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All about Phu Quoc

Posted at: THUrsday - 21/08/2014 21:59 - Viewed: 6022 - post name: JackyChau

Need to know the facts for the up and coming pub quiz, well here they are!
Phu Quoc Island key facts:


Description Facts More Info
Accommodation Providers 60 and counting Hotels & resorts
Airport Duong Dong Town Getting around - island transport
Area 567 sq km About Phu Quoc - geography
Average Rainfall 90mm per month About Phu quoc - climate & weather
Average Temperature 27.7 cel (81.9 fahrenheit) About Phu quoc - climate & weather
Driest Months January & February About Phu quoc - climate & weather
Express boat journey time from Ha Tien 1:15 hours Getting there - by sea
Express boat journey from Rach Gia 2:5 hours Getting there - by sea
Flying time from Ho Chi Minh 40 to 50 minutes Getting there - by air
High Season November to March About Phu Quoc - climate & weather
Highest Mountain Mount Chua (603m) About Phu Quoc - geography
Latitude 10o01' – 10o27 north About Phu Quoc - geography
Longitude 03o51' – 104o50 east About Phu Quoc - geography
Low Season July to September About phu quoc - climate & weather
Main Towns Duong Dong Town & An Thoi About Phu Quoc - towns
Most Famous Exports Fish Sauce and Pepper What to do – shopping
National Park Area 56,200 ha What to see - national parks
Scheduled direct flights per day 10 Getting there - by Air
Off Peak Season June to August About phu quoc - climate & weather
Population Approximately 90,000 About Phu Quoc
Main Ports An Thoi & Duong Dong Getting there - by sea
Total number of Island/islets 22 About Phu Quoc - geography
Unique Animal Phu Quoc Dog About Phu Quoc
Wettest Months July, August & September About Phu Quoc - climate & weather
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Vietnam key facts:
Description Facts More Info
Full name Socialist Republic of Vietnam  
Population 87.4 million (UN, 2007)  
Capital Hanoi  
Electricity Voltage 220V Info Desk - tips and hints
Electricity Plug types Vietnamese Electricity Plug typeElectricity PlugVietnamese plug type Info Desk - tips and hints
Largest city Ho Chi Minh City Getting there - by air
Area 329,247 sq km (127,123 sq miles) About Phu Quoc - geography
Major language Vietnamese Info Desk - language help
Major religion Buddhism  
Largest Vietnamese Island Phu Quoc Discover Phu Quoc Website
Life expectancy 72 years (m), 76 years (f) (UN)  
Monetary unit 1 dong = 100 xu Info Desk - tips and hnits
Main exports Petroleum, rice, coffee, clothing, fish  
GNI per capita US $1,407 (World Bank, 2013)  
Internet domain vn Info Desk - tips and hints
International dialing code +84 Info Desk - tips and hints
 

HISTORY
 

Like Vietnam itself, Phu Quoc Island has a varied history with numerous nations occupying the island over the past couple of centuries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, France and America. Phu Quoc Island forms part of Vietnam, and even though the island was an area of dispute between Vietnam and Cambodia as recently as the late 1980’s, Vietnam today is nurturing the island as the next big eco tourist destination.

Up to the mid 1750’s Phu Quoc island was sparsely populated with the local population making a living off fishing the rich waters surrounding the island and harvesting and trading of sea cucumbers. Phu Quoc was famous for its sea cucumbers, shipped by Chinese merchant junks from Phu Quoc to the even the Emperor of China for many years.

From the 1760s through to the 1780s, the French missionary Pigneau de Behaine was based on Phu Quoc and it was during this time that he sheltered Prince Nguyen Anh when he was hunted by Tay Son rebels. From 1782 to 1786, Phu Quoc became a stronghold of Lord Nguyen Anh, who later recaptured the mainland from the Tay Son rebels and become Emperor Gia Long in 1802.

During the mid 1800’s, records show a total of 12 villages on the island of Phu Quoc some of which still exist today, including Duong Dong, Ganh Dau and Cua Can.

In 1869, Phu Quoc was occupied by the French and came under the administration of the Governor of Cochinchine. During this time the French set up rubber and coconut plantations on the island, though population records advise that less than 1000 people resided on Phu Quoc approaching the late 19th and early 20th century, of which most of these people inhabited remote fishing villages.

The temple on Diau Cau rock was built in 1937, and by the end of the Second World War in the 1940’s the population of Phu Quoc was still less than 5,000. There is evidence even today that the population during this time was centered around Duong Dong Town where the French commenced trading activities during their occupation of the island. In 1949, the French enacted a law passing the island of Phu Quoc from the administration of the French to the Vietnamese.

During the time of the American war the local population had increased to around 15,000. The Americans had taken over where the French left off and expanded Coconut Tree Prison (Cay Dua Prison) near An Thoi Town, to an area covering 400 hectares and housing 40,000 P.O.Ws, most of which were repatriated to the mainland at the end of the American War in 1975. Coconut Tree Prison remains one of the most visible historical places on Phu Quoc, and still operates as a prison today.

On May 1, 1975, Khmer Rouge soldiers raided and took Phu Quoc Island, however, Vietnam soon retook the island and the Vietnam-Cambodian War had begun. While this war missed the headlines, the Vietnamese forces eventually captured Phnom Penh in 1979, bringing about the downfall of Pol Pot.  During this time, Phu Quoc became a stronghold of over 50,000 military personnel based mostly in the north of Phu Quoc Island. The discord faded when Vietnam withdrew its troops in the late 1980s.

Today, Phu Quoc Island is harnessing its remarkable potential as the next tourist destination, with plans for an international airport by 2010, development of modern infrastructure and extensive tourist resort facilities by the year 2020 with an expected 3 million tourists annually.


GEOGRAPHY

Phu Quoc Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand forms part of the Vietnamese province of Kien Giang, with the closest Vietnamese town of Ha Tien being 46kms away, Rach Gia the capital of Kien Giang Province is 115kms away and Laem Chabang (Thailand) is 540kms away. The island covers an area of 567 km² and is about 50 km long north to south, between 3kms wide in the south and 28kms at its wide point (west to east) in the north. Phu Quoc is situated at 10°01'-10°27' north latitude and 103°51'-104°50' east longitude.Map of Phu Quoc, Discover Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is actually closer to Cambodia than Vietnam, just 18kms from the Cambodian Province of Kampot, which can clearly be seen most days from Ganh Dau Beach in the north of Phu Quoc.

As the crow flies, Phu Quoc is approximately;

  • 500kms from Ho Chi Minh City
  • 400kms from Phnom Phen
  • 800kms from Bangkok

Phu Quoc is both the largest of all Vietnamese islands as well as the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island forms an archipelago of 22 islands of all sizes

Phu Quoc is called both the Emerald Island because of its triangular shape as well as the island of "99 mountains" because of its many sandstone chains gradually descending from the north to the south. The longest one is Ham Ninh which stretches for 30 km along the eastern edge with its highest peak called Mount Chua (603m). The second highest peak is Mount Da Bac (448m) which is 20kms due south of Mount Chua, on the east coast of the island.

CLIMATE & WEATHER
 

Phu Quoc Island has a tropical climate that varies throughout the year so its worthwhile knowing what weather conditions to expect before you arrive. The following Phu Quoc Climate and Weather information is based on six years of the most recent climate and weather statistics and first hand accounts of weather conditions, to provide you with a reasonably accurate picture of the weather to expect on Phu Quoc island for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday.

Best time to come to Phu Quoc:Top of page

High Season

Phu Quoc islands sub-equatorial climate is at its best during the November to March period, when the sunny skies dominate, with consistent temperatures around 25-28 Celsius (77-82 Fahrenheit) and lower humidity make it a great time to be here. All tour and dive operators go out on a daily basis, weather permitting. On the negative side, many of the popular hotels and resorts are booked in advance particularly around long beach near Dong Duong Town and you may need to go further a field to find accommodation and that special private beach experience. Flights also book up fast during this period, so it's wise to book in advance if possible, check out our alternative travel options or booking information.

