You can get some really interesting products from Phu Quoc, mainly pepper, pearls and fish sauce. There are other things too, just check out the variety of shopping opportunities on the island.
Duong Dong Night Market | photo: Frank Fox (cc-by-sa)
Phu Quoc is rather famous for the pristine nature, the sandy beaches and calm resorts. Amazing shopping opportunities are not among the things the island is known for. With a few exceptions of local products.
Dinh Cau Night Market, Peanuts | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Let's start with the local night market on Vo Thi Sau street in Duong Dong. Located near the famous Dinh Cậu, the night market on Phu Quoc Island is more like a popular spot to check out the local cuisine rather than a great shopping place. But you may find your typical knick-knack, like t-shirts that expose you as fan of Phu Quoc for example as well as souvenirs and cheap jewelry made of shells and (often imported) pearls.
Khai Hoan Fish Sauce Phu Quoc | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
The fish sauce of Phu Quoc is among the best in Vietnam and famous for the pungent aroma and balanced taste. Real fish sauce without additives is just so much better than the crap offered in the supermarkets of Saigon. Many local fish sauce factories have a shop next to them and some can even be visited by tourists who desire a special adventure for their nose.
we visited Phung Hung fish sauce factory
and Khai Hoan fish sauce factory.
Children are selling these starfish as souvenirs | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Souvenirs & Beach Wear
The island does not come up with malls, leave that to Saigon. Instead, Phu Quoc features a lovely selection of boutiques, corner stores and souvenir outlets. Shops in Duong Dong town and along Tran Hung Dao street offer local handicrafts, souvenirs, postcards, shimmering shells and other touristy knick-knack.
Along the tourist strip and Long Beach is a wide array of shops selling beach ware, sun screen, snorkelling equipment and so on.
Phu Quoc Pearls | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Pearls are grown on pearl farms in the sea around Phu Quoc Island. Show rooms and shops offer visitors and traders a variety of pearl jewelry or raw pearls in all colours and price categories that makes excellent souvenirs if you can afford such a thing. Some of the pearls reach a value of half a billion VND and more. Much more.
Of course there are affordable real pearls and pearl jewelry as well, even down to outright cheap stuff at small souvenir shops. Local pearl farmers name the cheap pearls that are sold here as "pearls of night market quality" and indeed, most of them are imported from China and get dull and yellow pretty fast.
Pepper Farm on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Phu Quoc pepper is another famous commodity, grown on pepper farms in the northern part of the island. You can purchase black, white and even pink pepper directly at some farms that are open to visitors. Various shops in Duong Dong or An Thoi offer Phu Quoc pepper as well and you should get a package to bring the amazing taste of the island to your kitchen.
Bamboo shoots freshly harvested | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
is was a small Co.opmart on Tran Hung Dao street (closed now), that offered commodities for your daily needs. Other than that, you are pretty much limited to small, local shops and corner stores, mostly for your bottled drinking water.
Duong Dong Market, Phu Quoc | photo: (cc-by-sa) ntt
Shopping at the local market in Vietnam is always an adventure, not just in Phu Quoc. Virtually every village has its own small market, but the one on Tran Phu street in Duong Dong is the largest and busiest outdoor market of the island. You can experience the local lifestyle and purchase a wide array of fresh and preserved produce, as well as other needful things. Close to the port area there is a wet market zone where you can buy meat, but mostly the catch of the day that fishermen drop off there.
It is also possible to get your souvenirs there, since the market is one of the more popular sights for tourists.
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