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ALL ABOUT PHU QUOC ISLAND
Phu Quoc, or Phú Quốc as it’s written in Vietnamese, refers to the island’s diverse natural environment. ‘Phú’ meaning ‘fertile land’ and ‘Quốc’ meaning nation. Its diversity is one of the reasons the island has three distinct nicknames:
- Pearl Island (Đảo Ngọc), due to the abundance of pearls hidden in oysters off its coastline, which have historically been a source of prized treasure for able-bodied freedivers.
- The Island of 99 Mountains, because of the multitude of mountainous terrain to be explored, from the north of the island right the way down to the south.
- Emerald Island, due to the island’s lush tropical jungle that’s teeming with spectacular wildlife and adventure.
Phu Quoc is located on the southwest sea territory of Vietnam, bordering Cambodia and Thailand. The island has a long coastline with many famous and pristine beaches, as well as deep sea waters suitable for the development of fishery and seaport systems. The island city is surrounded by 150 kilometers of coastline and has 22 large and small islands, dotted with famed beaches like Bai Truong, Bai Khem, Ganh Dau, Bai Sao and Cua Can, earning it the “pearl island” moniker.
Phu Quoc district gained worldwide popularity after opening an international airport in 2012 and has been implementing a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners since 2014.
In December 2020, the National Assembly Standing Committee passed a resolution establishing Phu Quoc city from March 1, becoming the first island city in Vietnam. It will be developed in two phases. Phase 1 focuses on building a city to quickly meet the basic criteria of a Grade 1 urban area. In the second phase, Phu Quoc city will be developed into a regional integrated centre.
By 2025, it strives to achieve total fishery output of 201,000 tons per year, with State budget revenue increasing 11.7% each year on average. It also aims to welcome 10 million tourists, up 15% per year, 4 million of which will be foreigners. The rate of poor households is to be under 1%.
Phu Quoc city now have a population of over 179,000 people, with nine commune-level administrative units. It will include two wards, namely Duong Dong and An Thoi, and seven communes including Ham Ninh, Duong To, Ganh Dau, Bai Thom, Cua Duong, Can Can, and Tho Chau.
Duong Dong Town with a population of 60,415 will become the city’s Duong Dong Ward. An Thoi Ward will be established by merging Hon Thom Commune with An Thoi Town. Duong Dong is the island’s economic, political, cultural, and social center while An Thoi serves as its marine transport hub.
A huge amount of capital has been injected into Phu Quoc city for years, most of which comes from strategic investors like Vingroup, Sun Group, BIM Group, and CEO Group.
All nationalities traveling directly to Phu Quoc Island can visit the island for 30 days visa-free. To do this you will need to show an outbound ticket on arrival in Vietnam.
Accessing the island is relatively easy.
Visitors can choose high-speed boats travel between the island and the Mekong Delta towns of Rạch Giá and Hà Tiên. It’s around 45 kilometer express boat ride from Ha Tien City or a 120 kilometer sea journey from Rach Gia, Kien Giang’s capital city.
Those who don’t have their sea legs can opt from one of the ten international routes currently connecting Phu Quoc with Russia, China, Singapore, South Korea, and several European countries or Vietnam domestic flights to Phu Quoc, click to see more details.
As it’s located in the South of Vietnam in the range of tropical climate, Phu Quoc has 2 main seasons: Rainy and Dry season.
As usual, Dry season lasts from October to the end of April, and the rest of the year is the rainy time. But, recently under the influence of climate change, it is supposed that the effect of the Dry season is getting longer as the number of sunny weather increased.
Phu Quoc island is best visited between November and April when rainy season is not yet in effect.
Peak season for foreign travelers typically occurs in December and January. From our experience, from April to July you can still find sunny days in the South of Phu Quoc. Especially, Rainy season or summer time is also when the sea gets sandy beaches of islands in the An Thoi archipelago accreted, which makes the island more beautiful on sunny days.
Being a beach break destination, there are not so many attractions to visit in Phu Quoc Island. In fact, you can easily tick off all tourist destinations in a day or two.
However, when it comes to less adventure and more relaxation, it’s tricky to tell exactly how long you should stay here! If you’re short on time and budget, you should still spend at least 2-3 days in Phu Quoc if you truly want to enjoy everything on the island. A one-day trip to the Southern part and another short trip to the North is enough to get the whole island covered.
But first, get the island further explored from here.
Being a popular beach vacation destination, it is not difficult to find accommodation in Phu Quoc. From affordable hostels to luxurious beach resorts, Phu Quoc has a variety of accommodations suitable for your taste and budget plan.
Read our comprehensive guides about where to stay in Phu Quoc.
Else, just pick up some of the most distinguished ones from our recent reviews about hotels, resorts in the area.
There are dozens of excellent beaches on Phu Quoc Island, and this guide to 16 most beautiful and less-touristy beaches has been updated in September 2021.
In recent years, upgraded infrastructure – including a road network across the entire island – has opened access to more and more of Phu Quoc’s beaches. The south and west coasts of Phu Quoc are increasingly developed and in the midst of major construction of resorts; whereas the north and east coasts are still untouched and relatively worth exploring.
For the first-timers in Phu Quoc, you might want to try belows:
- Sip a glass of cocktail next to the beach on Fingernail Island (in the North Phu Quoc)
- Ride the longest cable car line in the world – Hon Thom Cable Car
- Visit a fish sauce factory, Pearl Farm
- Explore why is Phu Quoc peppercorn regarded as one of the finest peppers in the world.
- Snorkel or dive amongst colorful coral reefs and diverse marine creatures following touristy-avoiding route.
- Taste all the fresh seafoods in local fishing villages.
- Go deep-sea fishing in the sunset
- Discover less-touristy routes of North-east Phu Quoc
- Kayak, sunset & seafood in Vung Bau Bay