Adventures as Miss Saigon

Archive for January 2011

There was a 4.7 magnitude earthquake today here in HCMC! Sadly, I felt nothing, but my twitter feed was wild with reports when I got home after coffee and dinner with Wendy!

Homesickness is back.

e.t. phone home

Unexpected, unexplained and unwelcome.

This time around, I’m feeling hollow and deflated, combined with intense waves of nausea. Maybe the cloudy day is taking it’s toll…maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night…maybe I’m just about to come down with a cold or something. Maybe I just miss home.

Thankfully, I’m only days away from a week off and our second Cambodia trip. I’m trying to stay focused on the great things that are coming up, but my mind is stuck in a sad nostalgic state. I don’t want to wish this adventure away, but I wish September was a little closer. I desperately need to get over the “6 month hump”.


The Backstreet Boys are coming to HCMC! My 12 year old self is so excited!!!

Now that I’ve finished my Christmas/Cambodia blogs, my focus is on catching up on the month of January…a fair bit has happened, even though it’s all low key and local!

Two weeks ago, I got an email from Will, one of the Aussies we met on New Years Eve in Cambodia. He was in Cambodia with his girlfriend, Katie, and friend, Ben. Katie had to return home shortly after NYE, but Will and Ben were continuing to travel and Vietnam was next on their list. I agreed to meet them the next day for dinner and drinks in D1 (downtown/backpacker’s district).

The fun began while waiting for them at Go2. I was minding my own business, sipping my ca phe sua da, when I was sexually assaulted by one of the young girls selling items on the street. She came up, plunked herself down beside me and began pestering me to buy her items. Sadly here, the only way to be left alone by people selling anything is to avoid eye contact and to “shoo” them away with a shake of your head or a flick of your hand. Anything more (smiling while “shoo-ing”, saying no, or being polite in any way) is guaranteed to get you engaged in an epic sales pitch, by the instigator and their friends. The first time I “shoo-ed” this girl away, she reached over and grabbed both of my breasts. Then, when I more directly “shoo-ed” her off, she stood up, gave me the finger and yelled “f**k you” to me and other Go2 customers who had also brushed her off. Not a way to make a sale!

Will and Ben showed up shortly after, and the girl returned to hassle the newcomers. Being tourists, Will and Ben hadn’t learned the avoidance techniques I just described. They were suckered into playing games and giving her money (her last ditch sales pitch was “give me money and I’ll go away”). We went for a delicious Vietnamese banh xeo (pancake) dinner…pancakes here are not like Western pancakes. Here, they are made out of rice flour (and other ingredients), and stuffed with bean sprouts and, traditionally, pork and shrimp. You rip off pieces of the pancake and wrap it in lettuce leaves with mint, basil or other herbs, and dip it in fish sauce. It’s messy, delicious, and Vietnamese.

banh xeo

Dinner lead to drinks, and drinks lead to more drinks, and this girl was out way past her bedtime, especially on a school night! Will and Ben were a lot of fun to hang out with, and it’s always a good time in D1 – the place never closes! After a long day at work the next day (due to the previous night’s events) I headed back to meet Will and Ben for a few more drinks. Ben was flying home the next morning, and Will was sticking around for a few more days. The night was much calmer than the previous night, seeing as the guys were just waking up, and I should have been in bed. It was still fun to hang out with them and show them around a bit.

The next night, Wendy and I went out for sushi dinner with Laura, who was flying home the next day. Laura had just finished her one year contract here with the family she worked for, and was going home for almost a month before returning to a supervisory position here. It’s sad to think that that could have been our last dinner with her had she decided to move home or to the states. Lucky for us, she’ll be around here for the next year at least! It was still sad saying goodbye, but Laura was so excited to get home and see her family and friends that she hasn’t seen for so long!

