The Phu Quoc beaches seem to come more alive as the sun prepares to set. While the fleet sets out to sea for the night, other fishermen remain closer to shore rowing smaller craft and tub-like basket boats pulling in their own nets. Others, donning diver’s masks, gather nets closer yet to shore in waist-deep waters near the rocky point just past the Nhat Lan Restaurant. Younger kids roam shallow waters around the rocks gathering sand crabs with bamboo spears and the handful of women beach venders make a final trudge up and down the beach before heading home for the night.
While many visitors put the finishing touches on sand sculptures or play a final game of paddleball or volleyball, others plunge for a cooling swim.
Sun lounge chairs and restaurant tables fill with people enjoying sunset beers or early evening meals. Some sit back in beach chairs knee-deep in the water sipping beers or cocktails like in a Corona television commercial. As the sun touches the Gulf of Thailand and the sky turns glowing shades of red, yellow, and blue, nearly all point west and click their cameras.
My two favorite sundown spots are the Mai House Resort for its scenic palm trees, and the Viet Thanh for its stirring activity.
Darkness falls at a leisure pace. By the time the first few stars appear, all the rented kayaks have been returned and jet skis are beached in front of the Eden and chained together for the night. The lights of fishing boats dot the horizon. Phu Quoc Dogs trot the beach in scattered packs, their keen eyes watching each other and the many beach restaurant barbeques being prepared. While the glowing coals of charcoal grills are slowly fanned by hand, miniature hulls of fishing boat displays are filled with ice and topped with fresh shrimp, crab, squid, red snapper, tuna steaks, and chicken. Colorful vegetables fill the bow; potatoes at the stern. Everyone is in a happy mood by another memorable day in paradise.