Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Framed by snow-white beaches and hiding somewhere in the depths of the emerald jungle, until recently Phu Quoc was a sleepy and quiet island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand. Today it is a popular destination for Western gentlemen seeking to spend a slushy European winter in the sun, or even completely escape from office work to the countryside, in the wilderness, but with an exotic touch.
According to baglib, the island lies 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia. With a length of about 50 km, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Once, in 1760-80, it was the main base of the French missionary Pigno de Bein.
Despite the fact that tourism on the island is developing by leaps and bounds – a new international airport has appeared, casinos and hotels, golf courses and roads are being built – most of Phu Quoc is still a thicket that is part of the national park. This means that natural “wildness” will be in abundance here, but, having tired of it, no one will forbid you to drink a cocktail by the pool. If we consider that the size of this piece of land reaches, for example, Singapore Square, then you should not be afraid to be sad or bored at all: diving, kayaking, excursions to various farms, finally, a luxurious massage, beach idleness and long feasts with fresh seafood – this is only part of the pleasures that Phu Quoc prepares for its guests.
How to get to Phu Quoc
From Moscow Domodedovo Airport, Vietnam Airlines operate a flight to Phu Quoc with a transfer in Ho Chi Minh City. Ticket price from 750 USD, travel time 18 hours. A flight with Aeroflot from Sheremetyevo with a transfer in Hanoi will cost almost 2 times more. As an option – fly with two transfers through the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, China, Thailand and the Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Ratja. Prices on the page are for July 2022.
You will have to get from St. Petersburg with at least two transfers – Es Seven and Vietnam Airlines fly from Pulkovo to Phu Quoc via Moscow and Ho Chi Minh City. Ticket price from 900 USD, travel time from 18 hours.
Phu Quoc International Airport is located a few kilometers from the city of Duong Dong and the main resort area – Long Beach. You can get from there to the place by taxi. Many hotels provide free shuttle service.
Tourists who are already in Vietnammay be more convenient to use the ferry. Superdong’s fast boats run twice a day between Hatien and the island (website). Travel time is 2.5 hours. Arriving “rockets” at the pier of the village of Bai Wong. A transfer to Duong Dong can be purchased at the box office when buying a ticket for 35,000-120,000 VND.
Districts of Phu Quoc
The center of the island is Duong Dong (locally pronounced “Duong Dong”) – a small town on the west coast, not far from the airport. Duong Dong and the nearby Long Beach are the liveliest part of Phu Quoc. Travel agencies, cafes and shops work here. Since all this is rare in other areas of the island, it is better to settle closer to the city, since the vast majority of hotels are located here.
The most inexpensive accommodation options can be found in Duong Dong.
A less lively area of the island is the area adjacent to Ong Lang Beach. It is quieter here than on Long Beach and the infrastructure is less developed, but the beach itself is better. You can choose to stay in other parts of Phu Quoc only if you really want privacy, since there is nothing to be found around the hotel except for wildlife. In this case, you will need to eat at the hotel restaurant, and go to Duong Dong for any purchases.
Phu Quoc Hotels
The island has accommodation options of various levels – from guest houses to hotels belonging to well-known international hotel chains. Many even budget hotels are designed in eco-style – bungalows, surrounded by a spacious green area, stand right by the sea. A night in a mid-range hotel will cost around VND800,000. Renting a room in luxury hotels costs 8,400,000 VND per day. Such complexes usually have restaurants, swimming pools and a spa. The cheapest accommodation is offered by hostels not on the first coastline – from 200,000 VND per night. Given the small size of the island, even in this case, the road to the beach does not take much time.
There is no public transport on the island, and you can only rent a car with a driver. Most tourists travel by taxi or scooter. Taxi travel is affordable and safe. Calculation with the driver is carried out by the counter or by the day. To rent a scooter, sometimes they do not even require a passport. There are rental points in almost all hotels – prices from 100,000 – 150,000 VND per hour in high season. A bicycle will cost even less – from 55,000 VND per day. There is a regular service between Anthoy Port and Duong Dong – buses run once every hour or two.
