It’s my son’s big overseas experience. He stops off at Vietnam on his way from New Zealand to London, where a job awaits him. He is buoyed up by the prospect of life overseas, and raring to go, has but one problem. He is weighted down by far too much baggage. I’ve told him time and time again that travelling light is the only way to go, but then whoever listens to the advice of their oldies?
I find there’s plenty to keep a person occupied in Vung Tau, but then not every expat would agree with me. I mean it’s all subjective, innit? One man’s Shangri-La is another man’s Dullsville. Here’s a little parable that illustrates this point.
La Veranda smells like lemongrass. It feels like the home of French aristocrats in 19th-century Vietnam. Fitting, as this Accor-managed, four-star resort on a private strip of Phu Quoc’s Duong Dung Beach was built 12 years ago by a French-Indochine family with four generations of history in Southeast Asia. The resort’s 70 rooms face west onto the Gulf of Thailand, which translates into idyllic tropical sunsets.
Somewhere off Phu Quoc is a privately owned island that, if you’re lucky enough, might just be open for a visit. Jesse Meadows discovered that despite the growing debris in the surrounding seas, here the water remains crystal clear. Photos by Trung Del