Thom Bai Travel Blog› entry 51 of 94 › view all entries
I rented the same motorbike as last week from Quyen at the Viet Thanh Resort and set out for the wider northern half of the island. Just outside of Duong Dong, the road turned to rough gravel and climbed gradually to skirt rugged jungle-covered hills. High winds from the north funneled through shallow wooded passes blowing dust and small rocks from occasional traffic. The Honda swayed and swerved with each gust.
I stopped a couple of times to look at strange erosion patterns near the northwest corner of the island. It looked like bared sandstone earth had been molded into miniature sand castles with millions of tall and tiny round towers; like mud splatters from a heavy rain that had solidified in mid-splash. A drainage ditch along the road had carved a deep gorge in a remarkably short distance and resembled a miniature Grand Canyon.
Shallow white-caps hammered the Bai Thom shore from the strong north winds. Palm trees swayed and their branches all pointed south. The winds seemed odd in the warm air and sunny skies. Several crude beachfront huts served food and cold drinks but all of their outdoor tables were vacant by the high winds. While kids played a game of marbles on hard-packed ground, one woman braved knee-deep waters to gather sand crabs or clams.
The Elephant Mountains of Cambodia loomed close, just across the waters at nine or ten miles. I could make out part of the hillside road leading up to Bokor Station, a road I had seen on the minivan ride from Sihanoukville to Kampot. If on higher ground, I would be able to see Kep and maybe Kampot. It became clear why Phu Quoc is claimed by both Vietnam and Cambodia, being much closer to the latter.