Poised to become the next Phuket, Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, the Cambodian coast is just a stone’s throw away.
Roughly the size of Singapore, the interior of Phu Quoc is thick with uncharted, forested mountains, while the coast is lined with long, deserted beaches. Fishing for squid was once the island’s main industry, but is quickly being eclipsed by tourism as travelers discover the fresh seafood, empty beaches and under the radar accommodation here.
Vietnam’s ubiquitous condiment, nuoc mam, is still made here, and is considered to be the country’s best. White and black pepper is also grown in the cool highlands and both are considered to be the country’s finest crop.
Though it may be a detour from the fastest route between Cambodia to Vietnam, the extra travel time is worth it: Phu Quoc is the only place in Vietnam where the sun sets straight into the sea, and thriving coral reefs are now under protection to ensure this corner of Vietnam stays as pristine as possible
Things to do in
Due to its proximity to Cambodia, much of the island is controlled by the military, and it is best to ask locals of no go zones, particularly in the sensitive north. Public transportation is scarce, and renting a motorbike is a good way to explore the island.
International hotel developers have been salivating for years at the prospect of developing Phu Quoc, and resorts are now springing up on dramatic Long Beach, a 7 kilometer (5 mile) stretch of white sand south of the island’s main town.
Bai Sao is Phu Quoc’s best beach, and can be reached by motorbike in under thirty minutes from Long Beach. As yet no international standard accommodation has been built here, though simple beach huts are available.
Pepper plantations can be visited long with fish sauce factories, most memorable for the smell rather than a glimpse into how condiment is brewed.
The An Thoi islands is a small archipelago of islands off the southern tip of Phu Quoc, and boats make day trips for snorkeling and shore excursions.
Budget Hotels in Phu Quoc
Beach Club- one of the oldest beach front hotels on Long Beach
Ngog Dung Hotel– located in the center of Phu Quoc town
Mid Range Hotels in Phu Quoc
Mango Bay- eco resort built with rammed earth walls located on a private beach
Luxury Hotels in Phu Quoc
La Veranda - Phu Quoc’s most luxurious full service resort
Saigon Phu Quoc - Saigon Tourist’s Phu Quoc property with on site pool and spa