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Shoulder season

April - June and Late Oct can be a good time to visit Phu Quoc with less crowds, cheaper prices and fairly good odds of reasonable weather. You will find that April and May are the hottest months with temperatures reaching 35 degrees and humidity around 80% to 85%. It may be worth paying for air conditioning at this time of year or staying close to the beach. June and late Sept can be good, though it depends on your luck with the rain. In October many resorts schedule their annual maintenance before the high season, so check before you book.
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Low season

July to September is dominated by the monsoon and unless you enjoy some muddy adventure, it get can rather wet at times, though you can get lucky of course and have intermittent good weather. Monsoon season can be especially wet and wild, with the continual rain during this time, the red dirt roads turn to slippery sludge and some roads become impassable. We recommend you bring your wet weather gear.
Climate & weather statistics:
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Temperature

Phu Quoc enjoys a very consistent average temperature of 27.7 Celsius (81.9 Fahrenheit), with an average maximum daytime temperature of 31.2 Celsius and average minimum of 24.6 Celsius. With consistently warm temperatures, phu quoc is the perfect place for a beach holiday. The lowest temperature recorded in recent times was 15.7 Celsius in March 2002.
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Rainfall

Phu Quoc has its driest months from November through to March when average rainfall is a mere 43mm/mth. January and February are the driest months of the year and also the most popular times for visiting the island.

Average annual rainfall in Phu Quoc is around 190mm/month, which is nearly twice that of New York or Sydney and four times the average for London, however if you pick the right months and some luck then you’ll enjoy plenty of sunshine for those lazy beach days. The wettest months occur during the monsoon, from July to October, with an average rainfall of 361mm per month.
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Humidity

Phu Quoc has a fairly consistent year around humidity, averaging nearly 80%, however you will find that the more humid months of the year also co-inside with the wettest months during the monsoon. Humidity starts to increase from March each as the monsoon approaches, and decrease after the last of the heavy rains in October, with the most pleasant months being December through to February.
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Average wind speeds

Phu Quoc islands calmest months of the year stretch from late October through to April when average wind speed is a mild 7.2km/h, and maximum daily wind speed averages 16km/h.

Phu Quoc island has the greatest wind speeds during the monsoonal months from July through to Early October, though even during these months you will find some days a lot calmer than other days which can be quite wild and wet, sometimes hitting maximum winds up around 55km/h.  The greatest maximum sustained wind speed recorded in the past five years was on the 2nd October 2006, at 64.8km/h.
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Rainy days

The months with most rainfall occur during the monsoon from July to October, however even during this period there are a number of days with no rain. During April through to June when the sub equatorial monsoon approaches, there are a greater number of days with thunder and its common during this time to have late afternoon showers, still making this a good time of year to visit the island when tourist numbers are lower and afternoon showers cool the air.
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Visibility

The best months for visibility as you would expect are in the dry season, however visibility is still relatively consistent through out the year. If your looking at scuba diving during your visit to Phu Quoc, the best months are during the high to off peak tourist season from November through to April when rainfall and cloud cover are lower than the rain swept monsoon season.

Average sea level pressure

 
SERVICES
Phu Quoc Island has a range of services on offer, most of which will be found in the main towns. Most of the top end resorts also offer a wide variety of services, and here we summarise some practical alternatives as well some essential services to ensure a safe and comfortable visit to Phu Quoc.

Airline officesVietnam Airlines Office
The only commercial airline currently flying to Phu Quoc is Vietnam Airlines (Tel: 846 086), they have a number of office locations on Phu Quoc where you can visit to make or change your bookings, with the most convenient being:

  • Duong Dong Airport - Vietnam Airlines Counter in the Departures Hall
  • Saigon Phu Quoc Resort (at the front entrance), located along Long beach just at the south edge of Duong Dong Town
  • Opposite the entrance to Duong Dong airport along Nguyen Trung Truc, address: 122 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong Town (Tel: 077 982 320) 
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Banks & currency exchange
Banking services on the Phu Quoc Island are concentrated in Duong Dong Town, providing comprehensive services that include cashing of travellers cheques, currency exchange and ATM machines that are compatible with most international cards (Mastercard, Visa, Cirrus, etc). Banking facilities have improved along with an increase in the number of banks in recent times, so finding an ATM machine or changing money in town is becoming easier.
Most of the top end resorts on the island exchange major currencies, though rates are generally better at banks. Some resorts have ATM facilities on site, these include Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and Sasco Blue Lagoon. You can also change money at reasonably good rates at the airport in the arrivals hall.
Banks on Phu Quoc Island include:

Vietcombank: has a broad range of services + ATM 
Address: 30/4 Khu phố 1 Thị trấn, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 981 036, Fax: (077) 981 039 ATM & Banks
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-11am & 1pm-4pm
Web: 
www.vietcombank.com.vn
Western Union;
Address: 30 Thang 4 Street, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 384 8621, 848542
Western Union Agent;
Kien Long Bank
Address: Nga Ba Nha Tho,To 4 , KP 3, An Thoi
Phone: (077) 6999 993
Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm & Sat 7.30am-12pm 

Agribank:
Address: No. 2, Quarter 2, Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Town,
Phone: (077) 846 037 / 846 074 
Web: 
www.vbard.com
Mekong Housing Bank: (Western Union Agent, Mastercard & Visa Accepted) 
Address: 174 khu Phố 5, Thị Trấn Dương Đông, Phú Quốc,
Phone: (077) 980 507, Fax: (077) 980 404 
Web: 
www.mhb.com.vn
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Useful phone numbers
Description Telephone Number/s
After Hours Doctor 847 792
Ambulance (Vietnam) 115
Border Police 874 604
Customs Office 846 455
Chinese Pharmacy 846 156
Directory Inquiries (Vietnam) 116
Fire Service (Vietnam) 114
Kien Giang Province Area Code 077
International Directory Inquiries (Vietnam) 110
Pharmacy 846 010
Phu Quoc Airport 846 742
Phu Quoc District People’s Committee 847 930 / 846 066
Phu Quoc District Police 846 051
Phu Quoc Hospital 846 074
Phu Quoc Taxi 995 599 / 846 885
Police (Vietnam) 113
Post office 846 115
Red Cross 846 389
Vietnam Airline Office 846 086
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Hospital
The islands hospital is located in Duong Dong Town along 30 Thang 4. Alternatively, services are also provided in Ha Tien on the mainland. There is also a smaller hospital in An Thoi town located along the main road 200m from the market place.

Phu Quoc Hospital 
Eastern end of 30 Thang 4,
Duong Dong Town 
Tel: (077) 384 6074
Ha Tien Hospital
No.4 Mac Cuu St.
Ha Tien Ward
Kien Giang Province
Tel: (077) 385 103
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Internet
There are a number of places now offering internet services around the island, however note that power blackouts sometimes interfere with the services offered.
Some resorts including Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and Sasco Blue Lagoon resort offer free internet use for guests, otherwise try some of the local places below;

  • Internet service next to the post office at Tuan Viet, 13 Nguyen Trai (tel: 077 980 530)
  • There is an Internet Café located along 30 Thang 4
  • There are a couple of Internet Cafes located along Nguyen Trung Truc before you approach the corner with Hung Vuong Street
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Laundry
Most resorts and guest houses offer in house laundry services, however local laundry services can provide a far cheaper alternative. In Duong Dong there are some laundry services along Nguyen Trung Truc Street halfway between the market and the airport, and also one place on Nguyen Dinh Ninh Street near the corner of Bach Dang Street. Note, if you use a local laundry, which do generally provide a good service, count the number of items being washed and check on collection.

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Motorbike rental
Motorbikes can be rented from numerous places around Phu Quoc, including at the front of many resorts where local owners will rent their motorbikes from anywhere from 1 hour for around 30,000dong to a week or longer for daily rates that vary from US$7 to $15 depending the condition of the bike and your haggling ability. These owners will also eagerly act as drivers or guide if requested.
Motorbike taxis or guides will also be waiting at Duong Dong Airport and An Thoi Port to take you to your guest house if required for a couple of dollars.

