The Phu Quoc archipelago is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, approximately 400 km west of Ho Chi Minh City. This destination appeals to both local and foreign tourists due to its wide variety of tourism options, abundant marine and island resources, as well as diverse forest and marine ecosystems. The Phu Quoc sea area comprises 22 islands, both big and small, with a total area of approximately 589.23 km2. Notably, the largest island, Phu Quoc, is divided into the north and south islands. The center of the island is home to Duong Dong town.
What is the best season to travel to Phu Quoc
The best time to travel to Pearl Island is from November to April of the following year, which is the dry season in the South. During this season, there is little rain, calm sea, mild waves, and warm sunshine, making it suitable for outdoor travel activities. This season is appropriate for resort tours, but not recommended for backpackers.
From May to October is the rainy season, with occasional storms. However, Phu Quoc is still crowded due to the summer vacation period. If you plan to visit Phu Quoc during this season, it’s better to go around the end of April when there are still fewer tourists and the weather is still pleasant. The prices are also not as high as during peak season. October is a transitional season, so there is little rain.
How to get to Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietjet Air offer direct flights to Phu Quoc from various cities including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Buon Ma Thuot, and more. Airfares can be very affordable, and if you’re lucky, you may be able to find round-trip tickets for around one million VND.
Phu Quoc’s airport is located approximately 15 minutes away from the center of the island. Some luxury hotels and resorts provide a free shuttle service from the airport, so be sure to inquire about this option when making your reservation.
In addition to direct flights, visitors to Phu Quoc can also choose other modes of transportation to get there from Ho Chi Minh City, such as motorbikes, cars, coaches, speedboats, or ferries.
First-time visitors to Phu Quoc are recommended to take a speedboat to avoid seasickness. There are two routes to Phu Quoc: the journey from Rach Gia takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to cover the 120-km distance, while the journey from Ha Tien takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to cover the 50-km distance. It’s best to depart from Ha Tien to reduce travel time on the sea, and the ticket prices are also cheaper. Make sure to call the station in advance to purchase tickets and confirm the schedule.
If you plan to drive your own car, you should depart at night and arrive at the ferry terminal in Ha Tien at around 4 am to experience the beautiful sunrise at sea. The journey from Ho Chi Minh City to the ferry terminal in Ha Tien takes approximately 6 hours, so be sure to prepare food, drinks, blankets, pillows, etc. Also, it’s recommended to have two drivers to take turns to ensure a smooth and safe night drive.
If you prefer to take a bus, you can depart from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. There are many high-quality bus operators that offer trips to Ha Tien, with fares ranging from about 150,000 VND to 230,000 VND per person. Some recommended bus companies include Phuong Trang, Mai Linh, and Kumho.
The most popular transportation options on Phu Quoc island are taxis and motorbikes. Taxi companies and car rental services typically offer half-day or full-day packages for exploring the north and south of the island, ranging from 500,000 to 700,000 VND. The driver will take you to the most popular attractions.
Alternatively, visitors can rent a motorbike for 100,000 to 150,000 VND per day, excluding gas. Renters must provide their ID or passport information when renting. Before setting out, it is recommended to carefully check the brakes, turn signals, and lights.
Buses operate on most routes and attractions, with ticket prices ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 VND. However, many tourist spots are located far from the main road, making travel by bus inconvenient.
Accommodation options in Phu Quoc Island range from luxurious to affordable
Visitors to Phu Quoc have a wide range of accommodation options, from affordable guesthouses to high-class international resorts. For those on a budget, homestays are available. Traveling with a group or young children, a hotel in Duong Dong town is recommended for its convenience to attractions and shopping.
Prices for 5-star hotels like Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and Eden Resort can exceed 1,500,000 VND per room per day. The cost for 3-4 star hotels ranges from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 VND. 2-star hotels such as Gold Hotel, Lavita Hotel, Sea Star Resort, and Kim Hoa typically cost 600,000 – 800,000 VND.
Compared to Nha Trang, where the beaches are easily accessible from the main road, visitors to Phu Quoc often have to travel further to get to the beach. Therefore, for a quieter and more relaxing experience, it is recommended to stay in a resort, villa or bungalow near the beach.
Visitors can choose from a range of beautiful resorts with room rates ranging from 1,800,000 to 7,000,000 VND per night. In the North of the island, there are Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort, Nam Nghi Coral Peninsula Phu Quoc, and Fusion Resort Phu Quoc. On the east side of the island, there is Rocks Beach Boutique Phu Quoc, located in Ham Ninh commune, which opened in early 2022 and is being compared to a “miniature Maldives.”
Movenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc and Mango Bay Resort are located in the middle of the North Island and the center, on Ong Lang beach. Lahana Resort Phu Quoc, L’Azure Resort & Spa Phu Quoc, Anja Beach Resort, Pullman Phu Quoc, and InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort are located in the middle of Duong Dong town. The outstanding accommodations in the South of the island include JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay located on Khem beach and Premier Village Phu Quoc.
Interesting attractions in Phu Quoc Island
The tourist attractions on Phu Quoc Island are divided into four main areas: the central area in Duong Dong town, the South island, the North island, and the East island. Depending on your schedule, it is recommended that you spend at least two days if you want to explore all the fun spots on the island.
The north of Phu Quoc Island boasts an abundance of natural beauty, including pristine beaches, fishing villages, and primeval forests that have been relatively untouched by commercial development. There are several attractions to explore in this area.
One such attraction is the Phu Quoc National Park, which spans over 31,400 hectares and is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, as well as a diverse range of ecosystems consisting of mountains, forests, seas, waterfalls, and streams. Visitors to the park can explore the lush vegetation and admire the beauty of pure streams like Tranh, Da Ban, and Da Ngon. A 4-hour tour will take you to the top of Nui Chua, which sits at an altitude of 565 meters, where you can marvel at the stunning and colorful landscape of the park.
Located about 15 km away from Duong Dong town, Rach Vem fishing village, also known as the “starfish kingdom,” is a popular photography spot for tourists. In addition to its clear blue sea, the place is also home to a variety of starfish. The best time to spot them is from December to April, when the sea is calm and the water is clear. However, during the rainy season, the road to Rach Vem becomes difficult to navigate, and the water becomes cloudy.
Rach Vem is also known for its raft houses and wooden bridges facing the sea, which make for picturesque scenery. Visitors can enjoy a variety of fresh seafood, which is generally cheaper than in the central area. However, as most of the raft houses are operated by local people, they may not have elaborate decorations.
One of the most famous attractions in the north of the island is Vinpearl Safari, which is home to over 3,000 birds, mammals, and reptiles of 175 different species. Safari is divided into two open zoo areas for visitors to explore, the petting area and the semi-wild area, which visitors can tour via specialized vehicles.
At Vinpearl Safari, visitors can learn about animals in their natural habitats, making it an ideal family-friendly attraction. Nearby is the VinWonders entertainment complex, which offers a range of fun and adventurous games, as well as an aquarium suitable for both children and adults.
Ganh Dau Cape is situated in the northwest of the island and is a protruding landform into the sea. It possesses a rugged and unspoiled beauty with a range of rocky formations in various shapes and pristine blue beaches.
Tourists can explore the pepper gardens and purchase local specialties as souvenirs while journeying to discover the North Island. Khu Tuong is recommended as the primary pepper garden to visit where the majority of pepper is grown along the way to Bai Thom commune. Additionally, there are several pepper gardens along the way to Ganh Dau, providing ample opportunities to visit and take photographs.
Bai Sao is indeed a stunning beach with its clear blue water and white sand strip. Visitors can enjoy various water sports activities, including kayaking. The rental price for a boat is quite reasonable, ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 VND. Additionally, there are several beachfront restaurants and bars where visitors can savor fresh seafood and drinks while enjoying the scenic views of the beach.
What should you see when you visit Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s first travel destination to open for international tourists since the country closed its border because of Covid-19 outbreak? Take a photo tour that Vietnam Travel chose to share, and find out all Vietnam’s paradise island has to offer.
Bai Truong is a 20-kilometer-long beach and one of the most beautiful sunset spots on Phu Quoc Island. Visitors can check out the Sunset Sanato Beach Club, which is decorated with various bamboo scenes such as a bridge leading to the sea, a herd of water elephants, a shell house, and a swing for visitors to capture stunning photos in the orange-yellow afternoon light.
Dinh Ba and Dinh Cau are two of the most sacred destinations in Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc, which are steeped in legends about Uncle Quy, Uncle Tai, Lord of Jade Queen, and Thuy Long Thanh Mau. Fishermen come to these places to pray for peace, good weather, and a successful fishing season. Large festivals are held here on January 15th every year.
Dinh Cau Cape is the most scenic location to watch the sunset, with cliffs that resemble mountains stretching out into the sea. The most stunning sunset on Dinh Cau Cape is from May to September when the sky and sea blend into a soft blue color that is awe-inspiring.
Phu Quoc Prison is located in Cay Dua hamlet, An Thoi commune. The relic is a tourist attraction that attracts tourists. Some scenes have been restored to recreate history; Open from 7am to 5pm daily and free tickets.