Saturday morning found Wendy, Will and I on an early morning bus headed to Mekong Delta for a two day, homestay adventure. This “adventure” was very touristy, with not much physical activity and snack breaks every 2 hours. We covered a lot of grounds though, and sights included a pagoda, a coconut candy factory, a vermicelli rice noodle factory, and a trip to the floating markets. The highlight for us, was definitely the homestay. Eight of us from our bus load had signed us for the homestay, and while the rest of the bus was checking into the hotel, we were greeted by Hung, who took us by taxi, then boat to his family’s “house”. Although the family lived on the property, we slept in basic bungalows by the water. We had a delicious fresh dinner prepared by the family, and drank beers and rice wine with Hung after his family had gone to bed. We arrived back in HCMC on Sunday evening, and although it was fun, I’ve sworn off all bus trips for the next little while.

big buddha at the pagoda

pagoda in mekong delta

coconut candy factory

dog at the homestay eating fish breakfast

floating market

floating market

wendy and i playing with pythons in mekong delta

On Monday night, Tony had invited me out for a goat curry dinner. Tony picked me up on his motorbike, and we drove across the city to get to this little back alley restaurant that he and his wife know about. The city is already beautifully decorated for Tet (Vietnamese lunar new year) with festive lights throughout downtown, and I strangely enjoy riding on the back of a motorbike through the busy city. Intimidated about trying goat for the first time, I decided just to trust Tony’s taste buds. We sat on little stools, surrounded by Vietnamese locals, and thankfully Tony took care of ordering the goat, as the menu was in Vietnamese, and my guess is the restaurant staff only spoke Vietnamese as well! Of course the meal turned out to be delicious, and I hope I get invited out for goat again soon! (I’d never be able to find the alleyway that the restaurant was down, nevermind order off the menu!) We finished our evening sitting at Go2, drinking beers with ice and discussing work, my future in Vietnam, and life in Vietnam in general. Tony’s been very understanding about my decision to return home at the end of my 12 month contract, but assured me that I could return at any time. In fact, he said he’d place money on it…we’ll see! 🙂

Tuesday evening held an unexpected adventure. Just when I thought I had things in Vietnam figured out, I received notice in the mail that there was a package to pick up at the post office. Thinking I knew where my post office was from the first package that had been sent from home, I went there but was given another address. After work, the mom I work for told me to give the address to my motorbike guy, and he would take me where I needed to go. An hour and a half later, 3 stops (including random houses/construction sites), we finally found the right post office and I claimed my package. I at least have the post office system kind of figured out now – there is only one post office in my district where international packages are held. Troi oi!

This weekend has been a quiet one – pedis and dinner with Wendy on Friday night, a hair appointment Saturday afternoon, and dinner and a movie with Wendy on Saturday night. Saturday night was the first time we’d gone to the movies in Vietnam, and it was quite an experience! From the $3.50usd movie ticket, the sweet popcorn, the hilarious Vietnamese movie previews, the awkward edits/scene censors in the movie, the guy loudly answering his cell phone and having a full discussion during the movie, to the bright lights being turned on before the credits started rolling, the experience was definitely better than the movie! It cheap and hilarious entertainment, and we’ll likely do it again soon.

For now, we just have to get through this work week, before another week’s vacation, including 5 days back in Cambodia, this time to visit Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor. I’m so excited to get back to Cambodia with Wendy!

Almost 4 and a half months…that’s how long I’ve been living in this country now. I feel settled and comfortable, enjoying the truly Asian experiences and the Western comforts. I’ve spent some time this morning going back through my blog postings, and examining my journey so far. I’ve come a long way, baby. Examining this journey in writing is proving to be more difficult than I had anticipated, but I feel like I need to get my thoughts out into the open.

I left Canada with specific, personal goals that I wanted to accomplish. I showed up in Vietnam scared, wide eyed, and unsure of the decision I had made to come here. I’ve questioned my decision to come here many times. I had a rough beginning, but four months in, I feel confident and excited with who I’m becoming and the experiences that are shaping me.

From the other side of the world, it’s been easier for me to evaluate my life, what I want from it and how I’m willing to achieve things. I’ve been able to focus on me with minimal other distractions and complications.

I am okay being me. I am comfortable in my skin and in my current situation. Sure, I still have dreams and aspirations, but I’m happy. I feel whole, and I’ve achieved this on my own, not having to rely on someone else to “complete me”. My views on relationships have changed and I’m seeing things in a whole new light. I want to meet Mr Right, but will not settle for anything – I don’t have the energy to put into a crappy, consuming relationship. I want a relationship based on equal partnership, laughter, adventure and love. Does it exist? I hope so… I’m hesitant to post any more of my updated views, as I don’t want to come off preachy…clearly it’s much easier to examine situations from a distance, but I feel really confident in my assessments. If anyone wants to have this discussion, I’m easily contacted.

One of my biggest fears is letting this great year of experiences and adventure dominate my life. I need to find a way to continue my adventures at home when I return, so in five years time, I won’t be saying “this one time when I was living in Vietnam…” I haven’t decided how I’m going to be able to do this, but I don’t want to settle back into my old habits and have this year be that one highlight of my life.

