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Phu Quoc 1-Day Tour

Following our visit to a pearl farm, we continued to these destinations on our 1-Day Tour on Phu Quoc Island.

all seasons in one day
View SEA Trip by Any Means on automidori's travel map.

Phu Quoc, August 31st 2011

P.S. (Pre-Script):
The story and pics of my visit to the pearl farm, I have published just previously.

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This is the entrance to Coconut Prison, a prison used during war with America. Inside there is a hall displaying the cruelty of the American soldiers through small statues. It really appeared brutal, sadistic, you name it.

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Afar there are the cells used to keep the prisoners. I didn't want to go inside. Because of something my tour guide said to me, I got an unpleasant creepy feeling. Besides, being in Vietnam for the 6th time already, having read and watched documentaries about Vietnam, I think I already have enough with the story of Vietnam war. When I came to Vietnam for the first time, I was excited about it. I went to the War Museum in Sai Gon, I read litterateurs and also an autobiography of a war victim, and I paid close attention to documentary movies on National Geographic, etc. I also re-watched The Quiet American. Now, it's time to say 'enough'.

Plus, walking with one swollen foot and being upset by the terrible service of Moon Resort, entering a prison and watch cruelty, I fear will make my mood sink to the bottom.

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So, back into the car, and to next destination: South Beach. South Beach and the fortunately-blue sky hovering above really raised my mood.

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I said "fortunately-blue sky", because the weather forecaster had foretasted not just rain but flood on Phu Quoc. Cham, my tour guide said that she had a German guest who was very upset because he had been 3 days already in Phu Quoc and it rained the whole day every single day.

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The sand was soft, and...

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... the water was clear

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The roaring gentle waves along the beach was really tempting for my feet. I walked along the beach from one side to the other side forgetting my swollen foot.

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This was my lunch menu I ordered at a restaurant by the side of the beach. In Indonesia it would be somewhat like "sapi lada hitam", fried beef with black pepper and vegetables. Including white rice it cost 100,000 VND.

When I was presented the bill, Cham, my tour guide said to me, "You pay your meal, I pay for mine. Your bill is 150,000 dongs."

I felt confused. Since I was traveling in a tight budget, I had made sure pretty well about the price before making an order. I remember pretty well also that the total can't be 150,000 VND. So, I asked for the bill. The waitress refused. At that moment Cham was at the rest room. Either the waitress didn't understand English or pretended not to understand, no matter what I said, she waved her hand and said, "No, no!"

When Cham returned, I asked her to interpret my request to the waitress. Instead getting the bill, they both went to a corner quite apart from where I was sitting. They appeared to be talking. The waitress had a block note and pen, while Cham sat next to her. I wondered what took it so long?? When they both eventually came back to my table with a piece of paper, I read. There were 3 items in there. My tour guide's meal was included in it!! That made it 150,000 VND. Aaargh!!

What I hate most is not paying my tour guide's meal, but the way she made me pay for it. Why should she say, "You pay yours, I pay mine," and then plot with the waitress to charge me an amount which actually includes her meal? No wonder it took so long for the waiter to write me a bill. As if I had made a party and there were so many items to write down. Yesterday afternoon, at Red River Restaurant, which is managed under the same management with Moon Resort and where Cham worked also, my bill was charged 10,000 VND higher than the menu I had ordered. And now, something more cunning.

Sorry to say, sometimes I think, no wonder the American soldiers as told in Coconut Prison, had been seeming so brutal and cruel during the war. The Vietnamese might have not been innocent after all.

As if Cham's untruthfulness had ruined everything, the "fortunately-blue sky" had turned into "completely-dark-grey sky".

Inside the car Cham said, "Oh, it's going to rain. Rain, rain, come!"

"Oh, no! Don't rain, please!"

Cham said again, "Rain, come, rain!"

"No, please. Not now."

"Rain is coming. Rain, rain, come!"

I started to think, for whatever reason, she really expected for rain. How weird! Instead of expecting my tour as her guest going smoothly...

