Phu Quoc Travel – Quick Start Guide For First Time Visitors!
Are you considering visiting Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam and you do not know what to do, where to stay, where and what to eat, what to expect, etc. No worries we have got you covered. This page is a quick summary of everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful island. Enjoy!
Where Is Phu Quoc Island Located?
Phu Quoc Island is located approximately 45km off the coast of Vietnam and 4kms from the Cambodia-Vietnam boundary. The island is situated in the Gulf of Thailand and it falls under the administration of the Kien Giang government with the capital, Rach Gia, being 115kms away. The closest Vietnamese town is known as Ha Tien which is about 45kms from the island and it takes 2 hours to reach Ha Tien from Phu Quoc by ferry. Phu Quoc is much closer to Cambodia’s Kampot Province which is just 18kms away. The GPS coordinates of Phu Quoc are: 10.2289° north latitude and 103.9572° east longitude.
The maritime zone situated between the coast of Phu Quoc Island of Vietnam on the one side, and the coast of Kampot Province and the Poulo Wai group of islands of Cambodia on the other, encompasses waters which are of great importance for the national defense and the economy of both countries.
Proximity To Major Asian Hubs:
Phu Quoc Island is also located relatively close to all the major Asians cities such as Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phenom Penh, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hainan, South Korea, and even Hong Kong. Flights from these major cities to Phu Quoc are set to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014.
What To Pack?
Here are a list of items you should consider packing:
- Light breathable clothes, swimming wear, and a rain coat
- If you plan on snorkeling, bring your snorkeling gear
- Swimming goggles, sun tan or sun block lotion
- Mosquito repellent
- Running shoes or hiking shoes if you plan on trekking in the National Park
- Camera, phone, laptop – the island has fast WIFI
- A simple first aid kit
If you forget any of the above items, you can always purchase them here at Phu Quoc. There are a lot of shops selling western size clothing, sun block, etc.
Pack less to save more: If you are only going to Phu Quoc for a short period of time, and you think you can manage with a carry on luggage only, some airlines, e.g. VietJetAir, offer cheaper airfares for carry on only. Do keep in mind how much you intend to bring back, to see if this option works for you.
What Area Of Phu Quoc Island Should I Stay At?
The most popular question asked by most travelers planning a trip to Phu Quoc is where they should stay on the island. In the past, there were limited accommodation options and most hotels and resorts were booked months in advance. Fast forward to 2015, Phu Quoc now has over 180 hotels & resorts.
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out where to stay on the island and you can spend hours online conducting hotel research and reading reviews. Luckily we did the research for you. We read the reviews, visited the hotels, stayed in most of them, and compiled our Top Ten list:
Getting Around Phu Quoc
Jump to: Bus| Bicycle | Motorbike | Motorbike Taxi | Taxi | Private Car | Jeep
Good news, all the national roads are now freshly paved making it easy for you to travel to all the major towns and tourist attractions.
Public transportation does exist on the island, however the schedules are unpredictable and this mode of transport is not recommended for tourists.
A bicycle hire is a great eco-friendly way to go if you don’t mind peddling through the heat. Bicycle rentals are widely available and cost anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000VND per day. If you are staying at a higher end resort, they will have bicycles available for you. If not, then head to any motorbike rental place or a hotel/resort that has them and rent from them directly. The rental terms are usually per 12 hour periods.
Hiring a motorbike is a popular way to both get around town and see the island. With a motorbike you can easily visit all the major sites on the island. Helmets are the law here in Phu Quoc Island and the speed limit within the cities are a maximum of 40km/hr. Gas stations and mechanics are widely available as well. Motorbike rentals cost anywhere between 100,000VND to 200,000VND per day including helmets. Make sure you keep a copy of the rental agencies business card with you just in case you get lost or your motorbike breaks down. The rental terms for a motorbike is usually for a 12 hour period.
- Tip 1: Rent a motorbike from your hotel/resort if they offer it.
