Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Phan Thiet February 5-8

We decided to become more adventurous(for us), if that was possible. We took a bus to Phan Thiet from Ho Chi Minh City. We had hoped to get a sleeper bus but because of the holidays the sleeper buses were full. We bought a regular bus ticket for 8am. We were there at least a half hour early. The bus was full. ..... we had a 2 1/2 hr wait until the next one for a four hour ride.  The bus was comfortable, reasonably clean - but no bathroom. We stopped at a rest stop and the driver said 5min break. We found the bathrooms and they stunk and were disgusting but they did have flush toilets☺.

We arrived at Phan Thiet and asked where a place to eat would be - we were directed to KFC. We walked around the community and found many shops were closed for the pending holidays. We eventually found a place and had a meal for 20,000vtd about $2.00cnd. We got rice, salad, BBQ pork chop (we hope it was pork) and a small bowl of soup. A taxi took us to our hotel.

Our hotel was a treat. Very beautiful rooms, pool and grounds. I think the price was $45 including a breakfast.  The breakfast had a huge selection and omelets to order. The sunrises were worth getting up early. Villa del Sol Hotel and Spa.

Our first day we stayed at the hotel and had a couple walks up and down the beach and road. We enjoyed the pool and played pool in the evening.  It was quite obvious that none of us had played pool for years. The hotel staff tried to give us pointers given our ability indicated we needed help.

Our second day we rented scooters. A little more formal process than we experienced in HoiAn. This time he asked our names, where we were staying and gave us a receipt - in HoiAn we handed over money: they handed over keys.

Very quickly after we got into town we were separated - at times the traffic was 7 lanes of motorbikes going each way, jostling for a quick position, constantly shifting around. It appears I drove by kurtis and Sharon when they stopped, but they didn't see me either. Kurtis walked back two blocks looking for me with no luck. So they continued on. Meanwhile I stopped at the side of the road, wondering if they had turned or were still ahead of me. They then drove past me without me seeing them. Out of frustration I drove into a gas station to decide what to do - and there was kurtis and Sharon - deciding what to do.  We didn't loose site of each other after that.

Our motorbike trip down a costal road was pleasant and interesting  (after we got out of the crazy city traffic). We went to the red sand dunes and Fairy Springs. We stop in MoiNe for a seafood lunch of scallops.

This area of Vietnam has three sets of large sand dune areas (and smaller ones) that are tourist attractions.  Red, white and yellow sands. We only had time to go to the red dunes. While we were there, a group of people brought sliding mats and tobogganed down the dunes. The hiking up the sand was difficult but at the top it was a beautiful view.

We then stopped at Fairy Spring. This was a short walk,  .02km. But as the walk was through water it felt longer. The sand erosion in the cliffs around the stream created interesting scenic views, with a mixture ofthe different coloured sands. Generally the water was about ankle deep, but one area reached knee deep and a bit more. At the end of the walking area is a small waterfall. There is a natural way to climb to the top beside the waterfall but nearby there was a ladder to climb. We chose the ladder. We followed a trail above the stream for awhile then it lead us back into the water.

Our trip back to the hotel was much easier. We never lost each other and did not go through the really heavy area of traffic.

We ate at the same location we rented the bikes and had the best meal in this area. I highly recommend the Tõn Restaurant. Across the road from Villa de Sol . Mr Khoa also provided taxi service as well as motorbike rentals.

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