Thursday, January 23, 2014

Traveling to Phu Quoc

Today was a travel day.

A day for multiple modes of transportation.
For standing.
And waiting.
For sitting.
And thinking.
For feeling lost.
And being okay with that.

We were up early this morning to catch a tuk-tuk for our van headed to Vietnam. We arrived where we thought we should be and then boogied to where we were supposed to be. Only to find that the van was a bit late by about an hour (“Just ten more minutes, miss…”).

And it’s interesting how everyone reacts to travel differently. Personally, I’ve found that patience and a sunny-attitude go a long way. However, the Chzeck and French couples waiting with us decided yelling and name-calling would be the best route.

So I made a special effort to ask nicely, “Are we in the right place? Do you know when the van should arrive? Oh, thank you. I know how hard it must be for you because you cannot control the bus drivers. This is not your fault. Thanks for all your help.” I heard a little scoff from the angry Frenchman pouting in his chair and walked away.

Either way, the van arrived. The 15-passenger van (a.k.a. Cambodian size passengers) was stuffed to the brim with 16 foreigners from all over the world. We got out of Phnom Penh and into the countryside. So much to see. So much to take in.

the small shacks
the people standing and watching
the emaciated cattle
the kids that make the street their playground
the grand palm trees dotting the horizon
border crossings
the ever-present horn-honking
the motos littering the road
and then, 

We had a four hour van ride and then a two hour ferry ride to get us to the island of Phu Quoc: new country, new language, new money. 

Another hour in a van led us to this little oasis called FreedomLand. This is the place I found on-line with the disclaimers about electricity and “friendly spiders.” It was certainly off the beaten-path but rated #1 on TripAdvisor. We quickly understood why.

At several points today, I thought, I'm tired and headachy and hungry. I hope this is all worth it. 

Isn't that why we put ourselves through this? Because it's not particularly fun to sit in a stuffy plane for 13 hours or bake on the side of the road at customs. But we do it anyway for the hope. 

The hope that at the the end of a long day of travel, there will be a splendid reward. 

And this is quite a reward.


Lindsey said...

This looks amazing!! Can't wait to see more... I hope it's a wonderful and relaxing time for you guys!

Ashley Barber said...

I'm so glad you found this place and knew you wouldn't be scared off my the same things other travelers somehow found off-putting!