Backtracking To Paradise
Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
163Trip End May 02, 2013
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Where I stayed
Lien Hiep Thanh Hotel
Our flight took just over an hour. Destination: Phu Quoc, an island off the south coast of Vietnam surrounded by white sand beaches with mountains and jungles inland. We were travelling south to north in Vietnam but based on other tourists' advice we decided that we couldn’t miss this spot. It’s dotted with some resorts and family-run guesthouses on the west side but much of the island remains untouched. There are future plans for mega resorts and an international airport so we wanted to see it before the masses arrive.
We took a taxi from the airport to Lien Hiep Thanh Hotel, a friendly family-run resort on Long Beach. At US$15 per night our clean, large bungalow with fan was a steal compared to our other beach destinations. There were mini 'windows’ in the bathroom for ventilation but they provided us with a mosquito net over our bed which, along with insect repellant, was a must! The beach was as promised – golden sand, turquoise water and gentle tides. We had many meals in their restaurant with tables on the sand.
We were excited to be able to swim and play in the Gulf of Thailand again. Mui Ne had been a bit of a disappointment because of the rough tides. Jason enjoyed two hour-long seaside massages for 80,000 VND (~$4) each.
On our second day we took a tour of the many smaller islands off the south coast of Phu Quoc. We caught some fish that were way too small to keep but the crew kept them anyway, which didn’t please us. Two snorkelling sessions followed with the first being more rewarding than the second, but the tiny beach at the second site would have been the perfect place to stow away for all eternity. We saw a fair number of fish and coral. Unfortunately Jason’s ‘waterproof’ camera conked out and hasn’t yet recovered. The last stop on the tour was Sao Beach, a beautiful long stretch of fine white sand and shallow water.
The next day we rented a motorbike with plans to see more of the island. After sleeping in a bit and checking with the guesthouse staff for a suggested route, we rode off along paved, gravel and red dirt roads with the sun high in the sky