Phu Quoc Island: The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation (Updated!)

Phu Quoc Island offers the best place for relax, sightsee, and ecological experience. While Ong Doi Cape is the habitat of corals and various fish, Sao Beach brings numerous fun games with white sand and turquoise water. The island is truly a valuable pearl of Vietnam. Worth-visiting destinations in Ha Tien – Phu Quoc  Going around Duong Dong Town – Phu Quoc Island The Best Time to Visit Phu Quoc…

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The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island offers the best place for relax, sightsee, and ecological experience. While Ong Doi Cape is the habitat of corals and various fish, Sao Beach brings numerous fun games with white sand and turquoise water. The island is truly a valuable pearl of Vietnam.

The Best Time to Visit Phu Quoc Island

The peak season is summertime when tourists desire the enjoyment of the lukewarm water and an escape from the scorching hot weather. However, not many people know that the ideal time to visit the island falls from November to the next April.

In other words, it is the dry season in Southern Vietnam with less rain, calm sea, and warm sunlight so that travelers can participate in various outdoor activities. This time is suitable for leisure travel, rather than backpacking.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
You can pay a visit to Phu Quoc at any time of the year, but the dry season is the best period

From April to October, although it rains a lot, even storms may appear, the island still welcomes numerous guests, mainly domestic tourists, as it is the summer vacation of Vietnamese students.

How to Reach Phu Quoc Island?

From Hanoi to Phu Quoc

If your journey begins from Hanoi, the most convenient transportation is the plane. You can fly directly to the island at an affordable price. Nonetheless, keep in mind that there are several fixed flights every day, so you should know the schedule of the plane well.

Airline is the most appropriate option to travel from Hanoi to the island

It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to move from Phu Quoc International airport to the center of the island. A handful of premium hotels and resorts offer free shuttle buses from the airport; thus, you can ask the staff when booking accommodation.

From Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc

Travelers from Saigon have more favorable options. In addition to direct flights, you can head to the island via motorbike, bus, high-speed boat, or ferry.

If you decide to travel by bus, it would be best to take a night one to reach Rach Gia, Ha Tien, after eight hours. It costs around 160.000 vnd to 230.000 vnd.

At Rach Gia, you can take a high-speed boat to Phu Quoc. The Superdong has four turns per day from Ha Tien to the island. The total period for movement is 75 minutes while the cost for an adult is 215.000 vnd and a child is 155.000 vnd (including shuttle vehicle). You can even bring motorbikes on the boat, but you need to tell the owner beforehand as each ship can only accommodate eight motorcycles.

You should select the most suitable transportation to Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City

Those who come to Phu Quoc for the first time should choose a high-speed boat to avoid seasickness. Meanwhile, adventurers may like to get on a ferry from Thanh Thoi pier in Ha Tien town, then stop at Da Chong port in Bai Thom village, Phu Quoc island. It costs 185.000 vnd for a ferry ticket and takes less than three hours to travel. In case you travel in the afternoon, you are possible to have a chance to watch the sun goes down. Besides the low movement, the Da Chong port is quite far from the island, so you have to travel another 40 kilometers to reach the resort.

On the island, catching a taxi or hiring a motorbike to go around is the most popular selection. If you intend to go fishing, dive, or contemplate the sunset, some opulent resorts offer a private cruise to serve their guests.

Where to Stay on Phu Quoc Island?

You can find a wide range of accommodation on the island, from affordable homestays to high-end hotels with international standards. If you are travel on a budget, you can choose a cozy homestay. Hotels are the most appropriate selection for crews of colleagues or families with small kids. If you hope to have a tranquil and relaxing vacation, resorts, villas, or bungalows near the beach is the best choice.

One of the most luxurious shelters in Long Beach that we would like to recommend is InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort. It takes 15 minutes to drive from the airport and 20 minutes to travel from Duong Dong town. From the position, tourists can easily reach famous destinations on the island.

InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is the best choice for a luxurious vacation

The resort is also one of the most convenient spots to watch the sunset on Phu Quoc, with the INK 360 bar on the 19th floor – the highest bar on the island overlooking to Long beach, which helps travelers to see the immense and pristine natural landscapes.

Another choice for you is Harnn Heritage Spa – the first-class healthcare service on the island. The entire space of the spa is in the open air and close to nature.

Elegant and well-equipped treatment rooms floating on the lotus lagoon and relaxing therapies inspired by Asian traditions will make your stay memorable.

Being a deluxe resort, however, in the peak season, InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort may have no room available; therefore, you should reserve in advance to get the best option.

What to Do on Phu Quoc

The tourist attractions on Phu Quoc island are divided into four major areas, comprising the center – Duong Dong town, the South, the North, and the East of the island. You should spend at least two days to discover all the destinations. There are ten most exciting experiences that you should try once coming to the island.

