Phu Quoc – COCO Valley Final Goodbye

On my last few days at CoCo Valley Garden Hotel, Ms. Thao, Ms. Pooh, and Mr. Tien gave me one hell of a great goodbye.

It started off with us going for a drive up North on the Island, and then having lunch on a floating restaurant.

Then a few days later, which I think was my second last day.  Thao took me for a drink at a roof top patio, where you could see the entire city, and even our hotel.

She is trying to cover her face because she says she is not ready for pictures. So I will post the bad ones ūüôā

The next evening, Mr. Tien says, “Go get the wine!” ¬†and then he takes me to his other hotel for dinner, drinks, and singing. ¬†Where he sang to me, a goodbye song. ¬†The dutch guy who came with us, said he was almost in tears and was missing me, not even knowing me. ¬†Haha. ¬†Was really cool though.

What an evening that was.  Another great night I will never forget.

The next morning, I am awake at 7 am to server breakfast and am almost looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. ¬†However, I don’t want to leave, but my Visa says I must.

After breakfast, Pooh tells me she made me an Omelet and I must eat.  This is what I see.

What a sweet girl. I am going to miss annoying her ūüôā

I don’t need to leave until 4 PM, but it is 1 PM and Thao is telling me I have 5 minutes to get ready. ¬†So I do and meet her, Pooh, and Mr. Tien at his truck.

We head down to Sao beach where Thao tells me she really wanted to take me here, but she was sick the one day.  So, I must see it before my plane.

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After the beach we had one final stop.  A temple up on the hill.

Now onto the airport, where we say goodbye.

As I am saying goodbye and giving everyone hugs, Ms. Thao pulls out a bill, a rather large bill.  She says, this is for your plane to come back.  I tried to not accept it, but I know it is rude to say no.  So accept and will be using 100% of that money to come back and see my new friends.

Goodbye Everyone, and Thank You for an amazing experience.

Phu Quoc – COCO Valley The Highlights

I think in total I spend 22 days volunteering at COCOC Valley Garden Hotel in Phu Quoc Island and those 22 days were pretty amazing. ¬†Filled with laughs, amazing people, and a tone of great food. ¬†I can’t go into daily details, so I am going to tell a few highlights.

From 7 until 10 in the morning I worked the breakfast bar.  I would take peoples orders, help deliver the food, clean up after guest were finished, and made the drinks.  With great surprise, I only messed up a few drinks.

I loved doing the bar, because it gave me the chance to meet all the guest and hear about their lives and holiday.

I can’t even recall every person I met, but here are some of the ones I won’t forget.

Ines from Germany, and two cool dutch guys who got suckered into helping me in the kitchen ūüôā doing clean up. ¬†See me earning my living!

Two really cool Spanish girls, who made a Spanish Pancake for us.  Both way to pretty, I had a hard time not flirting with them

Swedish girls living in Aussie

Another really cool dutch guy who is studying in China. ¬†He was extremely smart, and the girls nicknamed him, “Handsome Guy”. ¬†So that is what I called him all day.

Tones of French people and this nice guy, I suckered into helping me BBQ.  His wife had the prettiest blue eyes.

And these two cool dudes! I can’t recall where they were from, but they were a lot more rad than me

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of everyone, but here are some other amazing people I met.

2 Crazy German girls, who ended up also being friends with 2 CRAZY Dutch girls. ¬†We all partied one night, and I won’t forget that night. ¬†I am too old to see young girls swimming in their¬†birthday suites, right Ranja!

Also a family from Sweden who I named, the Mensa Family.  The lady had passed the Mensa test twice at a very high percentage.  Friggn crazy!

A really cool young couple from Estonia, that asked me not to leave many times on my last day.  I hope to one day visit Kira and Alex with his nice hair someday.

Mr. Tien’s friends, who I ate and drank with way to many times. ¬†

OK, so there are many, many more, from all over the world, include the funny as hell UK couples, more German’s and I don’t recall. ¬†Anyways, all of them made my working day perfect.

Then there are the staff!

Lets start with Mr. Tien, who is the owner, and is now nicknamed, Master Chief. How did he get that name.  Well, according to Thao, she has known him for 5 years and has never seen him cook.  But on my first day working, for lunch he cooked up an amazing meal, and it only took him 20 minutes.  We made some jokes about it, and then he said, Master Chief.  Lol.  I think we need to get him on YouTube cooking it up!

