Phu Quoc is the pearl island of Vietnam and developing as fast as any other prime tourist location in Southeast Asia.
Long Beach Phu Quoc | photo: Frank Fox (cc-by-sa)
Pearl Island of Vietnam
Travellers also call Phu Quoc the "Pearl Island of Asia" because apart from fish sauce and pepper, Phu Quoc Island provides some of the most beautiful pearls in Southeast Asia. The island is small but has a lot to offer for adventurous tourists and resort-bummers alike.
Jellyfish | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Top things to experience on Phu Quoc Island
- Suoi Tien - the enchanting Fairy Stream
- Vietnam's friendliest dogs - Phu Quoc Ridgeback
- The beaches of Phu Quoc
- Diving at the southern archipelago
- Suoi Tranh - Painting Stream
- Visit Phu Quoc Prison
- Explore Coi Nguon Museum
- Check out how fish sauce is made
- Visit a pepper farm on Phu Quoc
- Pearl farm and showroom
- Dinh Cau and Duong Dong night market
- Explore the jungle trails
- Visit Ham Ninh fishing village
- Take a look at An Thoi harbour
- Try the famous Sim wine (rose myrtle wine)
- Unwind at Phu Quoc's calm temples and pagodas
- Ride a jetski at Sao Beach
Pier of Ham Ninh Fishing Village on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Relax on the long and sandy beaches if you like, or take a stroll through the hills. If you visit educational places like the Coi Nguon Museum in Duong Dong or the famous Coconut Tree Prison, you learn much about the long and turbulent history of the island.
Recently the Vietnamese government is encouraging the development of Phu Quoc Island into one of Vietnam's prime tourist destinations.
Dinh Cau | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
While a lot of the original charme, tiny fishing villages and native culture will be lost in the coming years, the increased development will provide top-standard beach resorts for foreign and Vietnamese tourists alike. The increased tourism also raises the living standard of the local people.
The main problem of the island is trash. The excessive consumption of plastic bags in Vietnam leaves it's footprint on the many beautiful beaches of Phu Quoc. Carefully pick the time of the year when you visit the pearl island, because the direction of the wind determines on which side of the island you can swim in crystal-clear water and where the ocean doesn't look so nice.
Hidden Beach Crab | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
But don't let that discourage you from booking a hotel room! How ever you plan to spend your holidays, Phu Quoc Island has everything you expect from a tropical island. Excellent seafood, silent temples and pagodas, a small but interesting nightlife area, tours to remote beaches, farms and the national park and a variety of other activities like scuba diving, riding a jetski or a boat tour to various small dream islands.
Ong Lang Beach | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Phu Quoc Island Guide
Enjoy your stay and experience the amazing landscape, whether you are out on an adventure or just beachbumming. Phu Quoc Island is also called "Pearl Island of Vietnam", since Phu Quoc pearls are amongst other commodities such as pepper and fish sauce, a product of the island. Vietnam is about to develop Phu Quoc to a top tourist destination and there are many nice hotels and luxury resorts around as well.
We strive to provide one of the most complete travel guides for your stay on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, so we collected and compiled useful information about interesting sights and places for your convenience. Check it out!
Phu Quoc Airport | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
How to get to Phu Quoc Island
Of course, before you can relax on one of the island's paradise beaches, you need to get there. For getting to Phu Quoc, you have two options:
- Bus & boat, which is tedious and takes time but is cheaper
- Airplane, which is a little pricier, but much faster
For detailed information to the possibilities, please check out our page "How to get to Phu Quoc Island".
Fishermen at Rach Vem Beach on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
When is the best time to visit Phu Quoc Island?
The South of Vietnam has two seasons: Dry season and rainy season. While for your regular tours in Southeast Asia the weather mainly determines whether to pack up a raincoat or not, on Phu Quoc Island it's also important to know if the wind approaches from the East or the West and which beaches have crystal-clear water.
