the freshness of things

After a night bus from chaotic Saigon (where I got back from the Mekong), we found ourselves in Cam Ranh. 45 minutes on the boat we stepped foot on the island of Binh Ba.

15 minutes after pick-up this is our front view:

And so it began! Our endless hours and days spent on the island were for music, chilling, sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, eating seafood, wandering around the island, star gazing, more seafood eating and swimming.

Binh Ba is a small island not very far away from Cam Ranh and Nha Trang. It is home to about 5,000 locals who earn their living by fishing and seafood processing and farming. The island has not been open to foreign tourists due to its sensitive location near the islands of the East Sea between Vietnam and China that both countries are fighting hard for the sovereignty, our Singaporean friend who looked like a super unbelievable oversize Vietnamese guy apparently had to act like he’s Vietnamese.  We didn’t know anything about this until we already settled in our home stay and the house owner was telling Jeremy to only speak Vietnamese when outside, or else anyone could report him to the border defense police on the island and he would get deported to the city and that’d put an unpleasant early end to our vacation.

So we made sure Jeremy use Vietnamese, and we used Vietnamese when we were out but with the little Vietnamese he has most of the time we were just giggling and mumbling with each other in English. One day we almost forgot about the situation and got home from the beach to find 2 police men in our front yard. Our hearts skipped a beat thinking maybe we are busted, turned out they were just chilling in the yard and eating ice cream. We kept our coolness and headed through the yard to our room, the moment the door slammed close we were laughing like crazy, few that was close!  Yet the feeling of being sneaky was pretty priceless.

I still have so many photos I want to share of the beautiful beach, the sea and the crisp air of Binh Ba, but the seafood was genuinely the greatest and fresh highlight of the trip. The locals here raise lobster and shrimps for export so we were able to buy fresh products from the floating farm or in the market easily. Lobster heaven!!! We were lucky the “fake Vietnamese  guy” is a chef and has his own restaurant in Singapore, one night he was grilling fresh lobsters on charcoal and serve us with his homemade Hollandaise sauce. The best! The next morning using the remaining flesh from the lobster heads and legs, our house owner made us the best lobster porridge ever. So good I thought I’d die!

Another day our house owner who is also our tour guide, rented us a private boat and we set sail to the sea. Spent the whole morning floating on the ocean, snorkeling, swimming, fish watching and then headed back to a seafood floating farm to find his wife grilling fresh fish for our lunch. We bought some crabs back home that day and use those for dinner. Needless to tell you about the  freshness, the juiciness and effortlessly sweetness of all those seafood that we had!

Just like that our life on the island spent as spoiled kids was kept busy and fully attended. The locals were friendly and our house owner’s wife was an exceptional cook to the max! The island was truly an amazing place to be. Before the trip, I was worried I might not “be fully present” to enjoy because of so many questions and thinking I had going on in my head at that time; #personalissues; but somehow while being on an isolated island worries got washed away to the sea!

Here’re some photos for you all!

hashtag take me back!


One thought on “the freshness of things

  1. And you hate me for having good sushi… I should hate you forever after reading this post, an island I can’t even go to (though I think my Vietnamese is almost good enough to pass as local)

    Love the photos and glad to see you finding your voice again the only thing I enjoy more than reading your posts is makeing you hate me when you read mine 😛

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