Monday, 19 May 2014

Phu Quoc by Motorbike: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

After leaving Sao Beach, we decided to ride all the way to the northern tip of the island. The journey would take several hours including the stops we made along the way.
Here are some of those construction works I mentioned. This made parts of the journey especially bumpy and dusty. The worst part was when a truck would speed past us, kicking up clouds of dirt that made us choke.
Ah...back on paved road with glorious green scenery around us.
We stopped off at Tranh Stream for about an hour and went on foot.
On the way up to the stream we met this lady with a cute baby monkey.

Walking up to the stream.
After a ten-minute climb in the heat, we were all very sweaty, so this waterfall made for a cool, refreshing swim.
After cooling down in the pool, we returned to our bikes and continued the journey north.

Perhaps the craziest part of the ride was when we passed through the heart of Duong Dong Town and experienced up close some of the chaotic, heavy traffic that Vietnam is famous for. Though nowhere near as bad as in Ho Chi Minh City (one place where I wouldn't dare ride a bike), the complete anarchy that exists on the roads here took some getting used to.
At one point we had to ride through a sandy marketplace.
The locals navigated this narrow market lane like it was no big thing, weaving between vendors and merchandise with no fear of crashing or causing injury. All we could do was follow their lead and hope for the best.
Entering a quieter area just north of the town.
Angela, who acted as photographer while I drove the bike, got this great shot that looks like something out of Apocalypse Now.
At one point we got lost and these little kids came running alongside our bikes, showing us the right direction.
Once they took us back to the main road, without hesitation they started yelling, "Give me yo money! Give me yo money!" over and over again. They were so aggressive with their demands - putting their hands near our wallets, jumping in front of our bikes - that we felt like we were being robbed by tiny street children, so we quickly soared away without paying them anything. One of those moments where you wonder if it was the right decision, but in the heat of the moment it didn't feel right to pay up.
Back on the main road, some afternoon showers cooled us down again.

The roads became very quiet as we approached the north end of the island.

Finally, we arrived at Gan Dau on the extreme northern tip of the island. In the distance we could see the coastline of Cambodia, where we'd been biking a few days ago.

After admiring the pretty sunset, we hopped back on our bikes and made the long ride south. Though we didn't get any pictures, the return journey also had its own share of crazy moments. At one point, as we passed through Duong Dong Town again, we got lost on a side-road and ended up at an abandoned airport, speeding along a runway in the dark until we found our way back into the main town. Fun, exciting stuff!

The next day, we said goodbye to the friends we had made on Phu Quoc and took the ferry to mainland Vietnam. Thankfully, we would see some of them again at Ho Chi Minh City, our next destination.

No comments:

Post a Comment