04.08.2012 35 °C
...without a visa!
But it was a nerve-wracking 30 minutes as we were stamped out of Cambodia, walked the 300 yards across no-mans land to Vietnam Border Control and waited to see if they would let us in.
Our Cambodian 'fixer' (actually just the minibus owner and operator) was completing the formalities on behalf of the 12 people travelling (we were the only passengers not to have a pre-arranged visa) when he came over to us saying that we had been refused entry - a major setback. We briefly pleaded with the obstructive border guard when another, more senior man entered the room. We quickly explained our situation and he asked us for five dollars each.
Well, I couldn't pull my wallet out fast enough! The cash, unsurprisingly, went straight into the guy's own pocket. No matter. He gave us the stamp we needed to enter the country for 14 days. Strictly speaking, we shouldn't have been allowed to go to Phu Quoc Island but we had already read online that this small point is usually overlooked (provided the backhander has been paid, of course).
Once we had made it over the border, it was a twenty minute drive to Ha Tien where we were to catch the fast ferry to Phu Quoc Island. The ferry was the marvelously named 'Superdong I'!
The ferry crossing was great fun as the vessel bounced across the water at super-high speed. 20 minutes in, we were allowed to go up to the bridge and sat for most of the journey up on deck.