Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Holiday from Our Holiday

Fresh visas in hand we headed south to cross the Prek Chak – Xa Xia border between Cambodia and Vietnam. Surprisingly the bus was only a few people overloaded, so it was sort of comfortable. The crossing was easy but we did get scammed $1.50 with a very official looking medical check fee (turns out it was an unofficial tip to an enterprising customs officer). But such is life and it was only $1.50. Besides, it wasn’t long until we were instant millionaires.

Millionaire - Vietnam

The bus took us to the ferry and before we knew it we were back on the water heading towards an island again. The last leg of the day involved haggling like a dog to get another bus over the island to our new tropical home, Phu Quoc Island. We crashed at a simple bamboo bungalow metres from the beach. All that was left was a walk around town to find Tia’s all time favorite meal pho bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup). Well she might not admit that, but she craves it at least once a day.

Chilling out on Phu Quoc Island

There is not much to say about the next week. We tried to catch up on blogs but failed. Most of the day was spent reading, eating and lounging on the beach. We ventured out on motorbikes a couple of times to see the rest of the island. The secluded beaches really made this place worth visiting and the fresh seafood was amazing.

Barbequed Seafood Delicacies - Night Market, Phu Quoc

There is also a great restaurant called Sakura that is hard to find but well worth going (just look at the photos, you know you want to eat that).

Mixed Seafood Rice Paper Rolls - Sakura Restaurant, Phu Quoc

Canh Chua (South Vietnamese Sour Soup) - Sakura Restaurant, Phu Quoc

It was a great place to get away from all the tooting and touting or to just stop for a few days.

Polystyrene Fishing Boat at Sunset - Phu Quoc

One thing worth mentioning was the motorbike accidents we witnessed. The first one was an inexperienced European couple riding a scooter. As they attempted a U-turn in front of us, my first thought was, too quick. Sure enough, off the road they went; they hit the gravel in a hard way and it was all over. It was a very slow accident (about 5kph), but when you are riding in t-shirts, shorts and thongs, a slow accident will still leave scars. We helped them up, got their bike back on the road and they wobbled back to their hotel to nurse their wounds.

The second accident was much more serious. We were riding home just after sunset and we came across a group of locals standing around two local men that were rolling about on the ground, looking heavily concussed, with two motorbikes dropped several metres apart. At first glance it looked like they had just had a head-on, but I could not work out how the accident had happened. People were trying to stand them up, but with lots of blood around and obvious head injuries, I was really worried that the men would need help quickly. We tried to suggest getting them to a hospital but the crowd didn’t pay us any attention. The language barrier made it impossible for us to help, so we slowly left the scene in shock, praying that they would be ok.

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