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A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

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VIETNAM by KRISS on 05 february 2017

So we confirmed for a private boat tomorrow at hotel’s reception and we’ll be leaving in the morning 8.30 about half an hour drive to then take a boat at 9.
Wait, we are tomorrow and it’s 8 o’clock to I am going to reception and ask if everything’s good.
The receptionist looks at me confused and tells me I haven’t confirmed anything.
I tell her I did confirm but to someone else yesterday afternoon and well, the message hasn’t been passed on or else but it doesn’t matter because the young lady quickly takes matter in her hands and finds us another boat in minutes.

We are very excited and finally off to the small town of An Thoi.
I am happy because we get the same taxi driver as yesterday who besides the language barrier is very cool.
We use his phone and google translate to communicate and it works fine.
On the way to the harbour he explains to me he’s never been on a boat before and asks if he can join instead of waiting in his taxi.

I wouldn’t have thought he was going to wait in his taxi and I tell him of course yes ! An Thoi feels very different from Duong Dong and there is no tourism here.
It’s a fishing town and I’m loving it.
It feels like home, yet so far away.
We park and join the crew of 2 men aboard a fishing boat.
I think it’s used as tour boat now more often but for about $100 we get the crew and the boat for the next 8 hours to take us where we want.
This is seriously good and we appreciate this boat ride a lot.

Passing the first few islands which are very close from each other, Nam shows and explains the towers which are being built for the future sling that will take eggs from one island to another.
I am glad all this is not in place yet and we get to enjoy a piece of paradise which has not yet been too much spoiled.
Or so it seems.

We make a first stop and the crew hands us fishing line and we start fishing.
Count with me : 1, 2, 3, a fish, 1, 2, 3, a fish ! This is unbelievable, there are still plenty of fish and I have faith in discovering beautiful corrals later on.
Once our lunch fished I ask the crew to take us some place with corrals and they do.
We stop by an island just south of the last island with the sling.
We’re maybe 30 minutes or an hour away from Phu Quoc now and the scenery is breath taking.
There is a small village on a nice stretch of beach.
Some people here leave on their boats or on floating houses.

Kate and I look at the beach in front of us and we agree we could well settle in a place like that !

We don’t know what’s the risk of encounter with irukandji are (box jellyfish) so we put on our stinger suits and jump in the water.
It’s not as warm as I had expected and not as clear.
The old man on long beach did say the truth, I have more visibility but this is not the ideal place for what I want to do.
I swim to boat and take a split, join Kate and Rose and take a few more.
There are a few fishes and a few crabs but the coral is mostly dead.

We swim back to the boat and agree this is not yet what we are after but getting there.

I show my mermaids to the crew again and ask them to sail further south.
They don’t seem too happy about it but they agree.
This feels really nice, we pass several small islands and suddenly reach a white stretch of sand with turquoise waters.
There are a few people on the beach who came on other boats but I can’t say it is crowded.
Their music is playing loud though and we jump in the water reach the shore.
This time I ask Nam to join and he reluctantly accepts.
He jumps in the water and I can see he’s not comfortable at all.
He’s probably never used goggles and a snorkel before and he’s struggling with it.
I try to help him but after a few minutes he goes back on the boat to start cooking dinner with the crew.

I arrive on the shore and realise I locked my camera in the housing without switching it on.
I haven’t taken a single shot so far.
I ask the loud group of Russians for a towel, dry the housing, open it, switch the camera on, close the housing again while talking to the group.
By chance I doubled checked and I had only closed 3 out of the 4 locks because I was distracted.

I ask the young folks if their girls would be interested in doing the mermaids and they agree.
They unfortunately aren’t comfortable enough and I won’t shoot anything great !

Besides the shore is very sandy and the water get murky very easily.
I haven’t got the visibility I had hoped for but it doesn’t matter I am hungry and I go explore a few rocks before swimming back to the boat.
There, I can spot bigger fishes but most of the corral is dead and my rice and grilled fishes are waiting for me !

We all enjoy a delicious meal of sticky rice with nuoc mam and fish.
Also the bigger fishes have been cooked in a casserole with lots of lemongrass and it’s heaven.
Only, I have never eaten so many fishes for lunch in my life and it’s out of the question leaving anything to waste.
I maybe ate 7 fishes and 3 bowls of sticky rice !

After a little rest, I jump from the boat and Nam looks at me with amazement.
He asks me how I do that and so I show him.
He tried and flat himself a few times before partly succeeding but I can see he’s having lots of fun and I am happy to share this moment with this friend I can barely communicate with.

A few selfies with Rose later (everyone in Asia seemed to want a selfie with my daughter), we go back to Phu Quoc and damn, this was one amazing day !

#uwphotography #phuquoc #vietnam

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

A TRIP TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS

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