Next, there is Thao, who I mentioned before.  She is 5 feet tall, maybe, looks like a little princess, but I have nicknamed her, SuperGirl.  She does everything, from front desk, to cooking, cleaning, and also, maintenance.  She has also taken me on the scooter for many rides.  Some scary, some fun! haha.

Thao chopping onion, “ChChChChChChChChChChCh, Oh, My Finger!”, “ChChChChCh”

Then there is Pooh, I am spelling her name wrong. ¬†She is super nice, and funny. ¬†Her English is much better than Thao’s, which makes it easier for me to annoy her. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I changed her name, to Pooh Bear, and sometimes call her Winnie the Pooh. ¬†She doesn’t like it, so I continue doing it.

This is Pooh working hard behind the desk, trying to take my roll.

Pooh and Thao working in the kitchen ūüôā and then complaining that night it is too cold. ¬†Hmmm I think it is 26 degrees out.

I almost forgot to mention Keal.  Again, no idea how to spell her name.  Anyways, she is super funny, talks a mile a minute in English, and I also heard it is no different in Vietnamese.   I nicknamed her Horrible!  She was always causing trouble, and being a pain in the ass.

Here she took another girls phone and put our picture on it.

She is obviously the one with the tongue.

Then there were the two crazy 18 year old girls, who cleaned rooms. ¬†The one, her name is Two, spelled, I dunno. ¬†She is tall, and very quiet. ¬†She does sometimes give me a look, and then smiles. ¬†Not often, but sometime. ¬†The other one, Ing, is her name. ¬†I nicknamed her Trouble. And that she truly was. ¬†She would slap my stomach every time she walked by me, or would slap my shoulder. ¬†She only spoke a few words of English. so instead of trying to learn. ¬†She would yell movie quotes, or famous sayings. ¬†Her most popular was, “Happy New Year”, and “GoodMORNING!” in the afternoon.

There were several girls who came for a few days at a time to help out, while Thao found permanent staff members.  The main staff was Thao, Pooh, and myself.

Oh, and not to forget the worlds laziest dog! Milo

Anyways, those are the crazy staff members I met, and here are some of the crazy stories.

Lets start off with the, most, awkward, embarrassing one.

There was this 20 year old German guy who wanted to rent a scooter.  Thao asked me if I could show him the basics, which normally means they have ridden one, but not this style.

He has never ridden one!

I show him where everything is, I tell him several times over, to never start it, unless you are sitting on it. ¬†It’s Automatic. ¬†Next, I tell and show him to always hold the brake when not moving, and to also keep your finger resting on the rear, left brake while moving it backwards.

So, he gets on, starts it, and is doing OK, sitting on it.  He starts to push it backwards, to get out of the parking spot.  He is back about 1 meter, and everything is going OK.  I am on the left side of him and decide I can walk in front of him, on my way back to the desk.  He is still moving backwards!

Just as I step in front of him, he pulls the throttle half open, and hits my side.  I quickly try grabbing the brakes to stop him, as we are going towards other parked bikes. He is till holding the throttle half open.  I yell, let go, several times over, as I cannot squeeze the brakes because his hands are in the way.  A split second later, we nail two of the parked scooters, while I am riding with my chest on the front of his scooter, still trying to squeeze the brakes.  When he hit, he turns the throttle wide open and the front tire starts to drive up my leg, as we are pushing one of the other scooters over.  That instance, I decide to not try and stop him, but to end it.  With both arms, throw the scooter to the right knocking him onto the ground, while I fall left onto another scooter, ending up on my back.

The next 2 seconds I just lay there as I feel like a knife went into my back.

Two people run over and help me up and shut off the scooter.  The local guy keeps going to my back and saying I need help.  I was like, no I am fine.  I eventually walk away and look at my shirt.  It is ripped a bit, and then I realize what happened.  The kickstand from one scooter, and the foot-peg from another scooter went into my back, ripping my shirt and leaving a good mark.  I have a few other cuts, but nothing serious.

I now only feel bad for the young guy, as he must be extremely embarrassed.