For detailed information about this topic, please check out "The best time to visit Phu Quoc Island".
Pool at Salinda Resort Phu Quoc | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Where to stay on Phu Quoc Island?
Due to the rapid development of Phu Quoc Island as Vietnam's prime tourist destination, there is an ever increasing selection of accomodations for the discerning traveler to choose from. Five star luxury resorts, quiet private villas, cenrally located hotels, remote hovels with homestay opportunities and cheap backpacker hostels. Check our list of possibilities, compare and book:
A Pond in a Pot in a Pond | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Now that you are finally there and safely tucked in at your favorite hotel room on Phu Quoc, it's time to explore the tropical paradise island. We collected the best sights and most beautiful landmarks of Phu Quoc Island for you right here:
Tour Boats in An Thoi Harbour | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Tours and Activities
Don't just stay at your resort and roast in the sun with a cocktail in your hand! Check out the island and experience something to tell the poor devils who had to stay at home while you experience the world! Like everywhere else in Southeast Asia, you have various options for experiencing Phu Quoc Island. From beachbumming over shopping and lightweight experiences to true adventure tours off the beaten track. Phu Quoc is so small, you can experience the best corners with a rented motorbike and a couple days on your hand, which is definitely our preferred method. Just listen around for interesting trails to ride, read our Phu Quoc guide or check out some other websites about the island. If self-guided tours don't fit your perception of a productive holiday, check out some local travel agencies. Local tours are always easy to find at a good rate.
The picturesque Dai Beach on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Phu Quoc Beaches
The island feautures over fourty kilometers of sandy beaches, enough space to set up your base camp at the beach without it getting overly crowded. Not even German tourists need to reserve their chairs with towels in the evening. The selection of beaches starts with the picturesque white sands of Sao Beach over the long stretches of palmtree-backed length of Long Beach to the hidden coves and tiny semi-private shores of Ong Lang Beach.
Check out our main article about the beaches of Phu Quoc Island.
Fairy Stream on Phu Quoc Island | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Phu Quoc Waterfalls and Streams
While the most famous of the three streams on Phu Quoc Island is the garbage-choked Da Ban Stream, there are two much more beautiful places around. Painting Stream (Suoi Tranh) and Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien). The Painting Stream is easy to access and part of a nice landscape park, while Fairy Stream is very hard to find, but remote and quiet.
Dinh Cau Night Market, Peanuts | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
While this destination is famous for it's pristine beaches and relaxed atmosphere, shopping opportunities are rather scarce.
Famous in all of the Mekong region for it's great selection of sea food, Duong Dong night market is a must-taste on your tropical island vacation. Try sea urchins, various shells, mollusks and crustacea in many different flavours. The souvenirs here are rather cheap in price as well as quality.
There is one Co-Op Mart in Duong Dong and that's it. If you are searching for items of your daily needs, try one of the small local shops that can be found everywhere where islanders live.
Every major town has a market. The speciality there is fish sauce, pepper and dried seafood. And fresh fish, fruits and vegetables of course.
Coi Nguon Museum
The Phu Quoc Museum is definitely worth a visit. It is the largest privately owned museum of Vietnam and the owner, a former tourguide, has collected most of his treasures himself. The museum is located near Duong Dong and from the roof you have a fair sight over Long Beach and the town.
Dinh Cau | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Temples and Pagodas
Phu Quoc features a selection of interesting temples and quiet pagodas. The most interesting aspect of spiritual life on the island are the Cao Dai temples. Cao Dai is a religion that has been founded in Vietnam in an attempt to bring all major religions of the world under one roof. The most picturesque temple however is Dinh Cau, the seaside temple of Thien Hau, the goddess of the ocean.
