This peaceful tropical paradise, floats in the warm turquoise waters in the Gulf of Thailand, 50kms from the Vietnamese mainland and a 50 minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.
In one day, visitors can experience the culture of Vietnam at the local market in the morning, relax on a remote and stunning beach in the afternoon, enjoy a delicious dinner and drinks at one of the restaurants and enjoy accommodation at the variety of hotels and resorts on this superb island getaway. The island of Phu Quoc is becoming well-known the world over for it’s stunning beaches, untouched natural environment, the easy-going and relaxed atmosphere of the locals, and it’s fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling.
Well that was how the island was sold to me back in January 2010 when I decided to book us onto the island for the last three days of our ‘Grand Indochina Tour’.
I would love to wax lyrical at this point about the boundless beauty and wonders of this amazing island, but the reality is a little bit different I’m afraid.
While in Cambodia (see last post https://jameshandlon.com/2012/11/26/indochina-adventure-part-10-the-temples-of-angkor-wat/) I had managed to contract Salmonella Poisoning! I did not know it at the time but those aggressive bugs and parasites were beginning to take a strong hold of me internally and I was on a fast downward spiral to a complete health breakdown.
Earlier in the trip I had already caught a flu-like virus which I’d attributed to sharing a tiny and compact sleeping carriage on ‘The Reunification Express’ with a member of our group who was still in the last throes of a noxious cold themselves and inadvertently they had brought said cold with them all the way to Vietnam. Combine these two illnesses together plus an ear-infection that had begun to develop as my immune system took a battering and the end result was a living walking zombie of a traveller.
Consequence for this blog post being that I actually have nothing I can put down in writing about Phu Quoc what so ever. The 50 minute flight from Ho Chi Minh felt more like 50 weeks, I stumbled off the plane and into a taxi where I sat motionless for the entire bumpy trip to the hotel and the next three days were spent in the confines of my room looking at the four walls and ceiling.
Phu Quoc may very well be an island paradise for all I know but unfortunately for me I missed my opportunity to find out. I doubt I will ever get the chance to go back to Vietnam or Phu Quoc as there are so many other places I want to visit and experience in the world while I’m still alive, so I’ll have to confine this island to the almost made it category of my travel memoirs.
So all I really have to offer is this pic of an old boot washed ashore on the beach outside our apartments which I took a snap of the one time I did make it out of the room and down to the water’s edge before being overcome with nausea and beating a hasty retreat back indoors. Not the best way to end an adventure to the other side of the world but travel is nothing if unpredictable and I am always reminded that you have to take the rough with the smooth and of course it’s the journey that counts not the destination etc, etc.
And so that’s it for these posts about Indochina, thanks as ever for following and reading about my great Vietnam and Cambodia Adventure and if nothing else I hope that maybe just maybe some of what you’ve read may have inspired you to take a chance yourself and travel to some far off land that you have read about and know very little about and when there you experience amazing new cultures, some incredible sights, intoxicating smells and baffling new sounds…. remember life’s a journey, live it!
You can see more photos from my Indochina Adventure on Flickr by clicking on this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jameshandlon/sets/72157629031722105/