We have ticked off a lot of boxes over the past few years in terms of accumulating travel vaccinations and pills. Hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, doxycycline, azithromycin, Dukoral, are just some of the names that have become very familiar to us, hopefully because we have taken/are taking all of the necessary precautions for our travel. What have we not received? A rabies vaccination, as it was not recommended to us. Of course. Cue story!
While lounging on the truly lovely beach of Bai Sao, Phu Quoc, Troy was nipped lightly by a truly lovely puppy. Dogs hanging out on the beach is a staple in southeast Asia, and it is not rare to have interactions with them. We didn't think too much of it but then saw that the bite had left a bit of a mark. This prompted frantic Google searching about rabies and although we both didn't feel like the situation was overly concerning, decided to err on the side of caution and go to the doctor. We called the travel insurance company who recommended we go to wherever we felt was best, and so ended up at the one international clinic on the island. Here we proceeded to be treated to an absolutely gleaming hospital with hardly anyone in it - obviously not an experience we can relate to from home. An overall 5 star medical visit. Troy was administered his first of 5 vaccines that he has to receive to complete the preventative rabies treatment. Which means that our next 28 days have to be organised enough that we will be in a fairly major city centre to find a clinic that will have the vaccine. Oh puppies! In a couple areas in the Philippines there would be dogs roaming the beach with collars on that read, "vaccinated" or "neutered", maybe because these were small islands where the stray situation can be controlled a little bit more? We have been very fortunate to never have directly encountered any aggressive dogs on our travels. They are normally curious, friendly, and looking for a little love. It is very hard to ignore them.
This experience does not dampen our time in Phu Quoc however, as we have found the beaches pretty and relatively quiet, and have been able to walk most places we wanted to go. We took a hop on, hop off bus one day which took us to a striking pagoda site and a couple of beaches, but mostly showcased just how much building is happening here. It is like none we have seen on any other island; massive resorts in the process of being built all along the coastline, as well as into the interior. It is hard to imagine how busy this island has the potential of becoming. We envision it possibly looking like a future Phuket, Thailand? We feel lucky to be here now where you can still feel plenty of space!