As a special birthday treat we climbed aboard a Vietnam Air flight and headed two hours south down to the bottom of Vietnam and off the coast to the little island of Phu Quoc.
It’s long been a destination we’d looked forward to visiting and had some preconceived ideas in our head of long white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees, perhaps an icy cocktail or two to help ease the tension of the day away, that kind of thing.
What we got was mud. Lots and lots of red mud. The island has a serious issue with it’s roads, several stretches of quite lovely paved tarmac roads broken up with kilometers of 4WD bashing red dirt tracks. They’re putting the finishing touches on a new international airport and hope to have it up and running in early 2013, we like to think the roads issue will be addressed by then, but somehow doubt it. It doesn’t seem to affect the locals however, they’re all full of good cheer and quick with a friendly smile and a wave to strangers in town.
Lucky for us we’d booked into a wonderful place called Mango Bay, and a bit of rain gave us the chance to do a spot of serious unwinding without feeling guilty, or not too guilty anyway.
We did drag ourselves away from the hotel long enough to do a spot of exploring around the island, there’s not a whole lot to do to be fair, we popped into a fish sauce factory, saw some pearl farmers at work and went for lunch on a quite little beach on the opposite side of the island.
The rain didn’t let up for long though and pretty soon we were back in the hotel escaping the grey days.
It’s an interesting little place and if you find yourself in the area it would make a lovely getaway for a weekend or so, perhaps in the dry season though would be best.
All photos copyright Ross Duncan: firstname.lastname@example.org