'Hold your fire, please...'
Phu Quoc Travel Blog› entry 116 of 126 › view all entries
The Phu Quoc tourist map showed three lighthouses. I had easily found two of them on previous visits but the one on the northwest corner of the island, at Ganh Dau, has proven difficult - and dangerous - to find. The jarring ride up there from Duong Dong was teeth-rattling on my rented Yamaha motorbike with bad shocks, like riding on the rims. After the second bridge at Cua Can, I turned right, inland, to see where the road led. It climbed a winding hill where I hoped to get a panoramic view of the island. The road passed a few pepper plantations then down into pristine tropical forest. It came out on a new road being cut through the Phu Quoc National Forest and I followed it north for several miles.
At Ganh Dau, I parked the Yamaha and walked along the rocky shore to try and get glimpse of the lighthouse, less than two kilometers away by the tourist map. The shore was mostly of small stone and pieces of broken white coral washed ashore. Giant rocks were eroded smooth. Any wet rock was slippery with a thin layer of moss. I went as far as I could without having to swim or climb steeply inland and never did catch sight of the light, so returned to Ganh Dau.
A narrow bush road through nicely shaded forest abruptly ended at a small yellow building which turned out to be a military outpost that overlooked nearby Cambodian waters. The commander, in civilian clothes, leapt to his feet, shouting at us in anger.
Back at Ganh Dau, we recapped, toasted, and laughed off the ordeal over iced coffee and lemonade.
We set out to the west and circled the tiny Ban Islet, about three miles offshore. The acre-size island looked like one of those you would expect some eccentric millionaire to own - paradise isle with white sand beaches, shade trees, and quiet isolation. We doubled back toward Phu Quoc, skirting the Cambodia border waters. As we motored past the Ganh Dau Cape, there was no sign of any lighthouse to be seen and we wondered if it even existed at all. Regardless, searching for it made for a great day of adventure.