Swimming

The very first thing you need to do is to go swimming. Tourists often choose Long beach, Sao beach, Khem beach, and Ong Lam beach to immerse themselves in the turquoise water, soft waves, and gentle slope.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
Swimming is a must once you come to Phu Quoc Island

Diving for Coral Reefs

Your trip to Phu Quoc island will be perfect if you can dive and witness colorful coral reefs. Thom island is the most suitable place for this activity due to clear water and pristine coral reefs. It is also the most extensive seafood and pearl farms of the Phu Quoc rural district.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
Don’t miss the chance to see and touch vivid coral reefs

Contemplating the Sunset

It must be one of the most unforgettable experiences on the island. Dinh Cau Cape is the ideal spot for this activity as it possesses cliffs that look like mountains stretching towards the sea. The most beautiful sunsets at the cape appear from May to September when the sky and sea surface share the same light blue color. What amazing scenery!

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
The sky in sunset time is so fanciful

Squid Fishing at Night

The journey of squid fishing frequently begins at early night until 9:00 p.m. If you travel with a horde of people, you can hire a private boat, or share the same boat with other tourists. The cost for each person is about 330.000 vnd, depending on different periods. After the owner sails to the destination, he will teach you how to catch squids by fishing rods. He will also cook tasty dishes on the boat by fresh edible marine creatures you have just found.

Squid fishing is one of the most exciting activities

Watching the Sunrise

It is not difficult to see the sun going up on the island, but the perfect place to see is Ham Ninh fishing village. You should be an early bird to reach the town at 4:30 a.m. and fully enjoy the peaceful scene of the spot. When the sun rises, it is a fanciful moment to witness the sun slowly appear from the sea.

The scenery and atmosphere when the sun goes up is as awesome as those in the sunset time

Exploring Deserted Islands

There are still a lot of secluded islands on Phu Quoc waiting for the first adventurers to visit. You can hire a cruise and ask local people to sail to those islands around the area of Ong Doi cape or Dam island to try to live a life that totally separates from modern buildings. Nonetheless, as a side note, you should do it when the weather is pleasant, the sea is calm, and the locals accompany with you. Never go alone or without a local citizen.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
The feeling of being the first person to discover lonely islets is so amazing

Driving Through the National Park

Located the Northeast of the island, Phu Quoc national park remains its original features with old primary forests and majestic natural landscapes. The path through the park will lead you to the highest point of the 565-meter-high Chua mountain – the roof of Phu Quoc island. From the peak, you can see the panorama of the charming beauty of the island.

The national park is a good place to immerse yourself in the lush greenery

Phu Quoc Prison

The historical relic is a must-see destination on the island. It still keeps a part of the Vietnam war. Reaching the jail, visitors will have a chance to hear historical stories and figures, as well as witness the way the enemies tortured and caged Vietnamese citizens via models.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
You may obtain some pieces of knowledge about the wars in Vietnam when visiting the prison

Going to Duong Dong Market

If you wish to know and experience the daily life of local people, you should visit the Duong Dong market where people sell plenty of fresh seafood at reasonable prices.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island
The market reflects the busy trading activity of the locals

Trying Tasty Specialties

Don’t forget to try flavor dishes on the island, which ranges from typical food at Ham Ninh, Cua Can, and Rach Vem floating villages to expensive meals at sumptuous restaurants.

Fresh Herring Salad

The very first special dish on Phu Quoc is fresh herring salad, as it is available in every eatery. Herrings are processed, then wrapped by veggies and rice paper, then served with sauce. It has no fishy smell.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island

Ham Ninh Blue Crab

Although blue crabs here are not significant, they are quite tasty, sweet, and fresh. Based on each time, you can buy a kilogram of flower crab at 200.000 vnd to 500.000 vnd. You should choose the ones in moderate size, about 6 to 7 crabs each kilogram. If you want to eat their eggs, buy female crabs; otherwise, purchase male ones for a large amount of meat. The best crab dish is to boil them and serve with salt, black pepper, and lemon.

Grilled Horn Scallop

Gourmets are often interested in grilled horn scallops seasoned with salt and chili. Compared to other recipes such as stir-frying or boiling, the grilling method keeps the seafood crisp and tough, so local people often suggest this dish for visitors.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island

Sea Cucumber

It is one of the most well-known sea creatures in Phu Quoc, which is the favorite plate of many travelers due to the high nutrients and valuable ingredient. Fresh sea cucumbers can be stir-fried with bell peppers or bitter melons, or even stewed with goat meat or pork. Additionally, people also use seafood to make porridge.

