Anna Belleforte

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Phu Quoc island

Posted by Anna Belleforte on February 1, 2019 at 2:10 PM

Phu Quoc has a few main roads that ribbon through the landscape and nearly all buildings face and commercially interact with these roads. So like HCMC and Can Tho – even though I was expecting looser ‘island planning’ forms – there are long and narrow plots that stretch out from the, about 3, primary roads. This is also true for the super wide thoroughfares. These roads typically feature well-manicured topiary in the median strip – tropical bushes, grass and palm trees. It’s an impression of orderliness that contrasts with the scooter-chaos of the flanking roads. Life happens on the shoulders: ad-hoc markets take place (though this is probably only appearances, and they take place at scheduled times) and every building has an open shop front, no matter where they stand. In any case, the nature and shape of the life on the roadside is different every time. I visualize this as water lapping at the shore: every cooking pot, fish stall, fruit basket, clothes rack and plastics table stands on a new spot for every market, shifting around as supplies change and commerce proceeds.

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