It was a cold January day in Bucharest when we first decided to take our first trip to Asia and decided that the second part of April would have been the perfect timing for all of us, thus the next step was to decide on the location to explore. After a little bit of investigation, we finally chose Vietnam and thought the perfect trip would include both a big city and a tropical beach. And where else to go than on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc? Thus, off we went and here is my Phu Quoc Island Guide for you to get inspiration from!
Phu Quoc Island Guide
Getting to Phu Quoc
Getting on the island couldn’t be any easier, especially by air, since there are around 10 daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and from Hanoi. We booked in advance a flight with Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City and we had to spend only around 50 USD for a round trip and a 40 min flight.
The other way you can reach the island is by sea, which will, of course, take you a little bit longer (2:30 hours from Rach Gia and 1:15 hours from Ha Tien) and you will have to take into consideration also getting to the port of departure. If you are interested in this option, here is where you can find all the information about timetables and options.
Where to stay in Phu Quoc
Accommodation on the island is available for every type of budget and preferences, depending also on the location of the hotel or resort you choose to stay in. Prices can range from around 25 USD to above 200USD per night.
The capital of the island and the city where you will find most of the hotels in Duong Dong, but we chose to stay in a location not particularly on the beach, but some 6 km away from the most beautiful beach on the island (Sao Beach) and around 20 km away from the capital.
This wasn’t a problem for us since it offered everything we were looking for: a clean place, a great host, very friendly and open who went out of his way to help us with all our arrangements around the island, good food, a great pool almost all to ourselves. Everything at a very good price. If this is what you are also looking for, I totally recommend Montana Resort.
And here are some more options you can check out:
- Cassia Cottage – depending on the period when you choose to visit the island, this place can have prices also below 100 USD per night, and its location is truly amazing, with a great big pool, overlooking the beach.
- Orchid Guesthouse – a budget location, bookable for as little as 18 USD/night, this place is a very traditional and basic location, only a few minutes away from the beach.
- Rock Beach Boutique Bungalows – straight on the beach, with prices below 100 USD/night, this place blends in nature with a lovely accommodation at a reasonable price.
- Salida Resort – a 5* resort and location, for which you will have to be prepared to pay the price
What to do on Phu Quoc Island?
Even though it is a rather small island, Phu Quoc offers a wide variety of potential activities to choose from, below some inspiration to have in mind when planning your trip here.
- I will start with the obvious: the beautiful remote sandy beaches and the clear blue water. Truong Beach, Ganh Dau Beach, Bai Vong Beach and of course Sao Beach (with its notorious swing), are only a few of the remote island where you can choose to spend your vacation, relaxing and gaining some tan. What I like most about these beaches is that they are not crowded at all, offering you the possibility of enjoying a great tropical destination at its true value.
- Pearl farming – we had only a less than an hour stop here, but it was quite enough to see how pearls grow and are being collected, and a well for buying some lovely souvenirs and gifts.
- Fish sauce factories – on the island and also on Vietnam’s mainland, you will have the chance to taste the delicious fish sauce in the delicious local cuisine. So why not get a glimpse of how this thing is done? The main factories are located in Duong Dong and An Thoi and here is where more than 12 million liters of fish sauce are produced every year in more than 85 factories. Just as a side note, if you have this in mind be prepared for the unique smell, you will definitely know when you are going to be close to one of the factories.
- Vinpearl Land and Vinpearl Safari – if you are traveling with kids, but not only, be prepared to spend one full day at this cool and not very crowded amusement park. We chose to go on the Safari before getting into the amusement park and the experience was rather nice and we got to see a lot of animals both from outside and from a closed bus. I would say that the safari is a mix of a zoo and safari, but they really have a lot of wild animals and the experience can be fun especially for kids.
Once we finished the tour of the animals, we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the amusement park. Once again, also this local attraction is not very crowded, offering the possibility of having some fun times without being bothered by crowds of other people and without having to wait at each water slide or any other rides.
If you decide to visit, are in mind that you will pay a single ticket for all the water slides and the amusement park side, while you will have unlimited rides. Also, you just need to pay attention and be careful, since safety is maybe perceived differently in Vietnam than in your local country.
- Pepper farms – the island is also known as the Pepper Island because here 4 different types of pepper (black, white, red and green) are grown and you will have the possibility of tasting them all in the local dishes. Moreover, Phu Quoc’s pepper is considered to be one of the best in the world and I can confirm it is extremely delicious and a must if you haven’t tasted yet fresh pepper. All over the island, you will ee pepper plantations and I think it is an experience not to miss.
- Snorkeling, diving, and other water-related activities – needless to say, that on an island you will find several options when talking about water-related sports and activities. When we went snorkeling around the Turtle island the only issue was that the area we visited was filled with huge jellyfish, but I guess this depends mostly on the time of the year you are visiting. There are of course also companies that offer diving courses if you are into that.
- National Park – even though the park is not strictly defined and around 50% of the island is part of the National Park, you surely need to explore the island and all its flora and fauna.
- Night market in Duong Dong – a great evening pass time, come here to watch the sunset, observe the local daily life and get to taste a lot of incredible vegetables and fruit you might not find in your local markets.
- Waterfalls – only 8 km away from the island’s capital, Duong Dong, the waterfalls can be reached by taxi or by hiring a private tour.
Getting around Phu Quoc Island
The easiest way of getting around on the island is by taxi since there is no public transportation (or if it exists I have never seen a bus so it might not be very efficient) and taxi rides are very affordable. Also, if you know how to ride a moped, you will be able to rent one almost anywhere and drive around the island.
Another option is booking an organized trip.
When is the best time to visit?
Of course, depending on the time you choose to spend your holiday on the island, temperatures and prices will vary.
- High Season – from November to March, with temperatures between 25 – 28 Celsius and low humidity. Needless to say that you will need to book in advance if this is the period of time when you will want to visit the island.
- Medium Season – April to June and late October, this is, in fact, the time we visited the island and I have to say I find it just perfect. Not very crowded, perfect temperatures, not very humid.
- Low Season – July to September, when they have monsoon time, very rainy and muddy.