Phu Quoc Island

Old Feb 5th, 2023, 09:35 PM
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Phu Quoc Island

A good proof that we should not listen to gossip like “too touristy, expensive, dirty”. Let's say it right away, I think it is great. Beautiful island, very nice locals, very acceptable cleanliness, (immaculate hotel beaches) and, for those who believe in "too touristy", tens of kilometers of deserted beaches out of that of the "capital" Duong Dang, hotels of all kinds from the dormitory at $5 a bed to nice small bungalows 100 m from a beach at $25 to luxury duplex-villas with private pool at more than $650 a night.

In addition to seafood and ngoc mam, reputed to be the best in Vietnam, Phu Quoc is a major pepper production center, reputed to be the best in the world (some say it is Cambodian Kampot; in my opinion great lover of pepper, that of PQ has more flavor); no large plantations, but small family farms (the largest has only 2000 trees).

Good diving off the south of the island, BUT check the right season because visibility can be zero. Best period: October-April.

There is a fundamental choice to be made: to stay in the town of Duong Dang or outside. Advantage of the former: everything within easy reach, or rather within reach: restaurants, bars, motorbike rental companies, diving agencies, travel agencies, etc. Disadvantage: beaches all occupied by resorts and other establishments. The second choice offers the opposite elements: isolation on beautiful beaches that are often private – or nearby – but often nothing around so we are rather “stuck” when it comes to restaurants. For both, the question is settled if you rent a motorbike, you can to a different beach every day.

I chose Duong Dang and the motorbike and therefore stayed at the very nice Phu Quoc Kim I, an excellent little beach guesthouse hotel with bungalows + restaurant which only serves breakfast and lunch; scooter rental. Another excellent small hotel that I recommend all the more highly as it has a swimming pool, the Dreams, ex-Thanh Tuy (600,000 VND without breakfasts) ; the bungalows have been redone, the restaurant and bar have reopened; scooter rental. Another excellent bungalow hotel a little further down the lane is La Mer (650,000 VND). The superb Ma House Spa Resort, with its large garden, bungalows and swimming pool on the beach, is unfortunately definitively closed.
In Dong Dang, visit the very interesting Coc Nguoi Museum, 149 Tran Hung Dao (on your right when arriving from the airport, just before entering the town). More than 3,000 artefacts, many of which are 1,500 years old and over, including earthenware dishes and pottery from all sources, recovered from the many wrecks, including an 18th century Chinese boat, which is displayed on the top floor (with terrace panoramic view of the city).
  1. Visit also the nuoc mam Khai Hoan factory in the town, in Duong Dang even at 11 Hung Vuong Street. And go to the small lighthouse, with its pretty view from the top of the terrace. Seen from the lighthouse and the bridge, the fishing port is very nice.
I explored the whole island on a scooter, which incidentally is very beautiful, South of the island, direction the small fishing port of An Thoi. Before arriving there, visit the infamous Coconut Prison created by the French and "recovered" by the South Vietnamese, who transformed it into a huge camp of corrugated iron hangars (ovens...voluntarily!) and Made in USA containers as dungeons, where up to 40,000 prisoners were locked up; small museum where, as usual, one does not talk about the thousands of South-Vietnamese prisoners locked up by the northern "liberators" at the end of the Vietnam War; opposite, a large monument honors all the Vięt-Cong who died there.
In An Thoi, there is a cable car, overpriced (750,000 VND), which goes to an island without any interest. Instead, take a small boat and go feast on seafood in the large beach restaurant on the southernmost island, Hon Mong Tay (2 hours roundtrip by boat, really worth them).

Dong Dang fishing harbour

Dong Dang lighthouse

Hon Mong Tay Island restaurant
I returned to Duong Dang by the eastern coastal road, which runs along a beach for miles lined with gigantic resorts under construction; projects launched when the Russians were starting to invade the island and there were plans for direct flights Moscow-Phu Quoc, but as they are now broke + covid, the hotels are empty and their promoters are crying.
Larsay is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2023, 03:35 AM
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We’re staying at the new Regent resort on Phu Quoc February 24-27. It’s on a private stretch of beach. It’s a little getaway for rest and relaxation between the hustle and bustle of the cities of Vietnam.
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