Communication and Wi-Fi
The main mobile operators in Vietnam are Mobifone, Vinaphone and Viettel. Their network operates throughout the country, including Phu Quoc. The concept of internal roaming does not exist – you can buy a SIM card in Hanoi and use it on the island at the same rates. A call to Russia will cost about 3500 VND per minute. The quality of mobile Internet from these operators is good – sometimes even better than in hotels. SIM cards are sold everywhere, including in small street shops, but for micro or nano options, you will have to contact specialized communication offices. The account balance is replenished with the help of cards – they are sold in the same place as SIM cards. Almost all restaurants and hotels in the resort are provided with free Wi-Fi.
The beaches of the island are deservedly considered one of the cleanest and most beautiful in the world. With the exception of a couple of the most popular coasts, they are all sparsely populated, quiet places where nothing prevents you from enjoying your vacation by the sea. The main tourist beach in Phu Quoc is Long Beach.
Long Beach is the English name for the beach, the locals call it Truong. On some maps of the island, it is indicated under this name.
Long Beach is regularly cleaned, so it looks well-groomed. And yet, this is not the best beach on the island: the water near the coast is slightly muddy, as the waves constantly disturb the sand, and the entrance to the water is quite sharp – you can only stand on tiptoe 10 meters from the coast. But there are a lot of sun loungers here, which you will not find on other beaches of Phu Quoc. In the high season it is crowded, because this is where most of the hotels are located.
As with other beaches on the western coast of the island (Ong Lang, Bai Zai), you can watch picturesque sunsets from Long Beach – surrounded by crimson clouds, an orange sun ball slowly sinks into the sea.
The second most popular beach on the island is Ong Lang. It is located on the west coast of Phu Quoc, like the town of Duong Dong, 8 km from it. The infrastructure here is worse than on Long Beach, there are also many hotels. And the beach is located not so far from the tourist center of Phu Quoc, so this is a fairly convenient option for living. Ong Lang is great for a beach holiday – it is not crowded here, palm trees overhead, fine sand underfoot, clear water to the horizon, the entrance to the water is gentle, there are almost no waves. Separate areas are cleaned regularly.
Bai Zai Beach is located north of Ong Lang, on the west coast, one of the best on the island. It was he who once got into the selection of the best beaches in the world, which was published in well-known Western media, and thus attracted many tourists to Phu Quoc. Today, Bai Dai is no longer the “absolutely secluded beach” that ABC News described it in 2008, but even now, apart from a couple of hotels and restaurants, there is nothing more reminiscent of civilization on it. A strip of yellow sand stretches for several kilometers along the sea, and a road runs parallel to it, so finding the beach is easy – just turn off the road in a place you like. The main thing is to choose a place where there is a shadow, there is a problem with this. The entrance to the water is gentle, the water is clear, the sand is medium-sized and pleasant to the touch.
bai saois located on the east coast of the island, which is not as developed as the west, so there are much fewer tourists here. White, very soft sand, clear turquoise water, coconut palms leaning over the shore – convincing proof that the perfect beach from the Bounty chocolate commercial really exists. True, there are still a couple of fly in the ointment: firstly, the territory is cleaned only near beach restaurants, garbage is found in other places. Secondly, a visit to Bai Sao is included in many excursions, so tourists are brought here en masse, by buses – hence the garbage on the sand and in the water. But despite all this, the beach is definitely worth it to come. And even the distance from the tourist center of the island (about 30 km) should not stop those who want to relax here (in the ratings of the beaches of the country, Bai Sao is usually in the top three). The coast is gently sloping, the sea is almost always calm, the water is clear. If you walk along the coast, you can find quiet deserted places. Before the walk, you should buy water and food in a few restaurants – the only centers of civilization on this beach.
Long Beach, Ong Lang, Zay and Sao are the most popular, but not the only places for a beach holiday on the island. In addition to them, there are about a dozen small beaches located on the western and eastern coasts. The best way to visit them is to rent a scooter and go on your own.
Cafes and restaurants in Phu Quoc
A variety of seafood attracts gourmets of all nationalities to Phu Quoc. The island is dominated by local cuisine establishments – there are expensive restaurants, and there are roadside eateries, the quality of food in which will be no worse than the first. The prices are quite acceptable. Street food on the island is also an inexpensive pleasure – “chebureks” from rice cakes with minced meat cost about 8500 VND. Catering in Vietnam is a family affair, so tipping waiters is not customary.
A gastronomic tour can be called a visit to the night market – this is a paradise for seafood lovers, where not only the freshest crabs, lobsters and lobsters are sold, but they are also cooked right there. The price of the goods on the counter includes the cost of cooking and a side dish with vegetables.