A Complete Phu Quoc Island Travel Guide, Vietnam (2020)

Phu Quoc island travel guide, Vietnam
Phu Quoc island travel guide, Vietnam

An overview of information about Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

  • Belonging to Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc island (pronounced “Phú Quốc” or [fǔ wək]) nicknamed as ‘Pearl Island’ (Dao Ngoc) or ’99-mountain Island’, is the largest island in Vietnam. ‘Phu’ means fertile and prosperous while ‘Quoc’ means a land, this name implies that this island contains a rich and diverse ecosystem with a large number of natural resources. Compared to other islands in Vietnam, Phu Quoc is a mountainous and densely forested island.
  • The white sand beaches make this island a paradise place for retreat. This place is one of the must-see destinations during your Southern Vietnam tours. You can participate in swimming, kayaking, surfing, diving or just strolling along the shore.

pristine-islands-in-phu-quoc

  • Trekkers can also find a lot of adventures in this destination. Established in 2001, Phu Quoc National Park covers more than 50% of the island. Covering an area of 314,000 square meters, this place is the home to numerous kinds of flora and fauna.
  • Phu Quoc island is famous for manufacturing nuoc mam (fish sauce) and produces 6 million liters each year. The island is also well-known for pepper production.

Best time to visit Phu Quoc Island

  • There are two seasons in Phu Quoc island: a dry season and a rainy season. From December to the beginning of April is the dry season and from mid-April to November it is the rainy season. During the rainy season, this destination experiences a high level of rainfall. The average temperature year-round is 27 degrees Celsius.
  • The best time to travel to Phu Quoc is from November to March when the waeather is not too hot. It is still fine to visit this place in early April or late October the beginning and the end of rainy seasons respectively, as it is the low season here. Be aware of the time from July to September since Phu Quoc will be negatively affected by monsoon storms.

Best time to visit Phu Quoc island

How to get to Phu Quoc

On boat

From Rach Gia or Ha Tien, you can take a boat to Phu Quoc island, which takes you around 2.5 hours.

By plane

Phu Quoc International Airport (QPC) is located in the south of the island, at the end of Long Beach, about 9 kilometers from Duong Dong Township. You can fly from several major cities in Vietnam like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho but there is no regular international flight.

Fligts from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc island

Getting around Phu Quoc

By motorcycle and bike

You can go around the island by motorbike. If you are not comfortable riding a motorcycle, there are many agencies that provide bike rental service. You can rent a bicycle or motorbike in some hotels and homestays.

By car and taxi

Getting around by car and taxi is certainly more expensive but more comfortable. There are few taxi agencies in Phu Quoc island are Vinasun, Phu Quoc Taxi, Phu Quoc Saco Taxi, Mai Linh, etc. If you want to rent a private car in Vietnam, please contact us.

Phu Quoc taxi

Where to Stay in Phu Quoc island

Best hotels in Phu Quoc island

Some recommendations for your trip to Phu Quoc:

  • Intercontinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort (5-star)

Intercontinental-phu-quoc-long-beach-resort

  • JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay (5-star)

JW-Marriott-Phu-Quoc-Emerald-Bay

  • Long Beach Resort Phu Quoc (4-star)

long-beach-resort

  • The Veranda Resort Phu Quoc (4-star)

la-veranda-resort-phu-quoc

  • Mango Bay Resort (3-star)

mango-bay-resort

  • Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort

premier-village-phu-quoc-resort

  • Sol Beach House Phu Quoc

sol-beach-phu-quoc

  • 9Station Hostel

9-station-hostel

What to See in Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc island is a dream destination for beach lovers in a tour to Vietnam. For those who love to explore deeper, you can visit fishing villages and discover several temples and pagodas. Phu Quoc is famous for its pepper crops which are located in the northern part of the island. It is interesting to learn how pepper is grown on the island.

1. Best beaches in Phu Quoc island

The island is in a triangular shape and has countless white-sand beaches. Long Beach, which is the largest beach in Phu Quoc, has many hotels and resorts. Sao Beach, which is located in the east, is the most popular beach here. Ong Lang, Thom Beach, and Dai Beach are also wonderful beaches that are worth visiting. Most of the beaches on this island are not very well-indicated on the maps. So do not hesitate to stroll and discover sumptuous paradise beaches.