I’ve changed in these first four months, and will no doubt change in the months to come. I’ve grown stronger as a person, been humbled time after time, and have lived a life that no one will truly understand unless they’ve experienced it themselves. This is a tricky, as I don’t know if my friends and family at home will be ready to accept that I’ve changed or if they will just expect to see “old Meg” back on Canadian grounds. I feel like, in certain ways, my life is on hold for this year. Although my passport clearly indicates I’ve been on the move, I feel like I’ll have a lot of catching up to do when I come home. In the year that I’m gone, I’m missing friends weddings, babies being born and so many other amazing life milestones. Reverse culture shock could be my worst enemy…and it scares me to think that home may not feel like home.

The bottom line is that I would not trade this experience for anything. I cannot picture myself anywhere else at this stage in my life, and am so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given. Although returning home might be a difficult transition, it’s what I want and I’ll make it happen…it just might look a bit different than what I left (a new apartment? a new city? going back to school?)…who knows!

As a side note, Wendy and I might write a book…we’ve had some amazing life conversations, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to solve all of the worlds problems by the time I’m done in Vietnam. We’ve already agreed on a book title too…”Eat, Pray and Eat Some More”. Any takers? 😉

…stays in Sihanoukville! So don’t expect too much from this blog!

Sihanoukville was the place we decided to spend new years eve, a popular beach destination and tourist town in Cambodia. Because of a recommendation from one of Laura’s friends, we had booked a room at “Tranquility” on Serendipity Beach…such a peaceful sounding place! And it really was just that…beachfront bungalows on the far end of the busy beach, making it fairly quiet and calm.

beach view at Tranquility

We did a little shopping and wandering around the town. We found a bookstore (again, something lacking in Vietnam), and stumbled upon the Cambodian Children’s Painting Project…an amazing organization that helps underprivileged children working and living on the beaches in Sihanoukville. They provide children with the opportunity to develop their imagination and skills through artistic painting, generate some basic income from the sale of their paintings, and help the children pursue formal schooling, among other things. I bought a few paintings on our first afternoon, and returned the next day to buy more. I even had the pleasure of meeting one of the young artists and purchase one of his paintings.

sweet and talent young artist at CCPP

On New Years Eve day, I woke up early and took my book to the beach. It was a beautiful, calm morning, and I had the opportunity to take advantage of the wifi and call some family and friends from the beach to wish them a happy new year. The rest of the day was spent soaking in the sun, and taking naps in order to prepare for the evenings adventures.

The fireworks on the beach started while we were eating dinner at around 6pm, and didn’t end until around midnight. The children on the beach were selling “power” (fireworks), and on more than one occasion, someone commented how dangerous the combination of “power” and drunk people on a beach really was. After dinner at Tranquility, we wandered down the beach and settled into some comfy beach chairs, one row back from the water, where most people were setting off their fireworks. We started drinking “buckets”…buckets of alcoholic mixes…meant for several people to share, but hey, it was NYE and we had some partying to do! Before long, we were joined by several Aussies and another Canadian, and we all continued to order bucket drinks.

me on NYE

"you want power?"

one bucket in...happy new years!



Oddly, there was no countdown to midnight, and we all kind of “forgot” to wish each other a happy new years. It wasn’t quite the night we had planned for, but memorable none the less. Too much alcohol and not enough sleep made for a looooooonnnnngggggg bus ride the next morning at 8am back to Phnom Penh!

The bus dropped us off in Krong Koh Kong, and the door was instantly crowded by tuk tuk drivers trying to get our attention. Wendy somehow found quiet Red, who ended up being our driver for the next two days. He took us straight to our hotel, and came back for us an hour later after we had a chance to freshen up.

pick me, pick me! tuk tuk drivers at the bus station

me and tuk tuk driver, Red

Red and the road ahead

Krong Koh Kong is not the typical tourist destination. We had come here in search of waterfalls and secluded islands…and a little bit of adventure thrown in just for fun! Our first afternoon was spent being driving around by Red, hiking into waterfalls and wandering the wobbly paths in the mangrove forests. It was a beautiful day, and especially great to be out walking around after our second long bus ride. Cambodia’s beauty is absolutely breathtaking. I’ll let the pictures try to speak for themselves, but even with great photography skills and great cameras, I don’t feel like any of us were able to truly capture what we experienced. But enjoy the pictures anyways!

