Pierre Dubarry our Marketing intern at Diethelm Travel Vietnam explored the tropical island paradise of Phu Quoc to discover all it has to offer.
The largest of Vietnam’s islands, Phu Quoc offers beautiful beaches, inland activities, and plenty of rest and relaxation. If you are looking for brilliant white sand, azure waters, lingering sunsets as well as impressive mountains and rainforests, then make Phu Quoc your next destination!
The archipelago consists of 22 islands with the biggest main island stretching for 50 kilometres. Although Phu Quoc is changing rapidly – the south coast offers a wide range of hotels, bars and restaurants – 50% of the island is protected by a national park ensuring that its natural beauty endures.
During my 5-day stay in Phu Quoc I wanted to experience the island’s best beaches. To begin the journey, our driver took us to the southern part of the island with a stop at Long Beach. Aptly named for being Phu Quoc’s longest beach, here we found kilometres of pristine sand with clear waters, along with many sunset bars and restaurants on the northern part of the beach.
After a fresh pineapple juice we were back on the road to the town of An Thoi. The town itself doesn’t offer much except as being the point of departure for the beautiful islands in the south of Phu Quoc. If you want to go for a half- or full-day island-hopping cruise, I advise you rent a private boat. Of course, it’s a little more expensive than a normal cruise but you don’t have to deal with the crowds and can explore wherever you want. People at the harbour may try to overcharge for a private cruise so don’t hesitate to negotiate the price!
We had arrived too late in the day so didn’t go for a cruise, but decided to see Sao Beach. Easy to find on a map, this is the most famous beach of Phu Quoc with its picturesque white sand and warm turquoise water. It’s a perfect place to go swimming at the end of the day (don’t forget your mask and snorkel). Next to Sao Beach is Khem Beach, another well known spot and home to the impressive 5-star JW Marriott.
After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, we went to enjoy the private beach beds of our resort at Ong Lang Beach just a 5-minute walk from the resort. After soaking up some sun, we decided to spend our second day visiting the north of the island.
Driving along the coast, about ten kilometres from our resort, we found a charming beach hotel called “Chez Carole”. We enjoyed our lunch here, our feet in a clean, white sandy beach watching the sea. As the place was perfect, we decided to spend the rest of day at the resort to enjoy the view.
The next day, we again took the road to the north with a first stop at Bai Dai Beach, a stunning deserted beach that you can only access by a muddy road. We stayed just long enough to take some photos of this beautiful place and then were back on the road to Ganh Dau, a small city in the northwest of Phu Quoc. The final goal was to reach Rach Vem, a shallow low tide beach with a floating village. We didn’t know quite what to expect and were sore from driving 20 kilometres on a dirt road, but it was worth it!
There are no words to describe it…just wow.
Friday morning we were more motivated than ever to enjoy our last two days. We heard about two waterfalls in Phu Quoc so decided to visit one of them called Suoi Tranh Waterfall. Because it was the dry season the waterfall wasn’t boasting roaring falls, but it would be a great stop at other times of the year.
Afterward, we headed to Bai Thom Beach in northeast Phu Quoc stopping at a pearl farm along the way. (If you want to bring back something special and very local from your time in Phu Quoc, pearl jewellery is an ideal gift. Prices start from USD 40 to more than what I have on my bank account.) To reach Bai Thom Beach you go about 20 kilometres on a dirt road.
Upon arriving, we had lunch at a local restaurant with our feet in the sand and a stunning view of the bay. We enjoyed delicious sea urchins, clams, shrimp and more for just around USD 5 per person!
Feeling sporty on our last day in paradise we decided to rent kayaks on the river next to Le Bat. After two hours of paddling through lush vegetation we decided to return back to the resort to relax on the beach for the rest of the day.
The time had come to prepare my luggage and head home to Hanoi. Thought it wasn’t easy returning back to reality, I carried back a lot of good memories with me!