A mixture of Vietnamese hospitality, Asian exotica and island living await the visitor to Phu Quoc (variously pronounced, roughly, “Foo-kwa“, “Foo Kwuc” or “Foo-kwok“). Situated in the Gulf of Thailand 45km from the mainland and just 4km from Cambodia, this tropical island is the largest island in Vietnam with a total area of 574 square kilometers (222 square miles), 150km of coastline, and a population of over 103,000 people. Phu Quoc, an archipelago consisting of 24 small islands, is part of Kien Giang Province which includes the Mekong Delta. At the southern tip of Phu Quoc are the An Thoi islands, which consist of 14 islands, and the Tho Chu islands, which consist of 8 islands. In 2006 the Phu Quoc archipelago and the coastal area surrounding Kien Giang was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
About Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
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The meaning of the islands’ name refers to its rich ecosystem – “Phu” means fertile land and “Quoc” means nation. The island is also often referred to as either “Pearl Island”, because of the numerous oysters bearing pearls found offshore, “The island of 99 mountains” because of the islands ninety-nine mountainous ridges that gradually descend from the north to the south, or “Emerald Island”, because the island appears green from a distant due to all the trees and plants. Regardless of what you call this place, one thing is for sure… Phu Quoc is simply spectacular.
Phu Quoc Island Demographics
Part of the Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island is the provinces crown jewel and the people of Kien Giang are quite proud of their pearl in the ocean.
The permanent population of Phu Quoc is estimated to be at roughly 103,000 with an annual growth rate of approximately 15%. During the peak season the population increases to roughly 130,000. The island has a population density of 95 people per square km. Males out number females, with males making up 56% of the population, which makes sense given that most fisherman, pearl farmers, and black pepper gardeners are males. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the sex ratio at birth was 112.11 male births per 100 female births.
The ethnic makeup of the people living on Phu Quoc Island are as follows:
Vietnamese – 97%
Chinese – 1.5%
Khmer – 1%
Other – 0.5%
Unlike Phu Quoc’s small population, Kien Giang province has a population of over 1,714,100 people and is home to over 15 different ethnic groups.
Phu Quoc Island is located in area with a mixture of continental and coastal climate. The island’s tropical monsoonal sub equatorial climate is characterized by the wet season (June to early November) and the dry season (December to April). May is a month where the transition from a dry to wet season begins. Average temperature is between 25C (77F) to 27C (80.6F) with a year round variation of 3 degrees (37.4F). The total rainfall in Phu Quoc is approximately 3,038 mm. The rainy season lasts with the southeast monsoon, from June to November. year.
Temperature and Precipitation Statistics:
Average temperature: 27.3 Celsius
Average daytime temperature high: 31.2 Celsius
Average daytime temperature low: 24.6 Celsius
Highest temperature recorded: 35 Celsius
Lowest temperature recorded : 15.7 Celsius
Hottest months: April and May (Temperatures can reach as high as 35 Celsius)
Average rainfall per annul: 3,038mm
Average rainfall per month: 190mm/month
Driest months: November to March (43mm average rainfall)
Wettest months: July to October (361mm average rainfall)
Water temperature ranges: from 28 Celsius to 31 Celsius
A wise man once said that “there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing”. If you are planning on coming to Phu Quoc during the wet season, come prepared.
The island’s average relative humidity is at 83.3%. In March, the start of the wet season, humidity is at its highest and begins to taper off in November. The ideal months to visit the island are December and January, when humidity (and rainfall) is quite low.
Average Wind Speed
During the dry season, Phu Quoc Island is affected by the northwest seasonal wind which has an average speed of 3.2m/s. On the other hand, during the rainy season Phu Quoc Island experiences west-southeast seasonal wind which has an average speed of 4.5 m/s. The average annual wind speed at 20 meters is 3.0 m/s.
