Back on the motorbikes again heading back to Long Beach to catch up on our sleep after the night time chorus of howling dogs at Bai Sao. Our first choice place to stay was a guesthouse called Nhat Lan but when we got there the same room we had been promised at $15 a night had suddenly jumped to $20. So that was ruled out straight away. As it turned out the guy had done us a huge favour in trying to rip us off, as we found a wonderful place called Thanh Hai which is slightly set back from the beach and is much prettier than Nhat Lan. Our bungalow was huge and we had hammocks on our balcony which we made full use of over the next few days. We had a choice of restaurants on the complex to choose from, one a French style bistro and the other a traditional Vietnamese home run place which was generally half the price of the French place and better food.
We quickly settled into quite a routine. We were up around 8:.30 for our breakfast of banana pancakes or huge plates of fruit with our strong Vietnamese coffee, followed by some relaxing with our books in the hammocks before our morning swim which usually lasted about an hour as the water is so lovely you just can’t get out. We usually spent a couple of hours before lunch chilling out in the hammocks again although Adam spent about an hour a day helping a local guy we got friendly with, improve his english. It’s the first work Adam has had to do since last September so it took quite a toll and meant that after our luch some hardcore relaxing in the hammock was required. We took an afternoon dip in the sea around four o’clock but usually just floated around as actually swimming was far too strenous.
Duc (Adam’s new best mate) was ultra grateful for the lessons and kept us well supplied with local fruits as a thank you which went down really well, especially after our afternoon showers, which was cocktail and games time. We actually invented our own cocktail, or as we christened it, the Phu Quoctail. take two shots of local rum, add one slice of local orange, two squeezed red grapes, two unsqueezed red grapes, two slices of yellow mango and top with coke or diet coke to your preference, hmmm delicious. Several of those later and lots of backgammon, crib and dominoes later, we were just about ready for dinner which was usually either at the restaurant in Nhat Lan (which had some very good veggie options) or at our little Vietnamese restaurant. Always tasty and given our hectic schedule we needed to keep up our calorie intakes.
We loved it so much we decided to stay until the 30th January and by the time we left it had come to feel like home so we’re actually really sad to leave.