Pearls, sinking ships and Vietnamese hotpot

It’s been a few days since our last update and a lot has happened. We left Phu Quoc Island and travelled to Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) via Can Tho, a lovely city on the Mekong Delta. We’ve taken a lot of photos that we want to share with you, so here are some of our Vietnam highlights so far.

Our last day on Phu Quoc island involved more motorbiking. One of the first places we passed was a pearl farm. We decided to stop in and have a look.

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We were offered a demo where an oyster was opened up using a knife to reveal a perfect shiny little pearl – I found this fascinating. However, shortly after the lady handed me the pearl to look at, I dropped it on the floor. Whoops.
Spot the pearl:

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Handle with care!

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After this (and maybe a quick purchase) we hopped back on the bike and continued our journey to a beach on the opposite coast of the island. On the way we passed through a few villages and stopped to take a few photos…

These guys were engrossed in a game of checkers (I think it was checkers, anyway):

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This little man waved to us from the window of his house, shouting hello:

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These kids were in between lessons at school, looking smart in their uniforms:

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Some fisherman were having a great time listening to music and chatting as they worked:

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Eventually we reached the famous Ban Sao beach and were instantly wowed by the gorgeous white sand and incredibly clear waters. It is a beaut!
Ban Sao beach:

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We stayed here for a few hours swimming and people watching. This beach is very popular with Vietnamese holidaymakers who were all making merry with draft beer and plenty of seafood.
Eventually though, we had to head home:

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That evening we decided to eat in the local night market. We’d heard mixed reviews, some people claiming it was purely set up for tourists and not authentic at all, others saying you got great value local seafood in a fun outdoor environment. We had a stroll around before choosing a place that was rammed with locals. People are very adventurous with their seafood here – everything is on offer from sea urchins to baby shark (not sure about that) to squid and everything in between. We decided to have a traditional hotpot where you are given a stock base to boil on top of hot coals, raw seafood, noodles and raw veg. You wait for the stock to boil before adding the raw seafood and vegetables which cook super fast. You then serve this out on top of the rice noodles before eating – YUM!
Our tasty hotpot:

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I also ordered a vodka and sprite, the liquid in the wine glass is JUST vodka – it blew my head off:

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After a great dinner we headed home as we had an early start to leave Phu Quoc the next day. We were picked up at 7am and taken to the most pimped up boat I have ever traveled on, I cannot believe this was called a ferry! It was awesome. So awesome I couldn’t resist a quick ‘I’m on a BOAT’ pose on the front deck…

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Jack relaxing in the plush lounge:

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Halfway through the 2 hour journey people started jumping up and running to the deck outside. We joined them wondering if they had come across some dolphins or other lovely sight only to realise everybody was staring at a sinking ship, with PEOPLE sat on top of it! We didn’t stop to help, I’m assuming (and hoping!) help was already on its way. Instead everybody took photos of the poor sods sat on top of their sinking fishing boat. They seemed very relaxed sat on plastic chairs as the boat got lower and lower. I really hope they are OK…
Abandon ship!

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That concluded our journey back to the mainland. Next we got the bus to Can Tho where we spent the next 24 hours – coming to you in a blog very soon.

Masses of love to you all!

Debs xxx

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