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    Phu Quoc Travel Guide For First-Timer

    2/13/2023 8:18:03 AM

    Phu Quoc Island is a tropical paradise located in the Gulf of Thailand, off the coast of Vietnam. It is the largest island in Vietnam and has become a popular destination for travelers looking for a beach getaway. 

    The island is known for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush forests, and diverse marine life. It is also famous for its fish sauce, pepper farms, and pearl farms. With its natural beauty and laid-back atmosphere, Phu Quoc Island is a perfect destination for a relaxing vacation.

    For first-time travelers, visiting a new destination can be exciting yet overwhelming. This is especially true for a place like Phu Quoc Island, which offers a wide range of attractions and activities. 

    I. Getting to Phu Quoc

    A comprehensive Phu Quoc travel guide can provide essential information, tips, and recommendations that can help travelers plan their trip and make the most out of their experience on the island. It can also help them avoid common mistakes and provide a better understanding of the local culture and customs. In this blog, we will guide you through the magnificent beauty of Phu Quoc Island.

    The Beutiful Weather in Phu Quoc

    1. How to Get to Phu Quoc

    Getting to Phu Quoc is easy as the island has its own international airport, Phu Quoc International Airport, which offers direct flights from major cities in Southeast Asia, such as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors can also take domestic flights from other cities in Vietnam, including Hanoi and Da Nang, to reach the island. Flying is the most convenient way to reach Phu Quoc, and it takes approximately 1-2 hours from nearby cities.

    Alternatively, visitors can take a ferry or speedboat from Rach Gia or Ha Tien, which are both located in the southern Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The ferry ride takes about 2.5-3 hours, while the speedboat takes only about 1.5 hours, but can be more expensive. It's important to note that ferry schedules can be irregular, so it's best to check in advance and book tickets ahead of time.

    2. Moving around Phu Quoc

    Once on the island, there are various transportation options for getting around, including renting a motorbike or car, taking a taxi or private car, or using the local bus system. Motorbikes are a popular choice for visitors, as they allow flexibility and can be rented for a reasonable price. Taxis and private cars are also readily available but can be more expensive. A local bus system is a budget-friendly option, but it may not be the most comfortable or reliable way to get around.

    II. Where to Stay

    1. Overview of the different areas of Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc Island is a beautiful destination in southern Vietnam known for its white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and picturesque landscapes. The island is divided into three main areas: the north, center, and south, each with its unique charm and attractions.

    Northern Island

    The northern part of Phu Quoc is home to some of the island's most beautiful and secluded beaches, including Dai Beach, Vung Bau Beach, and Ong Lang Beach. This area is perfect for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway. Visitors can also explore the Ganh Dau Cape, which is known for its stunning sunsets and panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand. Another attraction in the north is the Phu Quoc National Park, which covers more than half of the island and is home to diverse flora and fauna, including the rare and endangered Phu Quoc langur.

    Central Island

    Moving to the central part of the island, visitors will find the buzzing town of Duong Dong, which is the largest settlement in Phu Quoc. Duong Dong offers a mix of traditional markets, restaurants, and shops, as well as a bustling harbor where visitors can watch local fishermen bring in their daily catch. Visitors can also explore the Dinh Cau Night Market, which is famous for its fresh seafood and lively atmosphere. Another must-see attraction in the central area is the Suoi Tranh Waterfall, which is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers a refreshing break from the island's tropical heat.

    Duong Dong Night Market in Central Phu Quoc

    Southern Island

    In the southern part of Phu Quoc, visitors will find some of the island's most popular and developed areas, including Long Beach, Sao Beach, and An Thoi town. Long Beach is the most famous beach in Phu Quoc and offers visitors a range of accommodations, restaurants, and water sports activities. Sao Beach located southeast of the island is known for its crystal-clear water and white sand. An Thoi town, located at the southern tip of Phu Quoc, is the gateway to the archipelago's many small islands, which are perfect for snorkeling and diving.

    2. Accommodation options for different budgets

    Phu Quoc Island has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Whether you're a backpacker or a luxury traveler, you'll find something that fits your needs.

    For budget travelers, there are plenty of hostels, guesthouses, and homestays available on the island. These are great options if you're looking for a cheap place to stay while still experiencing the local culture. Some of the popular budget accommodations include Tree House Homestay, Coi Nguon Museum Hotel, and Green Hill Hostel.