getting closer to the waterfalls



sitting by the waterfalls

me at the waterfall

can you spot the walking stick?

pretty park area

into the mangrove forest

mangrove forest

mangrove forest

into the forest

bluebird in the forest

bridges like this are my worst nightmare


sunset in the mangrove forest

The next morning, we were up and waiting by the waterfront with Red, who had arranged a speedboat to take us an hour off the mainland to Koh Kong Island. This is Cambodia’s largest island, and it gets “so few visitors that sand crabs scamper obliviously up and down the beach and the shoreline is dotted with colourful shells of the sort you usually see only in souvenir shops” (thanks Lonely Planet).

On our ride to the island in our sketchy motorboat (when the guy pulled up to pick us up, he was bailing water out of the back), I held on tightly to the side of the boat and to lifeguard Laura, knowing that my lifejacket would not pass any safety regulations. The water was a bit bumpy at times, but otherwise it was a beautiful morning to be cruising around in a speedboat. At least halfway into our ride to the island, the boat stopped. Thinking the motor had died or we’d run out of gas, I turned around to find out what was going on. Our motorboat guy was pointing into the distance – for five minutes we sat and watched endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (did not know they were endangered at the time, but found out later when we met a marine biologist in our next Cambodian stop) jumping in and out of the water. It was so amazing to see these creatures in the wild and fairly close to where we were sitting. Sadly, no one got pictures of this event because our eyes were glued to what was happening. It was such a special experience that I was almost in tears at the sight of these dolphins. Definitely something I’ll never forget.

Laura and I on the boat



When we finally arrived at this nearly deserted island (we had to bring our own fruit and bread as there really was nothing on the stretch of beach that we landed on), we spent our time wandering the beach, marveling at the fact that we seemed to be the only people here. We watched in amazement as the sand crabs played on the beach, truly not caring that we were there. After Wendy and Laura had a quick swim, and we all had a little snack, we got back into the boat to begin our journey back to the mainland.


deserted island

and then there was one


playful sand crab

dragonfly upclose

Wendy and I having a fruit break on the island

deserted island

Later that afternoon, Red took us to Nice Beach in his tuk tuk. It was quite the drive there, down bumpy dirt roads that tourists would have difficulty navigating. We ended up at a crab shack, run by a Khmer family, were we walked the beach, gathered seashells, watched the children and puppies playing, and photographed the gorgeous sunset. In the last bit of light from the sun, we quickly got back into the tuk tuk and headed down the bumpy dirt roads headed for our hotel.

she sells seashells

beautiful Cambodian girl

bad puppy!

puppy chewing cardboard...Lexi's favourite toy too


sleepy puppy in the sand


Miss Megs...tuk tuk driver?

beautiful Cambodian girl and her mom who runs the crab shack

sunset at Nice Beach

After showers, we walked across the street to the water front restaurant we had eaten at the first night. A bottle of red wine (split between Wendy and I) and delicious fish curry, and I was ready for bed…we had an early morning bus to catch on our way to Sihanoukville!

dinner by the water

fine dining by the water

After approximately 7 hours snoozing on and off in a bus that was winding it’s way through the highways connecting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we finally arrived in Phnom Penh around 2pm. Our first mission upon arrival was to find some place to stay. I had confided in Laura a few days earlier that the idea of arriving in a city without a place to stay worried me, but I was trusting her and Wendy, seeing as they are much more experienced travelers than I am! We found a tuk tuk driver (basically a motorbike with a carriage attached to the back of it…very common in Cambodia it seems!) to take us to one of the places listed in our photocopied version of Lonely Planet. Our first hotel turned out to be under construction, but we lucked out with this newly opened hotel called Smiley’s nearby the construction site. Three single beds, a functional bathroom with hot water shower, and super cute and smiley young men working at the front desk was good enough for me! We booked in for that night, and for our last night of our travels before heading back to HCMC. The middle of our trip was spent traveling through southern Cambodia (and our hotel rooms were booked and confirmed for our other locations…haha).

looooong bus rides with Laura

in the tuk tuk

Our first afternoon in Phnom Penh was spent at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a high school turned prison by the Khmer Rouge, where an estimated 20,000 people were imprisoned, interrogated and tortured before being taken to Choeung Ek (the Killing Fields). Cambodia’s recent and violent history was tough to take in, especially considering we were on the grounds of a former school. Walking through classrooms that had been turned into cells, where people were actually imprisoned hit me hard. This wasn’t some museum full of pictures and artifacts (although there were plenty of both)…this was real.

