I have to swap accommodations today due to a ‘booking mishsp’. Uncle G is furious because, like me, he’s a planner and had this room booked for me well in advance. I don’t mind so much firstly cause I get to try out another place and secondly because this one has a bath! Besides, Darby Park is right next door to Sunshine.
But that doesn’t happen til later so the three of us take a 45 minute taxi ride out to Long Son for lunch. Only in Asia would you consider doing this because in Australia it would cost you probably $100. This trip costs about $40 AUD.
On arrival to Long Son Island, floating restaurants lay bobbing on the water just a quick boat ride from the dock.
Moon chooses Lang Be – she sure knows how to pick great places to eat and after negotiating our way over the planks to a table, she begins to plan the menu. The food is fantastic, yet again. I never usually eat so much seafood back home in Australia, because it is expensive. But here it seems as though there’s hardly a meal where seafood is not included.
It is quiet here at the moment, as we have arrived before the rush, but as we eat groups of people start arriving and the place fills up quickly. I could imagine spending a whole afternoon here with a group of friends, swinging away on one of the hammocks, beer in hand eating delicious seafood. Heaven.
Oyster farming is big business here with many families enjoying an increased standard of living thanks to the income earned. The oysters raised here are apparently much bigger than those from the sea. Once harvested, the oysters are sold to farms or to the floating restaurants on the Rang River, like the one we are dining in.
Long Son Island is a fairly untouched place and not on the usual tourist trail. I love places like this, places that you usually find only with the knowledge of locals.
Back in Vung Tau and settled into my new abode, I decide to head out to hunt for a glass of white wine down along the front beach. Gripping onto my bag and camera tightly, because EVERYONE has told me to be careful around here, I’m not sure where I’m heading, so I just keep walking until I find somewhere just right. That place is the Summer Wine Bar – perfectly named.
While I’m sipping my wine, which is not the best wine I’ve ever drunk, but still nowhere near as undrinkable as that ‘mystery wine’ in Lyon earlier in the year (trust me, if I find a glass of wine undrinkable, it must be bad), two cops pull up on a single bike and sit for a while. I wonder what they are doing, until I see an old lady struggle to her feet and lift a bamboo pole laden with wares to her shoulders. She’s been asked to move on. At least she doesn’t have to run when she sees them coming, as happens in Hanoi.
The breeze occasionally wafts in from the beach but otherwise its still really warm. My mind keeps drifting back to one thing – I can have a bath tonight.
The sun beats down on me as I walk along the foreshore. People are out enjoying the afternoon, fishing, walking, exercising, cyling or just chatting. Little sandcrabs scurry along the beach, the tide lapping after them and there are shells – real shells like I haven’t seen for years. It seems this is quite an idyllic spot.