Our guide dropped us off at the bus station in Can Tho, as we were to take a bus to Rach Gia to catch a ferry to the island of Pho Quoc. The station was as expected chaotic and a little over staffed. Why have a booking computer when you can have 8 air hostess dressed young ladies shuffling paper?. Eventually we did get on our bus which was sparkly new, but had leg room suitable for 5ft high locals. A very bumpy uncomfortable 3 hours later we arrive at Rach Gia. Not the prettiest place you might want to visit, and neither was our hotel. Stuck out on way from the ferry we were met with almost total silence except for a grunt of passport, thud of keys on the counter and a point at the lift. Dino had a ‘nice’ collection of wild life in his room, we had a view of the sewage works out the back.
At some point in the future KT and I might get a new bathroom and get those London underground map tiles on the walls. However this hotel had its own tiling theme of bikini clad women from probably the 80’s, in both our rooms. It was a lovely touch.
The current lonely planet is from 2009 and out of date (why don’t they release an electronic subscription and download for phones and tablets?), so finding food was tricky but in the end we picked a bright looking local place and had some good fish and noodles.
The ferry is entertainingly called Super Dong and is pretty fast, the 120k to the island goes past in a few hours. The outside space at the back has some pretty low safety rails on it, the inside showed some ripped dvd movies. Arrival at the island we jumped in a cab to our booked hotel and Dino came along to see if there was space. The roads on Pho Quoc are pretty awful, dirt tracks and loose gravel is common and the cab was infested with mossies, which to the entertainment of the driver watching our attempt to swot them all. Arrival at our place and it looked good, no space for Dino though. No panic need somewhere to stay jump in a cab and they know who has space. Dino drives away, i pull out my booking only to realise we are a month early. No panic, call a taxi. We ended up in beach bungalows in neighbouring hotels at the end of Long Beach, ours was called Nhat Lan. The bonus is it was 30 dollars a night, almost half the other one and on a better quieter part of the beach, the downside it was more basic. Its fine and good value.
What more do you need, a lovely beach, palm trees, warm sea and a cold beer.