For myself, I was ok, and told him not to worry about it. ¬†I also know this is not my fault, and not really his. ¬†He has never been on one and panicked. ¬†However, someone, I won’t say who, came over to me and gave me shit. ¬†Talked down to me, which NO ONE DOES and said to me, “You never stand in front of a bike, and you stand beside it” ¬†I somewhat lost it and replied, “Are you fucking kidding me! ¬†I am not stupid! ¬†I was walking by him, when he was going backwards!” ¬†This I did not like and kind of set me off!

This is something I used to want to learn how to control, but I have changed my mind over the last 3 months.  I think if someone talks down to you, you should tell them off.  The person talking down to you, is doing so, because they deep down inside think they are better than you.  Prove them wrong, and bitch slap them!

Anyways, now onto some funnier stories. ¬†ūüôā

Here is some great pictures from one of the Mr. Tien’s friends, food, and drink nights.

So we had a guest who spent an entire week here, and had several beers, which we allow people to pay when they checkout.  However, this jackass at 4 am, sneaked out without paying.

A few days later, one of the girls found his phone in the garbage.  He thought it was no good, a cheap Chinese phone, and he tossed it after resetting it, and removing the external card.  Oh My, Amateur he is.

So, I took the phone, connected it to my PC and was able to re-download all of his pictures from the cloud, and also log into his Facebook.  I did this simply by reverting the deleted files.

Since there is nothing we can really do, I decided to change his profile picture to one of his selfies.  It is of him holding his manhood.  Oh yeah, I also found out he is a major player and scammer.  He has scammed many girls into giving him free shit.  He also has about 8 different pictures of others passports.  Why, I am not sure!

I won’t go into details, but I screwed with him a little more than that. ¬†However, his dick picture only last 2 hours online before FB took it down. ūüôĀ

Here is a picture of the retard.

This losers actions bothered me for sometime.  I could not believe in my life that someone would do what he does.  He has tones of pictures of how much money he has, then he skips out on a $100 bill from a third world country.  Fucking pathetic!

Next is onto something funny.

The crazy girls are always trying to teach me words in Vietnamese.  So, Horrible and Pooh Bear taught me to say, Un Uh M.  They tell me this means, You are beautiful.  So, I decided to say it to Mr. Tien, and several over random people, mostly guys.

10 days later of them laughing like crazy all the time, Mr. Tien tells me it means, I love you!  Not you are pretty.

Thanks GIRLS!!!

Sin My does mean, Let eat!  and Youll means, Cheers.

The one day a group of Vietnams people were there for a few nights.  For whatever reason they loved me, and always wanted to talk.

The one morning at breakfast, every time I came out with food, they wanted to take selfies with me holding the food.  Never seen a white man working before! Lol.  It was fun though.

Another day when I arrived on the beach, two young girls, maybe 19 came running over to me and asked, if they can take selfies with me.  I think they love the homeless look I have going on.

Here is a good place to toss in some beach pictures.

About once a week Thao tries to get all of the guest to join in, on our all you can eat Seafood BBQ.  It is a tone of work for us, but the result is amazing, and promotes the hotel.

Here are some of the pictures from one of the BBQ nights.

Some nights I would borrow a scooter and go out drinking with the guests.  The one night, Sydney, also known as Mr. Handsome and I went to a Beach bar and then a few nights later we went back again with the 2 crazy dutch girls, and the 2 crazy German girls.  Some pictures from the beach bar.

Random picture if Mr. IT (Ice Tea) Engineer working hard ūüėČ

Milo and I working hard, while the owner, Mr. Tien relaxes watering the garden.

And one picture of the fish going crazy for bread.

There are so many more amazing things to mention, but then my post would be a short novel and not a blog anymore.

Phu Quoc – COCO Valley might be the death of me

My first day volunteering at the hotel start off a bit crazy, but fun.  Hoang is in the kitchen getting the breakfast food preps done, and the drinks.  This is crazy, he is some sort of Happy Superman.  He takes the orders, cooks, delivers the food, and also cleans up.

I am really happy I am able to help out in anyway.  I start off with the easy task.  Dishes, and cleaning up, while I let Smiley (Hoang), do his Superman stuff.

