Holidays on a tropical island would be odd without the opportunity to do sports. Water sports. Here is a selection of stuff that you can try on Phu Quoc.
Fishing Boat on Long beach, Phu Quoc | photo: Frank Fox (cc-by-sa)
Phu Quoc is a haven for water sports of all kinds. Whether you like to go fast or slow, above or below the surface, have fun. But to actually have fun, choose wisely and read some reviews of the different tour providers online before you seal a deal.
Watersports on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Renting a jet ski on Phu Quoc
Jet skis can be rented at various locations on Sao Beach and at several resorts on Long Beach. Jet skis are a fun, fast-paced activity for people favouring speed and interesting vehicle behaviour.
Prepare to pay a decent amount of cash for renting a jet ski. The last time (2015) we checked on Phu Quoc Island, they charged from 450.000đ up to 600.000đ for 10 minutes of fun. Speed addicts may soon face a small hole in their holiday budget. Is it worth the expense? Well, I love jet skis, but you have to decide for yourself.
Kayaking | photo: (cc-by) Phong Nguyen
Kayaking on Phu Quoc
Most waterfront resorts and dive clubs offer canoes or kayaks for rent and when the sea is calm during dry season, kayaking is a popular activity among tourists. Depending on your resort, they may even be available free of charge.
Exploring offshore islands can be a great little adventure and a nice opportunity to take Robinson Crusoesque pictures. However, please confirm with your receptionist which islands make a good destination, because some may be off limits.
Paddling along the coast and up one of the small rivers into the jungle is well worth the effort, but don't forget a hat, sunscreen and mosquito spray.
Scorpion Fish | photo: (cc-by-nc-sa) Asbjorn Hansen
Snorkelling on Phu Quoc
Snorkelling is a popular activity among tourists on Phu Quoc Island. Whether you join a guided tour with one of the dive operators or let yourself being picked up by a friendly, local fisherman - is up to you.
We joined a fisherman and rented him and his boat for a couple hours and he took us to a small, peaceful bay at one of the picturesque offshore islands.
For the best experience you should pick the dry season, because during rainy season the water is agitated and comparatively murky. Other than that, the boat tour itself is a nice experience. I believe there is more information in our articles about An Thoi and Renting a boat on Phu Quoc.
Tours with Fishermen
As a general rule we can assume that where fishermen are around, there is somebody renting out his service for a couple of hours. We took one of these tours with Mr. Tu, a cheerful local fisherman who owns a small nutshell of a boat in An Thoi. For 300.000đ he took us out to the archipelago and into a more or less secluded bay, where we could snorkel and take a look at the underwater flora and fauna of the tropical sea.
The tour definitely pays off, even if you decide not to snorkel. The rocky coastline of the islands is carved to soft and flowing shapes by the constant waves and behind the rocks you see the lush, tropical foliage of the jungle.
The best time for snorkelling is the dry season from December until March. The water is clearer and calmer than during rainy season. We went there in June and it was not that bad either. When paddling around like a wounded narwhal like I did, beware of the barnacles growing on the boulders. Those animals have an extremely sharp shell and can scratch you up nicely.
The view under the water is quite interesting. Discover colourful corals, sponges and some vivid kinds of fish. The water itself can not be called crystal clear during rainy season, but the visibility is a couple of meters and you may explore the surroundings to uncover amazing species.
Please leave the corals alone though and don't take them as souvenirs or stand on them. They may look like sprawling rocks, but nonetheless they are very sensitive and it takes a long time for them to grow. Their well-being ensures not only a healthy ecosystem, but also provides a sustainable source of income for Mr. Tu and other fishermen who contribute to a good travel experience.
Scuba Diving | photo: (cc-by-nc-sa) Asbjorn Hansen
Scuba diving on Phu Quoc
Contrary to snorkelling where you dive close to the surface, scuba diving requires proper equipment and in case you are not experienced, a reliable dive instructor. That's why I strongly recommend to read online reviews and/or book at a quality tour desk if you choose to go scuba diving on Phu Quoc Island.
There are some dive clubs on Phu Quoc Island that offer basic training and adventurous dive excursions to the reefs and offshore islands.
Waterski | photo: (cc-by-nc) Marc Horowitz
Waterskiing on Phu Quoc
Waterski opportunities are offered by some resorts and watersports clubs on the island. We have seen offers along Sao Beach and Long Beach, being either traditional waterskiing, monoski or an inflatable banana pulled by a speedy boat.
Rent a boat on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Renting a boat on Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is an island with several smaller islands around. To the South beyond the port town of An Thoi, there is a nice archipelago with several interesting places to see. But reaching these offshore points of interest requires a boat. Another type of trip where a boat comes in handy are tours along the streams and small rivers into the jungle.
Into the Jungle
If you want to experience the tropical forest on Phu Quoc Island without trekking the jungle trails near Ganh Dau, a boat trip may be the perfect solution for you. Fishermen in Duong Dong, Ham Ninh and at the northern fishing villages of Rach Tram and Rach Vem can take you along one of the small streams into the island's national park where no roads lead.
Go big or go home!
It is possible to rent a bigger boat if you have a small group of people who want to spend a day at the archipelago. Renting a party boat like that is ideal for birthday celebrations and small wedding parties.
You can rent the boat with a captain either at the harbour if you have Vietnamese negotiation skills, or book it safely from your trusted travel agency.
Once aboard, the captain can take you to a nice, remote bay and you can relax, swim or party to your hearts content.
White Squid | photo: (cc-by-nc) Klaus Stiefel
Fishing or Squid Fishing Tours
Another method to experience life at the shores is to book a fishing or squid fishing tour, that may lead to a load of new and tellworthy experiences.
Fishing Vessels in An Thoi | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Watch fishing vessels
What ever you decide to do on the sandy beaches of the island, watching the colourful fishing boats is always an option to get some unforgettable memories and also take noteworthy pictures to tease your friends back home.
Just for information, this vessel is a carrier for the small round boats, coracles, that are so popular in Vietnam. This ship will leave An Thoi harbour for weeks, venture out to remote but rich fishing grounds where the boats get deployed. Once the cargo bay s full of seafood, they return with their treasures and have a day off before they set out again.
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