Visit Phú Quốc – Asia’s Paradise Island

Turquoise seas, spectacular sunsets, and lush rainforests await you at Asia’s emerging tropical island destination. This heart shaped island provides an unbeatable combination of perfect silky soft white sand beaches, superb hospitality and great value accommodation. Plan your visit to Phu Quoc Island by exploring our comprehensive digital travel platform and discover the beauty of Vietnam’s “paradise” island. 

Just the name Phú Quốc looks and sounds exotic (pronounced “foo-quack“), and it is! What makes Phu Quoc Island rank high on most people’s “bucket-list” is the fact that mixed in with all that exotic ambiance are a range of familiar activities popular with a wide array of travelers.   From foodies and sun worshipers to culture enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Phu Quoc has something to offer everyone.  Phu Quoc is also the only destination in Vietnam that offers a 30 day visa exemption for all nations.

 

Phu Quoc

To understand Phu Quoc, obe must first appreciate the various identity crises that this up-and-coming Asian tropical island destinaton has yet to resolve: for exaple

10 Favorite Moments

To experience the true magic of Phu Quoc, just step outside to watch the glow of a sunrise or sunset, see the reflection of the moon on the inky ocean, sniff the perfume of the beach dancing in the air, or listen to the murmur of a tropical breeze through a primary rainforest. A few more of our favorite Phu Quoc experiences are described below:

1. Greeting the rising sun from atop of Ho Quoc Pagoda.

Dress warmly and head over to Phu Quoc’s newest pagoda located on the eastern side of the main island where you can watch the sunrise. Breathtaking in the rarefied air and watching the first rays of light streak across the sky is a mystical experience.

2. Heading to Ganh Dau Beach to bid the sun farewell.

This beach perched along the north west coast is the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Gulf of Thailand with vistas across the western coastline, mouse island and bang island in the disance.

3. Hiking the Ganh Dau Trail.

This easy trail will take you through a flat section of the Phu Quoc National Park, past old growth trees while hearing the soothing sounds of nature.

4. Taking a dip in the Suoi Tranh waterfall pool.

This fern shrouded waterfall pool in the middle of the jungle is a great place to be one with nature.  Get here early as it is a popular spot.

5. Snorkeling off An Thoi.

Calm shallow sea surrounded by numerous island plus an abundance of marine life make Phu Quoc one of Vietnams best snorkeling destination.  Paddle with technicolor fish, watch clouds of silvery fish flitter past, and search for tiny sea horses in the coral.

6. Pampering in paradise.

Phu Quoc’s spas have raised the art of relaxation and healing to a new level.  A massage on the beach will sooth out the kinks, while you bask in the sounds of the ocean, smell the salt air, and feel the caress of warm breeze.

7. Watching for hornbills.

This magnificent bird can be seen in flight and resting on branches in the early morning.  The best place to spot them are in Cua Can, Gan Dau, and Bai Thom.

8. Taking a Day Trip to Fingernail Island.

Skip the tours and go straight to An Thoi port and ask a local boat operator to shuttle you to Fingernail Island, a small idyllic island with a white sand beach.  Get there early as this island is very popular!

9. Discovering Starfish Beach.

Make your way up to the very north of the island to discover a relatively secret coastal area that has a large concentration of red starfish.

10. Phu Quoc Night Market Experience.

Phu Quoc, like almost all other Asian tourist destinations, has a night market that caters to vacationers.  This market is a great place to people watch, take pictures of exotic seafood on display, and watch how fast an ice cream roll is made.  No trip to Phu Quoc is complete without visiting the famous Phu Quoc Night Market at least once.

Strategies for seeing Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc may be an island but it’s a good sized island and your vacation time is precious.  There really is just one cardinal rule: relax.  Phu Quoc is not a place to “see” but a place to experience.  If you are too busy rushing to see everything, you won’t experience the magic of the island.  Here are our suggestions for making the most of your time.

Rule #1: Remember you are on vacation

Don’t jam-pack your days with activities; allow time to relax, to stop and smell the sim fruit flowers.  Since  you’ll probably arrive jet lagged, make sure to spend some time on your first day lounging around the beach or hotel swimming pool.  Don’t forget that exposure to sunlight can help reset your internal clock – another good reason to visit the beach when you arrive.

Rule #2: Driving take a lot longer on Phu Quoc.

you will need a car,  motorbike, or bicycle to get around; Phu Quoc does not have adequate public transportation.  But plan to get out of your ride as much as possible.  Don’t just look at Phu Quoc from your vehicle, get out and breathe in the tropical aroma, soak i in those views, and listen to the sounds of the island.  Sure you can drive around the 150km coastline in 3 hours few as 2 to o3 hours, but that would miss the point of the journey entirely.  Our best experience has been discovering Phu Quoc via a motorbike, which you can rent at various places around the island.  To make it easier for you, we have created this Phu Quoc Motorbike Guide which will help you greatly when exploring the island on two wheels.