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Pharmacy
There are a number of pharmacies located in Duong Dong along Ngo Quyen near the local market, near the hospital and smaller pharmacies around town. Tel:(077) 846 010, Chinese Pharmacy Tel:(077) 846 156

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Police
The police station is located on Nguyen Trung Truc just off Banh Dang  on the left hand side of the street as you approach the Bridge, opposite side of the market. They can be contacted by telephone at 846 051.

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Post Office
Is located in the centre of Duong Dong Town along 30 Thang 4, around the corner from the Agribank located on the corner of 30 Thang 4 and Tran Hung Dao St. The post office is open daily from 6.30am to 9pm (closed Sundays). Tel: (077) 846 115

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Television & radio
There is one Television station (VTV3) and two Radio stations on Phu Quoc island. Most top end resorts offer satellite TV channels such as CETV, TV5, ASIE, MTV, Star Sports, CNBC, CNN, Channel 9, PONIC, CNN News as well as local stations.

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TOWS & VILLAGES

Wondering which towns to visit on Phu Quoc Island during your visit? Here is a summary of the larger towns and villages on the island.

An Thoi Town

Phu Quoc Island in the district of the same name is the second largest town of Phu Quoc. An Thoi is where you will find the main ferry port for services from the mainland town of Rach Gia, and is also a jumping off point for visiting the group of An Thoi islands to the south.

An Thoi has many goods and services on offer, though the selection is limited compared to what you will find in Duong Dong. Many of the islands Villagesfish sauce factories are based here, along with the islands naval bases and second largest local market offering a decent selection of fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood and much more. There are some hotels here, limited banking facilities, some travel agents and a small hospital, however most people tend to stay along Long Beach or in Duong Dong half way up the island. One advantage of staying in An Thoi town is that you are closer to exploring the islands to the south and closer to Bai Sao and Bai Kem beaches with their pristine white sands. If arriving by boat, buses, taxis and motorbike taxis are generally available to take you to your desired destination on the island.
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Cua Can Village

About 14kms north of Duong Dong town and a couple of kilometers north of Ong Lang beach is the interesting village of Cua Can which has a variety of old wooden bridges that allow only foot and motorbike traffic to pass. While the village is fairly small, it does have a couple of places that offer a chance to relax for a roadside drink before heading to the secluded beaches to the north of the island. There is also a petrol station at the southern end of the village.

If you are seeking a little more adventure, try convincing a local boat owner to take you along the Cua Can River, which offers an relaxing way to see life along the river and chance to see some of the larger fishing vessels returning from the sea. There is also a lovely but very isolated sand bar just north of the town, viewable from the coastal road heading north to Bai Dai and Ganh Dau.
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Duong Dong Town

Located on the western edge of Phu Quoc in the centre of the island, Duong Dong is the largest town on Phu Quoc and is where you will find the best choice of goods and Fishing Boatsservices from hotels, restaurants, banks, tour and travel agents, to the large and lively local markets and shopping selections (see places of interest - shopping).

Phu Quoc Airport is located here at the north end of town along with one of the several ports where the larger cruise ships dock. Duong Dong river cuts through town and towards the entrance to the sea, you will find an abundance of blue fishing boats that head out each evening. The town is also the location for some the islands fish sauce factories, in case you’re wondering about that smell!

Duong Dong is also the administrative centre and it is here you will also find the islands hospital along with postal services, and most banking facilities.
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Ganh Dau Village

Located in the north western coast of Phu Quoc, about 32km by road from Duong Dong town, the village of Ganh Dau is where you can clearly see the Cambodian coast line just a few kilometres away. Ganh Dau has some of the most peaceful and relaxing beaches on Phu Quoc Island, away from the all action down south, these beaches are no longer closed to tourist access as they were a few years ago. They include the scenic Ganh Dau beach and a few Kilometres to the east is Bai Dai beach.

Ganh Dau is a relatively small fishing village where you can get basic supplies along with petrol, water, some food items and also a haircut. Ganh Dau village will give you a taste of the lifestyle that was once the norm on Phu Quoc, where you’ll see anchovies drying out in the sun ready for the fish sauce factories, children playing and plenty of fishing boats in the harbour.

There are a couple of places where you can get a tasty lunch as well, you could try either “Gio Bien” following the road around for 1km past the village where you will find a lovely beach side restaurant serving a great range of seafood dishes (see restaurants). Otherwise turning left just before entering town brings to you the north easterly point of the island where you’ll find an interesting floating fish restaurant, though you’ll need to negotiate a ride on a local boat to get there.
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Ham Ninh Village

Located around 14kms from Duong Dong Town on the east coast of Phu Quoc is the village of Ham Ninh where you will find a jetty that extends a couple hundred meters out to sea to allow for the shallow waters along the coast here. The village is predominantly involved in fishing and you will find some places in village that provide an excellent source of seafood, including a variety of crabs, lobsters, and local mussels. Take away or eat in, the seafood eaten here with pepper, salt and lime is fresh every day of the year.

Ham Ninh mountains to the west provide a scenic backdrop for the town, the mountain range running for 30kms along this side of the coast, which includes the highest peak on the island, Mount Chua at 603 meters. The waters off Ham Ninh contain the majority of the islands seaweed beds which provide a necessary source of food to the endangered Dugong, of which there are very few remaining.
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Rach Vem Village

Located in the north of the island, Rach Vem is a relatively small and quiet village where you’ll find the Phong Lan Guesthouse near by. There are some remote sandy beaches along the coast here, however the area is destined for resort development with the approval of multi million dollar facilities. Current availability of good and services are fairly limited, so bring a packed lunch if you’re travelling to Rach Vem.


EATING OUT
 
The Vietnamese love their food - in fact, they obsessed about it all day! As soon as they had their breakfast, they will soon think about what they would have for lunch, so it's not surprising that you will find an abundance of small eatery places springing across this tiny island. 
The food on Phu Quoc island is heavily influenced by the bountiful harvest of fresh seafood, herbs and vegetable - it is fresh, simple yet utterly deliciously refreshing.
Some places you come across might appear to be shabby by western standards, but do not be fooled by their appearances! With a little sense of adventure and you will soon discover some of the tastiest and most inexpensive food you've ever eaten.



Ai Xiem Phu Quoc Ai Xiem
Located on the white sands of Bai Sao beach, this restaurant has succulent barbecued seafood and great fish in clay pot. Tables are on the sands, a few metres from lapping waves.
 
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Price (US): $5 - $15
Location: Bai Sao Beach
Phone: (077) 399 0510

Le Cap Breton Phu Quoc Le Cap Breton Restaurant
Locating nearby the museum Coi Nguon, opposite the way to La Veranda resort. Serves French dishes as well as authentic Vietnanamese dishes including shrimps, crabs and fish.
 
Cusine: French, Vietnamese
Price (US): $10 - $15
Location: Duong Dong
Website: www.lecapbreton-phuquoc.com

Ganesh Indian Restaurant Phu Quoc Ganesh Indian Restaurant
Offers wide range of North Indian cuisine including Tandoor and Naan bread. Probably the only Indian restaurant on the island!
 
Cusine: Indian
Price (US): $10 - $20
Location: 97 Tran Hung Dao street, Duong Dong
Website: www.ganeshphuquoc.com

Ocean Bar & Grill Phu Quoc Ocean Bar & Grill
This is a tiny little tapas bar-grill located on the main road Tran Hung Do. The bites are light, so mix and match. Has a decent selection of wine in town thanks to the attached wine store.
 
 
Cusine: Grill seafood, meats
Price (US): $2 - $15
Location: 60D Tran Hung Dao street, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 399 4268

Gio Bien Restaurant Phu Quoc Gio Bien Restaurant
Located in the beautiful bay of Ganh Dau beach, this family run restaurant serves authentic Vietnamese dishes including grill seafood. Try their grill cod fish dish with tumeric marinate - it is devine!
 
Cusine: Vietnamese, Grill seafood
Price (US): $5 - $15
Location: Ganh Dau beach
Website: www.giobienphuquoc.com

Mondo Restaurant & Lounge Phu Quoc Mondo Restaurant & Lounge
Serves a selection of tapas and European light dishes.
 
