06.11. – 07.11.2018
My second last morning on the island started as the previous one – slowly. Unfortunately my plan to attempt another dive day did fail, as the dive centre decided to head back to Turtle Island. So there was no rush in the morning.
Sleeping a bit and then head slowly to the pool area to have my lovely breakfast. The choice might bot be as big as in other places, but it was enough for me. And most important – it is tasty. It also a good way to enjoy some fresh air (something that is rather limited in Saigon!!!) to plan the day. No diving, so I decided I should get back on the bike and maybe see the Coconut prison and visit the beautiful Bai Sao beach again. It was my last stop before leaving the island nearly 4 years ago, so I know I would certainly enjoy it.
So decision made I headed back to reception and somehow managed to get the same bike again as the day before. Which means – I didn’t have to get petrol again. But once again I did not leave very early, after checking the bike etc it was already 10:30 again.
So without any hesitation I headed south, following the main road. It is actually very straight forward, as even I managed it without any problems, even in Duong Dong. I actually realised that you could easily include some stops on the way, i.e. for a nice pagoda. But I was determined to get to the beach first – and just enjoying the sights while passing by. This way it took me only 45 minutes to reach nearly the most southern point and thanks to some other tourists not even missing the left turn towards the beach.
I remembered from my last trip that there was a parking area next to a restaurant along the beach, with plenty of sun loungers. So I just followed the end of the road until I reached it, ignoring the right turn to the hotel “Paradiso”. I would regret that a little bit later one.
The beach area at that side offers quite a few sun loungers and of course plenty of food and drink options. However, it is very busy and it is quite noisy thanks to the Jetskis and boats for the tourists. So instead I followed the advise given the day before by a German couple. I turned left and followed the beach, passing one or two hotels or restaurants until I reached a rather spacious areas and plenty of sun loungers near the Paradiso restaurant. Yes – it was the one signed on the road. Well, walking on the beach is always nice.
This part of the beach is lovely. No watersport offered, so it was quiet. The loungers with parasol and towel was only 150.000 Dong. And it was not crowded. Even though it was now 11:30 I had plenty of choices, so I got a lovely spot underneath a palm tree. Oh yes – I could get comfortable here forever ever!!!
And I did. Lying on the loungers in the shade, enjoying this stunning beautiful beach with white sand and palm trees and crystal clear water – and I was there to enjoy the view and reading a book. Life can be soooo good.
So for the next two hours I did nothing else but reading, enjoying the view, having a brief nap or swimming in this beautiful warm and clean water. I had to walked a bit into the water to swim, but I didn’t mind. It was too perfect floating around, now seeing the white beach, trees and mountains in the distance. This is the kind of beach you hope for when travelling to an island!!!
The other advantage of this stretch is the restaurant. They have some seats on the front with view over the beach and sea. The have the usual items on offer, but seeing the temperatures having a papaya salad and a lime juice seemed to be the perfect choice. And I was not wrong. It was fresh and delicious. perfect lunch in such a great place. I was certainly very happy with the food and service here. The price was not as cheap as in town, but I thought decent for a beach area.
After lunch I did the only right thing to do – taking advantage of the lounger again to relax and enjoy the moment. Though the moment got longer and longer. My plan to leave to visit the coconut prison was thrown out of the window. I didn’t want to leave. I managed to get up to enjoy the lovely water again and also to take some photos. Other than that – nothing. Though it was entertaining to see a little game between tourists and the staff serving the beach. There is a little swing. It is free to use for customers. All others who want to sit there for a photo have to pay. So whenever the staff approached the tourists left the swing and walked away. Bit cheap – but cheap entertainment for me. And to make it even better I realised that I could order my mango smoothie from my lounger and the staff brings it to me – I wish I would have known earlier – I would have taking advantage more often of this service.
Just when the suns started to get down I decided I should leave to avoid riding the bike in the dark. And after 6 hours on the beach it was maybe enough. So walking back to my bike (complaining about my stupidity) I was on the road soon enough. Though the village on the main road when coming from the beach offered some nice spots to enjoy some local life – especially around 17:30 when people are off work and enjoying the free time with friends and families. Great time to pass by. Other than that it was an easy journey back to the hotel.
And here I followed my usual procedure: arrival – changing – pool. Had to be done. And swimming helps to get a wee appetite. For my last night I decided to go to the barbecue place opposite of the Rocks bar – Nha Tro. While it does not look as nice as the other places it is always busy with locals and tourists alike. So why not. Seeing the prices were ok I decided to take a bit of a selection: shrimp, octopus, squid and a small barracuda filet. In the end I should have maybe ordered one dish less, but all items were very nice – especially the fish. Though I must admit, the service was not as good as at Quang Cat. But the food was nice, and the price is lower (in case you are looking for budget options).
After the dinner I decided to have another beer at the Rock Bar (tough choice because it was such a long walk!!!) Making myself comfortable and getting a beer I had a nice chat with a Polish couple sitting next to me. And as the other couple I met the other night – they stayed at the same place as I did. It is a small world. It was actually a nice evening to have 2 beers with them.
But while they headed back to the room I decided to have one more drink. So I passed all the other interesting looking places and walked to Goca bar for one final drink. Thankfully they had not closed, so I was able to order one cocktail I really wanted to try – the lemongrass Mojito. And yes – the wait was worth it. While enjoying the drink I enjoyed a conversation with two of the inhabitants of the islands (expats and Vietnamese) and of course with the lovely staff of the bar. After three visits to the bar I really must admit that I enjoy this place. If this bar would be in Saigon, I would be there at least once a week with the aim to drink myself through the cocktail menu. If you are in the Ong Lang area, do not miss the Goca Bar. It was certainly a great way to end my final night on the island.
You could guess how the next day started – correct. Slowly. Getting breakfast, going for a little swim in the pool, arranging an expensive late check out (50% of the day rate for 4 hours longer in the room), packing and then going for a last walk to the beach – this time with my camera to take some more photos.
It was actually not too hot and a bit clouded, so perfect for a walk and the temptation to sit on the beach was reduced by maybe 1%!!!!
So first stop was Coco Palm beach. It was a shame that none of the bars or restaurants were open at the time – and that you could smell the paint etc there. It didn’t make the resort in that area a nice place to stay. It was not very busy, and it seems people preferred to use the sand a bit further away for a resting place. Though the beach is nice place for a wee walk. Though In realised that I was unable to walk further south without getting wet feet. So I just walked back to the main path back to the hotel.
Though it was only 1:15 and I had time to get some lunch – and even though I saw some nice places along the path the desire to have another lunch at Mango Bay beat the common sense, so I walked to the resort to sit down at the beach restaurant to have the lovely Cesar Wrap for a second time. Though having learned my lesson, this time without fires. To be honest, could you have your last lunch on Phu Quoc at any better place than seeing the sea and the beach while eating a lovely wrap? Well, maybe Bai Sao, but that’s it. I actually liked the whole resort with the bungalows – I might be tempted to stay here in the future. At least I don’t have to worry about getting a lounger and parasol (only guests can have the loungers with parasol – which I think is appropriate).
But at 14:30 it was time to head back to the hotel – this trip was surely over. I just had to finish packing (in the process obviously forgetting my phone charger in the room!!!) and then getting a taxi to the airport (pre-paid via the hotel for 270.000 – nearly 40.000 cheaper than Vinasun from the airport). My short (well – 5 night visit) to the island of Phu Quoc was over and too soon I was back in more humid HCMC.
I really needed the time to switch off for a while, and I was certainly happy to do some diving again – I realised how much I missed it. I thoroughly enjoyed it – and I am sure I will be back some for another extended weekend….