Island Relaxation

Days 278-279

I arranged for a car to pick me up from my hotel and take me to the airport in Da Nang. The driver showed up early and had to wait for me for a few minutes. He angrily pointed at his watch, which I blew off since he was early. On the 45-minute drive, I was reminded of my cold during a coughing fit. 

I arrived at Vietjet Airlines to get checked-in. The baggage allowance is only 20 kilos (44 lbs) total for all checked bags, regardless of how many bags you have. I paid an extra $30 when I bought my ticket so that it included baggage. The carry-on allowance is only 7 kilos (15 lbs). They weighed my backpack and it was slightly over 7 kilos, so they made me check it as well. I had to pay an extra $30 in baggage fees. 

I had a layover in Ho Chi Minh City and once I arrived, I was told I needed to pick up my baggage and check-in. I explained to the manager that I was just there for a layover, but apparently, the hotel booked me on two separate itineraries. The manager told me, “too bad.” I had to get my bags and go check-in again, paying another $30 to get to Phu Quoc. I ate lunch and then it was time to board my plane. 

Once I boarded the airplane, a flight attendant told me that I couldn’t put my purse under the seat in front of me because I was in an exit row. I had to put it in the overhead bin. Then, I was told I couldn’t listen to music on my phone (even though it was in airplane mode) during takeoff or landing. The legroom was a joke and my legs were smashed into the seat in front of me. They don’t serve drinks (even water) unless you pay, and everyone I encountered at the airline was rude. They never smiled or apologized, and they had no concern for their customers. Vietjet was added to my list of airlines that I will never fly again (also on the list: Air Asia and Spirit Airlines). 

At the airport, I used the restroom and noticed a girl walk out after doing her business and not wash her hands. Then, another girl came out of the stall and just rinsed some water over her hands and left. No soap. I was getting more and more concerned about hygiene. 

I took a Grab to Phu Quoc Bambusa Resort. The driver struggled to find the location because it was a newly remodeled resort buried in the trees. Once I arrived, I was happy to have booked the resort on Orbitz! It looked like Hawaii with small huts and a building with other hotel rooms. The sidewalk was lined with beautiful landscaping. A man showed me to my hut, which had its own small porch. 

There was a canopy above my bed and a beach bag with a towel and flip flops were available. The bathroom was large but had a huge window that opened to the sidewalk. There wasn’t a way to close it and it was only covered by a screen. The hut was beautiful though and felt like a place people would go on a honeymoon. I found a good deal on Orbitz, likely because it was still a new resort. 

I wandered around the property and found a small patch of a putting green, an exercise room, a pool table, a restaurant, and a pool. Everything was outdoor/indoor and was only covered with a roof. It was just the sort of relaxing atmosphere that I was looking for. 

Around 4:30 pm, I put my swimsuit on and lounged at the pool. Several young couples were lounging on chairs as well. Everyone was on an electronic device, myself included. I ordered some food from the restaurant around 6:00 pm and had it delivered to my room. After almost two months of exploring Thailand and Vietnam, I needed some rest. I figured since my money went further in Vietnam, this was the place to splurge. 

I ate my food and watched some movies on TV. I messaged this guy from Tinder, Andreas from Austria, who I matched with in Thailand. We never met because we were going opposite ways. He was leaving Thailand and had time to kill at the airport, so we messaged for a few hours. Even though I didn’t know him in real life, it was nice to have someone to talk with. 

The next day, I ate the free breakfast buffet in the outdoor restaurant. The food was plentiful and delicious. I lounged around for a bit and then took the complimentary golf cart to the beach. The driver told me the last pickup time because if I missed it, I’d have to walk the mile back to the resort. 

The beach was almost completely empty. There were a few other hotels and a restaurant nearby, but this was definitely a secluded area. I found a couple of lounge chairs for rent. It cost $50,000 dong ($2.16 USD) for the day. I sat on the chair and stared at the beach while listening to my music. I daydreamed and gazed at the tree branches above me. 

At 3:30 pm, I walked over to a nearby outdoor restaurant. I ate some seafood noodles, but pulled the octopus and squid out because I couldn’t stomach those. I walked back to my chair and sat there for hours. It’s rare for me to sit for so long at the beach. I like beaches, but I tend to get bored easily. 

It felt wonderful to sit there and enjoy the sun, the breeze, and the ocean. I went into the water once, but kept a strict eye on my bag, afraid someone would run off with it. There was hardly anybody around, but I was still paranoid. 

I messaged Andreas some more while I watched the sunset over the ocean. I had the perfect view. The sun was directly across from me and I watched the changing reflection as it made its way down. 

I was afraid of missing the return golf cart, so I walked back to the spot where I was dropped off and arrived just in time. There was another couple there too. After putting my stuff down, I asked if I could be driven to the ATM because it was dark and too far to walk. The hotel had a driver take me through narrow, bumpy alleyways. We passed tiny communities of restaurants and locals hanging out. 

When I was back at the hotel, I ordered food from the restaurant and ate in my room again while watching a movie, Just Married. The chirping of the large frogs outside made it feel like I was in nature. The resort was so comfortable and upscale; I didn’t want to leave.

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Post Edited By: Mandy Strider

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Published by Christy

I quit my corporate job and sold my house in Los Angeles so I can travel and write. I grew up in St. Louis, MO and moved to the Los Angeles area after college. I worked in the business world for 15 years. Follow along to see pictures and hear stories of people I've met along my journey so far - driving to Alaska.

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