Cusine: European, Tapas, Bakery
Price (US): $5 - $15
Location: 82 Tran Hung Dao street, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 399 4930

Gop Gio Restaurant Phu Quoc, Discover Phu Quoc Gop Gio Restaurant
A local restaurant highly regarded by travelers, offering fresh seafood at very reasonable prices. Nice casual place for a bit to eat.
 
Cusine: Vietnamese, Seafood
Price (US): $2 - $10
Location: 145 Bach Dang street, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 384 7057
 
Phu Quoc Night Market Food Stalls, Discoverphuquoc.com Night Market Food Stalls
The night market is one of the most atmostpheric places to dine in Duong Dong Town. There are a dozen or mor stalls serving a delicious range of Vietnamese, grills and vegetarian options.
 
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Grill Seafood
Price (US): $2 - $15
Location: Duong Dong Town
Phone: N/A

Pepper's Pizza & Grill, Phu Quoc Pepper's Pizza & Grill
Almost opposite Chez Carole, this restaurant and pizza place is home to the best pizzas on the island, accroding to long-term residents. Other dishes include steaks, ribs and western stable such as pastas.
 
Cusine: Pizza, grill, pastas
Price (US): $10 - $15
Location: Duong Dong
Website: (077) 384 8773

The Pepper Tree Restaurant Phu Quoc The Pepper Tree Restaurant
In an island style house overlooking the beach and garden, the restaurant is the heart of the La Veranda resort offering a wide range of food and drinks.
 
Cusine: International, Fine dining
Price (US): $10 - $20
Location: La Veranda Resort, Duong Dong
Website: La Veranda Resort

Sakura Ong Lang Phu Quoc Sakura
You could be forgiven to think that this is a Japanese restaurant but infact it is a Vietnamese restaurant serving some of the country's favourite dishes including squid stuff with shrimps and mixed seafood rice paper rolls.
 
Cusine: Vietnamese
Price (US): $2 - $15
Location: Ong Lang beach
Phone: 0122 818 3484 (mobile)

Gio Bien Restaurant Phu Quoc Ti Moon Thai & French Restaurant
Fusion restaurant offering tasty traditional Thai and well as French. Has variety of wine selection.
 
Cusine: Thai, French
Price (US): $5 - $15
Location: Duong Dong
Phone: 0122 800 4132 (mobile)

Le Bistro Phu Quoc, discoverphuquoc.com Le Bistro
Tucked away in a busy lane way, this French garden bistro offers French home cooking at a distinctly Vietnamese price. The menu includes some Italian and Vietnamese dishes, plus French cheeses and profiteroles. It stays open late as a lively bar with pool table.
 
Cusine: French, Vietnamese
Price (US): $5 - $15
Location: Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 398 2200

Pho Cali Phu Quoc, discoverphuquoc.com Pho Cali Phu Quoc
This inviting noodle shop serves tasty bowls of traditional Vietnamese Pho noodle (or Beef noodle) and hot spring rolls. The English-speaking owner is a good source of island info.
 
Cusine: Vietnamese Pho noodle
Price (US): $2 - $7
Location: Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 994 177
 

SHOPPING
Phu Quoc Island offers some interesting shopping options for people fond to spend some money or buy some souvenirs while on holiday. The best shopping experiences can be found around the local markets in Duong Dong and An Thoi towns, however we have listed other possibilities below for you to consider along with some recommended items that are fairly unique to Phu Quoc Island.


Local markets

For the best down to earth shopping and life style experience, visiting the local markets on the island is highly recommended. While western style goods are very limited, the local markets offer a colourful range of fruit, vegetables, seafood’s and much much more.

Duong Dong market located in the centre of town along the river is the islands largest and most exciting local market. At most times of the day this can be a busy place with the local traffic running along the road and boats coming and going, loading and unloading their goods, and it is here you will find lovely ladies in conical hats selling everything from tropical fruits to unusual fishing equipment.

Unless you enjoy a decent crowd, we recommend avoiding Duong Dong market when cruise ships arrive (usually once a week) at the pier, bringing thousands of travellers, who fill the town and market place.Top of page

Duong Dong shops

The local shops do offer some limited items, depending on what you are after, for instance there a number of supply shops that sell everything from biscuits, soap and shampoo and interesting toothpaste to soft drinks, water and cases of beer. There are also a number of pharmacies, sunglass shops and a number of local laundries that are far cheaper than the resort prices. If you’re in need of building supplies, there are some places that sell tiles, paints, marble, timber and plumbing goods, though the range and quality will not be the same as the mainland.

Clothing stores are limited, however if you’re in need of some long shirts or pants to keep off the dust while riding around the island or any mosquitoes at night, there are some local market style places opposite Duong Dong market on the other side of the bridge opposite that sell plenty of cheap and non fashionable clothing and hats. For something a little more modern, there's also a mini mart (Ph 0773 993366) in town about 1km past the airport at Nguyen Trung Truc after Hung Vuong Street, Duong Dong, which sells a range of clothes, cosmetics, and a variety of other items.Top of page

Resort shops

If you are after some up market souvenirs, many of the resorts have small shops or displays offering island gifts, everything from pearl necklaces to t-shirts or caps and postcards.Top of page

Craft shops

There are a couple of shops in Duong Dong that now specialise in selling arts and crafts, and while most of the products are from the mainland, these shops are still fairly new and offer discounted prices from time to time. A couple of shops are located opposite Phu Quoc Airport road entrance in Duong Dong, including Phu Quoc Crafts & Cafe (109 Nguyen Trung Truc), Phu Quoc Fine Arts (Khu Pho 4, Duong Dong) with another shop on the way to Long Beach called Phu Quoc Creation (30 Tran Hung Dao Street). Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com.

Another large souvenir shop can be found on the road heading south from Duong Dong Town on Long Beach called Coinguon at 149 Tran Hung Dao (ph 773 980 206, www.coinguonphuquoc.com). They sell a wide range of souvenirs, pearls, jewellery and art and also have a fairly extensive museum towards the rear of the left hand side shop which contains an interesting array of items includes Vietnamese pottery, animal skeletons, old money and more. There is a wide range of souvenirs available so you might like to think twice before purchasing any items made from the many sea shells in the store.Top of page

Phu Quoc airport

Looking for a last minute purchase, then the airport offers a decent range of postcards, pearls and other jewellery items, along with Phu Quoc books and maps, t-shirts and caps and of course fish sauce (after immigration). There is also currency exchange counter in the arrivals hall, which offer reasonable rates.
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Pearl shops

If you’re after the real deal, the pearl farm shop run by an New Zealand based company in Duong To Village about 9kms south of Duong Dong along the dirt road that follows Long Beach. See their web site for more information, www.treasuresfromthedeep.com. Here you will find some remarkable pearls and some information about the history of pearl farming on the island. You might find the prices are also quiet remarkable too, judge for yourself.

For alternatives to the best that money can buy, there are numerous pearl shops around the island and many places that sell pearls, most of these are located in Duong Dong town near Saigon Phu Quoc Resort. At these places you can pick up a wide variety of pearl gifts from bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and much more, all at very reasonable prices.Top of page

Unique shopping items

Besides the pearls, you can not go past the opportunity to either visit or purchase one of the products that Phu Quoc Island is world famous for and that is the Fish Sauce. Please note that when departing Phu Quoc by air, carrying fish sauce on the airplane is not allowed and some airlines have banned it altogether because of risk of breakage and the pungent fumes that are extremely difficult to remove. You can however purchase some fish sauce at the airport in the departure lounge, and they currently organise delivery for you to Ho Chi Minh (somehow). See our unique sights page for more details on fish sauce and locating some distilleries. 

ADVENTUROUS

Looking for adventure on Phu Quoc Island or something that's a little different, then checkout and try some of our suggestions below for an interesting day out. Let us know if you have any feedback or unusual or exciting activities you would like to add.


