Located off the south coast of Vietnam, on the border of Cambodia, the Island of Phu Quoc is an often overlooked stop on a trip to Southeast Asia.
Phu Quoc Island: An Introduction
Phu Quoc is Vietnam's largest island with a total area of 573 square kilometers, a length of 50 kilometers and a width of 25 kilometers at its widest place. With a tropical monsoon climate, Phu Quoc is warm all the year around.
Phu Quoc has 219 investment projects planned within its shores, including 145 tourism projects. In reality, Phu Quoc has enormous potential for the development of marine economy and tourism; thus, is expected by the state to become a special administrative and economic hub in the near future.
How to Get There
Phu Quoc is often referred to as the 'Paradise of the Southwest Coast' in Vietnam. From Ho Chi Minh City, my colleague and I took to the waterways to travel from Rach Gia, the capital city of Kien Giang, to Phu Quoc. On a high-speed ship of 300 passengers, it took us 2 hours to reach Phu Quoc. We rented a hotel in Duong Dong, the central town of Phu Quoc island district; and then hired a motorbike at 200,000 VND ($10 USD per day) and bought a map to help us explore.
Places to Visit on Phu Quoc Island
The first place on our itinerary was Coconut Tree Prison, located on the north of the island and 30 kilometers away from Duong Dong town. Before 1975, this was one of the most notorious prisons in the Republic of Vietnam. Nowadays, this prison has been upgraded to service tourists. This destination is only 2 km away from Sao Beach, which is ranked first in Phu Quoc and always crowded with tourists, who go there to swim and relax.
Sao Beach stretches for 3 kilometers in the shape of a bow, has a white sandbank and pure blue sea. There are all kinds of activities for travelers, such as jet skiing, kayaking or boating to explore the landscape alongside the local fishermen.
Following the directions on our map, we moved towards the south of Phu Quoc, 40 km away from Duong Dong town. Here we admired a host of unspoiled beaches like Truong Beach, Kem Beach and Ong Beach. With a length of 30 kilometers, Truong Beach is one of the longest beaches in Phu Quoc. Quite a few tourism projects have been implemented here, including a newly-built resort named Sunset Sanato Resort, with a total area of 24.7 hectares including moder instructure such as villas, a spa, restaurants and other services.
These locations all lie along the beach, which is aimed at providing scenic sea views for tourists at all times and laying the way for paradise.