For some reason I have found myself more scared of driving a moto (moped) than I thought I would be, this is probably because the first hotel that let me try gave me a heavy bike which could be manual and I dropped it when I tried a u-turn. Now I think I’m going to fall over whenever I stop. Luckily, however, my travel partner has embraced it and not yet fallen off even with me clinging on the back like a cat clings to your favourite jumper. It also halves the costs which is more important.
Phu Quoc is quite a big island about 40km in length and though some of the main roads have recently been tarmacked there are varying degrees of dirt road around the island. The thing which makes everything ten times harder is the lack of signposts… anywhere, and the completely out of scale maps. Because there are so many dirt roads you can convince yourself that the junction you took must be right, only to see that road turn into a village pathway with rickety wooden bridges and chicken blocking your way. It’s all part of the adventure of course.
We were intending to head from Duong Dong to the North West point where you can see Cambodia, and eventually this is what we did do. Before we managed to find the correct road here we went on a detour of about 40km, worried that we would run out of fuel in the middle of a uninhabited desert like area. After 15 minutes of awful terrain we found someone who could speak some English to ask where we were. Anyone else we met out there seemed a little unusual and seemed very confused even by the map when pointing to the sea for a simple direction all I received was a blank look, and a child stole my water so I had to shout at him.
After finding a rough idea on direction we basically headed back to exactly where we had come from. When we were on track the roads were quite decent quality (smooth) but covered in red dust, which later covered my hotel towel. The coastal road was really nice and a good journey, it is only a matter of time before the entire coast is filled with resorts and the island feeling will be lost.
Phu Quoc seems to be changing rapidly and I believe if I were to visit again in 5 years it would barely be recognisable.