Phu Quoc Island, Located in the far south, off the coast of Vietnam is the untouched and undiscovered Phu Quoc Island. The Island is relatively underdeveloped and dotted with sandstone mountains, picture perfect white sand beaches and spectacular ocean sunsets that will have you raving endlessly. The interiors of the islands are as impressive and filled with narrow red soil paths, pepper plantations and a national park full of a wide variety of flora and fauna.The highlight of a safari on Vinpearl, the southern Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc is accessing the country’s first and only open zoo. Built according to an international safari model, this open zoo preserves and protects rare native species as well as wildlife from o ther areas of the world. Also, on site is a wildlife park — sprawling grounds with an abundant plant system. Both areas can be toured safari-style creating the perfect set up to view many of the animals and wildlife in their natural habitats.

THINGS TO DO IN PHU QUOC ISLAND

SIGHTSEEING

Magnificent Dinh Cau Temple: Legend has it that Dinh Cau is the symbol of Phu Quoc island not only for its masterly-designed architecture and location but also for its sacredness. The temple is located on a huge rock reef on the beach of Dinh Cau. The scene is even more magnificent in the sunset when golden warm light from the sun changing the whole sea and sky yellowish mixed with purplish color. Climb 29 stone steps to the temple, you will take in a vast scene of the sea surrounding you – a pure beauty of nature. Or you can take a seat at a nearby café to enjoy the view of the town.

Peaceful Ham Ninh Fishing Village: Ham Ninh Fishing Village has spectacular views of mountains in the back and ocean in the front. Ham Ninh is an old fishing village that reserves the peaceful, slow-paced flow of the local daily life. The houses of the fishermen are mostly on stilts, humbly made of wood. On the sea, the skillfully made fishing boats painted with bright blue and green lying there await new ventures. In the past, Ham Ninh village was built by the immigrants coming to the island and seeking for more prosperous life. Ham Ninh beach is a place to dock boats, also the place for the fishermen to try selling their catch of the day. At the end of each day, if you have chance, witnessing the very bustling, at times quite noisy crowds on Ham Ninh beach would be one of the wonderful things to do in Phu Quoc.

Phu Quoc National Park: For those who love trekking, hiking, and adventures, Phu Quoc National Park is the right place to be. The park is located at the north of Phu Quoc, consisted of Ganh Dau, Ham Rong mountain and Cua Can river. All these three places mentioned are worth visiting. The most charming features of the national park must be the clean, empty beaches, cool streams and the wilderness of nature. Indeed, the forest of Phu Quoc covers almost 70% the total area of the island and is reserved in good condition. One thing that worth saying here is Phu Quoc National Park has all types of forest ecosystems that exist in Vietnam which show how diverse the nature of Phu Quoc. 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.

Mysterious Hang Doi Cave: Hang Doi or Cave of Bats can be quite challenging to visit. It is a long way to get to the cave – you have to reach to the upstream of Suoi Tranh waterfall. From here you continue on a very rocky path to Hang Doi – a rather gloomy, mysterious place. As the name hints, there’re hundreds of bat residing here, hanging upside down on the ceiling of the cave. Hang Doi might be a little scary when you look from the outside but once you enter, you’ll find it a quiet and pretty place. The stalactites are quite nice and the air inside is cooler too.

Stunning An Thoi Archipelago: You can buy a cable car ticket to visit islands in the archipelago as well. This kind of transportation has its certain charms like air view and less time-consuming but it’s not flexible and the tickets are quite expensive. Islands that worth visiting in An Thoi archipelago are Hon Thom (Pineapple island), Hon Dua (Coconut island), Hon Mong Tay (Fingernail island)…. Especially Hon Thom where the coral species are distributed widely which is just a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving. Hon Mong Tay has stunning and empty beach where you can enjoy swimming to your heart’s content. You can also experience the world’s longest sea-crossing cable car system from An Thoi Town to Hon Thom.

The Magical King’s Well (Phu Quoc Mysterious Fairy Well): King’s Well is located on Mui Ong Doi – the southern tip of Phu Quoc which is only accessible by boats. King’s Well is a legendary place on Phu Quoc. To foreign tourists, this has no significance at all but it’s totally different from Vietnamese people because it was related to the story of the last king of Vietnam – Nguyen Lord or Gia Long and his ventures to runway from his enemies to Phu Quoc. In the 17th century, Lord Nguyen who was on his way to run away from Tay Son troops came to Phu Quoc.

Southern tip Ong Doi Cape: Mui Ong Doi is the southernmost point of Phu Quoc island, also the location of the King’s Well. Ong Doi Cape is an extended land reaching out to the southern sea, a place that has both natural beauty and historical values. Nguyen Lord, when running away from enemies, came to Phu Quoc, first reached Mui Ong Doi. Nowadays, Mui Ong Doi is a part of a new private resort that is expected to be a resort paradise of Phu Quoc. For non-resort guests, snorkeling at Mui Ong Doi is a decent activity to do. The marine life here is unique the emerald color of the sea is enchanting. Exploring the natural forest is also a great experience. Do not forget the gorgeous Ong Doi beach and the mysterious King’s Well.

