Phu Quoc is like an isolated jewel set in the vastness of the Gulf of Thailand. And like facets of a gem, the islands have their own unique qualities. Travelers who take the time to look beyond their obvious beauty will discover a chain of islands that is at once lush and stark, modern and ancient, simple and exotic.
Watch the video below to get a glimpse of what you can expect while vacationing on Vietnam's "paradise" island.
Just the name Phú Quốc looks and sounds exotic (pronounced "foo-quack"), and it is! What makes Phu Quoc Island rank high on most people's "bucket-list" is the fact that mixed in with all that exotic ambiance are a range of familiar activities popular with a wide array of travelers. From foodies and sun worshipers to culture enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Phu Quoc has something to offer everyone.
The real treasures of this tiny idyllic island are its people. Vietnam is known as the land of smiles and Phu Quoc is no exception. Everywhere you go, you will be welcomed by smiles and kind help from the locals whether you know Vietnamese or not. Phú Quốc also has a good mix ethnicity's – Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, Filipino, Chinese, and even a few westerners all of whom have made the island their home.
Although tourism is transforming the island from its warn torn past, Phu Quoc is now and will continue to be linked to the fishing industry and this is reflected in the islands vibrant culture. To experience Phu Quoc's diverse culture, head over to the coastal fishing communities, places of worship, and the wet markets found throughout the island archipelago.
Phu Quoc is an "Island District" situated in the Gulf of Thailand 45 kilometers from the southern tip of mainland Vietnam and only 4 kilometers from nearby Cambodia. It is part of the Kien Giang Biosphere Conservation Area which in 2006 was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
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10.2289° N, 103.9572° E
Be in the know about must-see experiences on Phú Quốc
Eat well and be merryPhu Quoc is a premium international tourist destination and not only will you find some of the freshest seafood dishes in all of Asia but also a variety of international cuisines as well from some of the world's top chefs who have made this island their home. From juicy burgers and salmon tartare to steamed crab and locally brewed beer, Phú Quốc truly is a foodie's dream destination. Phu Quoc Food Guide | Restaurants | Local Specialties | Cafes |
It's almost a rite of passage for tourists to eat at least one seafood meal during their stay as the 28 island archipelago is famous for its wide assortment of fresh seafood available on offer. With a myriad of choices, we have narrowed down 4 must try seafood types, that are considered somewhat of a specialty on Phu Quoc:
1. Mantis shrimp: These fierce looking shrimp-like crustaceans look intimidating at first, but once you try them you will never go back to eating regular shrimp again. Also known as Cicale or Double Headed Shrimp, the mantis shrimp is aptly named for its resemblance to the praying mantis and its meat has a certain sweetness to it that's hard to describe in words. Find them on display at the Phu Quoc Night Market (see below) and try them boiled or steamed and eat it whole with the roe intact.
2. Crab: Straight from the Gulf of Thailand to your plate, the sea crab dishes found on the island are definitely a must try. We recommend visiting Ham Ninh Village to taste crab prepared "Phu Quoc" style – boiled in salt water and then dipping the tender meat in a simple sauce made from a combination of salt, pepper, chili, and lime juice.
3. Urchin: Referred to as "nhum" or "cau gai" or "nhim bien" in Vietnamese and "uni" in Japanese, urchins are plentiful in the surrounding sea and on the menu. The best place to experience eating urchin is on a boat while touring the southern islands that are part of the Phu Quoc Marine Park. Your captain will stop at one of the numerous offshore fish farms where he will buy the freshest urchins that you can enjoy, raw or cooked.
4. Squid: Also abundant in the Gulf of Thailand and available practically everywhere on the island, the myriad of squid dishes found on the island are a must try for seafood lovers for one main reason – majority of their diet consists of consuming black anchovies, the same fish used in making the islands famous fermented fish sauce product renowned for its umami qualities – the secret fifth flavor. Try Phu Quoc's squid grilled, steamed, or even eat it raw.
Planes, ferries, boats, and automobiles
Tourists can also take a passenger ferry to Phu Quoc from the Vietnamese port towns of Ha Tien or Rach Gia. Private tour boats (aka "junks") originating from Saigon and international cruise ships started to arrive here as well.
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