    Mid-range travelers can choose from a variety of hotels and resorts that offer comfortable accommodations at reasonable prices. These properties offer a bit more luxury than budget options while still being affordable. Some of the popular mid-range accommodations include Thien Thanh Resort, Mai House Resort, and Amarin Resort.

    For those who are looking for a more luxurious experience, Phu Quoc Island has a number of high-end hotels and resorts. These properties offer top-notch amenities such as private beaches, infinity pools, and spa services. Some of the popular luxury accommodations include JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, and Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island.

    III. Top Things to Do in Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc is a beautiful island in Vietnam with plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are the top things to do in Phu Quoc:

    1. Beaches and water activities

    Phu Quoc is a tropical paradise with crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Here are some of the top beaches and water activities in Phu Quoc:

    Long Beach

    This is the most popular and longest beach in Phu Quoc. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. You can also enjoy various water sports activities like jet skiing, kayaking, and parasailing.

    Sao Beach

    This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, known for its powdery white sand and turquoise waters. You can rent a sun lounger and spend the day relaxing, swimming, or snorkeling.

    Ong Lang Beach

    This is a quieter beach that is perfect for those looking for a more secluded spot. The beach is lined with palm trees and has calm waters, making it a great spot for swimming.

    Diving and Snorkeling

    Phu Quoc is home to some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Vietnam. You can explore the coral reefs and the diverse marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and colorful corals.

    Diving and Snorkeling in Phu Quoc


    Fishing is a popular activity in Phu Quoc. You can join a fishing tour and learn traditional fishing techniques, catch your own fish, and enjoy a fresh seafood meal.

    Stand-up Paddleboarding

    Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and relaxing way to explore the calm waters around Phu Quoc. You can rent a board and explore the beaches and mangroves at your own pace.


    Kayaking is a great way to explore the hidden coves and pristine beaches of Phu Quoc. You can rent a kayak and paddle along the coastline, stopping to explore the beaches and enjoy a swim.

    2. National Parks and Hiking Trails

    Phu Quoc has several national parks and hiking trails that offer visitors the chance to explore the island's natural beauty. 

    Phu Quoc National Park

    One of the most popular national parks is Phu Quoc National Park, which covers over half of the island and is home to several rare species of flora and fauna. The park has several hiking trails that lead visitors through dense forests, past streams, and waterfalls, and up to the highest peak on the island, Mount Chua.

    Phu Quoc National Park

    Ganh Dau Trail

    Another popular hiking trail is the Ganh Dau Trail, which starts at the northern tip of the island and offers stunning views of the coastline and neighboring islands. The trail takes hikers through a fishing village, past a temple, and up to a lighthouse where they can enjoy panoramic views of the sea.

    For those who prefer a more leisurely stroll, the Suoi Tranh Waterfall trail is an excellent option. The trail leads visitors through lush forests and past several small waterfalls before reaching the main waterfall, where they can take a refreshing dip in the cool water.

    In addition to these hiking trails, Phu Quoc also has several other natural attractions that are worth exploring. One such attraction is the Ham Ninh Mountains, a group of small mountains located on the eastern side of the island. Visitors can hike to the top of the mountains for stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

    3. Night Markets and Local Cuisine

    The island's night markets offer a lively atmosphere where visitors can find a variety of local foods, souvenirs, and handmade crafts.

    Dinh Cau Night Market

    One of the most popular night markets is the Dinh Cau Night Market, located in Duong Dong town. Here, visitors can sample various seafood dishes, including grilled squid, crab soup, and seafood hotpot. Non-seafood options are also available, such as banh mi, and Vietnamese sandwiches filled with pork, pate, and vegetables. In addition to food, visitors can shop for souvenirs, clothing, and handicrafts made by local artisans.

    Phu Quoc Night Market

    Another night market worth visiting is the Phu Quoc Night Market, located near the Duong Dong River. Here, visitors can enjoy a wide range of seafood dishes, including grilled lobster, shrimp, and scallops. Non-seafood dishes, such as banh xeo, a Vietnamese-style pancake filled with pork and vegetables, are also available. Visitors can also shop for souvenirs, such as pearls, handicrafts, and clothing.

    4. Historical and Cultural Sites of Phu Quoc

    Visitors can explore a number of historical and cultural sites on the island, each with its own unique stories and significance.

