Phu Quoc Island, as known as Pearl Island, locates in the farthest of Gulf of Thailand. It is the ideal vacation spot for many local and international tourists because of the blue sea water, the peaceful streams and the harmony of the huge poetic landscape. If you plan to travel to Vietnam, you can add Phu Quoc island in your destination wish list.
Where Phu Quoc Island is
Phu Quoc island lies in the south of the Cambodian coast, west of Kampot, and 40 km west of Ha Tien, the nearest coastal town in Vietnam. Roughly triangular in shape the island is 50 kilometres long from north to south and 25 kilometres from east to west in the north at its widest. It is also located 115 kolimetres from Rạch Giá and nearly 540 kilomatres from Laem Chabang, Thailand.
A mountainous ridge known as “99 Peaks” runs the length of Phú Quốc, with Chúa Mountain being the tallest at 603 metres.
Phu Quoc Island is mainly composed of sedimentary rocks from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic age, including heterogeneous conglomerate composition, layering thick, quartz pebbles, silica, limestone, riolit and felsit. The Mesozoic rocks are classified in Phu Quoc Formation. The Cenozoic sediments are classified in formations of Long Toan (middle – upper Pleistocene), Long My, (upper Pleistocene), Hau Giang (lower – middle Holocene), upper Holocene sediments, and undivided Quaternary.
The island’s monsoonal sub-equatorial climate is characterized by distinct rainy (June to November) and dry seasons (December to May). The annual rainfall is high, averaging 2,879 millimetres . In the northern mountains up to 4,000 millimetres (has been recorded. April and May are the hottest months, with temperature reaching 35 °C (95 °F).
What to see
There is the Ganh Dau trail starting from the main road about 5 km east of Ganh Dau at the northwestern corner of Phu Quoc. The trailhead is marked, going south from the road, but the sign is in Vietnamese only. However, there are no other signs on that road, so the trail is difficult to miss. The trail itself is unmarked, but easy to follow (and some drive their scooter on the trail). The trail is a moderately interesting walk: you can hear birds and insects, but don’t expect to see much wildlife.
The roads going round the northwestern corner of the island are an interesting ride with a scooter (and also possible do with a car or taxi). The roads are quiet and safe, and also the unpaved roads are easy to ride (just be careful with soft loose sands in some places). You can stop for coffee or lunch at the Chez Carole Resort to see the views to the mouth of the Cua Can river. There are nice quiet beaches at the westernmost shores of the island, and the road east from Ganh Dau goes through dense forests. There are dozens of large colorful fishing boats in front of Ganh Dau in the afternoon.
At the southern tip of the island is the fishing town of An Thoi. There are some fishing boats to see. You can also hire a boat to take you to the small islands south of Phu Quoc. The prettiest beach on the island is Sao Beach at the southeastern corner of the island, a couple of kilometers north of An Thoi, with a restaurant/cafe and sun-bathing facilities.
A couple of kilometers east of Duong Dong there is a path (slightly more than 1 km) through the forest to the Suoi Tranh waterfalls. This is a major attraction when it has been raining. There is barely any water during the dry season from November to April, but the rock exposed by the river is interesting, and you can hear the sounds of the forest. You can plunge into the pool under the 2 meter waterfall in the end of the path.
There are pearl farms on the western side of the island south of Duong Dong. The Phu Quoc Pearl Farm is about 10 kilometers away, and they have a cafe/restaurant and a shop selling pearl products. There are a couple of pepper farms that can be visited (shown on the tourist map.) The pepper plant is growing hanging from a long pole, with small green peppers in them. You can also buy pepper products to bring home as souvenirs, to impress your friends and relatives. Some of the fish sauce factories can be visited.
Ham Ninh fishing village on the east coast across the island from Duong Dong may be worth a visit. After dark – watch the chain of lights bobbing across the horizon as the local fishermen attach lamps to their boats to attract squid. There is also a special breed of dogs that live on the island. They are extremely similar to normal dogs except for the fact that they have 2 special markings on their back, where the fur goes in the other direction.
What to do
Take in a gorgeous sunset
Phu Quoc is known for its spectacular ocean sunsets, so make sure to catch at least one while you are there. Our favorite evening lookout spots are anywhere along Long Beach, cliff side by the Dinh Cau Temple, and on a boat in the middle of the ocean prior to fishing for squid at night.
Wine and dine at the Dinh Cau Night Market
After the sun has set, visit the lively Dinh Cau Night Market and feast on your favorite seafood fare all night long. The Dinh Cau Night Market is a popular place for shopping and for fresh seafood. It is also a hotspot for domestic and foreign tourists to congregate at night. Don’t miss tucking into mouthwatering local favorites like grilled oysters, scallop kebobs, and our favorite, steamed lemongrass crab.
Tour a fish sauce factory
Phu Quoc is famous for its’ fish sauce and a visit to the island would be not be complete without touring one of the many fish sauce factory’s. This unique aromatic sauce has even been granted the status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the European Union
Discover Sao beach
White sand. warm turquoise water. and a gentle breeze blowing on your neck. Yes a place like this does exist in Vietnam and can only be found on Phu Quoc Island. Sao Beach is possibly Vietnam’s best beach. But don’t take our word for it. discover it yourself… and you better hurry as this tranquil beach will not remain Vietnam’s best kept secretfor too long as big business has plans on developing the area into a concrete wonderland.
Motorbike around the island Phu Quoc is best discovered on a motorbike. The roads are well paved and there is hardly any traffic. Discover the unique ecosystem. find an abandoned beach. see wild monkeys jumping from tree to tree. visit a local village… the possibilities are endless. Create your own unique adventure and memory on the island.