Rule #3: If your visit is short stay in one place.

Unless your’re visiting for a week or longer, try not to hotel hop.  With the exception of Bai Thom, all the communes on Phu Quoc are within easy driving distance.  Second, it is not easy (or cheap) checking in and out of hotels.  There’s the schlepping of the luggage (and the corresponding tips to the taxi drivers, the bell,an, and so on), the waiting in line to check in, and unpacking, only to repeat the entire process a few days later.  Your vacation time is too precious.

Rule #4: Pick the key activity of the day and plan accordingly.

To maximize your time decide what you really want to do that day, then plan all other activities in the same geographical areas.  For example, if you really want to go golfing in Ganh Dau, pick a beach in the same area for the afternoon or a nearby fishing village in the area and plan dinner nearby, that way you won’t have to track back and forth across the island.

Rule #5: Remember you are on Vietnam’s paradise island.

Phu Quoc is different.  Slow down (no need to rush, you’re on vacation).  Smile and say “Xin Chao”, its what the local residents do. Laugh a lot, even if things aren’t going a planned — laugh.  Even if it starts raining for days on end — laugh. (Hey you are on Phu Quoc, how bad can it be?)

Rule #6: Use this digital guide.

Phu Quoc has many guidebooks, maps, pamphlets, flyers, you name it all promoting something.  The one thing that these print publications do not promote or take into consideration is the environmental footprint left by the importation and discarding of these marketing material.  Phu Quoc is an island unergoing transformative change, and you will areas that have scattered garbage.  Our guide is created tto provide you with updated information hile being cogniant of the envirnment.  There is nothing available in the worl .  We are mobile friendly as well.  In fact, using our maps, itineraries, etc is all free and you actually help the envirnment by doing so.  Win Win!

Phu Quoc Neighborhoods (MAP)

1. Duong Dong

2. Bai Truong

3. Long Beach Village

4. An Thoi Port

5. Bai Sao

5. Ham Ninh Fishing Village

6.  Rach Vem

7. Ganh Dau Village

8. Cua Can Village

9. Vunga Bau

10. Ong Long

Planning Your Trip

Phu Quoc is ripe and bursting wth adventure travel and learning opportunities for all ages and abilities.  The hard part is deciding which ones to choose in your limited amount of vacation time.  It’s helpful to keep in mind the style of travel you like, your physical ability, and whether you will be bringing children.  Some folks enjoy getting dirty and being tested to the limits of their physical abilitiesl; others like to stay clean and experience the outdoors in a softer fashion.  Some travelers like to trek through kilometers of muddy rainforest in hopes of seeing a silver langur or hornbill; others prefer to sight one at the Phu Quoc Safari Zoo.  While some travelers choose to participate in a coral reef restoration project, others are fascinated by the marine life found at the aquarium.  All of the above are available on Phu Quoc and can be arranged by yourself or through a travel agent, guide, hotel, and resort.

Museums are a rarity on Phu Quoc Island (although there are a couple of small private ones in Duong Dong Town and elsewhere) and “sightseeing” is much more of an active experience” hiking through the Phu Quoc National Park, paddling down the Cua Can river, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, biking, and so on.  Of course you can also lay low, spending your vacation reading in a hammock and listening to the surf.  Once you have got an idea of what kind of Phu Quoc trip you’re looking for, you’ve got to plan your time.  If you only have 3 to 5 days, be careful not to overextend yourself.  Because of Phu Quoc’s uniquely compact size many resorts and campgrounds serve well as bases to explore the surrounding sea and mountains in all directions, making moving from hotel to hotel unnecessary.  You may consider choosing only one or two regions that suit your needs then after you’ve arrived, planning your day trips from there.  There are also some great loop trips to be had in Phu Quoc, especially for the independent traveler.  And if you have got several weeks or more, you’ll have no problem spending them all in Phu Quoc.

It’s not necessary to plan out your activities before arriving on the island archiepelago, nor is it necessary to have your hotels and resorts completely booked before departing home — except during the high season in popular areas like Duong Dong, Ganh Dau and Bai Truong.  Plan on everything taking more time than you expect.  Indeed, Phu Quoc starts to seem a lot bigger during those long bus rides, as distances stretch alog with the local concept of time.  Renting a motorbike, car, or private taxi speeds things up, but can be prohibitively expensive for some.

When To Go

Most visitors look at a cobination of their available vacation time and Vietnam climate trends when planning when to take their trip.  Some plan around the bigger events of the year, like Christmas or New Years while Vietnamese plan around Tet holiday and Victory day. High Season (meaning an increased number of tourists and hiked prices) is generally mid-December through May, a period many travel agents and guidebooks will tell you is the “dry season” in a vain to neatly contain Phu Quoc’s weather.

