Phu quoc island, vietnam 

On the western fringe of southern Vietnam, close to the Cambodian border, the island of Phu Quoc sits in the Gulf of Thailand, and has over the years been evolving into a fully fledged holiday destination, being graced, as it is, with fine tropical beaches.

On its western coast, the small town of Duong Dong is host to the island’s airport, while an alternative route to the island is the speed boat service from Rach Gia on the mainland’s west coast to An Thoi Quay, at the island’s southernmost tip.

Most of Phu Quoc’s tourist development is situated on its west coast, where the aptly named Bai Truong (Long Beach) predominates, with its twenty kilometre stretch of fine sand amply large enough to completely escape any unwanted company, in spite of being home to the main concentration of hotels and resorts.

white sand beach at phu quoc, vietnam

North of Duong Dong, the beach at Bai Ong Lang is even quieter, and yields a more rugged landscape of beautiful bays, and together with the further beaches of Cua Can, Vung Bao and Dai, offers good swimming and snorkelling, though just offshore from Bai Dai, Turtle Island offers better corals and marine life and is consequently also a good location for scuba diving.

The considerably less developed east coast likewise has a number of beaches, with little in the way of facilities, the best of which, located near the southern tip of the island are the fine white sands of Bai Sao and Bai Kem. An Thoi is a collection of outlying small islands just beyond the southern point of Phu Quoc, offering Vietnam’s best diving and snorkelling. The islands of Nam Du, situated between Phu Quoc and the mainland offer further exploration possibilities.

Nam du islands, phu quoc, vietnam

Away from the beaches, Phu Quoc produces the finest fish sauce in Vietnam, a key element in much of Vietnam’s cuisine. Though rather pungent for many westerners, culinary aficionados who may have previously trailed Scotch whisky distilleries, French Vineyards, and Italian olive groves might find a visit to one of Phu Quoc’s fish sauce factories an interesting excursion.  

Inland, Phu Quoc is sprinkled with pepper plantations and remains largely forested and hilly to the north, good terrain for relaxed wandering, full trekking or a motorcycle trip.

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