"A LITTLE Bit of Sand with that BEACH please!!!" Top 5 Page for this destination Phu Quoc by Greggor58
Phu Quoc Travel Guide: 108 reviews and 280 photos
This little island sitting in the Gulf of Thailand is actually much closer geographically to Cambodia then it is to Vietnam but presently it is land claimed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.Phu Quoc is a part of Kiên Giáng Province and has a land mass of about 585 sq km or 363 square miles.Phu Quoc has has a coastline that's 153 km (95 miles) long...it really is a tropical paradise...the blooming vegetation is incredible I thought...and the people that I met that lived here were all so kind and fun!!
The total population of the island is only about 75,000 people and the two main towns are Duong Dong and An Thoi...both smallish...each about the same population with about 20,000 people.The rest of the island is dotted with small communities,along the coast earning a living from the sea,or inland where there is still a major connection to farming.
Its a fantastic place to hang out and kick back..so much of the coastline is unused beach...that seemingly goes on for miles and miles...seems like that anyhow when you're riding a motorbike on those red dusty dirt roads...now I KNOW why so MANY riders wear masks over they're nose and mouth!!
We stayed here for five days...and spent time hanging out on the beach...napping...swimming a little [more about this later],we rented motorbikes and cruised parts of the island,we went snorkeling,and visited a few museums.It was my first time spending time here and my cousin's second so we knew a little about what to expect.We checked out the markets a few times,and took a boat cruise that was a part of the snorkeling day.
The normal thing as it evolved on our four week zoom around Vietnam was a restaurant discovery and we more often than not stuck with it once we decided that we hadn't been sick from eating at it and the food was GOOD!!
Every evening we would end up on the beach by our hotel and watch as the sun set yet again a golden yellow...or wild fiery red balls dropping below the horizon!
As recently as the 1970's's the island of Phu Quoc was disputed between Vietnam and Cambodia...The Khmer Rouge raided and occupied parts of the island until they were ousted by the Vietnamese about the same time that Vietnamese forces eventually captured Phnom Penh in 1979..In the late Eighties the Vietnamese finally withdrew they're forces and today still there is a military base in the north end of the island..
China,Cambodia, France and America have all played vital roles in the history of Phu Quoc...
Up until the 1750's the people that lived here were making a living from fishing and harvesting and trading of sea cucumbers which they shipped to China.
The French missionary Pigneau de Behaine arrived on Phu Quoc in the 1760's and the French eventually arrived in force by the 1860,s when they started to establish coconut and rubber plantations.
The most notorious legacy of the French regime in Phu Quoc was the Cay Dua Prison...located on the south end of the island close to the town of An Thoi.Today a re built version of the prison stands today as a museum and Memorial to the hundreds that lost they're lives here during this dark time in the history of Vietnam.
When the French pulled out of Vietnam in the 1950's the prison DID NOT go away...and eventually the Americans in conjunction with the American supported Southern Vietnamese revitalized this prison.This is something that I did not know before arriving in Vietnam.I had read about some of the prisons but until I visited the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City I had no idea that Phu Quoc had been the site of a prison.
Its a pretty common destination for people visiting Vietnam.It was difficult to secure some type of accommodation previous to or arrival.Many inquiry emails went unanswered and of the few that did respond most were booked many weeks in advance.
Its still a little piece of Paradise and to date is relatively unspoiled with the trappings of LARGE RESORT destinations.
As Phu Quoc develops so does the rise in jobs related to the tourism industry but for today the economy is still driven primarily buy its connection to the sea.
There is a small industry related to pearl cultivation and you can visit and purchase local pearls if you wish. Fish sauce and black pepper cultivation are other raisons d'etre for the island of Phu Quoc.Its easy to visit pepper plantations and also see how they make fish sauce...I did stop by a plantation but I gave the fish sauce place a miss...
Phu Quoc is in a transition stage and the goal of the Vietnamese Government is to develop Phu Quoc to its full potential as an International Tourist Destination.There is plenty of road work going on and lots of new buildings in the process of construction.There are plans and land set aside for an International Airport that will change the face and feel of Phu Quoc in the near future.
If you have any inkling of visiting here and prefer to see it before it becomes another Tourist Mecca than don't delay your travel plans long.
For the time being Phu Quoc still exudes an atmosphere of Peace and Quiet and small town charm.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and could easily spend a few weeks kicking back here and soaking up more of that lovely sunshine and warmth!
- Pros:Untouched oasis of Vietnamese culture and GREAT beaches!
- Cons:Dusty dirt roads if you're motortreking around the island.
- In a nutshell:If you enjoy beaches and peace and quiet...Phu Quoc is the PLACE to chill!
To maximize our time we used Vietnam Airlines to get to and from Phu Quoc...we flew in and out of HCMC. As Ive... more travel advice
A couple of days of my stay on Phu Quoc I had decided to just hang on the beach...about an hour or two into my stay...a... more travel advice
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