Motor bike riding

This may not sound like the most adventurous activity on the planet, though once you get out on those Phu Quoc red dirt roads and find those out of the way places on the island, you'll understand why hiring a motorbike is an adventurous activity. We're not trying to turn the island into a motor cross rally of course, it's just probably the best and most interesting way of exploring Phu Quoc.

Of course you need to find the right places for adventure, so in the spirit of adventure it's best to find your own. However to give you a start, some of the best off the beaten track places will be found on the up north, including:

  • Riding around Bai Dai Beach and Ganh Dau headlands in the top northwest and riding back through the national park area.
  • The even more remote Bai Thom Beach Area at the top of the island, with lots of sandy tracks leading to the beaches through cashew nut plantations.
  • Riding around the old bridges of Cua Can Village is an interesting experience, just watch out for on coming traffic.

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Hiring your own boat

This is an island, and where there's an island there's fishing, and where's there's fishing there's boats. So find yourself a keen fisherman and hire him and his boat for the day or a couple of hours wherever you are. Half the adventure is bargaining a price, the other half is exploring what's out there, though no doubt the fisherman know some interesting places, otherwise, just go fishing! Here's a few places that might do the trick;

  • An Thoi Town: you can't really go wrong here, boats leave all the time to the islands down south, however why not hire you're own, they come in all sizes so find one that suits you. Plenty of fisherman here that would be keen to take you for a spin.
  • Duong Dong: Another good place to try just because of the large number of fishing boats, its not as close to some of the small islands around Phu Quoc, so you might end up fishing, though viewing the Duong Dong river is another interesting alternative.
  • Cua Can: Plenty of fishing boats, however it might be possible to find someone to take you around the scenic river around town, and there's a couple of small islands a little further north.
  • Vung Bau Beach is close to Turtle Island (Doi Moi) and you might be able to get across for a snorkel or a swim. The guy running the dive shop might be able to take you for a spin for a fee as well.

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National Park walks

There are a couple of basic walking tracks in the national park, however if you're thinking of attempting any walk on your own through the thick jungle, please make sure you're very prepared (tell someone where you're going, take water, food etc). There are plans in the future for a walk to the highest point on the island at Mount Chua 603m with a viewpoint, though this is still someway off.

Of the National park walking tracks, one with the best access is found on the road to Ganh Dau Village (forest walk), see Visiting the National Park.Top of page

Jet skiing and water sports

Still new to Phu Quoc, though starting to appear are the usual variety of water sports including jet skiing, kayaking and wind sailing, with just a matter of time before water skiing takes off given the calm waters around the island during the high season. The best places to find these water sports include some of the resorts on Long Beach including Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and some Jet Skis and Kayaks are available on Bao Sao beach at My Lan Resort.
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Squid fishing

May not sound too adventurous, though when was the last time you've been squid fishing at night? There's plenty of tours on offer, so head out for an evening of squid fishing and if you're lucky you'll have your own self caught dinner grilled on the spot.

See our Tour Operators page for a starting point or visit your hotel or resort reception for more information on squid fishing. 
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Explore local markets

You're in Vietnam so what could be more fun than exploring the local Duong Dong Market early in the morning, see our Local Markets section for a little more information. For a few ideas;

  • Get off the main road into some of the sheds that sell fish, there's any amazing array of seafood for sale, or
  • Walk down to the other end of the market and visit places few tourists venture, there's more to town than the main roads, or
  • Checkout the variety of fruit and vegetables on offer, why not try a fruit you've never tried before, they could better than you think.

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Find your own beach

Phu Quoc island is still undeveloped for the time being and even during the high session there are still plenty of remote and empty beaches. Of course it may take a little work trying to find these beaches, pack a lunch and towel, hit the road and venture out and see what you find. We're not giving away any secret locations, though you're best opportunities for empty sun drenched beaches under those coconut trees will be found around the northern part of the island. 

DIVING

For divers the true treasures around Phu Quoc Island are hidden below the surface where the panorama bursts into a virtual array of colours and corals. The warm, nutrient rich water draws vast schools of tropical fish. The diverse underwater scenery, and abundant marine life combined with good visibility will delight underwater photographers, marine naturalists and holiday makers alike. The calm and warm waters around Phu Quoc also make for a relaxing adventure for the experienced or first time diver and even people wishing to take advantage of the perfect snorkelling conditions.


Introduction

This island paradise lies only 10o north of the equator, enjoying a tropical climate with average water temperature of 24oC (75o F) with an extensive variety of aquatic life. The best time for a dive is between October and May in the dry season, however scuba diving is still available all year.

Scuba diving is relatively new to Phu Quoc island, only having been recently introduced in 2002, so divers have the unique opportunity of discovering the marine life around the island for the first time, with many areas around the island still largely unexplored. This underwater frontier continues to yield exciting new dive sites that are only now being made available. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com

Even today, in some areas to the north around Turtle Island and in the coral gardens off Bai Dai, North East off Bai Thom and Rach Vem and virtually a large majority of the An Thoi Archipelago, you may enjoy the pleasure of being one of the first ever to dive the many sites.

Please report any Dive operators to us that do not take care of our marine environment, as we would prefer to promote eco friendly operators to ensure all visits can enjoy the fantastic underwater world for years to come.Top of page

Dive operators

The dive shops on the island offer a wide range of professional services including equipment sales, rental, diver training classes and specialty dive courses, one-day dives, multi-day packages, Discover Scuba Diving and Try Dive packages (supervised beginners diving).

For those divers travelling with families, or on a tight time schedule, the local dive-shops offer an excellent selection of dive trips. See the section on following dive operators in Phu Quoc, or visit their websites or contact them directly for more information. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com

It is important to make your own enquires with dive shops if you prefer to dive with PADI certified operators, as not all dive shops on the island are actually PADI certified, and some dive operators are more eco friendly when it comes to protecting the marine habit, so choose carefully.

Coco Dive Center

Address: 58 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc
Tel: 077 982 100
24 Hour Hotline: 0913 462 300 / 0914 468 200
Web: 
www.cocodivecenter.com
Email: cocodive@dng.vnn.vn
Notes: set up originally in Nha Trang by an ex French Navy Diver, Coco Dive has only been operating for a couple of years though offer a good range of services.

Rainbow Divers

Address: Office is located on Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong or book through your hotel reception or visit the Rainbow Bar on Long beach or the Rainbow Restaurant.
Tel: 0913 400 964
Web: 
www.divevietnam.com
Web: www.prodive-vietnam.com
Email: info@divevietnam.com
Notes: the longest established, most experienced and probably the most professional operator on Phu Quoc, that is PADI compliant, supports Project AWARE and demonstrates an Eco friendly approach to all diving in Vietnam. They only operate in the dry season when diving is at it's best. 

Searama

Address: 91 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong or 14 Tran Hung Dao St, Duong Dong
Tel: 077 399 4577 / 077 329 1679
Fax: 077 399 4578
Web: n/a
Email: 
searama@hotmail.fr
Notes: recently established dive operators that offer many services.

Vietnam Explorer

Address: 36 Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc
Tel: 077 846 372 / 0914 095 293 / 0914 116 006
Web: 
www.dive-phuquoc.com
Email: contact@dive-phuquoc.com
Notes: Local operator that tends to venture a little further a field than other operators. They are open all year round.

Mai Phuong Resort

Address: Vung Bau Beach, 9kms north of Duong Dong Town
Tel: 0918 288 647
Notes: Offers diving trips to the northern islands near the resort.