In many years, this is true, with this time o the year enjoying sunny skies and vegetation still green from the rainy season.  Mother Nature, however, enjoys making things a bit more unpredictable, especially in these times of uncertain global climate.  November can be dry as bone and sunny, while December, January, and even February can play host to wet cold fronts that either blow right through or sit around for day.s

Your best bet? Be prepared, both with clothing and attitude! A week of stormy weather may ruin a vacation planned solely around snorkeling, but  it could also provide the perfect setting for exploring the rain-forest or enjoying a hot tub.

June, July, and August technicality fall in the rainy season – rain during these months may mean just a quick shower each afternoon, or it may go on for days.  Those who travel to Phu Quoc during this time are rewarded with significantly discounted prices at most accommodations.  August is the big moth for European backpackers and travelers, while December an February are dominated by North Americans, Russians, Australians and Chinese.  Some tourism businesses shut down completely during the months of September and October, the peak of the hurricane season.

What To Take

Clothing

In general, pack for hot weather (both humid and dry) and the occasional cool front; at least one pair of paints, long sleeves, and a light shell jacket are recommended (rainy season can push all the way into February when it wants to, and June through November are guaranteed to be damp).  Don’t forget a swimsuit – and a sarong or wrap for that stylish  saunter to the beach bar.

Paperwork

Make a photocopy of the pages in your passport that have your photo and information.  When you get the passport stamped in the airport, it’s a good idea to make a photocopy of that page as well, and store the copies somewhere other than with your passport.  This will facilitate things greatly if your passport ever goes lost or stolen.  Also consider taking a small address book, credit cards, travelers, checks, your insurance policy, and an international phone card for calling home.  Be discreet when using a money belt –  the best option is to buy one that looks like a regular belt instead of a money belt.

 

 

Phu Quoc Night Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHU QUOC DISTRICT

Phu Quoc (Vietnamese: Phú Quốc, Russian: Фукуок) is an “Island District” of Kien Giang Province that is situated in the Gulf of Thailand 45 kilometers from the southern tip of mainland Vietnam and only 4 kilometers from nearby Cambodia. It is part of the Kien Giang Biosphere Conservation Area which in 2006 was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. The entire “Island District” consists of 28 islands which have a total area of 593.05 square kilometers, with Phu Quoc Island being the largest of the 28 islands at 574 square kilometers.

Scroll down to explore the regions that make up Phú Quốc

1. BAI THOM

This commune, in Phu Quoc’s northeast corner, is known for mountains, forests, and remote beaches. The commune, a 1-hour drive north of Duong Dong, is where the heart of the Phu Quoc National Park is located, highlighted by Mount Chua, Phu Quoc’s highest mountain.

Bai Thom village was once a restricted military zone due to its proximity to Cambodia as both of these countries were essentially at war with each other, but those days are long gone.  Thom Village is now a peaceful place and its inhabitants are mainly fishermen and their families.  The village is slowly preparing itself for mass tourism as the entire village will be redeveloped by 2020 into a eco-tourism hub.

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1. Ganh Dau

Ganh Dau is located in the Northwestern part of the island and the area is slowly becoming the “Las Vegas” of Phu Quoc.  Here you will find “Vinpearl Phu Quoc“, a vast multipurpose complex that consists of the luxurious Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort, Vinpearl Phu Quoc Villas, an amusement park, safari zoo & animal research center, casino, 27 hole golf course, and southern Vietnam’s only WHO recognized international hospital.  Also in Ganh Dau is the Grand World Resort, located right on Dai Beach and set to open soon.  On-the-ocean seafood restaurants and Phu Quoc’s most popular hiking trail— Ganh Dau Trail, are both also found in the area.

 

Cửa Dương

Cửa Dương is the heart of Phu Quoc… literally. This area represents the interior of the island.  Clean mountain water awaits you in the few rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and swimming holes found in the area.  Some of the islands most famous resorts occupy the western beachfront areas of Bai Ong Lang as does Phu Quoc’s National Park.  The area’s accommodations are destinations in themselves, and are also used as bases for forays into the north and south.

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An Thoi

Located at the southern tip of Phu Quoc Island is An Thoi, the island districts crown jewel and the area that makes Phu Quoc competitive with similar international vacation destinations such as Phuket, Bali, Maldives, and Fiji. An Thoi is the second largest urban area on Phu Quoc Island, the gateway to the Phu Quoc Marine Park, has two beautiful white sand beaches — Bai Sao & Bai Khem — and the world’s largest over sea cable car.  An Thoi also has an international sea port and marina, various historically significant cultural sites, and the majestic Ho Quoc Pagoda.  At the southern most tip of the area lies An Thoi Town, a dense urban area and the islands second town (the other one being Duong Dong Town).

Recommended places to stay in An Thoi: the J.W. Marriott Phu Quoc resort, which is located on Khem Beach, a villa rental at Premiere Village in Mui Ong Doi, or an AirBnB niche rental in An Thoi Town, Dat Do Beach, or Bai Xep Beach.