Phu Quoc Island lies in the Gulf of Thailand, about 40 km due west of the Vietnamese mainland. With an area of 56,200 ha, Phu Quoc is the largest in an archipelago of 14 islands, 22 if you include Tho Chu.
The hilly topography of Phu Quoc is formed by a mountain ridge that runs the length of the island, peaking at 603 meters (1,978 feet) at Mount Chua, the islands highest point. The northern part of the island is more steep creating narrow lowland along the coastal area. The heavily forested areas in the north are drained by numerous, mainly seasonal, streams. The only sizable river on the island is the Cua Can river, which drains the northern mountainous region and flows into the sea on the west coast of the island. Some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches are in the east, including Sao Beach (Bai Sao) and Khem Beach (Bai Khem).
The island is mainly composed of sedimentary rock from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic age, including heterogeneous conglomerate composition, layering thick, quartz pebbles, silica, limestone, riolit and felsit. The Mesozoic rocks are classified in Phu Quoc Formation. The Cenozoic sediments are classified in formations of Long Toan (middle to upper Pleistocene), Long My, (upper Pleistocene), Hau Giang (lower to middle Holocene), upper Holocene sediments, and undivided Quaternary.
Phu Quoc National Park
The island contains a national park that covers 70% of the island and is situated within the boundaries of the following villages: Ganh Dau, Thom Village, Cua Can Village, Hamn Ninh Village, Duong To Village, and Duong Dong Township.
Phu Quoc Island has four big freshwater lakes which are all above sea level so there is no risk of sea water intrusion. The largest lake, Duong Dong Lake, is located in the north and currently supplies fresh water to the island.
The following are the lakes found on the island:
Rach Tram Lake – Location: North
Cua Can Lake – Location: North East
Duong Dong Lake – Location: East
Big Stream Lake (Ho Suoi Lon) – Location: South
The sea around the island is relatively shallow and teeming with life. Sea surface temperatures range from 24C to 30C, usually peak in May-August and lowest from November to February. Mean annually salinity varies from 32 ppt (parts per trillion) to 34 ppt. Tidal regime of the area is characterized by diurnal cycles, reaching height of 0.8 m at high tide. The Gulf of Thailand has a mean depth of 45 meters and a maximum depth of 80 meters.
Currents in the Gulf of Thailand are circular and under the seasonal influence of the monsoons. During the northeast monsoon, the current flows clockwise, anti-clockwise in the southwest monsoon. Current speed in the two monsoons is generally less than 30 cm/s and wave direction is influenced by prevalent wind. Wave height is generally less than 0.9 m.
The following are the main roads found on the island:
National Hwy 47: This main road connects Duong Dong Town with Ham Ninh Village and Duong To Village. This road will also take you to National Road 46.
Nguyen Trung Truc Road: This road connects Duong Dong Town with Thom Village.
National Hwy 46: This road connects Duong Dong Town with An Thoi Town. You will take this road to see sights such as Sao Beach, Coconut Tree Prison, Khem Beach, and to An Thoi Port. This road is also known as “Nguyen Van Cu”.
Cua Can Road: This road connects Duong Dong Town with Cua Can Village. and Ganh Dau Village. You will take this road to visit Dai Beach, Ganh Dau Beach, Vung Bau Beach, Ong Lang Beach, and Cua Can Beach.
Suoi Cai Road: This is a red dirt road that will take you to the Phu Quoc National Park Trail. It can be reached from Ganh Dau Village or by Nguyen Trung Truc Road.
Tran Hung Dao: This is the main street that goes up and down the Long Beach Area.
30 Thang 4: This is a main road in Duong Dong Town that will take you to Dinh Cau Temple, National Hwy 47, Hung Vuong Street (which will take you to Nguyen Trung Truc Street) and Tran Hung Dao Street.
Relative Road Distances
The road conditions around the island are really good and 90% of the major roads are now all freshly paved making riding around a breeze.
