Every few days when swimming in the sea on Long Beach we had a rather unpleasant experience. It feels as though you are swimming in water full of small glass filings! The mystery was solved when I noticed something in one of the guidebooks about some little stinging creatures / fish that are present in the sea and I think they are more active when the fishermen have been in that area in the morning.
Most of the time it was ok, but i must say it made me glad of the pool facility at the Tropicana!
HEADS UP...DIRT ROADS...
If you're planning to rent a motorbike this is just a heads up...that most of the roads that you'll encounter when you leave the cities are DIRT ...and some aren't even that..We ended up on SOME bridges way out in the boonies that were not much more than worn wooden relics,some with holes that we needed to maneuver around...EXERCISE CAUTION when you're on these roads..and bridges..
ALWAYS make sure you take the helmet that they offer to you when you rent a motorbike..
After you've driven these roads for a while you'll understand why the local people are wearing masks over they're nose and face.
We rented bikes one day and booted around to the North end of the island and all went well...until the end of the day...we were wrapping it all up and in Duong Dong going to investigate the Market again when I made a U-Turn and the back end of my bike slid out from underneath me...sand on the pavement I think....anyhow I became the streets entertainment for a few minutes as I picked up the bike and struggled to get it shut down.Cut and bleeding from a few scrapes I sat down in some shade to get myself together when a young girl appeared with a saline solution in a bottle and gauze to clean up the cuts and scrapes..The wounds were so dirty that I'm happy she made her kind gesture helping me...who knows what would have found its way into those open wounds..anyhow...just be careful if you're renting a motorbike..the roads are dirt...and the pavement covered with sand in lots of places...
In the 3rd photo....if you can see the road that approaches the bridge...look closely..
Photos 2 and 4 taken by Kevin C. of Vancouver Canada.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Strange Stingers in Ocean
This is not really a major problem - may be more of a heads up kind of thing. When swimming in the ocean - sometimes you get the strange feeling of being stung. There was some kind of small stinger - but this never caused a problem at all and left no welts. It did not always happen - maybe it depended on the tides.
- Gay and Lesbian
We found this out the hard way....we were using travelers checques....we had ATM cards so it wouldn't have been the end of the World had we needed to use them however there is only ONE BANK in Duong Dong that is OPEN on Saturdays..and there are plenty of ATMS around.
We had planned to get cash together on Friday to clear up our hotel bill on check out on the upcoming Monday morning...we got side tracked somehow and we never made it to town to do this.Saturday morning then we ended up looking for a bank that was open that would process travelers checques..
SACOMBANK is the ONLY bank open on Saturdays...and it was a busy spot...we parked on the side of the road in front of the bank...and while we were indoors dealing with the process we noticed that one of the bank guards had moved our bike into the mix of other bikes parked there...as we had brought our helmets into the bank with us we all of a sudden realized that we had NO CLUE what bike was ours...when we finished our banking we came out of the bank and the guard easily directed us to OUR motorbike...
ANYHOW...this is the ONLY bank open o Saturdays...HEADS UP!!!
Chi Nhanh Street, Duong Dong,Phu Quoc.
- Diving and Snorkeling
GAS UP WHEN YOU HAVE A CHANCE...
When we were touring with motorbikes...gas stations were almost NON-EXISTENT.....I only saw ONE...in the city of Duong Dong...
About mid afternoon we passed a roadside stand that was selling gasoline in small plastic containers...I noticed that my tank was a less than half filled...so I backtracked and had the guy throw a couple of liters in the tank...JUST to be SURE!!!
DON'T hesitate.....if you think you're tank is low...and you pass a stand like this...STOP and buy gas to get you back to Duong Dong...
I don't remember what the cost per bottle was but it really DOESN'T matter...you don't have ANY CHOICE but to buy!!!
Photos taken by Kevin C. of Vancouver Canada.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Phu Quoc to Phnom Penh bus scam!
Be aware of the Ha Tien to Phnom Penh scam! In Phu Quoc, agencies advertise a tourist bus service that takes you from Ha Tien to Phonm Penh for US18 (in fact, U$19, give their exchange rate). I was promised no walking, no waiting, and a big bus. As it happens they left us waiting a long time in the border and then put us all in a public van that stopped all the time to fit more and more locals to improbable spaces. Not to mention the driver was very careless. US18 for a 4 hour crowded public van seems like a daylight robbery to me! A scam!
The bus company is:
Ha Tien Tourism
No 1 Phuong Thanh st
Tel: 077 3 959 598
Fax: 077 3 959 599
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Garbage situation on the beaches and sea - not bad
A lot of people warn about trash washing up on the beaches and in the sea. I am pleased to say that in January 2014 I didn't see much of this. It certainly was not of an amount that I found concerning. By that I mean yes once per swim in the ocean I'd see a plastic bag or two, but that was it. At the Sao beach I saw a small glass bottle bobbing in the water (I actually grabbed it thinking maybe it was a message in a bottle, but *sigh* it was not). Based on what some people say, I was expecting to see copious amounts of trash washed up on the shore. I never experienced that. You will see rubbish piled up around trees and other areas - this is from humans on the shore, not stuff washing in from sea. That said, I would suspect that perhaps the rubbish washing ashore is due to the tides and rainfall. There was no rain in late January 2014 so perhaps that's why there was almost no rubbish? I suspect during the monsoon season the situation could be different.