Cua Can

If you are looking for solitude, long stretches of clean beach, and ecotourism water-sport activities like kayaking and beach snorkeling, then the Cua Can area is perfect for you.  Cua Can (Vietnamese: Cửa Cạn) is located in the north western section of Phu Quoc and consists of Vung Bau Beach, Cua Can Beach, Cua Can Village and the Cua Can River. Cua Can Village is famous for having the highest concentration of rustic wooden bridges in Phu Quoc District.  Recommended accommodations for this area are reviewed here.

Bai Truong

Nested in between Phu Quoc’s two major towns (Duong Dong & An Thoi) lies Duong To, a vast central area that is home to the Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Phu Quoc’s main tourist area.  The Bai Truong Tourist Complex is often referred to as just “Long Beach”, the literal translation of the Vietnamese words in English.  Recommend hotels and resorts in this area include the Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, Salinda Resort, and the Sol Beach Resort.

 

Ong Lang

Ong Lang is a coastal beach area within the larger Cua Duong Village area.   If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Long Beach and you are looking for some privacy then head on over to Ong Lang. There are few amazing resorts here and you are only a stones throw away from all the major tourist attractions. Ong Lang is about 45 minutes away from the airport via taxi.  Check out our top 5 places to stay in Ong Lang list.

 

Duong Dong Town

Ham Ninh Commune

Duong To Commune

An Thoi Town

Hon Thom Commune

Tho Chu Commune

Long Beach Village is a tightly packed beach area located west of Tran Hung Dao, the islands most popular tourist street, and has evolved into becoming Phu Quoc’s very own backpacker area – like Bangkok’s “Koh San Road“, Hanoi’s “Old Quarter District” or Saigon’s “Pham Ngu Lao” area. At Long Beach Village you will find numerous places to stay, tourist shops, tour agencies, restaurants, and bars.  Contained within this backpacker area is Long Beaches main public beach access point.

 

 

ABOUT PHU QUOC

The largest island in the Gulf of Thailand.

 

 

PHU QUOC’S BEST BEACHES

Exotic white and yellow sand beaches overlooking a turquoise sea. This is Phu Quoc.

Conjure up an image of the best Vietnam beach and you’ll find Phú Quốc’s generous shoreline fits the description perfectly: stretches of soft powdery sand often freckled with both shady palm and casuarina trees – and limpid, aquamarine seas. The island districts main tourism draw are its spectacular beaches and with 150 kilometers of coastline there are beaches to suit all needs: great swathes of yellow and white sand groomed by resorts promise days on end of utter luxury, offshore islands act as jumping off points for exploring a wealth of coral reefs, while hidden down jungle-choked dirt tracks are sandy slices of undiscovered paradise.

Here are the 5 most popular beaches found on Phu Quoc Island:

Beaches Found on Phu Quoc:

 

Long Beach

Location: Center-west of the island | Area: Bai Truong Tourist Complex – Duong Dong, Duong To, Cua Lap | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Trường

On the western side of Phu Quoc Island lies the most popular stretch of beach called Long Beach (aka Bai Truong or Truong Beach). The beach faces the setting sun and it encompasses the islands 3 major tourist areas: Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Cua Lap (Ba Keo/Long Beach Backpacker Village), and Duong Dong. The longest uninterrupted stretch of the beach is located south-west of the airport while the most popular stretch of the beach lies south of Duong Dong Town.  The total length of Long Beach is roughly 20 kilometers (hence the name) and it is the epicenter of all tourist related activities on Phu Quoc.

 

Sao Beach

Location: Southeast of the island | Area: An Thoi |Vietnamese Name: Bãi Sao

 

On the eastern side of Phu Quoc lies Sao Beach, one of Phu Quoc’s best beach and maybe even the best beach in Vietnam.  Sao Beach is blessed with powdery white sand, turquoise sea, and lush forest.

 

 

 

 

 

Ong Lang Beach

Location: Center-West of Phu Quoc | Area: Cua Duong | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Ông Lang

Ong Lang Beach is located on the western shores of Cửa Dương Village, just north of Duong Dong Town. “Ong Lang Beach” is also not a continuous stretch of beach but rather a series of smaller beaches broken up by a rocky coastline and home to some great boutique resorts. Kem Beach

Location: Southeast of the island | Area: An Thoi | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Khem

Located in the south eastern part of the island, just south of Sao Beach, lies Kem Beach or Khem Beach (Bãi Khem), which literally translates to “cream” beach, in reference to the white powdery sand found here. Bãi Kem Beach was initially used as military training area but has now transformed into one of the islands most premiere beach destinations

There’s an endless array of tranquil and desolate beaches to choose from, so it can be hard to select which ones to see if you’ve got limited time. To make things a bit easier for you here’s a list of all the Phu Quoc Beaches found on the island.

WHERE TO STAY ON PHU QUOC

Resort or Villa?

Duong Dong

Duong Dong is Phu Quoc’s largest town and it is located along on the western coast of Phu Quoc island.  Duong Dong is famous for its mighty river that bears the same name, temples, fish sauce factories, pepper farms, and of course the plentiful accommodation options available at all price points. At Duong Dong you will find some hillside retreats, private villa’s, and one of Phu Quoc’s most lavish beach resort, and the one that keeps winning design awards— The Shells Resort.