They are so backed-up, that I spent 3 or more hours that day just doing dishes.  The only thing, is the sink is lower than my hips.  So bending over is starting to kill me.

I am loving it though.  Thao and Hoang are two of the nicest people, always smiling and never complaining about how much work is needed.  They just do it, and make it fun.

Over the next 4 days, I spend most of my time doing dishes, cleaning, and making the special breakfast drinks.  My back is killing me though.  Mr. Tien thinks it is the sink, being too low.  I know that is only part of it, the real part if 3 herniated discs, not being used to standing all day again.

I think my favorite part is doing receptionist relief work, for Thao.  I love it because it gave me an excuse to talk to all the pretty guest.

On the 4th day, Hoang  tells me this is his last day.  I am like, WHAT!.  He is going back to school.

For a brief moment, I panic.  I cannot do everything this Happy Superman does.  I am a lazy Canadian!

On his last day, he gave me all of his wisdom, and I can show you, he taught me well.

Student like Teacher

Another picture of Hoang and I going to get beer.
Two good looking men, with beer on a scooter.

After he awoke from his nap, we went to the beach for a final goodbye swim.

As you can see, he never stops smiling and laughing.  What a great guy to have as a friend and I will miss him a lot.

One thing that happens a lot working here, is I never really know what is going on.  Here are two perfect examples.

In the middle of the day, a guy comes in and starts cutting around the sink. ¬†Picture a brand new sink, only installed 4 weeks ago, being cut apart. ¬†I was like, what is going on here. ¬†Then Ms. Thao tells me, Mr. Tien said, “It must be fixed!, it is too low for you.”

Wow.  Crazy!

Another example.

After the breakfast crowd, Ms. Thao or Hoang would cook me an omelette.  Well the one day, Mr. Tien, the owner brings it out to the eating area, and sets up a nice table.  I am like, OK, this is too fancy for me to just eat.

Then I realize what is happening,  I am now modeling for promo pictures of the hotel.  This proves I am sexy!  Even without makeup!
Again, what did I get myself into!

I had not waxed in a while, so they used a real model for the bikini shots.  That is the only reason though.  Right!

Well, those were the highlights of the first 4 days of volunteering at the hotel. ¬†It is so much different in how they work, compared to how we work. ¬†Here, there isn’t any set hours. ¬†There is no separation between work and life. ¬†It is just life. ¬†They work when work is needed, and when it is not, they do other things. ¬†This removes the stress part. ¬†Like, when you wake up, the first thing you think about isn’t, “Oh shit, I only have 30 minutes to eat and leave!” ¬†Here it is, “Aww I am awake, what to do first.” ¬†You just don’t stress over when you work, when you leave work, that sort of thing, you just live life.

There is a down side to it. ¬†Nothing is organized, and no one is on time. ¬†1 PM could mean, 11 AM or 3 PM. ¬†They just don’t stress over time. ¬†Actually no one wears a watch!

Wish me luck, Hoang is going back to school!  I hope my back can handle it!

Phu Quoc – Vietnam – First few days in Phu Quoc

8 AM I get on the ferry, only minutes before it leaves port.  Great timing!

The ferry is not full and has several extra seats to relax in, and also an outside deck, where you can see the full ride.  This is where I sit for most of the 2 hour ride.  Only going inside when the noise of the jet engines becomes too much.

We arrive on Phu Qouc right on time, and I exit the ferry. ¬†As expected a tone of locals are asking what you need, where you are going, etc. ¬†Taxi’s want 300,000 dong, scooter taxis want 200,000 dong and just as I am accepting a scooter, a minibus says he will give me a ride for 100,000 dong ($6.00 CAD). ¬†Obviously I take the minibus.

25 minutes later he drops me off at COCO Valley Garden Hotel.

At the receptionist I am greeted by a cute young girl, who I think is a little too young to be working the front desk. ¬†Her name is Thao, and she isn’t 16. but 28. ¬†I should stop guessing ages.

Next I meet the other staff member, and his name is Hoang.  You will never miss him, because you will hear him laughing a mile a way.

HAHAHAHAHA! says Hoang.

Or when he sees the chickens, he points to them, makes a chopping sound.  CHCHCHCCHCH, and then holds his hands in front of his mouth, like he is eating corn on the cop, and makes a yummmmm, yum yum yum, sound.

