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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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