Cua Lap

Part of Duong Dong, and located just a few kilometers north of the airport lies the most dense mixed-tourist area on Phu Quoc Island known as Cua Lap (Vietnamese: Cửa Lấp).  Cua Lap also encompasses a coastal area known as “Ba Keo” —which was also supposed to be converted into a beach tourist zone but the real estate development plan was not executed.  As a result, random and uncontrolled development in the area just south of Ba Keo began and this led to the rise of Long Beach Village instead, which is now Phu Quoc’s official backpacker district (see below).  A popular, and well known, resort in the Cua Lap area is the luxurious La Veranda Resort.

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD & DRINK

Eat well and be merry

Phu Quoc is a premium international tourist destination and not only will you find some of the freshest seafood dishes in all of Asia but also a variety of international cuisines as well from some of the world’s top chefs who have made this island their home.   From juicy burgers and salmon tartar to steamed crab and locally brewed beer, Phú Quốc truly is a foodie’s dream destination.  Phu Quoc Food Guide | Restaurants | Local Specialties | Cafes |

Seafood

It’s almost a rite of passage for tourists to eat at least one seafood meal during their stay as the 28 island archipelago is famous for its wide assortment of fresh seafood available on offer. With a myriad of choices, we have narrowed down 4 must try seafood types, that are considered somewhat of a specialty on Phu Quoc:

 

1. Mantis shrimp: These fierce looking shrimp-like crustaceans look intimidating at first, but once you try them you will never go back to eating regular shrimp again. Also known as Cicale or Double Headed Shrimp, the mantis shrimp is aptly named for its resemblance to the praying mantis and its meat has a certain sweetness to it that’s hard to describe in words. Find them on display at the Phu Quoc Night Market (see below) and try them boiled or steamed and eat it whole with the roe intact.

2. Crab: Straight from the Gulf of Thailand to your plate, the sea crab dishes found on the island are definitely a must try. We recommend visiting Ham Ninh Village to taste crab prepared “Phu Quoc” style – boiled in salt water and then dipping the tender meat in a simple sauce made from a combination of salt, pepper, chili, and lime juice.

3. Urchin: Referred to as “nhum” or “cau gai” or “nhim bien” in Vietnamese and “uni” in Japanese, urchins are plentiful in the surrounding sea and on the menu. The best place to experience eating urchin is on a boat while touring the southern islands that are part of the Phu Quoc Marine Park. Your captain will stop at one of the numerous offshore fish farms where he will buy the freshest urchins that you can enjoy, raw or cooked.

4. Squid: Also abundant in the Gulf of Thailand and available practically everywhere on the island, the myriad of squid dishes found on the island are a must try for seafood lovers for one main reason – majority of their diet consists of consuming black anchovies, the same fish used in making the islands famous fermented fish sauce product renowned for its umami qualities – the secret fifth flavor. Try Phu Quoc’s squid grilled, steamed, or even eat it raw.

Phu Quoc Night Market

Formerly known as the Dinh Cau Night Market, later renamed to Phu Quoc Night Market and now simply  referred to as the “Night Market” – this upscale open air market in Duong Dong Town is a major tourist attraction which draws thousands of locals and tourists alike every evening after the sun has set.  They come to the Night Market for 3 reasons:

  1. To sample some of the islands best seafood dishes;
  2. To be amazed by all the live marine life on display – from shark and snakes, to sting rays and even eels;
  3. To people watch.

The Phu Quoc Night Market (Chợ đêm Phú Quốc) is also a great place to try “food-truck” style deserts, minus the food-truck of course.  Local favorites include ice cream rolls, sticky coconut candy (Kẹo chỉ), chocolate banana crepes, and vegetarian tofu sandwiches.

 

 

 

GETTING TO PHU QUOC

Planes, ferries, boats, and automobiles

As you may already know, flying or taking a ferry is the only way to travel to Phú Quốc. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, and Jetstar are the domestic airlines that currently fly to the island and during the high season there are both direct and via transit flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Rach Gia, Hai Phong, Dalat, Russia, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, and Australia with more routes to be added shortly.

Tourists can also take a passenger ferry to Phu Quoc from the Vietnamese port towns of Ha Tien or Rach Gia. Private tour boats  (aka “junks”) originating from Saigon and international cruise ships started to arrive here as well.

Flights To Phu Quoc Island

All flights to the island land at the Phú Quốc International Airport (Sân bay quốc tế Phú Quốc) which is Vietnam’s fifth largest airport and one that can handle an estimated seven million domestic and international passengers annually.