Other Options : Many hotels will have information regarding diving on the island if you are interested, otherwise all the above dive operators are located relatively close to each other before Saigon Phu Quoc Resort. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com.
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Dive sites - An Thoi Archipelago

Located south of Phu Quoc approximately a 45 minute boat ride from Duong Dong.  The Archipelago is made up of a collection of some 15 islands/islets including the largest being Hon Thon (Pineapple island), followed by Hon Roi (Lamp Island), Hon Dam (Shadow Island), Hon Dua (Coconut Island), Hon Vang (Echo Island), Hon May Rut (Cold Cloud Island), Hon Dam (Shadow Island), Chan Qui (Yellow Tortoise Island) and Hong Mong Tay (Short Gun Island). Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com

The topography in this group of island varies considerably from the 60m deep strait between southern Phu Quoc island and Hon Dua Island and gentle sloping coral gardens off other islands. These islands also support some seagrass gardens which are more common off the eastern side of Phu Quoc, and home to the rarely seen Dugong. The archipelago is home to an abundance of smaller tropical fish, with the occasional grouper, tuna and mackerel also sighted.Top of page

Dive sites - Turtle Island (Doi Moi)

Located in the North West off the southern end of Bao Dai beach, about a 30 minute boat ride from Duong Dong, Turtle island is only 50m in length with a few palm trees and bushes with a sandy beach, and is also ideal for snorkelling. The waters surrounding the island are relatively shallow reaching no more than 10m, with an interesting range of hard corals and elephant ear and barrel sponges covered in sea worms and surrounded by small yellow damselfish, stonefish, some blue ringed angelfish and the occasional coral grouper and parrotfish.
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Learn to dive

Dive operators are ready to introduce you to the underwater paradise around Phu Quoc Island, which is developing among one of Vietnam’s premier diving locations. All dive schools offer courses from beginner to professional levels, by highly qualified instructors. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com

Prices won't vary too much between dive shops, just check out their websites listed above and find the right place for you!
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Diver training

All dive operators in the area are run by professional diving instructors and divemasters with years of experience. In line with the world's premier diving agency, PADI, beginners and experienced divers alike will all benefit from years of diving experience and the build up of operations since 2002.

Scuba diving around Phu Quoc is perfect for all types of divers, whether experienced or trying scuba diving for the very first time, the variety of local dives caters to all levels of experience. For the beginner learning to dive, this is an excellent place to start, with warm and calm waters during the dry season making for a relaxing environment in which to experience breathing underwater for the first time. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com

There is little to compare to the sensational thrill of breathing underwater while exploring the last untamed frontier on the planet Earth. You have seen underwater film and photos, but nothing compares to actually drifting along a beautiful coral reef or swimming through a vast school of colourful tropical fish. The marine environment around Phu Quoc makes for a wonderful classroom in which to learn scuba or to upgrade your level of skills.Top of page

Discover SCUBA diving (for non certified divers)

Some of the Dive operators on Phu Quoc offer DSD for people not yet certified. The PADI Discover SCUBA Diving program allows those who have never tried it to safely experience the thrill of SCUBA diving. You escape to a unique part of our world with vivid colours, pristine beauty and fascinating aquatic creatures. You can visit coral reefs bursting with marine life and swim with schools of colourful fish. When you try SCUBA diving, the possibilities are endless.

When you participate in Discover SCUBA Diving, you learn about SCUBA diving in three simple steps. A PADI Instructor conducts a brief orientation, followed by your first underwater experience in a swimming pool or pool-like body of water. Then under the careful supervision of your PADI instructor, you will go on an actual SCUBA dive in shallow water where you safely experience the same sense of wonder and excitement shared every day by SCUBA divers throughout the world.

The PADI Discover SCUBA Diving Program is an experience that gives you a taste of what you experience when you dive. Enrolling in the PADI Scuba Diver course or the PADI Open Water Diver course allows you to go even further, by gaining the knowledge and skills to become a fully qualified SCUBA diver. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com.
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Try diving

Try Dives are a useful way of introducing interested people to the joys of scuba diving. They are usually undertaken in a swimming pool or calm beach and should be good fun for the instructor and the student. Try Dives tend to spend as least time as possible talking on the surface, to get down under to maximise the experience.
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Diving in Vietnam

While Nha Trang has developed over the year to become one of Vietnams better known areas for diving, diving opportunities around Phu Quoc island are rising as more and more visitors discover the unique underwater world environment in this southern region.

Phu Quoc is also currently being considered for a number of marine protection areas around the island, which will have added benefits for diving around the island. There are plans to protect around 18,000 hectares of marine environment including protection for the aquatic life in the area.
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Dive related links

For more information on Diving in general please visit the following sites:

www.padi.com
www.projectaware.org
www.dive-centers.net

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Snorkelling

If you prefer to take in advantage the perfect snorkelling conditions around Phu Quoc island and just to go along for a ride, most of the dive operators also cater to the snorkelling folk. The warm shallow waters and tropical fish and colourful reef provide ideal conditions for snorkelling and a great day out on the water. Visit the Dive operators on the island or the websites above for more information.

Anh Tu Travel

Address: located near La Veranda Resort and Palm Tree Restaurant, Duong Dong
Tel: 84 0913 820 714
Email: 
anhtupq@yahoo.com
Notes: Local operator that offers snorkelling day trips including transport, equipment and lunch for small or larger groups to places such as Bao Sao. Prices range from US$15 to US$40/person.

Famous Tony Snorkelling Tours

Tel: 84 0913 197 334
Email: 
info@tonyanh.com
Notes: Local operator that offers snorkelling day trips starting from US$17/person including transport, lunch and snorkelling equipment. Tony can also arrange private/group island tours. Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com.

John's Island Tours

Tel: 84 0919 107 086 / 84 0982 107 086
Email: 
info@johnsislandtours.com
Web: www.johnsislandtours.com
Notes: Local operator that offers snorkelling day trips including transport, equipment and lunch for US$20 to US$25/person for full day trips. John can also organise fishing and custom tours.
S
PORT

 

In need of some physical activity then we've listed a guide to the sports and facilities available on Phu Quoc Island. Many of the larger and established resorts have a variety of leisure and sport activities available, and while facilities on the island are still relatively limited, there are opportunities below to stretch your muscles.


Beach volleyball

Eager to jump around in the sand to get some much needed exercise, there's a couple of volleyball nets making an appearance on Long Beach, one in front of Thien Hai Son Resort, sometimes in front of Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and a couple further down long beach.Top of page

Kayaking

Phu Quoc provides ideal weather conditions and calm waters during most times of the year for kayaking and more and more resorts now provide either free (Saigon Phu Quoc Resort) or rental kayaks (My Lan at Bai Sao Beach) for visitors. If your after exercise then kayaking on Long beach provides plenty of open space and only a little other boat traffic, whereas other areas on the island provide the additional benefit of exploring parts of the island, like other beaches and coves not generally reachable by road.

Kayaks on Bao Sao beach generally charge around US$4-5 per hour
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Tennis

There's plenty of opportunities to play Tennis. If you're not staying at a resort that offers tennis like Saigon Phu Quoc resort or Thien Hai Son Resort, there are some tennis courts in town that may be available when the locals aren't playing a game, otherwise the resorts rent out thee courts when guests are not using the courts. Note, if you intend to play during the day, it will get very hot, so remember the hat and plenty of water. Resorts have spare balls and rackets for hire.Top of page

Billiards

There's a few resorts around like Charm resort and Saigon Phu Quoc Resort that have billiard tables for use, along with one local place in town along Nguyen Trung Truc as you approach Hung Vuong.
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Golf

There are major plans for a couple of world class 18 hole gold courses in the future as the island continues it's march toward tourism development, however for time being if you need to have a hit, Saigon Phu Quoc Resort have a gold driving net for use by guest with a couple of golf clubs available for use. There's also a basic putting green available for kids to use.
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Gyms

If you're after a workout, Saigon Phu Quoc has one gym available for use with limited equipment including a cycling machine, running machine and some weights, otherwise gym facilities on the island are very limited at this stage.
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Jet skiing

Still new to Phu Quoc, though starting to appear are the usual variety of water sports including jet skiing and wind sailing, with just a matter of time before water skiing takes off given the calm waters around the island during the high season. The best places to find these water sports include some of the resorts on Long Beach including Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and some Jet Skis are available on Bao Sao beach at My Lan Resort.
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Kite surfing

There is one company on Phu Quoc (on Tran Hung Dao street) that offer kite surfing on long beach. The alternative is to do windsurfing - which Chen La resort rents out windsurfing and sailing equipment.

