Phu Quoc, Vietnam

We spent the second part of our holiday in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. We flew in from Singapore with a connecting flight in Kuala Lumpur. The beach in the area of Long beach is beautiful and all the locals were super friendly. We were there at the beginning of December which is high season, but it was not too busy while we were there. It gets busier towards the holiday season. If you don’t speak or understand Vietnamese, it is handy to use google translate.

How we moved around:

Renting a scooter is the cheapest way of transportation on the island. We paid about €8 per day. The longer you rent one, the more you can negotiate the price. Gas is also pretty cheap. There are some gas stations in Phu Quoc town, but you can also buy it in front of some shops. You can tell if you see plastic bottles with a yellowish liquid at the front of the shop. 

Where we stayed:

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

We booked the Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach resort. The resort is quite new, it opened in 2018. The resort is beautiful. The beach was clean, the water was clear with hardly any waves. It was basically a salt water pool and I loved it. The resort has 2 big pools and a kid’s pool which is, I have to say very smartly hidden from the main two pools. You can’t drink the tap water in Vietnam but the resort does provide you with complementary water bottles in the room, and you can always request more. The breakfast buffet had a large variety of options, from local cuisine, to Korean, Chinese and Japanese dishes. The resort also has a nice rooftop bar which is very popular for watching the sunset. We also ordered room service, had lunch at the beach restaurant, and ordered food & drinks from the pool bar. For a luxury resort the food we tried was pretty average. The resort is about a 20-minute ride from Phu Quoc town. Riding the scooter in the evening from and to Phu Quoc town was a bit chilly since a part of the road by surrounded by a forest, so we had to wear a light jacket. 

Where we ate:

The language barrier made it a bit difficult for us to find proper Vietnamese food. We tried some restaurants that were recommended on English websites but they were nothing worth mentioning. The only restaurant we loved was Nhà Xua 68. It specializes in hot pots. The place was full of locals which was already a good sign. The menu has an English translation which is not the most accurate. They had Dutch hot pot which when we asked what it was, we found out that they actually meant duck and not Dutch. We ordered the sour squid hot pot which ended up being baby octopus. Never mind being lost in translation, the food was great and so was the service. The restaurant does have Wi-Fi, so you can use google translate. We had a great meal with fish, vegetables, the hot pot and 2 drinks for €12. We came back here on our last night. We have to thank the owner of Banh Mi Lam for this recommendation.

Banh Mi Lam is a Banh Mi food truck by the side of the road. It is only open in the evenings. He also sells them with omelet if you want to skip the meat. And he serves them in a paper bag. We paid about €0.7 per sandwich. We also came back here twice. He has a few tables where you can sit down. He doesn’t sell drinks though. 

We discovered Fresh Bar PQ about half way our stay and we came back every night afterwards. It is a smoothie truck which only opens in the evening. The average price per smoothie was about €1.20, same price as the night market but with more sustainable packaging. The owner serves them in paper cups and he actually asks you if you would like a straw to avoid waste. And if you do, they are also paper straws. You also get a discount on your drink if you bring your own cup/bottle. The owner is super nice. He taught me a few words in Vietnamese. 

How we relaxed:

Besides reading by the pool or beach, there are many massage parlors in Phu Quoc town. An hour massage will set you back around €10. I loved getting one-hour foot massages. And the shops usually have Wi-Fi. 

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InterContinental Samui Resort

Pieter and I went to Thailand last month and we stayed at the Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort in Koh Samui. This resort was included in the “1,000 Places to see before you die book”. So we knew we were in for a treat. The resort is situated among different levels of a cliff, so you can choose to move by golf car (you just have to make a call and they will pick you up) or you can be sporty and use the stairs. The stairs are nice because everything around you is green and they also have a hanging bridge.

We stayed at one of their Club beachfront Pool Villas which was incredible. Each villa has private garden and pool with sea view, as the name describes. The bathroom had a Jacuzzi and two showers (one outdoors).

The bed was very comfortable (100% Egyptian cotton sheets). Because of our jetlag, afternoon naps were mandatory. The WiFi was very good throughout the resort. I was quite surprised that I was able to do a Live Instagram story from the pier. I didn’t think I would have internet that far away but I did.

The resort is located on the west coast of the island and their Air Bar is a famous spot to view the sunset. We had some cocktails there, eagerly waiting for the sunset but unfortunately we were unlucky with the weather, as we got rain around that time on both days. But luckily the rain didn’t last very long.

The breakfast at Amber was great. It had a very large variety of dishes to choose from. From classic breakfast items, like pancakes, waffles and cereals.  To a noodle bar where you could choose your kind of noodle plus toppings. And they also served dumplings, curry, fresh fruit and juices. They had me at noodles and dumplings.

We also had dinner in the same restaurant because that night, they had World of Siam. A buffet-styled Thai dinner. We both loved it. We had the coconut soup. There was a make your own green papaya salad bar, so of course I had to make one. If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I was eating green papaya salad twice a day throughout our whole trip. They also served different kind of stir-fries, seafood and of course, a large selection of Thai desserts. I loved the fried banana and sticky rice with mango.

On our last day we got a couple’s massage at their Baan Thai Spa. Our masseuses were superb. They really went hard on us, on request. We were very hectic prior to this trip, so we were very happy to have someone work on all the stress accumulated in our shoulders.

One of the things that drew me to this hotel was their main infinity pool, located next to their bar.

Because from one side you overlook a coconut plantation and from the other, you overlook the sea. So beautiful and romantic! They also have another infinity pool next to the beach and 5 other ones along the cliff-side. The ones cliff-side have different colors (yellow, orange, blue, red and purple), which represent the different palette of colors of the sky during the day and night.

Overall we had a great experience. The service was outstanding and the location was dreamy.

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