Phung Hung is one of a few accessible fish sauce factories on Phu Quoc Island. It's location is opposite of the Coconut Tree Prison.
Phung Hung Fish Sauce Factory
201 Nguyen Van Cu, An Thoi (see map)
Tanks at Phung Hung fish sauce factory | photo: foxtravels.net (cc-by-sa)
Well, Phung Hung is a little more touristy than other fish sauce factories you can visit on Phu Quoc Island. There are stalls that sell the usual souvenirs to passing travelers, like dried fish and other tasty morsels of Vietnamese cuisine. The reason for that is the close proximity of the famous Phu Quoc Prison that you can find right across Nguyễn Văn Cừ street.
Bottled fish sauce. ready for sale | photo: foxtravels.net (cc-by-sa)
About Fish Sauce
Nước mắm, as fish sauce it is called in Vietnamese, is a key ingredient for the best dishes a skilled Vietnamese housewife can create. The product they sell at the factory shop is salty, aromatic and adds umami flavour to the food.
While the smell of the fermenting anchovies is not the most appealing fragrance in the world, the juice once bottled and ready for sale is mostly used in combination with lime juice, sugar, chili, kumquat and water. People dip their morsels in that mix, be it meat, vegetables, sea food, fresh as well as fried spring rolls, banh kot, banh xeo and other treats.
Especially for Tet holiday, the lunar new year in Vietnam, skilled cooks use fish sauce to pickle unripe papaya and onions to be eaten together with the famous sticky rice cakes every household in Vietnam makes and receives for this particular holiday.
Entrance to the Phu Quoc fish sauce factory | photo: foxtravels.net (cc-by-sa)
Myself, I prefer Khai Hoan fish sauce factory because it's more focused on the product and you can see a little more of the actual process. However, if the prison is on your tour itinerary anyway, just pay a visit and follow your nose. Literally. If you have not smelled the self-digesting anchovies in the huge, wooden tanks, you have not experienced Vietnam as it is. On the same street side not far away is a memorial monument, dedicated to the around 4000 victims that perished while Phu Quoc Prison was actively in use.
Fish sauce factory, Phu Quoc Island | photo: foxtravels.net (cc-by-sa)
Phung Hung Fish Sauce Factory on the Map
Fish sauce | photo: foxtravels.net (cc-by-sa)
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