Phu Quoc Island or “Pearl Island” is well-known as a peaceful tropical paradise which can be found in nowhere else in the world. Follow these Phu Quoc Island travel tips, you will have a great trip.
Lying in the Gulf of Thailand, 50 km from the Vietnamese mainland and 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia, Phu Quoc Island floats in the warm turquoise waters. It is closer to Cambodia than the closest mainland town of Ha Tien in Vietnam in the Kien Giang Province, which is 46 km away.
The tear-shaped island is a spectacular tropical island which is surrounded by more than a dozen bays, yellow or white sandy beaches, a jungle-covered interior, untouched natural environment, the ideally cool atmosphere and a handful of fishing village.
With 48 km long and an area of 574 sq km, Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island. Actually, it has rapidly changed from a sleepy island backwater to a must-see attraction for many visitors.
French administrators built a prison in the 19th Century to detain revolutionaries and troublemakers. Phu Quoc used to a place of exile right up until the end of the last Vietnam War in 1973, and its prison witnessed many atrocities.
The majority of Phu Quoc Island is dedicated to National Park which covers nearly 70% of the island, an area of 31,422 hectares. In addition, since becoming a national park in 2001, the marine environment has been protected.
Currently, Phu Quoc has strongly developed with a new international airport, a golf course, new roads and a planned ‘casino eco-tourism resort project. Beyond the resorts lining Long Beach, it’s still largely undeveloped.
Foreigners can stay on Phu Quoc Island not more than 30 days without visa obey to decision No.80/2013/QD-TTg dated on December 27th 2013 on special regulations to develop Phu Quoc Island and Kien Giang province
1. What to do
Many visitors come just to chill out on the beach. However, there are a wide range of other interesting things to see, such as pearl farms, waterfalls, rugged forest and gaudy temples. The markets are always a riot of fun, be it day or night.
Also, there are many popular activities such as hunting for crabs or squid, scuba-diving on the coral reefs, or rent a motorbike to explore the island.
Ideally, your trip should be spent from a few days to a week. If you are really into adventure, head out on a snorkelling trip or explore one of many islands off the southern coast.
Wifi is free everywhere. There are also many ATMs to draw money.
Motorbikes can be rent at your hotels, the price is from 120,000 VND – 150, VND/day without fuel.
2. Local specialties
Phu Quoc is also renowned across Vietnam for its production of high-quality fish sauce (nuoc mam). Indeed, it is the best one in the nation!
Another special spice of Phu Quoc is high quality pepper, an agricultural product of the local traditional craft villages, sold around the world.
Numerous fish, dried fish, lobsters, crabs, squid, oyster, arca, etc. are also very popular in Phu Quoc.
Besides, the island is also well-known for its hunting dogs, which have ridgebacks, curly tails and blue tongues. Muscular and energetic, they are said to be able to pick up their master’s scent from over 1km away. Unfortunately, the dogs have decimated much of the island’s wildlife.
3. When to go
The best time to visit Phu Quoc is from November to March when the temperature fluctuates around 30 degrees Celsius, the sea is calm and the sky is blue. April to June is the dry and hot season, when temperatures rises but it still stays relatively dry. If you go during July to October, expect rain as this is when the monsoon drenches the island.
Accommodation on Phu Quoc has a full range of options from affordable backpacker guesthouses through to fancy beach resorts and hotels.
While more expensive than the rest of Vietnam, Phu Quoc is still incredibly good value. For US$10 a night you can get a bungalow with hammocks and your own personal sunrise over the beach. The sky is the limit at the other end of the spectrum, if you choose to stay at one of the multi-star resorts.
Anh Duong guesthouse is at 58 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc center, a 10-minute taxi drive, and just a few steps to Dinh Cau Beach. All rooms have fully equiped and good view. The prices are:
A double room (2 people): 450,000 VND
A room (3 people), a double bed and a single bed: 550,000 VND
A room (4 people), 2 double beds : 650,000 VND
A room (5 people), 2 double beds and a single bed : 900,000 VND
Children under 10 years old are free and the prices include VAT.
Tel: 077.3981018 – 0918.123919 – 0915.743919; Fax: 077.3994754
Kim Nam Phuong Resort is at 88/5 Trần Hưng Đạo, Dong Duong, Phu Quoc, a few steps to Ba Keo Beach, and 7-minute walk to Dinh Cau Beach. The prices are:
A room towards beach, 2 double beds, air-conditioner, heating: 840.000 – 940,000 VND
A room towards yard and garden, 2 double beds, air-conditioner, heating: 690.000 – 790,000 VND
A room towards beach, 2 double beds, fan: 540,000 VND
A room towards yard and garden, 2 double beds, fan: 380.000 – 420,000 VND
A room towards yard and garden, 1 doube bed, fan: 310,000 VND
The price includes 2-people- breakfast, VAT
Tel: (077) 3981122 – 3846319; Fax: (077) 3983344
5. How to get there
Vietjet Air and Vietnam Airlines have daily flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc and back. From Hanoi, the price is around 2,000,000 VND/ticket depending on the time you book, it is better and cheaper to book in advance. It takes about 50 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City by plane, and one way ticket costs from 60-100 USD depending on your seat.
Vietnam Airlines just opened a direct route from Singapore to Phu Quoc to make it more accessible to Singaporeans and expats living in Singapore to have a beach holiday.
By bar or by bus
There are two ways:
- Take a car or a bus from Ho Chi Minh (or Sai Gon) to Rach Gia, the price is at 150,000 VND/ticket. And then, take a boat to Phu Quoc, 350,000 VND/ticket, and 250,000 VND/ticket for a child.
- Take a car of a bus from Ho Chi Minh (or Sai Gon) to Ha Tien, the price is at 170,000 VND/ticket. And then, take a boat to Phu Quoc, 230,000 VND/ticket, and 160,000 VND/ticket for a child.
You can call to Ha Tien Wharf at 077.3701575 to book ticket, or buy directly when you come to there.
Here are some pictures in Phu Quoc Island: