Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 18 - Phu Quoc to HCMC to Nha Trang

Apparently small airports don't run 24 hours a day like major international ones. I found that out when I woke up and headed to the airport at 5:45am to catch my 7:40am flight back to HCMC. When I arrived, the airport was deserted. The taxi driver told me it opened at 6am. It was so foreign for me to see someone open the sliding doors, turn on the monitors, and set up the security scanners, since I'm so used to seeing the hustle and bustle of a large airport, filled with people going to different destinations.

The flight took a quick 30 minutes, and upon arrival, I headed straight to the nearest air-conditioned place, which happened to be the airport restaurant. Today was the first day I would not be able to shower, so I did NOT want to be sweating outside at all. I did not book a hotel room today since I had a sleeper bus scheduled at 8PM headed towards Nha Trang. We would arrive at around 7AM the following day.

I spent the next 3 hours at the airport restaurant just using the internet before my friend picked me up on his motorbike and we had lunch at the mall across the street. I ended up roaming around the mall afterwards and decided to watch Kung Fu Panda 2, where the theatre was filled with Vietnamese youth. The movie was not dubbed in Vietnamese, but instead had subtitles. I wondered if the Vietnamese would get the "Jack Black" humor of the movie, or if it would get lost in translation. For the most part, I think everyone got most of the jokes. It could possibly be because it was an animated film, which I think is easier to watch universally.

My friend picked me up after work and we had dinner at a dim sum restaurant. The dim sum was not nearly as good as anything you could find in China or in the hundreds of Chinatowns in the U.S. and the portions were smaller.

My friend dropped me off at the bus station, where I took the shittiest ride of the entire trip! The advertisements for these sleeper buses looked better than reality. The buses were older, and the beds dirtier. Each bus had 2 stories of beds, and a total of 40 beds. I was unlucky in getting a bed in the back and top. You were more prone to feel every pothole if you slept on any of the top beds, and there were 5 beds, side by side in the back, so I got stuck sleeping between two obnoxious French dudes, who for some reason felt it necessary to talk loudly whenever they felt like it throughout the 10 hour bus ride and comment on everything they saw outside the window. Their feet reeked, but so did my it was just a bad situation for all of us. Good thing I had my headphones on, but I don't know if I'm going to continue with these buses. I have two more tickets for overnight buses heading to Hoi An, and Hanoi. I might just opt to take a sleeper train, or fly there...


Empty airport in Phu Quoc

My ride back to HCMC

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