- Tip 2: Always test ride your motorbike up and down the street to make sure it is safe and before any long distance travel. Test both front and back brakes, make sure are the turn signals work, make sure your headlight and brake lights work, and make sure your bike does not feel “wobbly” or make any strange sounds while riding. If it does, go back to the place where you rented the motorbike from and they will gladly repair or replace the motorbike for you.
- Tip 3: Opt for a full face helmet. There are a lot of rocks on the road and the last thing you want is to be hit by one.
- Tip 4: Go to one of the pharmacies and buy a surgical mask. Use this mask while riding. The mask will help keep your lungs clear of any dust and debris found on the island.
*Note: A “motorbike” is a gasoline powered 2 wheeled vehicle that is either automatic or semi automatic and does not require the use of a hand clutch like those seen on motorcycles.
By Motorbike Taxi
There are a few motorbike taxis available on the island and the price for their service varies depending on location. A short trip around town costs about 20,000VND to 30,000VND. Longer trips will obviously cost more money so make sure you agree on the price first. Most Xe Om drivers on Phu Quoc are honest and reliable.
There are plenty of taxis available all over the island. You will find them parked at the side of the road or cruising around for customers. They are reliable and safe and use a pricing meter to charge for fares. You can also negotiate a fixed price if you are planning on a long distance trip.
By Private Car
If you have a large group of people, you may be better off by renting a private car and driver. Prices start around $30 to 50USD per day, depending on the type of car. Sasco, the taxi company, also rents out their cars and drivers.
You can also rent a Jeep and driver for around $50USD per day but since all the roads now paved a Jeep rental is not necessary.
Banking, Money, Currency Exchange
There are a lot of ATM’s and Banks on the island. The majority of the ATM machines can be found around Tran Hung Dao street and in the Long Beach Village area. The most comprehensive full service bank on Phu Quoc is the Sacombank and the BIDV Bank. There main branches are located in Duong Dong Town at 20, 30 Thang 4 Street. Here you can cash travelers checks, withdraw money, exchange currencies, use their local and international ATM’s. Both are open from 7am to 11pm and 1pm to 4pm Monday to Saturday.
Other banks on the island include Agribank, Vietcomb, and Kien Long Bank.
Western Union on Phu Quoc Island Vietnam
There is a Western Union located inside the Agribank on 2 Tran Hung Dao Street in Duong Dong Town in case you need to transfer or receive funds.
Where To Eat and Drink On Phu Quoc Island
There are many places to eat and drink on the island from your local street side restaurants serving traditional Vietnamese fast food like beef soup (Pho), baguette sandwiches (Bahn mi), and broken rice with pork or chicken (com tam) to fine dining options and everything in between. Prices start from 10,000VND and up.
Eating at resorts, beach front restaurants, or at your hotel will be much more expensive than eating in town. There’s plenty of food to try from all over the world. Of course, being an island, seafood is the favorite dish here in Phu Quoc. Learn more about the various food options by reading our Phu Quoc Island Food Guide.
If you get bored of Phu Quoc Island you can always take a ferry to the mainland and visit near by port cities such as Ha Tien, Rach Gia, and even Cau Mau. You can also take a ferry and boat combination and head into Cambodia and/or Thailand. The following are the 2015 ferry and bus schedules to take you away from Phu Quoc Island:
Phu Quoc to Saigon by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Saigon | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 5:30pm $32USD
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Saigon | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $30USD
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Saigon | Departure Time: 12:00am – Arrive 10:30pm $32USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Saigon | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $25USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Saigon | Departure Time: 12:00am – Arrive 10:30pm $25USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Saigon | Departure Time: 10:00pm – Arrive 6:00pm $32USD
Phu Quoc to Can Tho by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Can Tho | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 3:30pm $27USD
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Can Tho | Departure Time: 12:00am – Arrive 8:00pm $27USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Can Tho | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 5:00pm $22USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Can Tho | Departure Time: 12:00am – Arrive 12:0pm $22USD
Phu Quoc to Chau Doc by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Chau Doc | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 1:30pm $19USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Chau Doc | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 3:30pm $19USD
