and wifi. After a short time here, we realized that most of the island was being torn up to build mega hotels. Unfortunately, they started building the hotels without making the roads first and as a consequence the roads leading to some of the best beaches are muddy and nearly impassable to navigate. Never-the-less, we managed to find a very sweet lady “Thi” from the “Heaven Restaurant” to lead a motorbike tour of the island.

Our first sunset from the Paris Beach Hotel!

Our first sunset from the Paris Beach Hotel!

Both of us went to the south end of the island with Thi and her husband’s friend. We visited the Pearl Farm, Coconut Prison, the fish sauce factory, famous Sau Beach, and a few fishing ports. They did a marvelous job negotiating the very muddy and rutted roads along the coast and the view of the sea was glorious as long as we didn’t look to our left where all the construction was happening. We had to dodge many giant trucks and large road construction equipment on the way. Thi explained that many very large hotels and resorts would be completed this year, some of which would house over 4000 people. It is hard to imagine this many people on a small island.

Fishing boat harbor

Fishing boat harbor

 

Precious cultured pearl which takes years to grow from a shell seed.

Precious cultured pearl which takes years to grow from a shell seed.

 

Scene of an escape attempt at Coconut Prison where many Vietnames were tortured.

Scene of an escape attempt at Coconut Prison where many Vietnames were tortured. This is one of the less disturbing scenes recreated from the American war.

 

Boys playing in the waterfall on the island.

Boys playing in the waterfall on the island.

 

Beautiful flowers in the garden near the waterfall.

Beautiful flowers in the garden near the waterfall.

 

Another beautiful fishing boat port. To

Another beautiful fishing boat port.

 

This is a guy that just wanted a picture with us. Then of course, we had to take one as well.

This is a guy that just wanted a picture with us. Then of course, we had to take one of him as well.

The following day, Denise went on her own with Thi to the north part of the island on roads less traveled and visited many fishing villages and beautiful beaches. We went into part of the forested area near the National Park and took a short hike through the woods. Again large stretches of road were full of large back hoes and bulldozers.

Our amazing guide Thi! We are riding through the forested area.

Our amazing guide Thi! We are riding through the forested area.

 

Some old growth on our walk in the woods.

Some old growth on our walk in the woods.

 

Little boys swimming at the fish dock having a blast!

Little boys swimming at the fish dock having a blast!

 

A selfy with Thi!

A selfy with Thi!

 

Here is how some people live on Phu Quoc. "They have nothing"

Here is how some people live on Phu Quoc. “They have nothing”

 

Amazing Vung Bao Beach in the north.

Amazing Vung Bao Beach in the north.

 

Wwe kept finding amazing beaches despite all of the construction of the road.

We kept finding amazing beaches despite all of the construction of the roads.

We also spent an evening on a squid fishing expedition and both of us caught a poor little squid. Pete got squirted with ink from the squid and stained his shirt. That was our excitement for the day! We also went snorkeling near “Turtle Island” and did see some impressive coral. We were told by many sources in dive shops that the fish have been severely decreased by overfishing and by poor ecological management of waste. We saw some disturbing sights in the night market as well such as sea horses for sale. Many divers and snorkelers are in awe when seeing these elusive creatures, but here in Vietnam, they are considered “good for men” (if you know what I mean).

 

Pete with his catch of the day. Shortly after this was taken, he was covered with ink from the squid!

Pete with his catch of the day. Shortly after this was taken, he was covered with ink from the squid!

 

A variety of dried fish at a local market.

A variety of dried fish at a local market.

 

Sea horses for sale in the market! Not sold for nutritious value.

Sea horses for sale in the market! Not sold for nutritious value. Just give them Viagra!

 

I don't know how anyone would eat these!

I don’t know how anyone would eat these!

 

Danang beach with fisherman"s boat. by Denise Marie

Danang beach with fisherman”s boat.
by Denise Marie

Our hotel was on this beach.

 

Wandering in town and found a large market with restaurants.

 

The restaurant that we found Thi!

 

So long Paris Beach and back to the chaos of Saigon for a few days to renew the Vietnam visa.

So long Paris Beach and back to the chaos of Saigon for a few days to renew the Vietnam visa.

We have decided to return to Ho Chi Minh City sooner than expected to start the visa renewal process and plan to visit the Mekong Delta. This island is more expensive that we imagined and it is difficult to get around without paying for a taxi. We did enjoy the Paris Beach Hotel a great deal due to the excellent location and the very sweet staff! Thanks to Thi at the Heaven Restaurant, we saw more of the island that we would have ever imagined!

 

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