Next Stop: Phu Quoc

After the bike trip we were in the mood for a couple of days on the beach – and decided to head to an island called “Phu Quoc”, which was only a 1-hour flight from Saigon.

Fortunately booking airline tickets just the day before you want to fly is easy in Asia – and prices do not go up for last minute travel, which very much supports our spontaneous travel habits…

It was interesting for me to notice that most South Vietnamese people still call the city Saigon, not Ho Chi Minh City. That name is much more used by people in Northern Vietnam.

Here you can see the Mekong River at its end point, flowing into the South China Sea. This is a huge river. And it sustains 60 million people. It starts in the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau and flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and finally Vietnam. And ends here.

The island turned out to be the ideal setting for a “romantic retreat” – and surprised us with beautiful and unspoiled white beaches.

During the day we watched the activities of the fishermen…

…and we obviously had the “best food ever”…

There are very few tourists in the low season…

… but we had good weather most of the time, with the occasional rainstorm in the afternoon, and some ridiculously beautiful sunsets.

We went on a 1-day diving excursion, and were very surprised by the unusually spacious and luxurious dive boat.

The crew cooked food for us on the boat, which was simple but very good. The diving itself was macrodiving (meaning only very small creatures in the water, no bigger fish, turtles, sharks etc – the name comes from the “macro” setting on your camera) with very limited visibility, so we were not too excited about what we saw. Nevertheless we had not done any diving for the last year, so it felt good to be back in the water. And the islands of the dive sites were really beautiful.

But maybe we need to review the sections of “how to use your fins” in the PADI book…

The day after the diving my right ear suddenly started to become red – and redder – and even more red – until it became clear that something was very wrong with that ear and that we should consult a doctor. Nat was joking that I might lose a part of my ear and look like Spock… So we emailed our doctor in San Francisco pictures of the ear – whereupon he replied within 10 minutes, prescribing 2 different antibiotics: “You need to take this very seriously – this infection can destroy the cartilage in your ear, and you can lose a part of your ear as a result of this….”. So Nat’s joke was prescient AND funny.

(My ear is mostly ok now).

Nevertheless we had lovely dinners on the beach…

… and after our 2-day stay on the island had turned into 6 days we realized we had to say goodbye to lazy island life and pick up the speed of our traveling, otherwise we wouldn’t see half of Vietnam by the time our visa runs out…

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