Relative travel times around Phu Quoc:
Duong Dong to Ganh Dau village: 30min by car (40min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to the Phu Quoc Forest Walk near Ganh Dau: 50min by car (65min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Thom Beach: 35min by car (50min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Dai Beach: 45min by car (50min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Ong Lang Beach: 20min by car (30min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Cua Can Town: 30min by car (40min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Ham Ninh village: 15min by car (20min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Starfish (Sao) Beach: 35min by car (50min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to Cream (Khem) Beach: 45 min by car (50min by motorbike)
Duong Dong to An Thoi Town: 30min by car (40min by motorbike)
An Thoi to Sao Beach: 15minutes by car (25min by motorbike)
Services On The Island
As of 2014 Phu Quoc is now legally classified as a city and as such the island has a range of services on offer:
The main currency on the island is the Vietnamese Dong. Other forms of currencies are accepted but only at the larger more established hotels/resorts. Most businesses deal only in cash. You can withdraw cash directly from your home account through local ATM’s which are widely available. You can find Sacombank, BIDV, and Vietcombank ATM’s that accept international credit and debit cards in Duong Dong Town, An Thoi Town, Ham Ninh Village, Cua Can Village, Ganh Dau Village, and Thom Village. The major banks have branches in Duong Dong Town and An Thoi Town.
Bank branches on Phu Quoc Island include:
Address: 30/4 Khu phố 1 Thị trấn, Duong Dong
Phone: (077) 981 036, Fax: (077) 981 039 ATM & Banks
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-11am & 1pm-4pm
Address: 2 Tran Hung Dao Street inside the Agribank
Phone: (077) 384 8621, 848542
Kien Long Bank
Address: Nga Ba Nha Tho,To 4 , KP 3, An Thoi
Phone: (077) 6999 993
Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm & Sat 7.30am-12pm
Address: No. 2, Quarter 2, Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Town,
Phone: (077) 846 037 / 846 074
* Westen Union is inside here
WIFI is widely available on the island and it is very reliable and fast. Almost all the hotels and restaurants will have free WIFI. You will also be able to access your 3G ne
Police in Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc Islands main police station is located in Duong Dong town on Bach Dang Street near the Dinh Cau Temple and the Night Market. Police can assist you with reporting theft, accidents, disagreements between parties, and any other related issues. You can reach them at 077 3 846 051.
Post Office in Phu Quoc
The Phu Quoc post office is located on 2, 30 Thang 4 street in Duong Dong town near the police station. They are opened from 6am to 9pm daily from Monday to Saturday and closed on Sundays. You can call them at 077 846 117.
Phu Quoc Immigration
The Phu Quoc immigration isl also located on 30 Thang 4 street in Duong Dong town near the post office. If you need your work or business permit extended, this is the place to go.
Phu Quoc Airline offices
Jetstar, VietJetAir, and Vietnam Airlines are 3 major international airlines that fly to Phu Quoc Island. Air Mekong also fly’s to Phu Quoc and they are even headquartered here.
Jetstar office in Phu Quoc
Address: 10 Tran Hung Dao Street, District 7 City, town of Duong Dong, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang.
Tel: +84 077 3 992294
Vietnam Airlines office in Phu Quoc
Address: 122 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Open Hours: Mon – Fri: 0730 – 1130 and 1330-1700; Sat – Sun and public holiday: 0800 – 1100, 1400 – 1600.
Tel: 84-773 996677 | Fax: 84-773 980779
VietJetAir office in Phu Quoc
Address: Booking office at Domestic Departure Terminal, Phu Quoc International Airport
Tel: +84 77 3991166
Working hours: 06:30 – 16:30 (GMT+7) Daily
Air Mekong office in Phu Quoc
Address: Hamlet 3, Village 7, An Thoi Town, Phu Quoc Island, Kiên Giang Province, Vietnam
Phu Quoc Island At A Glance
An overview of Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam from an economic perspective.
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