The biggest island in Vietnam – Phu Quoc or “Pearl Island” - is loved by thousands of people thanks to it beautiful natural sea landscape and huge potential
After only 50 minute flying from Ho Chi Minh City, you will set foot on the tropical paradise of Vietnam and the world: Phu Quoc Island. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, this natural and untouched wonder covers a total area of about 580 km2. PhuQuoc Island is indubitably the central point of Southeast Asia, as it is relatively close to many big cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, etc. and even Hong Kong! A part of Kien Giang Province, the district of PhuQuoc includes the island itself and 105 wonderful islets of all sizes. The island is 46 km away from Ha Tien, the closest mainland town of the province.
Natural landscape and reserves
The island has a roughly triangular shape with a north-south length of 50km and a west-east width of 25 km. A great part of the terrain is filled with beautiful sandy beaches, but there is a mountainous region with 99 peaks, among which the Peak of Chua Mountain is the tallest one at 603 meters. Due to Phu Quoc’s location in the Gulf of Thailand, its climate is monsoonal sub-equatorial with a temperate weather all year round, making trips to Phu Quoc possible any time in the year. However, the best time to travel to this island is around November to September in the dry season, when the sky is blue and clear and the rains are away. The average annual rainfall is 2879 mm and the average annual temperature is 27oC.
With a population of only about 85,000 people, Phu Quoc has 6 major towns and villages known as An Thoi Town, Cua Can Village, Duong Dong Town, Ganh Dau Village, Ham Ninh Village, and Rach Vem Village. Each of these towns/villages has its very own traditions and distinctions that will surely benefit your time in Phu Quoc.
Phu Quoc is most famous for its the cuisines and a natural wonderful coastline. The most famous food of Phu Quoc is fish sauce, which has become quite popular all over Vietnam and the world. Besides, another thing worth trying there is the spicy yet interesting black pepper. However, the factor that will definitely intrigue you to visit Phu Quoc is its untouched coastline featuring several heavenly beaches. They have yet to be explored to their full ability, but this fact might be actually positive as it gives the shores a romantic beauty that you can find in nowhere else in the world.
Where to go and what to do?
Phu Quoc is considered a famous national tourism zone of Vietnam. The island’s beautiful beaches have been voted to be "The Cleanest and Most Beautiful Beaches of the World" by ABC News ever since the end of February, 2008.
Coming here, tourists are lured away from their busy daily life. Phu Quoc National Park should be on top of the visiting places. Here is covered with a plentiful fresh & green floristic composition and natural resources of jungle & sea. Thanks to the tropical favorable climate, Phu Quoc is of great potential for ecological tourism development. Try to get out on a boat in the evening for some squid fishing yourself, or make a visit to Phu Quoc National Park and swim in a quiet pool! This will be very relaxing!
Pristine beaches here are seemingly captivating to those fond of unspoilt beauties. The one listed in the “World Hidden Beaches” is “Long Bank” (“Bãi Dài”), which is most beautiful from October to March. The beach honorably ranks higher in the list to many other world famous beaches, such as Wildcat Beach in California, the USA, Pink Beach in Barbuda, or Cayo Costa State, south Florida, and so forth.
Besides, other suggested beaches to visit are Kem Bank, Dam Bank, Sao Bank, Ong Doi Cape, and so forth. You can come here by ship or airplane (Hochiminh City – Phu Quoc Flight). Swimming, sun bathing, boat-sailing, scuba-diving, etc. are all the exciting and relaxing seaside activities, healthful for every individual tourist. Try SCUBA diving: the shallow waters (max deep to 12-16m) allow even inexperienced divers to have nice dives. There is some nice coral to see and if you are lucky you might see a bamboo shark. After about an hour dipping yourself in the cool and clean blue sea water, imagine that you are now served with a series of specially tasty seafood, you would feel like you were the happiest guy in the world!
In case one has interest in the local fishing life, he may pay a visit to Ham Ninh fishing village, where the routine daily fishing work of the locals are available at your observation.
Motorcycles are plentiful and cheap, hire one off a local and go cruising around the island. Petrol can usually be purchased around the island at various beaches served fresh in glass bottles. Also Bicycles is a great way to observe the island. You can rent a mountain bike for around 50,000 VND per day at Saigon Phu Quoc Hotel or some local shops (be sure to write 'xe dap' because few Vietnamese here could speak English well). A few days could not be enough to contemplate all the special beauties, thus you should best come back at least once.