Local Advisors : Things to do in Phu Quoc Islands, Vietnam
Many beaches in Asia are often known for their picturesque, noisy nightlife, but with Phu Quoc, it’s a difference to give visitors a relaxed, peaceful feeling. Here, there are several bars along the main road near Long Beach but most tourists to Phu Quoc Island usually take a break early in the evening. In the daytime they spend time swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving and fishing. This unassuming Vietnamese island sitting pretty just off the coast of Cambodia – is one of south-east Asia’s best-kept secrets. Here are 10 things to do in Phu Quoc that will make you visit this untapped paradise now (before the crowds do).
1. Sao Beach
If you are looking for perfect beach with white powdery sand, turquoise clear water with swaying palm with jungled backdrop and with a couple of cocktail while grazing out at the beach then Bai Sao is your perfect choice. Bai Sao is one of the best beaches in Vietnam, process 7 km long with quieted secluded beach, unspoiled nature, numerous amendities and easy to access to An Thoi Archipelago, which make it an ideal place for a day trip or longer stay.
Tips: Bai Sao is located in the in the South of Phu Quoc, 25km from Dong Duong Town. From local experience, you should hire a taxi and then follow An Thoi direction, this is small road, but without dirts ( Roads on Long Beach direction would be shorter but would be more dirty and muggy.
2. Khem Beach
Khem Beach is a beautiful beach in Phu Quoc Island and definitely one of the best things to do in Phu Quoc island, especially for those who love quite off-the-beaten track. Khem Beach is arc-shaped with long white and smooth sand emerging a lush green jungle and immense sea. You will be immersed in the nature and have a chance to communicate with friendly, sincere, rustic and hospitable fishermen.
Bai Khem is not as big as Sao Beach or Long beach, but it captivates the eyes of visitors by its wild beauty, serene and discreet space and romantic scenery.
You can also have a chance to enjoy the poetic panoramic view of a tranquil fishing village in this beach thoroughly from boats to fishermen. The life of fishermen here creates a cheerful atmosphere, which appeals tourists to explore the beauty idyllic life.
Trying fresh seafood is definitely indispensable things to do in Phu Quoc. Getting in a boat, you can buy fresh crabs fish, shrimp, oysters which have been recently caught up, and then carry them to restaurant to process on-spot. Herring salad is the most impressive cuisine in Bai Khem Beach. Herring salad is a best choice and a traditional dish in Phu Quoc with fish sauce, chilly and garlic; the oysters are very big and delicious.
This is the private seclude beach, especially suitable for a beach holiday.
Sea food in Khem Beach is great. You can eat at the Cuc Man restaurant tasting the side dish tomorrow and resting relaxed on the hammock. In Bai Khem you should also visit the pearl farm, very interesting.
3. Long Beach
Long Beach continues to be an unforgettable destination in Phu Quoc Island, just 7 minutes from the airport. Long Beach stretches for almost 20km along the southwestern coast of Phu Quoc Island. From October to April, Long Beach is a perfect choice because of rows of coconut palms stand along its entire length, almost completely motionless water like a liquid mirror to the sky.
The northern end of Long Beach is where the vast majority of Phu Quoc Island’s tourist industry is: dozens of hotels, resorts, guesthouses, cafes, bars and restaurants jostle for prime beachfront space along the paved road leading toward Duong Dong Town.
Sunset Sanato Beach Club is located on Long Beach, known as the most unique beach in Phu Quoc Island with impressive works of art and is the venue of the largest marine music festival in Phu Quoc – Epizode, held annually on New Year’s Day.
4. Ham Ninh fishing village
Comming Ham Ninh Village, you will feal the nostalgic back to the ancient village. Life here remains almost unspoiled with the temporary bamboo walls. Main occupation is pearl diving, catching sea ginseng and netting crabs. Visit Ham Ninh in the morning to enjoy the sunrise or enjoy the full moon would be incredible things to do in Phu Quoc Island.
It would be the big missing if you haven’t enjoyed boiled crab here. The crabs just caught up boiled, bright red, meat firmly, delicious salt lemon pepper!
Location: Ham Ninh Fishing Village is located on the East coast of the island, 20 km northeast of Duong Dong town.).
4. An Thoi Archipelago
The islands can be reached by charter boat. Though commercial boat tours advertise they go there, they never venture further than the first row to save on petrol – but the islands in the middle and the south are where it really gets gorgeous and special. Dive centres rarely do trips here even though several insiders told us the reef was better
Deserted An Thoi Island is a splendid option for every sea picnicaholic. After snorkeling to see coral reefs, you can expose your body to the sun on the white fine sand and enjoy the cool sea breezes. Then, you can try fishing, squid fishing and so on. Those are all perfect and interesting experiences. Thus, visiting Phu Quoc without taking part in such activities: fishing, snorkeling and exploring coral reefs of An Thoi Island like losing an ideal opportunity.
The most popular islands to visit are
- Hon Thom Island (Pineapple Island) – The largest island with a total of 4,000 inhabitants. You can reach here by taking a ferry from An Thoi port or by joining a tour/
- Hon Dua (Coconut Island) – The closest island to An Thoi Town and where most of the ocean fish farms are located.
