Dog Bar


Jimmy opened early when it rained outside. Even on overcast days with gusty winds and choppy seas, the few off-season travelers lounged along the beaches. But when it rained they often headed to the restaurants and bars on Tran Hung Dao, the main road into Duong Dong. Jimmy owned the Dog Bar which sat on the southern edge of town. It was in a narrow alley beside the well-marked Chez Carole Restaurant. It was a popular place with island visitors and expats. The Dog seemed to turn a good business just about every evening, and afternoon that rained.

During my first five days on the island the weather was perfect with blue skies and waters clear, calm, and refreshing. Sunsets seemed colorful as ever. Most of the beach bars and eateries were closed though.

Some owners shut down for the low season and others took a final break before another high season begins in October. That will keep them plenty busy into May or June. Many of the beach places had new owners altogether.

Around the last week in August, the island became more seasonal. Dark clouds sailed low across the sky at surprising speed. Every evening they seemed to travel different directions. Those from the east brought my heavier storms. In the worst, lightening bolts streaked from black clouds and thunder slammed nearby. Power outages were routine. Only the high-dollar resorts had their own generators. My places used candles or kerosene lamps. Downpours pounded hard but only lasted a short time and sunsets varied from bleak to brilliant. I had rented a motorbike for this entire visit so was able to enjoy a sunset beer on the beach then ride into town for dinner. Tran Hung Dao is tarred all the way now; a project that had been going on for the last three years.

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