Phu Quoc to Ca Mau by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Cau Mau | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 4:30pm $30USD
Phu Quoc – Ha Tien – Cau Mau | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 6:30pm $25USD
Phu Quoc to Vinh Long by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Vinh Long | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 6:00pm $32USD
Phu Quoc – Rach Gia – Vinh Long | Departure Time: 12:00am – Arrive 9:00pm $32USD
Phu Quoc to Cambodia by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Kep | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 1:30pm $19USD
Phu Quoc – Kep | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 2:30pm $16USD
Phu Quoc – Kampot | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 2:30pm $21USD
Phu Quoc – Kampot | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 3:30pm $18USD
Phu Quoc – Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 4:00pm $23 USD
Phu Quoc – Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $20 USD
Phu Quoc – Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 4:00pm $23 USD
Phu Quoc – Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $20 USD
Phu Quoc – Sihanoukville | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 5:30pm $23 USD
Phu Quoc – Sihanoukville | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $20 USD
Phu Quoc – Siem Reap | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 10:30pm $34 USD
Phu Quoc – Siem Reap | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 12:00am $30 USD
Phu Quoc to Bangkok by Bus & Ferry – Schedules & Fares
Phu Quoc – Bangkok | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 7:00pm $55USD
Phu Quoc – Pataya | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 6:00pm $55USD
Phu Quoc – Koh Chan | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 5:00pm $55USD
Phu Quoc – Koh Samet | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 6:00pm $55USD
Phu Quoc – Koh Kong | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 11:00pm $38 USD
Phu Quoc – Koh Kong | Departure Time: 7:00am – Arrive 2:30pm $35 USD
** All prices include: Pickup, ferry fare, bus fare.
Other Important Stuff
Phu Quoc is generally safe to travel, but traveling in general comes with risks that you want to make sure you’re covered for. Travel insurance is a must.
We highly recommend World Nomads since they cover travelers from over 150 countries around the world, offer great rates, and cover a range of travel-related costs from the more commonplace – lost baggage and cancellation costs – to the more severe – emergency medical and evacuation assistance as well as coverage for a wide range of adventure sports and activities.
It is acceptable to bargain for goods and services when there isn’t a price posted.
Tipping is not standard and not part of the cultural norm. Tip at your discretion.
- Avoid barring too much skin at the beach.
- Avoid beach clothes and shorts when visiting temples, and always take your shoes off before entering a temple.
- Place your used toilet paper in the trash cans that are next to the toilet as the sewage system and plumbing cannot handle paper waste.
Most hotel staff speak at least some English, French, Russian, and Vietnamese. Outside of the tourist area only Vietnamese is spoken. Hand signals and pointing at your map and where you want to go work well for directions. For prices, always ask sellers to write it down or show you the price via calculator. Having a smartphone comes in handy on this island.
Phu Quoc has fresh air, clean water, friendly people, a very low crime rate, and best of all… a lot of sunshine and powdery beaches.The island is extremely safe at the moment, but like with all major tourist destinations this is bound to change. There is a greater chance of you being robbed by your fellow traveler than a local as the punishment for petty theft here is quite extreme. For added security, leave all your precious belongings at your hotel.
Why Phu Quoc?
If you are looking to be pampered at a 5 star resort or live like Robinson Crusoe, this island is for you and it has something for everyone and for all age groups. Here in Phu Quoc you can visit beautiful white powdery sand beaches, snorkel and dive and discover the exotic Gulf of Thailand marine life, shop for pearls, try the world famous fish sauce, kayak to small islets, hike through a National Park and watch monkeys jump from tree to tree, swim in natural pools created by spectacular waterfalls, go on a deep sea fishing excursion or fish from shore, play golf at a world class golf course, or just watch one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see. This island will not disappoint you.
Keep Phu Quoc Green – Be A Responsible Tourist
The island currently does not have a recycling facility and all garbage is burned. By simply going digital and using your smartphone/tablet instead of print publications you will help prevent the release of thousands of tons of CO2 emissions, toxic inks being leached into the soil and sea, and make businesses accountable for their crimes against the environment.
Discover Phu Quoc Island:
Below is a visual navigation of some island specific topics you may be interested in. Use our main navigation above to find generic information about the island such as beaches, restaurants, sights, etc.