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I booked my trip directly with John’s Tours at their office on Tran Hung Dau opposite the Paradise Resort. This was just up the road from where I was staying at the Nhat Lan Resort.
John’s have a number of tours on offer:
- Snorkelling & Fishing to the South: US$17
- Snorkelling & Fishing to the North: US$17
- Sunset BBQ & Night Squid Fishing: US$15
- South Tour: US$18
- North Tour: US$21
- Adventure Day & Night Cruise: US$30
- Northern Frontier: US$30
- Trek National Park & Discover Cua Can River by Kayak: US$31
- Discover North Island & VinPearl Land: US$46
I had already done the 1 Day Snorkelling & Fishing to the South.
I asked the lady for her ‘best price’. She showed me VDN330k on her calculator. I typed 250 on the calculator and handed it back with a smile. ‘No’ she says. I ask again for her ‘best price’. She responds US$13 and types VDN290k onto her calculator. I type 280. We laugh and shake hands.
Pick up was scheduled to be from that office at 16:45. I was there early at 16:35.
At 16:45 a brand new minibus arrives… leather seats et al. We collect people from 4 other resorts on the way to Duong Dong pier.
We are on our boat by 17:15. But there were 4 people missing so we waited and did not depart until 17:40.
There were about 25 tourists on the boat.
THE BOAT TRIP:
As we cruised out to sea, the waiters went around collecting people’s orders for the BBQ; they want you to order in advance.
This is another ‘extra’ for the boat.
You don’t need to order these ‘extras’ unless you specifically want to… what they don’t tell you is that the BBQ comes with prawns anyway.
You are each given 1 small bottle of water free. Cans of beer are then offered around at VDN30k each, Soft Drinks at VDN20k each, and cups of tea or coffee at VDN15k each.
By 18:00 we were anchored and squid fishing. You are provided a handline with a lure (no bait). You drop the lure to the sea floor, wind it up a little bit and fish just above the bottom. You ‘jig’ the line a few times to entice the squid but then leave the line alone for a few seconds so that they can bite. They will not go for a ‘jigging’ lure.
We fished for over 1 hour. Those that had ordered ‘extras’ were served during this time. Many had ordered and it is easy to think that your ‘meal included’ does not exist… but it does. Just be patient.
In the first session of fishing I saw, perhaps, 5 people catch squid. They were all small ones.
At about 19:15 we are served our BBQ Dinner:
- Rice Porridge Soup with Squid
- Fried Noodles with Squid
- BBQ’d Prawns
Replete from Dinner, we were back fishing again just before 20:00.
I was determined to catch a squid so I got straight back into it. But, without success.
I saw, perhaps, 3 more people catch a small squid.
At 20:15 we had to raise our lines and head back to the pier.
We were back at the pier by 20:30, on our brand new minibus, and back at our hotels by 20:45.
But don’t expect much from the Squid Fishing… although, someone must get lucky now and again and catch a big one.
If you approach this trip as a nice BBQ Dinner on a 2 hour sunset boat trip, then it won’t disappoint.
In my opinion, the Snorkelling & Fishing to the South was better Value For Money.
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