Phu Quoc,  better known as a local Vietnamese getaway spot, it is quickly becoming recognized by the rest of the world and rightly so! This dreamy mainland escape is nothing short of a tropical paradise that is full of beaches which could be compared to it’s Thailand and Cambodian neighbours.

If you are a Phu Quoc first timer it may be difficult to find information about this magical place, well, worry no more. Here is an overview of everything you’ll need to know when planning your Phu Quoc holiday.

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Sunset at Long Beach

Getting there:

Phu Quoc has an airport that is situated about 30 mins outside of the main town. Flights from Hanoi are around 100 USD for the round-trip ticket, and flight prices continue to go down when flying from other more southern Vietnamese cities. Right now, getting to Phu Quoc by plane is the easiest option.

If you are on the southern mainland shoreline there may be a way to get there by boat, but it probably will not be widely advertised. If you are travelling from out of the country your airport experience will be seamless as Phu Quoc offers a visa exemption for many nationalities.

Phu Quoc Transportation:

There are taxis on the island, but the most common way of transport like most SE Asian cities is by motorbike. There are lots of places on the island where you can rent your own bike! The roads on Phu Quoc are surprisingly spacious and well maintained making it a dream to drive-in! Depending on your accommodation, an airport pick-up may be included as this is common practice. Check with your hotel before arriving!

Tiles at Peppercorn Boutique Resort

The layout of Phu Quoc:

Phu Quoc is quite a large island, and is easily underestimated! When travelling from beach to beach be sure to take the size of the island into account. Plan for 30-40 minutes in transit at least. This island is shaped somewhat like an upside-down triangle. Towards the bottom point of the island, there are many different smaller islets. There are tour companies that can take you around them, or you can even choose to stay on them. As you go further north you will be able to see the Cambodian islands of Koh Seh and Koh Thmei from the shore!

Sao Beach

Breaking down the beaches:

On this island there are a few beaches, there are some more popular than others! Here are a few favourites:

Bai Truong / Long Beach

This is probably the most popular spot for hotels to be located. When we went, we booked accommodation far away from this area thinking that it would be touristy and annoying – but it was the opposite. Along this beach there were some touristy places sure, but it was much closer to the city, the restaurants and different hotels. The beach was beautiful and not that crowded at all! I think next time we go, we would stay closer to Long Beach to cut down our driving time. Also, this was the beach where we witnessed the BEST sunset possibly that has ever happened,, just a lil’ FYI for all the sunset lovers out there.

Sunset on Long Beach

Bai Sao Beach:

Despite being a good 30-minute drive away from the Long Beach area, Bai Sao is the islands most popular beach! This rather large beach was divided almost in half, one half having pristine white sands and other being crowded and littered. Despite the juxtaposition the immaculate, soft  and quiet half was absolutely lovely and you could very easily spend a whole day there! There were lounges (approx $6 for the day) for rent on the beach along with a few restaurants you could get some food at!

Swing on Sao Beach

Bai Ong Lang (Ong Lang Beach):

About 15 minutes up the coast from Long beach is Bai Ong Lang which is definitely a little slice of paradise. It’s quiet and beautiful, although, slightly rocky making it not the best swimming spot. It’s also a convenient location for sunset, check out Mango Bay which is a restaurant that sits on a wooden veranda right on the beach and serves up some amazing seafood.

 

We did a bit more exploring of some of the further away beaches but all we encountered was construction. Many of the other beaches we found online were now claimed by large resorts that were very exclusive and did not allow entry unless you were a guest.

Where to stay:

There are a myriad of different options of where to stay across the island. If you stay closer to Long Beach you are going to be much more central. Walking to markets and restaurants will be much easier. There are some more resorts spread out on Ong Long beach which are beautiful as well. The further away from this area, you stay, the more isolated you will be. But it may be quieter and more exclusive, which is a plus depending on what you want! A few hotels and resorts that we checked out that were gorgeous are:

Mango Bay

Cassia Cottage

Sea Sense Resort

Peppercorn Beach Resort

Thanh Kieu Resort

**These hotels are NOT sponsored I just really liked them!

Other options — (these were sponsored but I did quite enjoy them) were Intercontinental Phu Quoc, and Sol Beach House by Melia Hotels

 

Things to do in Phu Quoc

Sunset from Rock Island Club

Take a ride on the Hon Thom Cable Car

Currently holding the world record for longest overwater cable car record, this excursion is one you won’t want to miss. Costing around 300K per ticket, soar over the southernmost islands, in this surprisingly large cable car. Witness the crystal clear water and lush jungles below. The ride total is around 15 minutes, and when you get to Hon Thom island (Pineapple Island) hop on the complimentary buggy which will take you to the beach. Snacks, drinks and toilets are plentiful, but don’t forget to bring a towel!

Feast on local foods at the Phu Quoc Night Market

Fresh seafood galore at the Phu Quoc night market! Shop local goods and nom on yummy snacks. Don’t miss out on a local favourite of bun quay (stirred noodles). Fresh seafood is cooked in a boiling broth and aggressively stirred until fully cooked. Find it at Bun Quay Kien Xay near the market. Make sure to add the chilli kumquat sauce made at the self-serve station — it will be bland without it!

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Take photos with the famous Sunset Santo Sculptures

For two weeks a year, Sunset Santo beach is transformed into the epic grounds of Epizode Music Festival, but for the rest of the year, it’s a quirky, slightly hollow sculpture playground. Instagrammers and photographers flock to the site which is full of photo opts. There is a bar on-site and chairs for lounging. I wouldn’t spend a day here but it’s a fun outing, pair it with a trip to INK 360 or Sailing Club right down the road.

Spend a day at Sailing Club Phu Quoc

This seaside bar, which feels like something straight from the shores of Bali’s trendy Canggu area is a stylish alternative to local beach bars. Fully equipt with salads and smoothie bowls, spend the day in the pool or ocean with healthy options to refuel on, though, I did get the burger which was also fantastic. With a fun fire show at night, Sailing Club is a great site for an all-day hang.

Grab a drink at the INK 360 or Rock Island Club

Two of the best bars on the island INK 360 is atop the InterContinental Phu Quoc and Rock Island Club is part of Nam Nghi. Both charge cover fees, 250K at INK 360 and 350K at Rock island Club – both include a free drink. These unique bars offer spectacular views and innovative drinks.

Island Hop around the Southern tip

Spend a day in the sun, snorkelling around the southern islands. Normally, these tours will cost you around 25 USD a person, including snacks and lunch and can be booked by your hotel or in town.

Hope that this helps you on your trip to Phu Quoc! Any more suggestions or recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

Flying from Hanoi? Check out my three-day guide to the city here!

 

Sunset at Long Beach

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