Leaving Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam was an experience. Either we were flying or taking a boat. Not wanting to back track to Ho Chi Minh City, we had decided to take the “Superdong.” Yes, you read that correctly. The Superdong is a speedboat that connects Phu Quoc and Ha Tien. The boat leaves a few times a day and takes about an hour and a half. Our tickets were 230,000D, which is roughly $10.90USD.
It was pouring down in Phu Quoc, so we quickly entered the ship. Jen hit her head pretty hard. Once again, things in Asia are not made for her height. We were assigned seats in the front cabin. The layout is basically like an airplane, but it’s a big boat.
Jen hit her head again when sitting down. It continued to rain for most of the boat ride, having only cleared up minutes before we landed in Ha Tien.
As usual, we had no idea what to expect upon disembarking from the Superdong. (File that last sentence under “Things I’d never thought I’d write”) There were cabs waiting, but apparently people had secured those beforehand. So we were left with one option: Motorbike. A few of these guys were milling around, asking incessantly if we needed a ride because it was about 4km to the center of Ha Tien (basically across the river). We haggled a little bit and got two motorbikes to take us to our hotel, Hai Phuong Hotel. We booked two nights, one night too many, but it was nice to relax a little. The hotel had *AMAZING* internet so we caught up on some episodes of Dexter and caught the end of the Tigers/A’s game. Amazing to see that live on TV in southern Vietnam. There really wasn’t much to the town. We did a little wandering.
(We saw these anchors on the street, Ha Tien is a small port town. And as in all of Vietnam, people use the sidewalks as their personal space)
(This is how all power lines look in Vietnam. Totally safe right?)
So we kept a low profile as it was raining quite a bit. Had lunch both days at a Western style bar owned by an Englishman, called The Oasis Bar. The owner was out, so his friend was running the joint. Guy seemed to remember nothing and just drinking a lot. Oh well.
We were looking into the border crossing to Cambodia from Ha Tien. Having not yet done an overland border crossing, we were both a bit nervous. I wanted to just do it ourselves, but Jen was apprehensive of being robbed and/or stranded somewhere. So we ended up booking through the travel place in The Oasis Bar. Now looking back at it, we paid too much, but everything went well, so it was ok. $25pp for the 30 day Cambodian Visa and $15pp for transit to Kampot, Cambodia. We just took a mini van with a/c to Sihanoukville (120km away) for $6pp from Kampot, so I know that the $15 we each paid to get to Kampot was a rip. Oh well. As we keep saying,”Hindsight is 20/20!” (meh meh meh).
The border crossing itself was pretty easy. Aside from being at the will of the driver. We drove to the crossing. Had to get out of the van with our pre-visa’d passport (they do this ahead of time, I guess that is the extra $5 you are paying over the actual visa price.) You walk through to the Vietnam agent, get stamped out of Vietnam, walk through to the Cambodian side, get stamped in. Then they make you go to a health checkup point which is crap. They guy checks your passport, takes your temperature (which I’m not really sure even is taken), then tries to “sell” you a $1 sheet to say you have been checked out and has a number you can all if you are in trouble. I had read about this online, so I grabbed our passports and we were out of there.
After that we were on our way to Kampot, or so we thought. After clearing the border passing, we stopped at a few of the stands along the road. The driver was picking up extra passengers, making a quick buck. We were delayed with that for 30 minutes. But after that, we were finally on the road to Kampot. Lots of potholes and unpaved parts, but we were finally in Cambodia.