Our next destination should be "Beautiful Tranh stream for trekking" as mentioned on Moon Resort's website. Meanwhile, the rain di fall to Cham's wish. We arrived in front of an entrance. There was a small building seeming like an office. At my left were trees and a pathway. Cham and my driver seemed to be talking about something serious, until Cham turned to me and told me that I would have to pay an entrance ticket and also parking fee for the car.

"What?!!" That was my immediate reaction but unsaid. First, I had expected to pay only 15 USD for this tour, exactly according to the website. Then I tried to book the tour but the reply I got was that I could book the tour at any time. When I arrived, the front desk staffs knew absolutely nothing about my booking. After a tedious argument, the staffs said they got my tour. When I checked the itinerary, it wasn't at all as stated on the website. The second round of a tedious argument started, between me and the staffs. Finally, they brought Mike and Cham to me. Mike told me that there was no group tour. A private tour cost 750,000 VND. Wouldn't one get the shock of his life if he has to pay 750,000 VND whereas he expected to pay 15 USD only? But the worst point is that I had already tried to book in advance! Why wasn't I informed? Why did Quoc Huy Dinh Ky answered my booking request with: "With the tour very easy, when you are here, we have always tour for you."??!

The worst wasn't worst enough. After having to pay 750,000 VND, I was made to pay Cham's meal in such a cunning way! As if that wasn't enough, the 750,000 VND turned out not to be including entrance fee and parking fee to Tranh Stream. Nothing about that was mentioned on the website and neither was I told in advance until this very second. Ah, once again, no wonder the American soldiers had tortured these people's ancestors... (Moon Resort continued to treat me beyond expectation until the time I checked out and even until a month after that.)

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When we arrived here, the sky was literally pouring. This is the place where people can take a boat to cross the border and go to Cambodia. This is also a fishermen's village. I put on my raincoat, walked through the rain, and risked my cellphone, Nokia N86. I risked it to take some pictures.

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I kept on walking through the rain out of curiosity while my tour guide stayed in the car. What a tour guide indeed!

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I walked through this pathway which leads to the deck where you can get on a boat/ship for Cambodia.

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This pathway is quite broad. 2 cars can run through this path. I didn't reach the end, because the wind was blowing very, very hard that I feared that I would be thrown into the sea for there wasn't any railing along the sides of the path. You know how tiny I am. I might be courageous. But that adds nothing to my weight. I turned back. Someday I really would like to try to take a boat from Phu Quoc to Cambodia or vice versa. I have never passed an international border on sea.

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This is the view of the other side of the pathway.

Just like when I was in Belitong, my Nokia withstood the rain! Yayyy!!! However, my driver could not stand to see his car getting wer. Cham told me to hang my umbrella between the car door and car top as I got into the car. My driver turned his head several times towards the seat and on the floor that got wet in no time. What could he expect? Yes, I went into the car with an umbrella opened above my head. But, as soon as I folded the umbrella, all the water dripped off onto the car floor. It would be no use to shake my umbrella outside the car before closing the window, because then the use of the umbrella would be pointless. Rain would spray into the car and on the folded umbrella anyway.

Moreover, that was MY umbrella anyway. Do they expect every guest to bring an umbrella? Can you run a tour without expecting your car to get wet on a heavy rainy season like now? It seems that 750,000 VND includes no fee to dry the car.

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Next destination: Red Wine Factory. Still raining, it was.

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My tour guide said that this is the biggest red wine factory in all Phu Quoc. Frankly speaking, I trust her no more.

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This, indeed, looks like a small home industry. Or, sort of a home business like in the popular computer game, The Sims Open for Business.

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The bottle of red wine. Ah... I wish my guide in Da Lat were here. He could have explained to me about the process.

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Me and the owner of the red wine home industry... ooops, factory. Do we look alike? :P
Photo taken by Cham using live preview with blur mode on.

F.P.S. (=Final Post Script)
:
The last three words is just a joke.

Posted by automidori 07:06 Archived in Vietnam Tagged vietnam phu_quoc moon_resort

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