school turned prison

One of the most haunting parts of this museum was walking into classrooms (large cells) with nothing but a rusting iron bed in the middle of the room, and a picture of the mutilated body of a prisoner chained to the bed. The pictures were taken by the Vietnamese when they found the prison in 1979. Equally as disturbing was seeing barbed wire still intact around the balconies of one of the buildings that had been put up to prevent prisoners from jumping to their deaths in order to escape the torture and interrogation.

former classroom


don't touch

Skipping ahead to our return to Phnom Penh at the end of our time in Cambodia, we had to make a visit to Choeung Ek, otherwise known as the Killing Fields. In 1979, mass graves were found Choeung Ek, containing the bodies of approximately 9,000 people, many of whom were prisoners at Tuol Sleng.

memorial stupa

Upon arriving at Choeung Ek, we walked through a little museum and watched a movie about the history of the Killing Fields before walking through the field of mass graves. Some graves were excavated and some were merely roped off. While walking on the small worn paths that separate the graves, I had to keep reminding myself that the pieces of cloth embedded in the ground was not just someone’s lost mitten – the cloth was no doubt pieces of clothing from the people that were buried here. For me, the most chilling part of Choeung Ek was the Chankiri Tree, where infants and children of prisoners were killed. Before leaving, we paid our respects at the stupa, which contains clothing, bones and over 5,000 human skulls.

butterfly at the killing fields

chankiri tree at the killing fields

flower by one of the mass graves at the killing fields

human skulls inside the stupa

Visiting these sites was not easy for me, and was not taken lightly. Sadly, this is all part of Cambodia’s history and I needed to experience it. It’s still unreal that violence of this level took place just over 30 years ago.

Despite the tragic past, Phnom Penh was a wonderful city to be in. Our tuk tuk driver took us to dinners on the waterfront, to a beautiful tea shop, to a used book store (luxuries we don’t seem to have in HCMC) and anywhere else we asked to go. I would head back to Phnom Penh in a heartbeat.

dinner guest by the water...elephant crossing signs were spotted all over

come back!

2 for 1 Angkor beers

Now, on to day 2…Koh Kong!

And so begins the intimidating task of blogging after an amazing 10 day vacation…I debated about whether or not I should try to “blog as I go” in hopes that I wouldn’t miss posting anything that way, but I didn’t want to miss a minute of the adventure. (Wifi was also difficult to come by at times throughout our trip.)

First off, let me lay out how I’m going to attempt to cover 10 days and 1000s of pictures…I think I’ll break the trip into 4 separate blogs…We traveled to 4 different cities/areas in the 10 days we were away – Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Koh Kong in Cambodia and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. As for pictures, I’m going to try and post just enough, but not too many so that you’re sick of someone else’s vacation photos! Wish me luck! Hold on tight…like our many bus trips through Cambodia, it’s going to be a loooong and bumpy ride!

Christmas seems like ages ago at this point, but Christmas eve morning (at 4am) is when the fun all began. Our flight to Phu Quoc Island left HCMC at 7am, so between packing and all the excitement, I didn’t sleep much the night before we left! Phu Quoc Island is “fringed with exquisite white-sand beaches lined with swaying palms and gently lapping turquoise waters…tourism is set to take off in Phu Quoc, with the Vietnamese touting it as the next Phuket. For now, Phu Quoc remains blissfully undeveloped…” (quotes courtesy of LP Vietnam…and they weren’t kidding!)

little plane to the island

window seat

flying into the island

After a 1 hour flight on a small plane and a quick shuttle bus ride to our hotel, Wendy, Laura and I were settled on the beach by 9:30am on Christmas eve morning. We spent the day sipping coconuts, soaking in the warm sunshine and sitting with our toes in the sand. For the first time in a while, I was truly relaxed…it was an amazing feeling.

delicious coconuts

snowflake toes

white sand and palm trees


That night, we indulged in dinner and drinks on the beach at our hotel, and went back to our room fairly early. After a skype call home to the family, I got into my annual Christmas pajamas from my mom (mailed to me a few weeks earlier), and the girls and I settled into bed to watch a movie and wait for Santa. Like children, we were all excited for Christmas morning – to call home, and to exchange the gifts we got each other that were waiting by our teeny tiny Christmas tree that I had brought with us from HCMC.