 

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Cycling

 

Most hotels offer bicycle rentals which start from US$1 per day, which can be a great way to adventure around the local area. If you plan on cycling further away, poor road conditions and unsealed dusty roads can make this a difficult experience. We recommend purchasing a face mask before you head off on these longer journeys and take plenty of water. The coastal strip surrounding Phu Quoc makes cycling relatively easy however the island heats up when you get move from the coast.

ENTERTAINMENT
 

Looking for some entertainment? Phu Quoc island has some interesting options available and in the future as tourism develops there will be more on offer. We have come up with some suggestions below for any of our visitors that are crying out for some fun in the sun.

Karaoke

For a great evenings entertainment, some of the Resorts on the island offer walk in Karaoke rooms that seat around a dozen people that you can hire by the hour. Prices are very reasonable, with drinks and food also available on order at most places.

This is a fantastic experience and will leave you laughing for hours. We have sung at the Karaoke rooms at Saigon Phu Quoc Resort, and found these to be terrific. Here's what is available;

  • Saigon Phu Quoc resort: located in the building to the left after you enter the gate,
  • Sasco Blue resort have 2 private rooms available as well.
  • YNGAN Cafe & Karaoke Bar on Nguyen Trung Truc after Hung Vuong is a reasonably modern local place for talented individuals.

 

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Night clubs

 

Night clubs in Phu Quoc are still a relatively rare species, though there are a coupe of places that endeavor to provide basic clubs if you're need of some good loud music and a chance to mix with others. Try;

  • Ahoy Club at Charm Resort (Tran Hung Dao street) has a club playing different styles of dance music including 
    Hip Hop, Pop, and Rock music, and enjoy their cocktail bar.
  • YNGAN Cafe & Karaoke Bar on Nguyen Trung Truc after Hung Vuong has a night club in the premises.

 

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Bars

 

After an entertaining drink, here's a couple of the more lively bars around town that may be worth trying out for a drink:

  • Rainbow Bar - on Long Beach, past Saigon Phu Quoc Resort, a good social place to catch up for a drink, and maybe talk about diving;
  • Coco Bar at Charm Resort serves a wide range of well known cocktails
  • Poolside Bar and Beach Bar at Saigon Phu Quoc Resort, guests always welcome.
  • Sunken pool bar at Sasco Blue Resort offer cocktails and figure food, there other bar beside the Laguna Restaurant is open until midnight.
  • Eden Bar - Further south down Long Beach stays open late and serves a decent range of drinks.

 

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Gaming club/casino

 

Saigon Phu Quoc Resort is planning on opening a gaming club - casino called the Dynasty Club in the future which is anticipated to include slot machines, and gaming tables including blackjack, baccarat, roulette and poker.


WHAT TO SEE
 

Besides the relaxing tropical climate, Phu Quoc has a several unique qualities compared to the rest of Vietnam there for you to discover, from the islands own dog to the production of the highest quality fish sauce and black pepper, to local fruit wine. Learn more about these amazing sights on offer below.Back to topDrying anchovies & squid

One of the unique sights or smells when travelling around the island, are the many racks of drying anchovies and drying squid, which sell in the markets around Vietnam. These form an important part of the Vietnamese diet, used in many dishes to flavour food, and of course anchovies are the special ingredient used to make fish sauce that Phu Quoc is famous for producing, covered more below. You’ll see these racks mostly along the coastal routes if travelling around the island, from north to south.
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Phu Quoc dog

OK, not your usual tourist highlight, but the Phu Quoc Dog is actually one of the worlds three rarest ridgeback type dogs that have whorls running down their backs. It is closely related to the Thai Ridgeback, though it is suggested that the Phu Quoc Dog is a completely different breed given the difference in their size and the 2cm whorl (line of raised fur).

There is a Phu Quoc Dog breeding center on the island and some organised tours will visit this breeding center. Visit out Tour Operators page for more information.

They are excellent hunters, unafraid of heights, intelligent and fiercely loyal yet are very trusting of strangers, so they make poor guard dogs. A mature dog is about 20-25kg, with a small head, quite a long snout, and thin ears. They love barking when strangers do approach, but they don't take things any further. The wild female when pregnant disappears into the national park, digging a den to give birth and nurse their pups for up to a month before rejoining the wild pack. There's even a web site that explains more at www.phuquocdog.com

Dog lovers are looking to have the Phu Quoc Ridgeback recognised as a seperate domestic dog breed for entry into international dog shows, check out the latest news here. 
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Fish sauce factories

For a completely unique experience visit one of the many fish sauce distilleries in either Duong Dong or An Thoi towns. Phu Quoc is famous for its production of very high quality fish sauce which is exported worldwide and is a major contributor to the islands economy. Fish sauce or nuoc mâm is a dipping sauce which complements most Vietnamese meals to add a saltiness flavour. It is made from combining anchovies, salt, and water and sometimes the pepper grown on the island and fermented through various stages for six months up to a year before being drained from the large barrels into different grades from the top quality lighter coloured sauce to the basic cooking sauce, both of which are high in protein. Phu Quoc produces over an incredible 12 million litres of fish sauce each year and has around 85 factories on the island, so it’s well worth visiting one of the many factories on the island.

Most factories in Duong Dong are located along the river and they will let you have a look at the large storage barrels which flow into smaller vats and then plastic containers to the bottling process. Some of the organised tours visit these fish sauce factories, however if visiting on your own there’s no admission charge, however you may need a Vietnamese speaking guide. Some factories also have a small shop selling different grades of fish sauce. Please note that when departing Phu Quoc by air, carrying fish sauce on the airplane is not allowed and some airlines have banned it altogether because of risk of breakage and the pungent fumes that are extremely difficult to remove. You can however purchase some fish sauce at the airport in the departure lounge, and they currently organise delivery for you to Ho Chi Minh (somehow).

Here’s a few addresses to start with:     

  • Khai Hoan
    • Hung Vuong Street
    • Phone: 077 848 555
    • Location: go towards Ham Ninh on the east coast along 3 Thang 30 Street then turn left onto Hung Vuong Street and you’ll see the buildings to the left near the river.
       
  •   
  • Hung Thanh – Largest Phu Quoc fish sauce producers
  •  
    • Address: Khu phố 3, Dương Đông, Phú Quốc
    • Phone: 077 846 124
    • Web: www.hungthanhfishsauce.com.vn
    • Admission free; 8-11am & 1-5pm
       
      
  • Nam Huong – based in An Thoi Town
  •  
    • Address: 95 to 3, Khu phố 1, An Thoi, Phú Quốc
    • Phone: 077 844 003
    • Web: http://www.namhuong.com/
      

For more information on fish sauce checkout the following web site link;www.american.edu/TED/vietnam-fish-sauce.htm
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Remote beaches

Phu Quoc island is still undeveloped for the time being and even during the high session there are still plenty of remote and empty beaches. Of course it may take a little work trying to find these beaches, so pack a lunch and towel, hit the road and venture out and see what you find. We're not giving away any secret locations, though you're best opportunities for empty sun drenched beaches under those coconut trees will be found around the northern and northeastern part of the island. 
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Mount Chua

Mount Chua at 603 meters is the highest mountain on Phu Quoc and forms part of the Ham Ninh sandstone chain of mountains that stretch for 30km along the eastern edge of Phu Quoc. There are plans in future to build a walking trail up to a lookout at the top of the Mount Chua. The views over the national park and the island should be excellent.
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Local myrtle wine

Another specialty of the island is the Rose Myrtle Fruit Wine, which is actually quite drinkable compared to the other local wine that contains a wild mixture of herbs and sometimes snakes resembling the taste of kerosene. The Myrtle wine is a slightly sweet tasting wine similar to alcoholic blackcurrant juice that has a violet colour and smells of the sim fruit or tomentose rose myrtle fruit from which is made. The sim fruit grows wild on the island, and due to rising demand and prices many farmers are now growing the tomentose rose myrtle fruit to contribute to the wine production.