Pepper Plantations: Vietnam is the world's leading exporter of black pepper and best quality harvest comes from Phu Quoc. Farms can be seen all over the central and northern parts of the island. Those with a culinary interest can have a guided tour of a pepper farm to see the whole process in detail.

Sung Hung Pagoda: Sung Hung Pagoda is a combination of two shrines that were built in the early 10th century, making it the oldest of its kind on Phu Quoc Island. Set along Tran Hung Dao Street in Duong Dong Town, the pagoda was formerly Sung Nghia and Hung Nhan Pagodas which were built in the early 20th century for locals to pray for the departed before it was merged and renamed as Sung Hung Pagoda. The main prayer hall stands at three storeys in height, housing three Buddha statues (Amitabha, Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) and intricate paintings of Buddhist mythical creatures and legends. Open daily, entrance to Sung Hung Pagoda is free of charge. Visitors are advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the monks and locals who frequent Sung Hung Pagoda.

Su Muon Pagoda:Su Muon Pagoda, sitting atop a hill about four kilometres east of Duong Dong Town, is the oldest Buddhist shrine on Phu Quoc Island. Also known as Chua Su Moun and Hung Long Tu Pagoda, local accountant-turned-monk Nguyen Kim Muon founded this temple in 1932, attracting mostly locals due to its rather hidden locale.

Vinpearl Land Amusement Park Phu Quoc: Vinpearl Land Amusement Park Phu Quoc is a massive entertainment hub that contains several sections, including an outdoor water park, outdoor and indoor arcade centres, an aquarium, and shopping street. It’s an incredible resort that is absolutely the best family friendly entertainment centre on Phu Quoc Island.

Suoi Tranh Waterfall:Suoi Tranh Waterfall is a four-metre-tall waterfall within the Ham Ninh Mountains that’s surrounded by lush greenery, natural caves, and rock pools. A 10-minute drive from Duong Dong, this natural attraction is ideal for those looking to escape the bustling town centre. Nature-lovers can enjoy recreational activities such as picnicking, camping and bird-watching, with small walking paths available for those who prefer a leisurely hike through the jungle. Various flora and fauna such as shrimps, birds, orchids, ginseng and mushrooms.

Long Beach Phu Quoc: Long Beach in Phu Quoc is divided into the northern and southern ends, with the former housing most of the island’s luxury resorts, restaurants, and tourist facilities. There’s also a backpacker’s called Long Beach Village, which is located behind Tran Hung Dao Street. While most of the beachfront are owned by various five-star resorts, you can still find several public areas towards the south.



SHOPPING:

  • Duong Dong Market: Unlike Bach Dang Night Market which is almost a market for tourists, Duong Dong market is a normal, local market located on the bank of Duong Dong river. It’s also the largest market on the island, opening at the earliest hours of the day. Residents of Phu Quoc island come to Duong Dong to trade, purchase and sell all kinds of products, but fresh and dried seafood’s are most various. Fresh seafood comes right from the fishing boats. If you buy in large number, the shop owner will pack and deliver to the airports or harbors for you.
  • Phu Quoc Pearl Farm: Phu Quoc Pearl Farm was founded in 1998 by a New Zealand-based company called Treasures from the Deep, where visitors can learn about pearl farming and purchase quality jewellery. Locally known as Ngoc Hien Pearl Farm, it spans 6,000 square meters of cultivation pools, a spacious showroom, and retail outlet selling high-end pearl rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
  • The Green Boutique Phu Quoc: The Green Boutique Phu Quoc is a home-grown beauty brand that’s renowned for offering a wide range of skincare and haircare products, all of which are handmade with all-natural ingredients. Occupying a rustic-looking hut at Tran Hung Dao Street, this boutique is accessible within a 15-minute walk from Sung Hung Pagoda.

CUISINE:

Ken noodle (Bún kèn): Ken noodle is a unique dish that you definitely cannot find anywhere outside Phu Quoc. The broth is made from dried shredded fish, fish broth, coconut milk, added curry powder and cook until they are vicious. The dish is served with thin noodles, fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, raw papaya and added a little bit of sweet and sour fish sauce.

Thick Noodle Soup with Fish Cakes (Bánh canh): You can find thick noodle soup with fish cakes everywhere in Vietnam but trying the one in Phu Quoc is extraordinary. Banh canh in Phu Quoc is famous for its chewy, crispy fish cake which is made from mackerel and well-seasoned. Local people in Phu Quoc made the broth from simmered mackerel bone, pig bones, and minced pork. Additionally, thick noodle is made from rice flour, so that its texture is bouncy, soft that will melt in your mouth. Thick noodle soup is a perfect combination of the sweetness of white chewy thick noodle, flavorful broth, tasty mackerel cake, spicy dipping sauce, pepper and fresh vegetables.

Grilled Trachurus (Cá sòng nướng): Trachurus is most delicious when it is seasoned with chili salt and grilled on hot charcoal. To enjoy grilled trachurus, wrap the meat in rice paper with fresh herbs, vegetable and dip it in chili lime sauce. All create the sweetness but not fishy, and the meat is chewy that will melt in your mouth. Do not miss the chance to try this Phu Quoc dish when traveling to the island because it is not easy to find in other places and the trachurus is quite hard to catch.