Phu Quoc Night Market is located on Bach Dang Street, about 1 km from Dinh Cau. This place operates from 5pm to 11pm on weekends, including many stalls selling fresh seafood, local specialties such as fish sauce, sim candy, pepper and handicrafts. In addition to sightseeing and shopping, do not forget to enjoy fresh seafood dishes sold and processed at the market. Some other suggested dishes are ice cream rolls, egg tarts, jaggery beef cakes…
In addition to the places mentioned above, the south of the island also has a number of attractions such as a fish sauce factory, a pearl farm and a sim wine facility.
Coming to Phu Quoc, one of the most attractive experiences is visiting islands such as Hon Thom, Mong Tay, Gam Ghi, May Rut.
Hon Thom is the most exploited island for tourism, with beautiful beaches, coral diving, fishing, squid fishing, kayaking, and jet skiing. In particular, there is a water park with 20 thrilling games Aquatopia Water Park for visitors to have fun with their family.
If you love scuba diving, you can go to the ECO Beach area on the island. There is a package of 950,000 VND per person, experience for 20 minutes with a closed hat. If you choose an air tank like a diver, the service price is VND 650,000 per person. Some other services visitors can register for are 600,000 VND underwater video recording, 300,000 VND photography.
To get to the island, visitors depart to the cable car station. The station, designed and built in the ancient Roman style, is a favorite photo spot of many young tourists. After that, you will be able to ride on the world’s longest three-wire cable car, total length of 7,899 m. From the cabin, visitors can see the clear blue sea, peaceful islands with boats going up and down.
In addition to booking tickets in advance, visitors can buy tickets outside the entrance to the cable car station. The price of cable car package, water park and lunch buffet is 600,000 VND for adults and children over 1m tall. Guests from 1m to 1m4 tall buy tickets for 400,000 VND.
In addition, visitors can book an island tour to visit Hon Thom and the rest of the islands. In which the tour of 4 islands: Hon May Rut Trong, May Rut Ngoai, Gam Ghi and Hon Mong Tay in An Thoi archipelago is a popular choice.
Guests will be picked up at the hotel in Duong Dong town to An Thoi port and visit by canoe, snorkeling at Gam Ghi island. Services include filming packages, underwater shooting. Tour with lunch costs about 1,000,000 VND per person. However, the 4-island tour often moves a lot. Travelers with seasickness or poor health can choose a 2 or 3 island tour with fewer activities.
If you want to be more adventurous, you can explore Hon Dam, which is known as the Robinson island of Phu Quoc. Hon Dam has no internet, electricity runs from solar energy, the whole island has only a few bungalows made of bamboo and wood, the back facing the sea.
What is Phu Quoc specialty?
If you are a fan of real food, you should go to Phu Quoc between May and November. This is the beach season for locals, so there will be a lot of fresh seafood, the price will also be cheaper.
Herring salad: The first dish on the culinary list you must try in Phu Quoc is herring salad. This dish is sold throughout the restaurants and eateries from high-end to popular. Herring is preliminarily processed, rolled with vegetables and rice paper, dipped with fish sauce, absolutely no fishy smell.
Ham Ninh crabs: The crabs here are not big but are rated by diners as delicious, sweet and fresh. Depending on the time, the price of crabs will range from 200,000 VND to 500,000 VND per kilogram. You should choose 6 to 7 fish per kilogram, if you like to eat egg crabs, you can choose females, if you eat meat, choose male crabs. The best way to prepare it is boiled crabs with salt, pepper, and lemon.
Grilled Bien Mai Whistle: Connoisseurs often love grilled chili with salt and pepper. The salty taste of salt, the spiciness of chili and the sweetness of the bien mai horn mix to create a very special flavor. Compared with stir-fried, boiled dishes, grilled bien mai still retains its crunchiness and toughness, so it is loved by the locals most.
Sea cucumber: is one of the famous specialties in Phu Quoc. This dish is popular with diners because of its high nutritional value and is considered a high-class food. Fresh sea cucumber is often processed into stir-fried dishes with bitter melon, sweet peppers or stewed with goat meat, pork. Many people also use sea cucumber to cook porridge, improve health. Because it is a high-class food, the price of sea cucumber is also quite expensive, the price is usually around one million dong per kilogram.
Bun Ken: Not all places have bun trumpet, not only the name but also the taste of this type of vermicelli is also very strange. Bun trumpet usually uses rice vermicelli, small fibers served with herbs, laksa leaves, cucumbers, grated papaya… The reference address is vermicelli Ken Ut Luoc Street 30/4.
Melaleuca mushroom: This fungus usually grows after the first rains of the season in the Melaleuca forests in Phu Quoc. Mushroom season lasts just over a month, so visitors are not always able to enjoy this dish. The delicious dishes you should try are boiled chicken with mushroom soup or fish balls cooked with mushrooms.