There are numerous domestic flights from most of the major Vietnamese cities daily (e.g. Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Rach Gia, Da Nang, Hai Phong and Cam Ranh/Nha Trang), and most of these flights are competitively priced throughout the year. Actual airfares vary from airline to airline with Viet Jet Air, the country’s leading discount carrier, being the cheapest while Vietnam Airlines, the country’s national airline, being the most expensive. As mentioned above, there are also many international routes that fly to and from Phu Quoc and more routes are being added annually. During Christmas, New Years, and Tet Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year), expect the prices to be at their peaks and seat availability to be limited so plan accordingly.

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Once you have landed at the airport and picked up your luggage you have 4 transportation options available to you in order for you to reach your hotel/resort destination:

  1. Prearranged transportation. Most of the top tier resorts offer airport pickups – some are complimentary and others are not.
  2. Taxi: there are 4 taxi companies that serve the island and fares ($/per kilometer) vary based on the size of the vehicle you hire. The smallest vehicle and lowest fare taxi company is known as Phú Quốc Taxi. Please note that if you take a taxi to and from the airport you are also responsible for the airport toll fee.
  3. Shuttle bus: For 50,000VND per person an airport shuttle will drop you off at the end of Bai Truong in Duong Dong Town. This is a great option if you are staying in and around the city center and are carrying a few pieces of luggage.
  4. Xe Om. A Xe Om (pronounced “say ohm”) is a motorbike taxi that is a cheap alternative to a regular taxi and a good option for those solo travelers with just a small piece of luggage/backpack and are looking to leave the airport right away. To find a Xe Om at the airport, look for men wearing blue shirts near the entrance of the arrivals section.

 

Ferry To Phu Quoc

You can also take a boat to Phu Quoc by catching a fast from the southern Mekong Delta town of Ha Tien or Rach Gia City.  Taking the ferry to Phu Quoc is fun, fast, and a great opportunity to passively see the other islands in Kien Giang Province.  The ideal time to take the ferry is in the morning where the seas are calm and where you will get a chance to watch an amazing sunrise!

The boats are modern with decent washrooms, have soft seats, and there is also open air area in the back if you need fresh air or just want to watch the ocean scenery.  There is also a small snack bar on board in case you need water, food, or beer.  As of 2017 there are three ferry’s that go to and from the island, the fast ferry and the slow ferry.

Fast Ferry

The Fast Ferry service to Phu Quoc is predominantly operated by two ferry companies known as “Ngoc Thanh Express” and “SuperDong”.  Both ferries depart from Ha Tien Town (1.5 hrs to Phú Quốc) or Rach Gia City (2.5 hrs to Phú Quốc) , on mainland Vietnam, and dock at Bai Vong Port on the eastern coast of Phú Quốc near Ham Ninh Village.  For an extra fee you can even bring a motorbike/motorcycle on board, assuming there is capacity.

Slow Ferry

The Slow Ferry is operated by company called Thanh Thoi and is only available in Ha Tien Town. The primary purpose of the slow ferry is to transport automotive vehicles, motorbikes, tour buses/vans, and heavy machinery, but individual passengers may also take this ferry to visit Phu Quoc.

The slow ferry docks at three locations on Phu Quoc Island:

  1. Da Chong Port (~3.5 hrs to Phú Quốc), located in the Northeastern part of Phú Quốc in Bai Thom; and
  2. Bai Vong Port (3.0 hrs to Phu Quoc), located in the Eastern part of Phu Quoc at Vong Beach, just south of Ham Ninh Village.
  3. Vinh Dam Port (3.0 hrs to Phuquoc), located in the Southeastern part of Phu Quoc in Duong To, just north of Sao Beach.

Most travelers opt to take the slow ferry to Phu Quoc if: a) they plan on bringing a vehicle (car, truck, or motorbike) to the island, b) staying in the Northern region of Phú Quốc (e.g. Bai Thom, Rach Tram, Rach Vem, etc.), or c) they cannot get a ticket for the fast ferries and the slow ferry is their only option.  If you plan on taking your vehicle/motorbike to the island, you will need your passport, vehicle ownership, and license plate number to register and reserve a spot.  Once you arrive at one of the two ports mentioned above you can either take a taxi, xe-om (motorbike taxi), or mini van to your destination on the island.  Pre-paid transfers can be arranged as well through the slow ferry operator at Ha Tien Port.

 

 

GETTING AROUND PHU QUOC

Taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, and boats.

Getting around Phu Quoc island can be done by either bicycle, motorbike, car, jeep, or by taking a taxi. Taxis can be used for short trips or you can hire them for a day to take you and your group around the island. If you stay in the Bai Truong / Long Beach area you can easily visit the beach, discover great local and international restaurants, and explore few of the major landmarks all by foot.