Slipper lobster (Tôm mũ ni) : Slipper lobster is truly amazing beyond your expectation! The most common way is to boil the lobster so that you can enjoy the sweetness and freshness of thick meat and its fascinating fragrant when dipped in black pepper salt mixed with lime juice. Alternatively, grilled slipper lobster with cheese, stir-fried with butter and garlic or grilled slipper lobster with spring onion grease are also common ways of cooking in many local restaurants in Phu Quoc.

Snails (Ốc): It is highly recommended that you should try as many kinds of snails as possible when you come to Phu Quoc Island. Most local seafood restaurants offer the same cooking ways but different kinds of snails will come with different flavors and distinctive tastes. However, there are some kinds of snails that are hardly found in the mainland or other coastline cities in Vietnam. Baler snail (ốc giác) is a nutritious food with its meat is divided into two edible parts – chewy white meat and a rich soft brown part called roe. The popular baler snails salad uses cooked white meat that is thinly sliced and mixed with diced banana flower, mints, chili peppers, cooking oil and other spices then topped with the roe and roasted peanuts. Besides that, grilled baler snails, baler snails with saute and boiled baler snails are also must-try dishes.

Fried Squid With Fish Sauce: Fried squid with fish sauce is also one of the best Phu Quoc food for the island visitors. The baby squids are fried with fish sauce, sugar, saute, garlic, chopped spring onions, and chili, creating the attractive smell and toothsome taste. It may sound easy to make the dish but Phu Quoc is the only place where you can taste the freshest and most authentic version of fried squid with fish sauce.

NIGHTLIFE:

  • Rory’s Beach Bar: As one of the top bars in Phu Quoc, Rory’s Beach Bar will definitely give you the quintessential nightlife experiences. Managed by an expat duo, this bar has the unique Western styles, from the music and décor to menu and prices. It has a spacious open-air lounge with comfortable chairs where you can relax and sip a great cocktail while listening to the sound of air blowing from the ocean and enjoying the good views of Phu Quoc at night.
  • Coco Bar: Looking for the standard beach bars in Phu Quoc Island, you will not miss Coco Bar that opened in 2012. This beach bar offers everything tourists love for the best nightlife in the little island, from an open-air spacious lounge with comfortable chairs, attentive and friendly services, fantastic views, wonderful grub choices, and great drinks.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • BOAT: Most top-end resorts and various private tour operators provide services to the islands that are about 30 minutes by boat south of An Thoi Town. Also, taking a brief tour along Duong Dong River can be an interesting way to experience life along the waterways. Some hotels can arrange for boat tours, or consider asking a local boat owner. Further away in Cua Can River, local fishermen may be able to take you around the waterways a little further along the lovely white sand peninsula.
  • BUS: There is a basic bus service that runs every couple of hours between An Thoi and Duong Dong. When ferries arrive at An Thoi Port, there is usually a bus waiting to take visitors to Duong Dong. Just look out for buses displaying “Huong Toan”. Many of the better resorts provide a shuttle service to and from the airport. Resort buses will be waiting at the airport for you if you have a booking in advance.
  • CAR RENTAL: Renting a self driven vehicle on Phu Quoc Island is not possible unless you have a Vietnamese driver’s licence and a permanent registered address on the island. The best option is to hire a car with a driver/guide. There are a number of private owners willing to offer their services which can be found at the airport.
  • CYCLING: Nam Nghi Phu Quoc Island. If you plan on cycling long distances, 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.
  • MOTORBIKE RENTAL: As per the information from the Police Department, Expats are allowed to drive cars or motorbikes in Vietnam if they have a valid international license or a Vietnamese driver’s license. Renting a motorbike is one of the cheapest ways to discover Phu Quoc Island and motorbikes also provide the best access if you are adventuring out to the more remote beaches beyond the main towns. Motorbikes can be rented at many hotels, or you’ll find local owners outside the hotels and airport very keen to either rent their bikes or even adopt you and guide you around the island.
  • MOTORBIKE TAXIS: Hiring a motorbike with driver is one of the easiest and quickest ways to travel short distances around Phu Quoc between the main towns. If you arrive by plane, these motorbike drivers will likely find you before you find them, just find a friendly face, negotiate a little and off you go.
  • TAXI SERVICES: There are a limited number of metered taxis now operating on Phu Quoc, most of which operate from the airport. Rates are generally up to US$5 to US$10 from the airport to Long Beach resorts south of Duong Dong Town. Private taxis / drivers also operate from Phu Quoc Airport, and can provide a good service for a negotiable fee.
  • WALKING/ HIKING: The centre of Duong Dong is only a couple hundred meters from the airport, just turn right outside the airport gates and you’ll hit the central market in around 10 minutes. So if you don’t have much luggage, this is definitely the cheapest option. There are also some local hotels across the road from the airport terminal. The coast surrounding Phu Quoc is relatively flat and allows visitors some very scenic walking.