Wednesday, September 19, 2012

08 August: Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc

Up earlyish today to repack our bags. All marvelous since we bought a new backpack as hand luggage last night. A sneaky plan we'd had since leaving home, so we were using a mini backpack that attaches to The Trucker's main bag (which is now packed to bursting with coffee!) previously. So actually, technically, we have no additional bags ;)

We had a quick breakfast then met our driver from yesterday and headed off for the airport.

A short 55 minute flight later, we arrived on Phu Quoc. We have an adorable little bungalow that you can *just* see the sea from (lots of foliage here), at Mai House Resort.

Travel Planning tip: We booked all our Vietnam and Cambodia accommodation thru Agoda and I would definitely use them again when planning my own overseas accommodation.

We spent the afternoon relaxing on (free) sun loungers, swimming in the sea, eating & drinking and reading our books.

I finished Pharmakon by Dirk Wittenborn. Thoroughly enjoyed it! It's pretty long but, a lovely story that continued to surprise me and make me laugh. One truly about people and their interactions. I'd recommend it! Thanks @meiraputerman for the recommendation and lending it to me :)

'I was born because a man came to kill my father.' It is 1950s America and madness is in the air. In a world where the 'cures' for craziness include coma therapy, cyanide treatment, sulphur injections and full-frontal lobotomies, Dr. William T. Friedrich's ambitions are more modest. He just wants to find a way to prescribe happiness. Friedrich, a young, ambitious professor of psychology at Yale has stumbled upon a drug that promises to make him famous. Derived from an exotic plant, 'The Way Home' seems to possess the secret ingredient of happiness. But Friedrich and his colleague Bunny Winton must find subjects willing to test their hypothesis, and in Casper Gedsic, a fiercely intelligent, socially inept, near-suicidal maths student they seem to have found their perfect guinea pig. But when their experiment goes awry and Casper's thirst for revenge turns murderous, his actions will have consequences that haunt Friedrich and his family forever. Friedrich's youngest son, Zach, who owes his existence to the fallout of those turbulent months, grows up in the shadow of Casper Gedsic. For him and his family, the bogeyman is real. Despite Friedrich and his wife's best efforts, they remain defined and imprisoned by the memory of Casper, and his presence continues to haunt them as they move from their well-ordered suburban life of post-war America through the chaos and freedom of the counterculture into the drug-fuelled, media-crazed eighties and beyond, each pursuing their own quest for happiness while tainted indelibly by the past.

At about 4pm we rented a scooter and did a little exploring on either side of our resort. We'll do the whole island tomorrow. Well, that's the plan. It does still get quite sore on the bum, all this scooter riding! We stopped and tried to watch the sun set over the sea. But some heavy clouds had rolled in so there wasn't much to see.

We headed to the Night Market for dinner. Wow. So much seafood selection. One of those where you choose what you want and they braai it up for you. It's times like these that I'm devastated that The Trucker doesn't eat seafood. Seafood is meant to be ordered in large quantities and shared - haha.

Daddio would've loved all the weirdness on offer! Aside from the quite usual prawn, fish, crab and squid (although these were actual whole ones, with their eyes!), they also had urchins and all sorts of scallops, clams and snails. Some had lobsters and frog fish (which I've actually only ever seen once before, while diving at Aliwal Shoal). I'm sure there were other things I've forgotten. I kept my dinner quite simple with prawn, squid and crab. Was good :)

After dinner, we wandered the market a bit and I bought myself some old Vietnamese notes (damn that collecting-bug! Haha). We had some ice-cream for dessert and then headed home.

We went and sat on the beach for a bit because the view of the stars here really is stunning. And it's quite weird not being able to recognise any of the constellations! But, I did see a shooting star :)

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