    Phu Quoc Prison

    One of the most significant historical sites on the island is the Phu Quoc Prison, also known as Coconut Tree Prison. This was a detention center used by French colonizers in the early 20th century and later by the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. Visitors can see the brutal conditions in which prisoners were kept and learn about the atrocities committed during this dark period of Vietnam's history.

    Suoi Da Ban

    Another important historical site is the Suoi Da Ban, or Waterfall Stream, which was a source of fresh water for the soldiers stationed on the island during the Vietnam War. The site now serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during the war.

    Nguyen Trung Truc Temple

    A cultural site worth visiting is the Nguyen Trung Truc Temple, dedicated to a national hero who led a resistance movement against the French colonizers in the 19th century. The temple features a large statue of Nguyen Trung Truc and is an important pilgrimage site for Vietnamese people.

    IV. Tips and Recommendations

    1. Best Time to Travel Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand, just off the coast of Cambodia. The island has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: a dry season and a rainy season. The best time to visit Phu Quoc is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, with comfortable temperatures and low humidity. The water is also clear and calm, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.

    In contrast, the rainy season in Phu Quoc runs from May to October, with the highest rainfall occurring in July, August, and September. The weather during this time can be unpredictable, with frequent rain and thunderstorms. The sea can also be choppy and rough, making it difficult to engage in water activities.

    While the rainy season may not be the best time to visit Phu Quoc, it does have its advantages. The island is less crowded during this time, and accommodations and activities are often cheaper. Additionally, the rainforests and waterfalls on the island are at their most lush and vibrant during the rainy season, offering a unique and beautiful experience for nature lovers.

    2. Local Customs and Etiquette in Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc is a beautiful island located in the south of Vietnam, known for its pristine beaches, stunning sunsets, and delicious seafood. It is important for visitors to respect local customs and etiquette during their stay on the island. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Dress appropriately: Phu Quoc is a tropical island with a relaxed atmosphere, but it is still important to dress modestly when visiting temples and other religious sites. Shorts, tank tops, and revealing clothing should be avoided.
    • Remove shoes before entering homes or temples: It is customary to remove shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. Look for a pile of shoes at the entrance as a cue.
    • Show respect for elders: In Vietnamese culture, respect for elders is highly valued. When speaking to someone older than you, it is polite to use formal titles such as "anh" (older brother), "chi" (older sister), "bac" (uncle), or "co" (aunt).
    • Greetings: The Vietnamese people often greet each other with a bow or a nod of the head. When meeting someone for the first time, it is polite to shake hands and use a formal greeting such as "xin chào" (hello).
    • Dining etiquette: When dining in Vietnam, it is customary to share dishes family-style. Wait until everyone is served before beginning to eat, and use chopsticks to pick up food rather than your fingers.

    3. Safety and security tips in Phu Quoc

    Phu Quoc is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Here are some safety and security tips to keep in mind when visiting Phu Quoc:

    • Be cautious when swimming: The beaches on Phu Quoc can have strong currents and rip tides, so it’s important to swim only in designated areas and follow any warning signs or instructions from local authorities.
    • Watch out for motorbikes: Motorbikes are a popular mode of transportation on the island, but they can also be a hazard to pedestrians. Be aware of your surroundings and always look both ways before crossing the street.
    • Protect against mosquitos: Phu Quoc is a tropical island, so mosquitos are prevalent. Be sure to bring and use insect repellent, and consider wearing long-sleeved clothing and pants, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
    • Be cautious with valuables: While crime rates in Phu Quoc are relatively low, it’s still important to take precautions with your belongings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing expensive jewelry in public, and be careful with your smartphone or camera.
    • Respect local customs: Phu Quoc has a strong cultural heritage, so it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or temple, and avoid public displays of affection.

    V. Final Words

    Phu Quoc, known for its breathtaking beaches and stunning landscapes, is a perfect destination for first-timers in Vietnam. The island offers a unique blend of Vietnamese culture and natural beauty, making it an ideal place for travelers seeking relaxation, adventure, and authentic experiences.

    Phu Quoc Overview from Above

    From exploring the local culture and customs to indulging in delicious seafood, there is so much to do and see in Phu Quoc. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, this island has something for everyone.

    VietnamStay is here to make your trip to Phu Quoc stress-free and unforgettable. Our team of experts can help you plan your itinerary, book your accommodations, and arrange transportation to and from the island. With our insider knowledge of the area, we can provide you with a personalized experience that suits your preferences and budget.

    Book your trip to Phu Quoc today and let VietnamStay help you create memories that will last a lifetime.

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