Phu Quoc Pearls | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Products of Phu Quoc Island
The major products of the island are fish sauce, pearls and pepper. It is not surprising, that there are many tours, offering to visit the one or another fish sauce factory, shops and showrooms of adventurous pearl farms, as well as pepper farms. One more interesting product is sim wine, a liqueur made from the fruits of rose myrtle (sim) bushes that grow everywhere on Phu Quoc.
Phu Quoc is together with Phan Thiet and Nha Trang the most famous producer of fish sauce, a key ingredient for Vietnamese kitchen. Once you get used to the pungent smell and taste of this fermented anchovy product, you will love cooking with it.
Pepper is one of the top products on the island. Popular enough that the more food-related Phu Quoc fans call it "pepper island" instead of "pearl island". You can buy bags of the spicy goodness directly at one of the many pepper farms that is open for visitors or in most shops, as well as the markets in Duong Dong and elsewhere.
Pearls in all colours are grown in the waters around the island and on display in several show rooms. We actually visited one of the farms and took a peek behind the scenes of pearl farming. Phu Quoc Pearls are beautiful and make excellent souvenirs for discerning travelers.
Beach Wear & Souvenirs
Especially along the tourist strip on Tran Hung Dao street and in Duong Dong, you can find many shops that sell snorkel equipment, beach wear and the regular touristy knick-knack. Just check them out, buy a package of postcards and send them home from Duong Dong post office.
Red Starfish at Rach Vem Beach | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
There are still some more or less remote fishing villages on the island that don't only make a formidable background for your selfies, but sometimes also offer seafood, boat tours and fishing trips.
You don't have to leave your track to get impressed by the Phu Quoc Ridgeback, Vietnam's only native dog breed. The dogs are smart and friendly, but they don't give a dime on the traffic.
Take a stroll through the forest near Ganh Dau. Don't touch the local wildlife though, some animals may be venomous.
An Thoi Archipelago | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
There are mainly two opportunities to go and catch some fish. A regular fishing tour by boat or a nightly trip to catch squid. Whatever you decide to go for, even if you don't catch anything the tour operators may do so and cook in for you on the boat.
Whether you want to angle by yourself or with friends, you need a boat for a whole day or as a floating location for a birthday party, bigger vessels can be rented for a certain amount of time at An Thoi harbour on the southern tip of the island.
If you happen to be one of the more sporty fellows out there, why don't you try one of the following things?
Whatever you choose to do,
enjoy your vacation!
Duong Dong Pier | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Phu Quoc Links
External links with more information about the island:
There is a plethora of websites on the internet dealing with Phu Quoc. Some of them are travel guides, some of them informational articles and some newspapers.
Check them out if you are in need of more information about the island!
An independent travel blog, very nice to read. Tom experiences everything himself and writes great stories about the locations he visited. If you are searching for itineraries and stories about self-guided motorbike tours, that's the site you want to check out first!
Every traveller in the greater Indochina region knows and appreciates the Rusty Compass. Not only Mark is a great writer, he also experienced all the things he writes about himself.
In SE Asia is Keith's great site that features information about almost anything that's going on... well.. in Southeast Asia. Here is their travel guide for Phu Quoc: InSeAsia.
Fishing Boat on Long beach, Phu Quoc | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Actually Wikivoyage, a Wikimedia project about travelling. Quite interesting for gathering travel information.
The Wiki page about Phu Quoc Island is of course out number one when it comes to the gathering of common information.
Children are selling these starfish as souvenirs | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
Tuoi Tre News
Vietnamese newspaper in English language, frequently reporting news about Phu Quoc.
Thanh Nien News
Another Vietnamese newspaper in English which to read we recommend.
Discover Phu Quoc
Looks kinda unfinished, but you find information about the island here.
Phu Quoc Island
Another travel guide about Phu Quoc Island.
Definitely one of the most famous travel sites around.
Khai Hoan Fish Sauce Phu Quoc | photo: (cc-by-sa) Frank Fox
One of the biggest travel websites in Vietnam, looks like it's owned by the government.
Another travel site with information about the island.
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