The Isle of Phu Quoc
Our final day in Vietnam was spent on the island paradise of Phu Quoc.
We arrived on the island around noon and spent the first few hours visiting some of the more commercial tourist attractions.
First was a winery, where myrtle berries were fermented to produce a sweet alcohol, best described as an acquired taste.
Next came a pearl farm, where a slick-talking Australian man, walked us through the process of commercial pearl production.
Our third and final stop for the day was a fishing community, where we walked the streets and saw shops that resembled those of small towns from the mainland. Some local kids tried to sell me some starfish. I declined their outrageous asking price of 30,000 Vietnamese Dong ($1.36), and took a photo instead.
Finally, we arrived at our beachfront hotel where after wolfing down a rice-laden lunch, the whole gang proceeded to jump into the ocean as fast as humanly possible.
With the sun beginning to set, everybody toweled off, and jumped back on the bus, where our tour guide, Duan, or Tony as he instructed us to call him, took us out to sea for some late-night squid fishing.
A new appreciation was gained for our college educations, as we quickly realized we would have a hard time making a living as squid fisherman. No squid were caught by a student that night.
We arrived back on shore early, after some of our crew had some trouble finding their sea legs. The extra time gave us a chance to visit the local night market, where vendors of all sorts peddled their wares.
Around midnight, the last of us wandered back to the hotel, and greeted our comfy beds adoringly, which after sleeping on hard cots for ten days felt amazing.
The next morning, we lounged on the beach till noon, then packed back up and hopped on the bus. The days stops included: a black pepper farm, a fish sauce factory (which smells similar to what I imagine rotting flesh smells like), a tour of the Phu Quoc Tiger Cages, where Northern Vietnamese POW’s were held and tortured throughout the Indochina wars and an awesome temple.
That evening we hopped on a plane and left for Ho Chi Minh City.
Despite the visit’s short duration, the stay was truly incredible.