Before I journeyed to Vietnam, the only places was familiar with here were Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi. I didn’t know that the country boasts lots of wonderful and really charming places. Being the ‘allergic-to-crowded-places’ person that I am, I did some research and looked for places in Vietnam that were not so crowded and not many tourists flock to. And lo and behold, Phu Quoc is one of the names that popped in the list.
Not known to many, Phu Quoc is said to be the biggest island in the country. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is a tropical paradise that is yet to be discovered by many tourists, which of course, is a plus for me since I can have my quiet moments here, romancing the nature.
The island really has a way to captivate your nature-loving-heart. Bordered by white-sand beaches and tropical jungles, Phu Quoc island is a must-visit beach escape for those traveling to Vietnam and even those expats living in the country. Although the island is still undeveloped, its beaches are amazingly lovely and stunning. Phu Quoc is also a very mountainous and densely forested island that is shaped like a ‘tear.’ It is surrounded by a number of smaller islands mainly to the south. Locals and those who have been to Phu Quoc can attest that the island has the some of the best seafood in Vietnam. In fact, it is home to the best fish sauce in the world.
The beach water on this island are enticing and hard to resist, sothe entire time that I was in Phu Quoc I just soaked on its clear waters and let its beauty absorb my beach-lover side. The island is home to the best beaches in Vietnam so you can expect white sand beaches and pristine waters welcoming you. I stayed in Long Beach but there are other equally lovely beaches here like the Cua Can Beach, Sao Beach and Dai Beach to name a few. Long Beach is the longest beach on the west side of the island where most of the hotels and resorts are located. If you go exploring you will find some parts totally deserted and to yourself, while other parts in the main Tourist area are full of restaurants, bars and cafes.
Aside from beach bumming, there are a number of exciting activities you can do in Phu Quoc Island like snorkeling and scuba diving. I also explored the island via motorbike, which definitely added more fun and excitement to my adventure. I also visited Phu Quoc National Park and the mountain waterfalls. Furthermore, it would be interesting to know that watching the sunrise at the Su Muong Pagoda or the Mountain Pagoda is just a blissful experience.
There is really no specific best season to visit Phu Quoc since any time of the year is fit for beach lovin’ on this island. However, it would be helpful to know that the consistently drier hot weather in the island is from December to April, which is just a perfect time to enjoy the beach. Consequently, that is the busiest time of the year, so make sure you do advance booking.
I visited Phu Quoc in mid-October so the weather is more pleasant and inviting. Its also nice to experience the middle time of year when its cooler in temperature, there is a lot less tourists and of course there is a bit more rain but this is usually in the late afternoons and evenings.
How to get there?
The fastest and most convenient way of going to Phu Quoc from major cities in Vietnam is by airplane. Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet operate flights daily and the flight fare is just around $20-$50 one way. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes. All flights land at Phu Quoc International Airport which is located at Duong Dong Town, the island’s capital.
Another option is to ride a boat going to the island. There are hydrofoils between Phu Quoc to Rach Gia, Ha Tien and Hon Chong. A ticket roughly costs around VND 320,000 or $15 one way and the travel time is approximately 2 1/2 hours.
If you are coming from Ho Chi Minh city, you can book a combined night bus + boat ticket for around $26, which already includes pick up from the hotel. There are travel agencies selling ticket packages to Phu Quoc along Pham Ngu Lao street in Ho Chi Minh city.
It’s interesting to know that there is no visa requirement for foreign tourists who are traveling directly to Phu Quoc from other countries. If you are yearning to visit Vietnam, make sure to include Phu Quoc island as this peninsula is really a wonderful creation to discover.
About The Author: This article was shared by Apple Lopez, a teacher and a writer. At present, I am teaching in an international preschool in Ho Chi Minh city, while at the same time, writing my travel stories about Vietnam. I want to share my Vietnam adventures to the rest of the world to let them know that this country is really a sight to behold. My travel write-ups about Vietnam are snippets of my journey and how I am discovering this nation one step at a time.
Photo Source: Google Commons