Sea urchin: In the Central region, fishermen often take meat and eggs with spices and then stir-fry it before putting it in the porridge pot. In Phu Quoc, the sea urchins that have just been caught will be cut, split in half, washed and then placed on a charcoal grill, adding onion fat to be eaten. In addition, visitors can also enjoy some other dishes such as lemon urchin, grilled urchin, porridge.
Abalone: Phu Quoc abalone is famous for its nutritional value and is considered a remedy in traditional medicine. Fresh abalone can be processed into many rustic dishes such as boiled, grilled, fried, cooked porridge…
In addition, Phu Quoc also has many attractive specialties such as myrtle honey, sim wine, pepper, fish sauce, king crab, grilled snail with salt and pepper, grilled scallops with onion fat, grilled squid… can be easily found in budget to high end restaurants.
Prestigious, hygienic places to eat when traveling to Phu Quoc
As an island area, Phu Quoc is famous for fresh seafood dishes, notably crabs, urchins, herring, abalone, and snails. Fishing villages such as Ham Ninh, Cua Can and Rach Vem are also suggested destinations to enjoy fresh, cheap seafood in the local style.
One of the most famous seafood restaurants here is Ra Khoi restaurant, 30/4 street, Duong Dong town or Hello restaurant, with sunset view, at 66 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong town. The average price is from 400,000 to 600,000 VND per person. Some other addresses are Com Bac restaurant 123 on 30/4 street), Quoc Anh restaurant on Bach Dang street, Phung fish cake soup near Dinh Cau.
Coming here, visitors should also enjoy Kien Xay noodle soup, near Dinh Cau. This is a fresh noodle dish, served with squid, fish cake and shrimp cake. The highlight of Phu Quoc vermicelli is a bowl of “self-service” dipping sauce made from soup powder, sugar, main noodles, kumquat (kumquat), ground chili. Each bowl costs from 35,000 VND.
Phu Quoc has many delicious restaurants introduced by locals and tourists, such as Ho Ky goat restaurant, 30/4 street; 100 Tran Hung Dao beef restaurant, Nha Xua rice pot restaurant, 68 Ly Thuong Kiet.
Some notes when planning to visit Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam
Do not go to Phu Quoc in the rainy season.
Hotels, motels in the peak season are often sold out, you should book about a month in advance.
Some places on Phu Quoc do not allow visitors to visit, you need to absolutely comply, do not go into prohibited areas.
Ferries and speedboats in and out of the island usually run at fixed hours. You should ask carefully the operation time so as not to miss the train or car.
If you are seasick, you should prepare some anti-sickness medicine because you have to move a lot on the sea.
If you ride a motorbike through the forest, you should find a map of Phu Quoc in case you get lost.
Some beautiful pictures of Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
One of the island’s best treks begins at Suoi Tranh Waterfall in the south-central part of the island. A small trail leads up the mountain to a lookout point that offers panoramic views of the green canopies below and the ocean in the distance. This is the perfect place to relax and breathe in fresh air while enjoying the surrounding nature.
Snorkeling is a very popular activity on Phu Quoc Island because the sea is calm and quite warm. You can book a full-day snorkeling tour that will take you to Finger Island, Dam Ngang Island, and May Rut Island where you can spot colorful coral and some diverse marine life.
Another point of interest is the famous fish sauce factory. Fishermen unload anchovies, used to produce “nuoc mam” (fish sauce), from a fishing boat at a port in southern Phu Quoc. Khai Hoan, Phung Hung, and Hung Thanh are 3 popular factories on the island to tour. Here’s a Khai Hoan boat in action.
A combination of an outdoor restaurant and seafood market, Ham Ninh fishing village – set inland from the ocean – promises an affordable, convivial night out. It’s a great place to sample the seafood while getting to witness daily life in a small island fishing village.
At Chuon Chuon Bistro & Sky Bar (Dragonfly) – the highest restaurant on the island – you will find refreshing sundowners as well as sweeping views of the jungle, ocean and sky.
Squid fishing is an unforgettable way to spend a night out. A sunset squid fishing tour is a fun and informative way to learn about local life on the island. Tours leave from various points on the island but they all share a similar itinerary: After the boat chugs away from shore for about 30 minutes, the fishermen stop the engine and turn on a bright light, which hangs out over the water, to attract squid.
On the northern end of Phu Quoc, Cua Can River winds from the sea into the center of the island. The 14-kilometer stretch of water is an ideal place to go kayaking, especially for beginners, thanks to the calm currents and jungle surrounds.
If you travel with your family, you should take your children to visit Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc. Lions, tigers, rhino, birds, antelopes, giraffes, and zebras – all those animals, and much more, you will be able to see them very close from a bus window during an excursion. There is also a familiar zoo with big aviaries nearby.
If you want to read more about this beautiful island, check out our further tips at: Things to Do in Phu Quoc.
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