Phu Quoc Island – The tropical paradise
Being known as the tropical paradise of Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island deserves to be on traveler’s hit list of South East Asian destinations. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam which belongs to the administration of Kien Giang Province. The island has the shape of a triangular which covers the acreage of 580km2. This island district charmed people with the picturesque view of natural landscapes of incredible white-sand beaches and ranges of mountains with wild tropical jungle. The history of the island has so much relating to politics because it was one claimed to belong to Cambodia who named it Koh Tral while Vietnamese established a large military base which stretches to the northern end of the island. It was not until the French colony left Cochinchina that Phu Quoc Island was granted to Vietnam. Later on, during Vietnam War, it was the largest prison of the South of Vietnam where imprisoned 40,000 captives in 1973.
Coming back to the amazing landscape of the island, there is a spot that cannot be missed when in Phu Quoc Island: Long Beach. It is just like the name which is 20km in length running from Duong Dong town to the west coastline of the island. The scene here is unlike most of the shores in Vietnam because it possesses not only the white long sandbank but also a number of coconut trees lining up along the beach which would make you feel like being in a real tropical paradise. It would be a moment of a lifetime sitting on the beach and beholding and deeply drawn in the amber ambiance of aurora sunset. In case you want a private beach, you could hire a boat to An Thoi islands nearby with several small islets where you will find blue sea water, white soft sand and of course almost no people.
Things to do and see
Apart from beholding the marvelous nature beauty of the beaches and mountains, Phu Quoc offers visitors a wide range of activities to choose from. Since 90 percent of the island is national park, it is highly recommended that visitors explore the surroundings by scooters or bicycles instead of cars or buses in order to feel the signature saltiness in the air, watch the life of people on the island and most of all, to enjoy the sense of freedom. Bai Sao, Ong Lang or Bai Vung are some of the beaches that are worth being on your hit list of places to visit. Especially, a large part of the island is designated as a World Biosphere Reserve so some space in Phu Quoc still has its wilderness which is untouched by commercial activities of humans. The activities can be diversified with a tour to Tranh Stream and a museum which are easy to find. Otherwise, visitors can try some scuba diving, kayaking, fishing, trekking with the surroundings of mountain ranges and beaches to get the feeling of escaping from your usual world with office buildings, traffic jams, highway road, shopping malls and so on.
Phu Quoc is also home to two famous traditional products: black pepper and fish sauce. The former is cultivated by people on the island which offers such a strong taste. The latter is known for its high-quality made by many generations of people on the islands with family recipes. It would be an interesting experience to find out the things in fish sauce producing hubs in town. Another food that is a must-eat when coming to Phu Quoc is fresh seafoods caught by local fishermen from the sea.
Best time to visit Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Is is in the region of tropical climate with high temperature and fickle rainfall amount around the year. Therefore, visitors should check out the weather before making a plan to have an ideal trip and to enjoy Phu Quoc to its fullest. The Rainy season lasts for six months from May to October when the sea is rather rough and rain would avoid visitors from outdoors activities. The peak season is from November to March with unbroken sunshine all day, calm sea and low humidity which makes it easy to have a feeling for amusements and joys.
How to get there
This island is very accessible with daily straight flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Rach Gia, Can Tho to Phu Quoc International Airport which stays nine kilometers away from the center of Duong Dong town. There is another option is to catch high-speed daily ferries from Rach Gia or Ha Tien at a cheap price. In order to get around the island, motorbikes or bicycles are popular choices offered by almost all hotels and guesthouses on the island. Since Phu Quoc is made a special economic zone, foreign visitors would find it easy to get a 30-day visa to Phu Quoc by just presenting two-way tickets to/from Phu Quoc.