  

You can visit the production or this wine on some of the organized tours or try finding the Son Phat Company in Duong To Commune in the southern part of Phu Quoc where the wines inventor Trinh Cong Phat produces Myrtle Wine under the Vuon Tao Phu Quoc label producing “ Ruou Sim Rung” (tomentose rose myrtle alcohol) and “Mat Sim Rung” (tomentose rose myrtle honey) or  pick up a bottle at local stores, it’s worth a try and at around 100,000 dong (US$6) it’s far cheaper than most of the imported wines. The wine is also good for digestion, though we’re still testing this theory.
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Pearl farming

If your keen to see the Pearl farms of Phu Quoc you're best bet would be start at the pearl farm shop run by an New Zealand based company in Duong To Village about 9kms south of Duong Dong along the dirt road that follows Long Beach. See their web site for more information,www.treasuresfromthedeep.com.

Here you will find some remarkable pearls and some information about the history of pearl farming on the island. You might find the prices are also quiet remarkable too, judge for yourself.


SCENIC VIEWS

Phu Quoc Scenic views include some of the best sights that nature has to offer, from the many waterfalls to the variety of plantations on the island.

Suoi Da Ban (waterfall)

Located about 6kms east of Duong Dong Town, this is a pleasant place for a swim, to cool down in the numerous rock pools and enjoy the surrounding vegetation, though we recommend you bring some mosquito repellent if you are staying around for a picnic. Suoi Da Ban is named after the many table like rock formations that make up what is actually a white water stream tumbling across large and interesting granite boulders.

To find Suoi Da Ban, take the northerly road from Duong Dong toward Bai Thom or Ganh Dau and look out for signs (turning right) to Suoi Da Ban that can be seen after about 1 or 2 kms from Duong Dong Town. Admission to the stream is 1000d, motorbike 1000d.
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Suoi Tranh (waterfall)

Located about 7kms southeast of Duong Dong Town, after a short 15 minute stroll along the shaded forest path you reach what is the islands largest string of waterfalls and rock pools, also a good place for a swim when the falls are flowing, because the stream tends to dry up before the rainy season arrives each year. The entrance to Suoi Tranh contains large concrete status, fake waterfall and large wood carved signed, though the walk to the actual waterfall is worthwhile, even to just experience the dense vegetation.

To find Suoi Tranh, take the road heading east from Duong Dong for about 7kms toward Ham Ninh Village and look out for a large wood carved sign and concrete status in what could be mistaken for an unfinished inland resort. Travel inside to the small kiosk and walk from there. Admission to the stream is 1000d and motorbike is 1000d, however this is not always enforced or collected.
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Pepper plantations

Phu Quoc produces over an incredible 400 tonnes of the best quality black pepper each year. You’ll find pepper plantations mostly around the central and northern parts of the island and most farmers won’t mind you stopping to take photo’s or viewing these amazing storks of pepper trees or the drying pepper. Organised tours also visit the Khu Tuong pepper gardens for a close look at the pepper gardens and cover the overall harvesting and drying process.

Vietnam is the leading global exporter of Black peppercorns with the best quality black pepper in Vietnam coming from Phu Quoc with big solid corns. Phu Quoc currently produces in excess of 400 tonnes of pepper every year, with the main harvesting season running from February through to July, however you can visit the farms all year round.

Peppercorn farmers have been struggling recently due to lower world pepper prices so some farmers are switching to other crops such as the Myrtle fruit for wine production which bring in more money.
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Cashew nut plantations

Another lesser known food that is grown in a fair abundance on Phu Quoc is the cashew nut. If you travel to the more remoter parts of the north around Bai Thom you're likely to see all the cashew nut tree with there hugh pear shaped husks when in season and the far smaller cashew nut attached at the end. Harvesting and picking the nuts is very manual intensive work, however it's interesting seeing all these trees.
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Mount Chua

Mount Chua at 603 meters is the highest mountain on Phu Quoc and forms part of the Ham Ninh sandstone chain of mountains that stretch for 30km along the eastern edge of Phu Quoc. There are plans in future to build a walking trail up to a lookout at the top of the Mount Chua. The views over the national park and the island should be excellent.

PHU QUOC NATIONAL PARK

 

Phu Quoc National park covers more than 50% of the island so it is definitely worth considering a visit, especially if you would like to escape the heat of the daytime sun, a walk along a park trail or motorbike ride on one of roads in the north will give you a taste of this natural environment on Phu Quoc.

Background and Park area

Phu Quoc National Park was established by the Vietnamese Government in 2001 after upgrading the previous Natural Protection Area and Nature Reserve to include an area of 31,422 hectares, which includes 8603 hectares of strictly protected area, 22,603 hectares of biological restoration area and 33 hectares for administration and services. An additional 6,144 hectares is dedicated to a land-buffer zone and around 20,000 hectares of sea-buffer zone, though the final Marine protection zones are yet to be declared.
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Location and topography

The National Park is mostly located across the North of the island with the northerly and eastern boundaries following stretches of the coastline, except for the northerly villages of Gành Dầu and Rach Vem and Cửa Cạn. The park is situated within the boundaries of the following communes: Gành Dầu, Bãi Thơm, Cửa Cạn and in part of the Communes of Cửa Dương, Hàm Ninh, Dương Tơ, and Duong Dong Township.

The highest point in the national park is Mount Chua at 603m, with plans in future for a walking trail to a look out from this point. The national park contains a number of seasonal streams, with the most sizable being the Rach Cua Can river, which flows into the gulf of Thailand on the West Coast of the island just north of Cua Can village.
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Visiting the National Park

Phu Quoc National Park is not strictly defined, however until the National park is made more accessible for the needs of tourism, the following options are available for visitors keen to explore what is on offer;

  • Hire motorbike on your own and explore the northerly parts of the island. The best areas and most forested parts can be found on the road toward Ganh Dau. To get there, take the road from Duong Dong towards Bai Thom and turn off toward Ganh Dau, the National park becomes more apparent the closer you get to Ganh Dau Village.
  • Walking Trails are limited, though for a great way to experience the national park there is a good walking trail 5kms before Ganh Dau, where the going is relatively easy and trail wide enough to take in the surrounding environment. The walk is a particularly pleasant way to escape the heat, as the vegetation provides cover from the heat of the sun. Take the same road mentioned previously towards Ganh Dau and 100m after the 5km Ganh Dau road marker on the left hand side you’ll find an opening in the national park with a clearly defined walking trail which continues for a couple of kilometers. Note, besides the 5km Ganh Dau marker, the actual trail is not sign posted.
  • If you’d like to experience the National Park along with other sites, you might consider booking a tour through one of the many tour operators on the island, or enquire with your hotel.


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Flora and fauna

Located on an island with mixed terrestrial and coastal climates, Phu Quoc National Park contains many forest types and landscapes including mangroves and wet lands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation and forest on rocky mountains. Studies by the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Center in 2005 recorded 1,164 higher plant species, including 23 orchid species and 12 rare plant species including the globally endangered Paphiopedilum callosum which was recently found in the park (www.wildlifeatrisk.org).

A total of 208 animal species were recorded in the National Park, including 28 mammals, 119 birds, 47 reptiles and 14 amphibians. Of these animal species, 6 mammal, 4 bird and 9 reptile species are globally endangered. The rare species include lorises, the long-tailed macaque, silver langur, otter, and hornbill.
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The future of Phu Quoc's National Park

The national park is well recognised for it’s bio diversity and potential in future to attract tourism given the large portion of the island which is dedicated as national park area.

In recent years, local and Vietnamese authorities have made efforts to manage the National Park in a move towards protecting the environment and the ecosystems on the island. While some harmful activities still take place like hunting and trapping of animal, illegal logging, and land clearing, authorities are improving their surveillance and have greater powers in protecting the area. Additionally there is increasing community involvement and education taking place, informing local residents in the environmental value of the national park and in ways to protect the ecosystems.

 

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Satefy tips while walking and trekking

 

  • Always plan your trip carefully in advance.
  • Leave written details of your route and expected time of return with a responsible person.
  • Take your time; set a pace that the slowest member of your party can handle.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water, and that you know where fresh water is available along your track.
  • Always carry a well-equipped first aid kit.
  • Never light a fire on a day of Total Fire Ban.

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