Key things you should know:

  • Tran Hung Dao Street is the main tourist street in Bai Truong where you will find most of the bars, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.
  • Getting around Phu Quoc Island by bicycle is possible and bicycles cost around 70,000VND or $3.50USD per day.  Bicycles are available for rent at most hotels and resorts.
  • Xe om, or motorbike taxis, cost from 30,000VND or $1.50USD for short  trips to 60,000VND or $3.00USD for every 5 km’s.
  • It is illegal to ride a motorcycle/motorbike in Vietnam without a Vietnamese driver’s license yet most motorbike rental places on Phu Quoc will rent you a motorbike. Please refer to our motorbike guide for more details.  You can rent a semi automatic motorbike from 120,000VND to 150,000VND and a fully automatic motorbike for 160,000VND to 240,000VND.  Prices vary based on the bikes age and model.
  • If you want to visit either the safari or amusement park in the north, there are free shuttle buses that are available in the Long Beach Area (Dương Tô , Dương Đông, Cửa Lấp, Bà Kèo, Long Beach Village)
  • Beware of snatchers! Be cognizant of your environment in and around the Duong Dong/Long Beach area, especially when using your smartphone.

PHU QUOC VISA & IMMIGRATION

Policy & Procedures Demystified, Updated for 2017

A Vietnam Visa Is Not Needed To Travel To Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc Island will soon be designated as a special economic zone and it is the only place in Vietnam where foreigners and Vietnamese with foreign passports are eligible for a 30 day visa exemption upon arrival (entry, exit, and transit). In order to be eligible for the exemption, all visitors must hold a valid passport that will not expire within the next 45 days, depart from an international country, arrive directly or indirectly (via transit) to Phú Quốc, and they must depart Phú Quốc, either directly or indirectly (via transit), to an international destination. Under this visa exemption policy, visitors can stay on Phu Quoc for a duration not exceeding 30 days and are not permitted to enter mainland Vietnam nor any islands that are outside Phú Quốc District, a 28 island archipelago.

Q: I am from a country where its citizens are eligible for a 15 day Vietnam Visa exemption. Can I visit Phu Quoc within the 15 days without obtaining a Visa?
A: Yes. Phu Quoc is part of Vietnam and your 15 day exemption is applicable to all parts of Vietnam.

Q: How can I get the 30 day Vietnam Visa exemption for Phu Quoc?
A: You are eligible for a 30 day Vietnam Visa Exemption specifically for Phu Quoc if you plan on only visiting Phu Quoc and no other place in Vietnam. Your end destination must be Phu Quoc and you must leave Phu Quoc within 30 days to any international country via airplane. Upon arrival to Vietnam you must show customs officers your itinerary as proof.

Q: What does a Phu Quoc visa exemption look like in my passport?
A: It’s a stamp that marks date of entry to Phu Quoc and date of exemption expiration.

Q: I am in Vietnam now and my Vietnam Visa is about to expire and/or my current Vietnam Visa Exemption is about to expire. Am I eligible for a 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption while I am in Vietnam?
A: No. The 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption is only applicable to those who are planning to visit Phu Quoc directly (or via transit) from an international country. If you are currently in Vietnam you do not qualify for the 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption.

Q: I want to visit Phu Quoc first and mainland Vietnam.  What are my options in terms of getting the right Visa?
A: You can get a Visa on Arrival (VOA), just make sure the VOA letter states Phu Quoc as port of entry.  Alternatively you can get an E-Visa.[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER VISA REQUIREMENTS” anchor=”phuquoccruiseshipvisa”]

The visa exemption also applies to passengers on board international cruise ships that will dock at either the international cruise ship terminal in Duong Dong Town or at An Thoi Port. Currently there are two international cruise ship operators that visit Phu Quoc: 1) The Costa Victoria, operated by Italy’s Costa Crociere and 2) Jupiter Cruises, operated by Hong Kong’s Royal Group.

TRAVELING FROM THAILAND OR CAMBODIA TO PHU QUOC

Unless you are part of an authorized tour group you will not receive a Phu Quoc visa exemption if you travel by land (Ha Tien / Kep via Prek Chak – Xa Xia border crossing) or by boat via Cambodia (Sihanoukville) or Thailand (Koh Chang). You must obtain a Vietnam visa in advance prior to arriving to Phu Quoc. There are exceptions to this policy as there are certain number of nations that are eligible for a Vietnam visa exemption (see below).

VISA EXEMPTION FOR VIETNAM” anchor=”vietnamvisaexemption”

As of 2017 visitors from the following countries do not may not need to obtain a visa to Vietnam, which includes Phu Quoc and all other parts of Vietnam:
Western Nations

  • Norway – less than 15 days
  • Sweden – less than 15 days
  • Finland – less than 15 days
  • Denmark – less than 15 days
  • Germany – less than 15 days
  • France – less than 15 days
  • Spain – less than 15 days
  • Italy – less than 15 days
  • United Kingdom – less than 15 days
  • Singapore – less than 30 days
  • Thailand – less than 30 days
  • Malaysia – less than 30 days
  • Laos – less than 30 days

 

  • Indonesia – less than 30 days
  • Japan – less than 15 days
  • South Korea – less than 15 days
  • Philippines – less than 21 days

* Phu Quoc has 3 international border gates: Phu Quoc International Airport, Phu Quoc International Passenger Port in Duong Dong Town, and the An Thoi International Seaport in An Thoi Town.

