Through the Delta to Mango Bay

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Phu Quoc

The first few photos here are still from Saigon and the Tet celebration, that was covered in the previous entry. We are now in the Gulf of Thailand on Phu Quoc Island, some 45 kilometers off the Southern Coast of Vietnam. Our tour of the Mekong Delta took us out of Saigon by boat, down one of the 3 tributaries that spill the Mekong waters into the ocean. We spent 3 days travelling by bus, boat & foot through dense vegetation and vast rivers. Highlights definitely included the floating market (see pictures)where vendors sell entire boatloads full of tomatoes, pineapples or cabbages. Each boat’s bow has a tall pole, displaying what’s for sale. Those that are coming to buy have empty poles, which clearly indicate to the vendor boats that they are customers.

We toured a cocunut candy factory, a rice noodle-making plant, a rice husking mill, and even a crocodile farm

From the Vietnamese-Cambodian border-town of Chau Doc, we headed southwest to the coast and hopped a ferry to Phu Quoc Island, one of the last areas of Vietnam that isn’t overdeveloped and full of tourists. Our first night Suzanne particulary enjoyed our $2 accommodation (if you can call it that) – needless to say, it lacked the basics, such as an intact ceiling, a working fan, or a showerhead, not to mention its muddy handprints on the walls and cigarette butts in the corners (I haven’t included the photos, for fear that Suzanne’s parents would come and get her). I promised her better the following night (it being Valentine’s Day and all), so we headed to Mango Bay. Mango Bay was recommended to us almost 2 months ago by a group of french travellers who had stayed there. It was slightly over our budget, but needless to say, our expectations were more than satisfied (and I had to make up for the previous evening).

We’ve since moved to a more affordable spot and I have just been offered 10 days work at a dive shop that we had checked out when we were in Nha Trang a month ago. I am, ironically, filling in for an instructor who is going on vacation. The pay is pretty dismal, but it will cover our hotel and it gives Suzanne a chance to get more dives in for free.

With that said, our next update will come from Cambodia, most likely Pnomh Penh, in 2 weeks time. Hope all is well with everybody – Roger & Suzanne