  • Dai Beach (Bai Dai, or Bai Truong)

This long sandy beach is a must for beach lovers. It lies to the northwest side of Phu Quoc Island. You can stroll along the shore, go sunbathing, and enjoy a tranquil atmosphere.

dai-beach

  • Vung Bau Beach

This beach is in a crescent-moon shape and surrounded by tropical and abundant vegetation. The waves are gentle and the water is calm. You can have a perfect beach holiday in Vietnam here with many activities: basking on the sand, sightseeing exotic places, and dining in a sumptuous restaurant.

vung-bau-beach

  • Ong Lang Beach

Located in the center-west of Phu Quoc Island, this beach is covered by palm trees and rocky shores. There are upscale hotels and beach resorts here.

Ong-Lang-Beach-phu-quoc-island

  • Ganh Dau Beach

At the northwestern corner of the island, you will find the magnificent Ganh Dau Beach. The water is calm and shallow and you can see many fishing boats in a distance.

Ganh Dau Beach

  • Sao Beach & Khem Beach

These are two small white sandy beaches cloaked by tropical forests that lie to the south of the island. Sao Beach is one of the most popular beaches of Phu Quoc while Khem Beach is not invaded by tourists yet. Tourism is developing in Sao Beach day by day; you can see many restaurants, bars, and clubs.

sao-beach

  • Rach Tram & Rach Vem Beach

These two beaches are well-known to international tourists. They are located in the north of the island. On both beaches, there are rustic fishing villages.

rach-vem-beach

  • Thom Beach

A very quiet, sparsely populated, we hear even the cicadas singing here. It is a little bit difficult to access Thom Beach.

thom-beach-phu-quoc

  • Cua Can Beach

The Cua River meets the Gulf of Thailand on this beach. On one side we find the turbulent sea and on the other the serene river. To go there you have to cross a fishing village.

cua-can-beach

  • Vong Beach

Located in the southeast of the island, this beach will dazzle you. Vong Beach is a popular destination since it is the dock of passenger boats from the mainland. In a distance, you will see the breathtaking Phu Quoc National Park.

vong-beach

2. Ham Ninh Fishing Village

On the east coast of the island lies Ham Ninh, a picturesque and tranquil fishing village. The locals here are always smiling and happy to see tourists. You can buy souvenirs, pearls, and delicious seafood in Ham Ninh.

ham-ninh-fishing-village

3. Pagodas and Temples

There are several Buddhist pagodas and temples around Phu Quoc. In Duong Dong Commune, you will find Sung Hung Pagoda, the most popular spiritual tourist attraction of the island. The pagoda is covered by numerous lush trees, which creates a solemn and tranquil atmosphere. Another well-known place is Hung Long Tu pagoda, which is located 5km from Duong Dong. There are several other temples scattered around the island that welcome visitors, however, you should cover your shoulders and wear long pants when visiting them.

sung-hung-pagoda-phu-quoc

4. Dinh Cau Rock (Cau Temple)

This peculiarly shaped rock is located at the mouth of the Duong Duong River. Initially a lighthouse until 1937, it then became a Buddhist time dedicated to Thien Hau (the goddess of the mother). You cannot leave Phu Quoc island without spending time at this temple.

dinh-cau-rock-cau-temple

5. Phu Quoc Night Market

It is the place for you to enjoy succulent seafood, buy local products and souvenirs. Phu Quoc Night Market is organized every evening in Duong Dong town.

phu-quoc-night-market

  • Location: Vo Thi Sau Street, Duong Dong
  • Opening hours: 17h-23h

6. Phu Quoc Prison

  • For those who want to know more about our colonial period, do not miss Phu Quoc Prison. Phu Quoc Prison was also known as the ‘Coconut Prison’ and built by French colonists from 1949-1950. At that time, the prison was the home to more than 14,000 political prisoners. Thanks to the Geneva agreements, these prisoners had a chance to reunite their families. However, when the Vietnam War started, the US troops rebuilt this place and kept the same name.

phu-quoc-prison

  • You can see many savage and inhumane punishments and tortures in Phu Quoc Prison. The signature feature of this attraction is Tiger Cages, which were used to capture prisoners inside.

7. Phu Quoc National Park

If you want to escape from the heat, you can walk under the shade under lush trees in Phu Quoc Natural Park. This place is ideal for walking, hiking, and trekking.

phu-quoc-national-park

8. Pristine Islands

There are 5 paradise islands you can discover around Phu Quoc. These islands are more pristine and still unspoiled by tourism.