- Hon Roi (Lamp Island) – A great spot for squid fishing at night.
- Hon Vong (Echo Island) – There is a nice white sand beach here.
- Hon May Rut (Cold Cloud Island)
- Hon Dam Ngoai (Shadow Island) – A uninhabited island.
- Hon Kim Qui (Yellow Tortoise) – The best place to snorkel in An Thoi.
- Hon Mong Tay (Fingernail Island) – Has one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Vietnam.
5. Get into the jungles
Around 50 per cent of Phu Quoc Island is a national park set within the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, which fosters the conservation of its tropical rain forests featuring waterfalls, coral reefs, wetlands and other parts of the surrounding natural landscape, as part of Unesco’s MAB (Man and the Biosphere) programme. The island also has a mountain landscape of 99 peaks running along the 48-km length of the island, with Chua Mountain being the highest at 603 metres.
6. Visit The world best Fish Source Factories and Pepper Farm
With an economy still based around fishing and agriculture, the island is dotted by sleepy villages whose claim to fame is fish sauce (in a similar vein to what olive oil is to Italy or tequila is to Mexico), which is said to be the world’s best.
Back in 2013, its fish sauce became the first Vietnamese product to be given the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin Status, which recognises local goods “whose quality or properties are significantly or exclusively determined by the geographical environment”, according to the country’s ministry of industry and trade. There are currently around 85 fish sauce producers in Phu Quoc.
The island also boasts the best organic pepper, producing around 1,100 tonnes of it every year using traditional farming methods and sustainable agricultural technologies.
Tourists can access tours of both the fish sauce factories and pepper farms for a closer look at local life. Or explore pockets of local charm at the night market in Duong Dong, one of the island’s main towns, where you can sample local delicacies.
7. Explore pockets of local charm at the night market in Dinh Cau Market
If you are seafood-lover, then shouldn’t miss the place which was famous for fresh seafood. You also have streetfood, snacks, local craft beer and shop for souvenirs. The foods are so good and very reasonable plus it has all the hustle and bustle of any market with lots of families and locales having a great time. But it would be great if you have a vietnamese speaker and have an idea of how much you should pay. Phu Quoc Night Market is opened daily from 5pm to midnight.
Tips: Arrive this place early to have the freshest seafood as well as to avoid crowd because it becomes very busy at around 7pm.
6. Phu Quoc Prison
One of the most harrowing but moving memorials of the Vietnam War can be found at the Phu Quoc Prison, which was the largest prisoner camp in the south of Vietnam back in 1973. Phu Quoc communist prisoner prison in an area of 400ha, kept communist soldiers in the South with more than 32,000 prisoners. Sometimes, this number was up to 40,000 people including political prisoners in several periods.
Visitors of all ages across the country, especially the young people as well as international visitor including some of the former inmates who are still living today, who come to visit Phu Quoc, they will definitely visit this monument to learn about Vietnam war, the battles with France and Spain, the indomitable struggle of revolutionary soldiers.
Hotels and Accommodations in Phu Quoc Island
International visitors often choose resorts on Tran Hung Dao Street with many resorts sticking to the most beautiful beaches in the town. If you want to bath Bai Dai Beach, there are a number of resort options but it is quite far from the center of Duong Dong. Similarly, Bai Sao has an American resort, but is somewhat isolated from Tran Hung Dao street and the town center. Staying at other places that want to bathe Tran Hung Dao Street must go more than a dozen kilometers to find new beach.
The hotels and resorts in Duong Dong town are quite various, ranging from budget to luxury. Prior to booking, you should inquire whether the hotel offers a pick-up service at the airport, with or without extra charge. In the peak season, remember to book 1-2 months in advance.
Here are some few suggestion for Phu Quoc accomodations:
1. Novotel Phú Quốc Resort
Location: Khu phố 5, Đường Bào, Dương Tơ, Phú Quốc
2. Sol Beach House Phú Quốc
Location: Long Beach, X. Dương Tơ, H. Phú Quốc
3. Vinpearl Phú Quốc Resort & Golf
Location: Dai Beach, Gành Dầu
4. The Shells Resort & Spa Phú Quốc
Location: Gành Gió Beach, Dương Đông, Phú Quốc
5. Elwood Resort Phú Quốc
Location: Ấp Ông Lang, X. Cửa Dương, H. Phú Quốc
It’s getting a luxurious spruce-up
With several hostels offered on the island, Phu Quoc has typically been an off-beat stopover among backpackers travelling around other parts of South-east Asia. But a new crop of luxury hotels and resorts have been springing up along the coast as of 2015, aimed at giving the island an upmarket touch, including a handful of five-star resorts such as the stylish and elegant JW Marriott Emerald Bay Resort & Spa which opened this year with plenty of Instagram-worthy fodder.
The brainchild of renowned hotel architect and interior designer Bill Bensley, the whimsical resort is said to be the first-ever “experiential hotel” built entirely around a fictional history inspired by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. The sprawling beachfront resort, nestled on Khem Beach, is also home to a 50m-long infinity pool – claimed to be the longest pool in a presidential suite in all of Asia.