What a guy!

Next I met Milo, the laziest dog ever.  She is a pure, Phu Qouc dog.  Only on a few islands do they have this dog.  Look at her mow hawk.

The first day on Phu Qouc, I did nothing but relax, have a beer and do the same all over.

The next day I rented a scooter and went exploring.  First was through town just to see what is there.

I stopped by the harbour and took some pictures.

Then onto one of the many beaches for a swim, a few beers, and then the sunset.

How is that for an amazing day.  I loved it so much, my one night got extended another 3 nights.

I remember Thao saying on my arrival I will be extending my stay.  She was right!

The next day was filled with the same greatness.  

There are tones of beaches, that have no one on them.  You can spend an entire day alone, loving life.  Heaven for me!

The next night Thao is having an ALL YOU CAN EAT SEAFOOD BBQ!  Yes, I am in on that!

I couldn’t help myself but take pictures of her and¬†Hoang working. ¬†I can’t believe it is just her and him running this entire hotel of 36 rooms, plus a full breakfast, cleaning, BBQ. ¬†I mean everything, cooking, cleaning, etc. ¬†It is crazy!

The BBQ night was amazing and I made several new friends.  Two of which are Dutchman.  We became pretty good friends that night.

The next¬†day I went to a few schools looking for volunteer work, and found both of them had enough help at the moment. ¬†That’s great to hear. ¬†In Cambodia, they never had enough help.

Anyways, back at the hotel I was talking with Thao that there isn’t any volunteer work, and she says, “Come work here!”, I said, “Sure”. ¬†Then she is like, Really!

And then she asked me how much do I want to be paid and I said, “Nothing! ¬†I don’t want money.”

We agreed on free room, which is only $10 a night here. Oh, I didn’t mention they are brand new rooms. ¬†So very cheap.

Anyways, I start tomorrow!  Woot! Woot!

Last day of freedom, so more of the same. Beach, Beach, and more Beach.  See how busy my private beach heaven is?

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On my last free night, the two Dutch guys took me to a local place they new about for dinner.

This place is crazy, and we wait forever to order, when finally a local comes over and orders for us.  No one here speaks English, and we look and are very lost.

With a locals help, we get our food.  Well worth the long wait, not knowing if we would be eating or not.

The soup has 3 types of fish, and many unique spices.  It also has freshly made, rice noddle.  I could eat this every night.

 

 

 

 

Ha Tien – Vietnam – Small Town First Experiences with Locals

Getting through the border into Vietnam through¬†Ha Tien¬†was simple, and had the normal scam. ¬†I was happy that I got my visa ahead of time at the consulate, where he told me, do not pay anything at the border. ¬†So anyways, ¬†by mistake I we all walked to the wrong counter where a guy pointed a heat gun at us, and said, “OK, you are good, pay me 1 dollar!” ¬†I said, “No, I don’t have any money, I already paid at the consulate. ¬†This is a scam!” ¬†Myself and another guy just walked away, to where we get our stamps. ¬†Others paid, and we all saw him put the money directly into his pocket.

After we got our stamp, everything was good and we entered into Ha Tien.  About 10 minutes from the border.

I was really lucky, as the bus station was 3 minute walk to my hotel.

The hotel was really nice for only $20 CAD a night.  Was nice to have an actual shower, with internet, and other luxuries.  I have not had in a while.

That night I went to the night market and walked around the town.  So far, the Vietnamese people seem really friendly.  However, I did encounter a lady who either did not like foreigners or was just a mean old lady.  I stood inline to buy a drink, and when it was my turn, she just waved her arms, and pointed to leave.  So, I just turned around and went 5 feet over to the next guy, who was happy to server me.

Later I find out this to be true.  Half of the people here are rude, and the other half are the nicest people.  This is the first Asian country I have found this to be true.

Over the next few days, I met several really nice people.  A lot of the younger people wanted to say hi and ask me questions.  This is always fun!

The town itself is small and quiet, with nice charm.  I often get a cold Soy Drink, and sit by the water.  Watching the river boats and locals doing there things.

It has been a nice relaxing 2 nights, but it is time to move onto Phu Quoc Island, where I will try and find some volunteer work.

Goodbye mainland!