  • Xuong Island

This island is located in the south of Phu Quoc. The water is turquoise and the seabed is deep enough, which is a must-go spot for diving enthusiasts. You can also explore the island’s numerous caves and cliffs.

Xuong island

  • May Rut Ngoai Island

3km from the center of An Thoi and 1 hour by boat, May Rut Ngoai Island is a lesser-known place with white-sand beaches, clean water, and calm waves. It is a perfect place to laze around all-day

may-rut-ngoai-island

  • May Rut Trong Island

The island is surrounded by coconut palms along white-sand beaches. There is a rich and diverse marine ecosystem underwater. If you pay attention, you will be able to observe many rare species and coral reefs when snorkeling. You can also participate in squid fishing with the locals

may-rut-trong-island-phu-quoc

  • Hon Mot Island

What attracts tourists to Mot Island is its lush vegetation. You can participate in diving to see colorful fish and coral reefs here.

hon-mot-island

  • Mong Tay Island (Fingernail Island)

This island is completely uninhabited; you cannot find any luxury resorts or outrageous clubs here. You can go camping, swimming, or diving.

mong-tay-island-fingernail

Top things to do in Phu Quoc island

  • Hiking in the park
  • Sunbathing
  • Boat trip
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving amongst colorful fishes
  • Visit some pepper crops
  • Sip a glass of cocktail next to the beach on Fingernail Island
  • Ride the longest cable car line in the world
  • Visit a fish sauce factory
  • Explore the organic bee farm and pepper farm
  • Visit the Pearl farm
  • Taste all the food in Phu Quoc night market
  • Go fishing in the sunset

What to Eat in Phu Quoc island

1. Red Herring salad

With an abundance of seafood and unique preparation of dishes, Phu Quoc is the place of mouth-watering culinary delicacies. Herring salad has become one of the most popular dishes of the island. Herring is very nutritious and provides essential protein and calcium to our bodies.

mong-tay-island-fingernail

2. Myrtle alcohol (Ruou Sim)

Myrtle alcohol is a special Phu Quoc wine. ‘Sim’ is ripe in the first lunar month in Phu Quoc, while in northern Vietnam they are ripe in July.
The locals mash the ‘Sim’ and then incubate with yeast and sugar for 40-45 days. After the fermentation, the wine becomes pink; the wine tastes sweet and spicy.

Myrtle-alcohol

3. Tram Mushrooms Phu Quoc

Tram Mushrooms can be mixed with chicken soup, boiled fish, and fried barracuda. This mushroom is crunchy and chewy that if you have a chance to taste it, you cannot forget.

tram-mushroom-phu-quoc

4. Mat Cat Tet Cake (banh tet Mat Cat)

In Phu Quoc, the Tet cake wrapped in Mat Cat leaves is a local specialty. Mat Cat is a plant and its leaves look like palm leaves. They grow everywhere on Ham Ninh Mountain. The leaves are often used to make conical hats (non la).
To wrap this cake, Mat Cat leaves are dried, washed, and wiped with oil to make them softer. Cooked cakes have the color of jade. Green beans and meat are put inside Mat Cat Tet cake.

mat-cat-tet-cake-phu-quoc

5. Fish sauce (nuoc mam)

Fish sauce is a local specialty of this island and is well-known in many countries. It is made from small fish species, ca com, and the recipe can be dated back to over 200 years old. In Phu Quoc, about 6 million liters of fish sauce are produced each year.

phu-quoc-fish-sauce

6. Pepper

It is also a specialty of Phu Quoc Island because the pepper has a pungent taste that cannot be found anywhere else. The locals manually harvest pepper throughout the year. There are 3 types of pepper on this island: white, black, and red.

Phu-Quoc-pepper

7. Fish and Pork Noodle soup

A type of fish cake soup that is also extremely popular among locals in Phu Quoc island.

fish-and-pork-noodle-soup

8. Sweet and Sour Fish Soup

A delicious, sweet yet tangy soup incorporating tomatoes, okra, pineapples, and cobia fish. Most seafood restaurants will serve this soup.

sweet-and-sour-fish-soup-phu-quoc

9. Crab Soup

A super tasty and unique tomato-based soup made from salt-water crabs found around the shore of Phu Quoc.

crab-soup-in-phu-quoc-island

10. Seafood

Why not? It is fantastic.

seafood-in-phu-quoc-island

References

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