Vietnam has a e-Visa portal that allows citizens of 40 countries to be eligible for a single entry 30-day visa to Vietnam. The electronic visa is issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department and the processing time takes 3 business days and costs $26.00USD. Visitors holding the electronic visas can touch down at any of Vietnam’s 8 international airports, including the Phu Quoc International Airport and can also arrive by land at 13 international border gates, and by sea at 7 ports across the country.

[su_spoiler title=”EXTENDED STAYS IN VIETNAM” anchor=”longtermvietnamvisa”] To stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days you must obtain a special pre-approval letter and visa on arrival which can be easily and securely obtained here.

TIPS

Advice from past visitors to Phu Quoc

» Bring insect repellent: Mosquito’s, sand flies, ticks, spiders and other stinging insects are present on the island.  The bug spray that is sold on the island is not of the same quality as those found in western nations.  Although there has been no reported case of the Zika Virus on Phu Quoc, it is better to protect yourself regardless by using bug repellent.  The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has stated that mosquito borne illnesses such as Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue, Avian Flu, and Malaria (rare) are endemic to Vietnam, so its best to take the necessary precautions.  The CDC recommends using insect repellents containing EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone).

» International Hospital: In Ganh Dau there a clean new hospital that should be your first choice in case you are sick, hurt, or poisoned.  Telephone: +84773985522 | Emergency: +84981481924

» Toxic chemicals: Do not allow your children to touch any color-based print maps or print guidebooks on Phu Quoc as there is a possibility that the ink that is used contains highly absorb-able BPA which is a carcinogenic chemical. There is widespread BPA contamination in paper products in Asia due to the print industry using cheap low-grade untested Chinese inks (remember the melamine scandal?). We’ve asked for verification and for businesses to switch to soy ink use, but our requests fell on deaf ears.  Stick with your smartphone unless you see something with a “BPA-free” logo on it, but even then the logo could be fake.  Welcome to Asia!

» Fruits: since we are on the subject of toxic products, try to avoid Chinese imported fruits, e.g. kiwi, oranges, apples, grapes, etc.  They are grown in uncontrolled environments with heavy pesticide and hormone use and imported into Vietnam – they are cheap for a reason.  Stick with local fruits such as longines, mangoes, mangosteen, dragonfruit, and simfruit.

» Pack your own sunscreen: The sunscreen found on the island, and in Vietnam in general, is of low quality, most likely counterfeit, and probably contains a skin whitening product.  On PhuQuoc  there are some shops that do sell imported sunscreen, especially in the Bai Truong, Bà Kèo, and Long Beach Village area but they are marked up by over 75%.   Tanning in the sun is an activity that most Vietnamese do not engage in. In fact they do everything possible to avoid the sun altogether!

» Bring your own snorkel and mask: Phu Quoc Island is an awesome place to snorkel directly from the beach, and if you have your own equipment that’s even better.  If you do not plan on bringing your own fins, then at bare minimum you should pack water booties as the coral here is extremely sharp and the depths are very shallow.

» Tampons: Maxi-pads are easy to find on PhuQuoc Island but tampons are not so plan accordingly.

» Google Translate App: Make sure you download “Google Translate” from either the ios or android app store prior to coming to Phú Quốc.  In Google’s latest release you can literally use your smartphones camera to instantly translate text.  This comes in handy when translating Russian or Vietnamese language text into English as there are a lot of good restaurants on Phu Quoc that only have menus in the aforementioned languages.

» Book 1 domestic flight per day: Flights aren’t reliable within Vietnam and a good portion of domestic flights are delayed or behind schedule.

» Luxury pool use: You do not necessarily have to stay at a luxury resort in order to use the resorts pool.  Just buy a drink or a snack and jump in!  This does not apply to boutique resorts as they charge a fee for their pool use.

» Sending Postcards: Near the Dinh Cau Temple there is a post office where you can send postcards back home.  They are located on 30/4 street, Duong Doong Town.

» Sim Cards:  These three Vietnamese telecom’s offer 4G: Vinaphone, Mobiphone, and Viettel.  If you want to buy a sim, you will need to register your passport however you can also buy pre-paid sim cards as well.

» Musical Instruments Shop: Vietnam made guitars make great gifts/souvenirs and on 95 Nguyen Trung Truc street in Duong Dong you will find a small music shop.

 

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While swimming at Thom Beach you have to be aware of sea urchins (year round) and jellyfish (seasonal).  There is also coral present at shallow depths.  If you venture off to the forest nearby you may see silver langurs, macaques, wild boars, flying squirrels and deer.

Entertainment and Nightlife

Shopping

Accommodations

Information

Getting There & Away

#beach #crocfarm #rachtram #rachtramushrrom #rachtrambeach

Info about Bai Thom, generic info, is needed.

Did not add Hon Mot Island

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