Ken Rice Noodle Soup

Both name and savor of this dish are weird. It consists of rice noodles, Vietnamese coriander, cucumbers, and shredded unripe papaya.

Bitter Bolete

This kind of mushroom often rises after the early downpour in the rainy season in cajuput forests in Phu Quoc. Because the bitter bolete season lasts from only a month, so it is not available all the time. If you are lucky enough, you may have a chance to try the mushroom soup with chicken and grilled fish cooked with mushroom.

Sea Urchin

People on the island often remove the thorns of fresh sea urchins, halve, wash, and grill on charcoal, add cooking oil and onion to serve guests. Other delicious cuisines from this seafood are grilling or porridge.

The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation on Phu Quoc Island

Abalone

Abalone on Phu Quoc island is renowned for rich nutrients and traditional medicine in Oriental medicine. Popular plates from fresh abalones include boiled grilled, stir-fried, and porridge.

Furthermore, you can try other seafood such as king crab, squid, sea snails, and ark clams, which can easily be found in eateries.

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11 thoughts on “Phu Quoc Island: The Ultimate Guide for a Perfect Vacation (Updated!)

  1. We are spending 3 weeks in Vietnam during February. We are planning a weekend trip (maybe 3 days) to Phu Quoc probably flying there from HCMC. From what I’ve read it sounds like the island is quite large and maybe we should just focus on the north or south part. Which is better, north or south? We would like to do some snorkeling while there if it’s worth it. Looking for recommendations on places to stay, things to do, tours… anything really. Thanks in advance!

    1. It won’t be what you want to hear, but there really is t that much to do on Phu Quoc apart from relax. Once you’ve done the main town market, and perhaps been on a snorkel trip that’s about it, unless you want to go to the Pepper Farm or the Fish Farm (take something to cover your nose). Snorkelling we felt was quite poor, but we have only done it once.
      There is so much more to see in Vietnam, as a first time visitor I would cut this part out and head further north, or Con Dao if you really want a beach. Hoi An might not be beach weather else I would say go there.

      1. This is what I keep hearing… being from Florida and having visited many other beautiful tropical places I think this is one thing we will be crossing off our list. Thanks for your advice.

  2. The whole of Vietnam has only 3 islands or coastal holiday that they are proud of and Phu Quoc is one of them. The Starfish Beach on the North part of the island is ENOUGH to warrant a trip to Phu Quoc. Miles of knee high shallow pristine crystal clear water full of red starfishes on the softest white powdery sands you will ever come across. Just pity the starfishes as tourists use them for their IG. As for wonder of the world’s on beaches, this is my no. 1 for sure! Apart from that : Ride on the highest cable car extended to few islands with panaromic view of the surround islands and sea. Snorkeling tour North or south to some of the clearest water and abundance of marine life in this part of the world with a stop for squid fishing. Visit one of the most varied seafood night food market in the world in DuongDong night Market. Enjoy the tour to the largest production of pepper and fish sauce in the World. Vinpearl Safari for those who like animals. Sun bath in some of the most beautiful beach on the island such as Long Beach and Sao Beach.

  3. We rent a motorbike to visit north and south Phu Quoc Island. Using cable car to Thom Island, it is worth to visit, beaches are nice but too crowed when we went there.

  4. Hi. Thank you so much for your review. How many days would be enough to see all of this, you mentioned in your post ? 2-3 ?

    1. If I were you, definitely I will visit Phu Quoc. Once you are on the island, try to take this Hop on hop off Phu Quoc Bus Tour. It is pretty fun and the bus will take you to go around to visit all the attractions place.

  5. If you wear some strange tinted sunglasses then Phu Quoc must be amazing! Starfish beach is ok but there are far better beaches in SE Asia, also the south is completely ruined by over development already. Bai Thom is a chilled relaxed village and worth staying and the nearest beach is Starfish. You will need a bike and there’s not much up there regarding restaurants etc but if you want to be away from hordes of cheap charter tourists(which I do)!, then head to the north of the island, can’t touch it as protected by UNESCO, thank god, and mainly independent travellers staying up there, my fave area for chilling!

  6. Phu Quoc is indeed amazing with my crystal clear glasses :).. If one were to find fault even the Caribbean has a list. So let’s not go there.

  7. I have been to Phu Quoc, am an island person and have been to Vietnam 8 times. I didn’t see crystal sea and white sand. It was pleasant enough but not amazing in my opinion. I go back to Vietnam over and over but not there. Far more beauty elsewhere in my view. Anyone who describes Long Beach as best in the world needs glasses full stop.

  8. I guess reading proper is the pre-requisite of comprehension same goes with having travelled to a place before giving it a negative review 🙂

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