pretend puppy

oh Christmas tree

one of many beautiful sunsets

Christmas tree on the beach

After waking up several times throughout the night to check the clock, we finally rolled out of bed at the decent hour of 6am. My mom and sister can confirm this, but I am the worst at patiently awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning. As soon as I get a gift for someone, I get so excited to give it to them, that they are often forced to open it early. If, for some reason, the gift makes it till Christmas, I am desperately trying to wake my family up at 5am to get the party started! Over the last few years, my family and I have started a new Christmas eve tradition that involves a themed meal (we’ve done Mexican and Jamaican meals so far) and corresponding drinks in order to get me drunk enough to sleep past 7am! Next year when I’m home, I’ll be requesting a Vietnamese meal and rice wine (or maybe mojitos, seeing as that’s my drink of choice here)!

Christmas pjs at breakfast before Christmas morning on the beach

After the skype calls home (thank goodness for wifi and my skype iPhone app!) and opening presents, we got into our “swimming costumes” (as Laura the Scot calls them) and headed back to our spot on the beach. I spent my Christmas morning relaxing with my book…relaxing with a cool beverage…and relaxing with a $2.50usd full body massage on the beach. It was decided that if we couldn’t be at home for Christmas, Phu Quoc was definitely the place to be.

my view for most of the trip

Vietnam beer, Vietnam beach

beach massage

That afternoon, we decided to do something other than just relaxing. My fellow Canuck, Wendy, wanted to learn to drive a motorbike, and everyone agreed that Phu Quoc was the place to learn. Renting a motorbike for a short period of time in Phu Quoc is cheap and easy to do, and you don’t have to worry about the ridiculous traffic that exists in HCMC. So, after handing over $6usd per bike for 2 hours (no names, no signatures, no talk of what hotel room we were staying in), we were off – Laura and I on one bike (with Laura driving) and Wendy on another. I’m going to leave a gap in this story here, so that Wendy can have the honours of sharing her motorbike experience when she gets around to blogging. To quickly summarize, she’s earned the nickname “wipeout Wendy”. I’ll link her blog here when she posts it.

paying before driving off into the sunshine

Christmas day evening we decided have some fun and signed up for a night fishing/squid fishing adventure. To get on our fishing boat, we had to hop from one boat to the next, to the next, to the next, trying not to fall into the water below! Fishing was…interesting. Everyone on board caught at least one fish, except me! I had nibbles. I had fish steal my bait. I even had a fish get away with the bait and the hook! The guy that seemed to be running the fishing show tried to help me out by handing me his line after he had done the hard work of catching the fish – all I had to do was pull it in. Three times we did this, and three times the fish escaped! Thankfully they still let me eat the delicious fresh fish dinner on board the boat that night!

goodbye land

the one that didn't get away

My skype call home that night was pretty emotional – it was Christmas morning at home when I called, and lucky for them I was on a boat until 9pm meaning I couldn’t call and wait them up at 6am Ontario time! I miss my family so much on a “regular” day…not being with them on Christmas hurt that much more. I also decided that night that I will never miss another Christmas with my family again. No matter where I go in life or who I end up with, Christmas will always be spent with my family. Promise.

On our last day at Phu Quoc, Laura and I rented a jetski and zoomed around the Gulf of Thailand for an incredible 15 min! (A 15 min jetski rental cost $15usd, so we weren’t about to go over our time limit!) We were the only jetski out on the water at the time, surrounded only by fishing boats. I’m mildly terrified of the water (likely due to my sub-par swimming skills), so lifeguard Laura assured me that if I bounced off the back, she’d be in to save me in no time! (As you’ll see in the next few blog, this is a reoccurring promise from Laura!) And thanks to our amazing photographer on the beach, Wendy, and the crazy zoom on my camera, we have some great pictures to show for our 15 minute ride.

setting off!

zoom zoom!



hold on tight

And that about wraps up our Christmas trip to Phu Quoc Island…but Phu Quoc hasn’t seen the last of me! It was such a cheap and amazing weekend that I hope to return before my time in Vietnam comes to an end! We got home around 5pm on Boxing day, but there was no time for relaxing and looking through pictures…time for laundry, repacking and a few hours sleep before we left at 6am the next morning to get on our bus to Cambodia…!


beach beauty

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January 2011