Phu Quoc is your dream vacation destination. Once a secret backpacker retreat the paradise islands that makeup Phú Quốc District have evolved to become one of Asia’s premiere vacation destination and a top tier digitally connected smart city of the future. Today on Phu Quoc you will find 5 star luxury beach resorts, casino’s and golf courses, an international airport, WHO standard international hospital, and even a zoo! The Vietnamese government has big plans to transform Phú Quốc to become the next Phuket and they are not holding back. As of 2017, direct chartered flights from Russia, Sweden, Denmark, China, Thailand, UK and Korea started to arrive, cruise ships are on their way, and soon the island district will have the longest oversea cable car in the world!
Regardless of the islands ambitious development plans, Phu Quoc still remains a wild tropical island. Over 50% of the main island is designated as a National Park and the surrounding sea has plenty of marine life and coral reefs. What does this all mean to you? Well, it means that the island caters to everyone’s needs — if you are looking for a raw island, beautiful abandoned beaches, and you want to forage for your own food in the forest or sea, you can still do that here. On the other hand, if you want to stay at a luxury 5 star beach resort, hangout with celebrities while sipping on margaritas by an infinity pool, you can also do that here as well. Phu Quoc really does have something for everybody.
Visit Phú Quốc – Asia’s Paradise Island
Turquoise seas, spectacular sunsets, and lush rainforests await you at Asia’s emerging tropical island destination. This heart shaped island provides an unbeatable combination of perfect silky soft white sand beaches, superb hospitality and great value accommodation. Plan your visit to Phu Quoc Island by exploring our comprehensive digital travel platform and discover the beauty of Vietnam’s “paradise” island.
PHU QUOC DEALS:
WHY PHU QUOC?
Where paradise and culture intersect.
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. Phu Quoc is also the only destination in Vietnam that offers a 30 day visa exemption for all nations.
Name: Phu Quoc District Classification: Second Tier City Phu Quoc District: 28 islands, 3 urban areas (Duong Dong, Cua Can, and An Thoi), 2 major towns (Duong Dong Town & An Thoi Town), 6 major villages (Bai Thom Village, Ganh Dau Village, Cua Can Village, Cua Duong Village, Duong To Village, and Ham Ninh Village), and 2 island communes (Hon Thom & Tho Chu). Area: 593 km² Capital: Duong Dong Town Province: Kiên Giang Province Country: Vietnam
The dry season lasts from November to April, with the peak tourist season occurring between December to March, which are also the best months to come to Phu Quoc due to the numerous events that occur during this time (Tet, beach music festivals, pageants, golf tournaments, marathons, etc.) The rainy season lasts from May to October, when you can expect rough seas, high humidity, regular downpours, and less activities.
ABOUT PHU QUOC
The largest island in the Gulf of Thailand.
Phu Quoc (Vietnamese: Phú Quốc, Russian: Фукуок) is an “Island District” of Kien Giang Province that is 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. The entire “Island District” consists of 28 islands which have a total area of 593.05 square kilometers, with Phu Quoc Island being the largest of the 28 islands at 574 square kilometers.
Phu Quoc travel activities are abundant ranging from land, ocean and aerial tours to hiking, scuba diving, fishing, bird watching, trekking and snorkeling. On Phu Quoc Island you will find a large amusement park, safari zoo, and world class golf courses. Shopping is plentiful and there are limitless options to enjoy the finest cuisines from around Vietnam and the world. Visit Vietnam’s most beautiful beach, tour historic prisons, discover sacred temples, trek through a National Park, or simply enjoy the ocean sunset. With its beauty and tranquility, Phu Quoc is undeniably one of the most attractive destinations in Vietnam if not the world.
Phu Quoc Holidays: Tet – Vietnamese New Year (dates vary), April 6th – 9th (Hung King festival), April 29th – May 2nd, September 2nd – 4th (Independence Day), December 20 – January 4 (Christmas & New Year’s Eve)
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.
Left: Cambodian women we met at Rach Vem Village. Right: Sea Urchin fishermen we met in Thom Village.
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.
Discover The Real Phu Quoc
THINGS TO SEE & DO ON PHU QUOC
Rush or relax.
Our 5 best things to do list take you straight to the “can’t miss” natural and cultural treasures found all around the beautiful island of Phu Quoc. This narrow list of choices will get you discovering the best of what Phu Quoc has to offer whether you are here on the island for 1 day or 1 week. From scenic beaches to culinary delights, there is something for everyone.
Phu Quoc is known for its spectacular ocean sunsets, so make sure to catch at least one while you are there. Our favorite evening lookout spots are anywhere along Long Beach, by the lighthouse at the Dinh Cau Temple, and on a boat in the middle of the ocean prior to fishing for squid at night.
After the sun has set, visit the lively Phu Quoc Night Market and feast on your favorite seafood fare all night long. The night market is a popular place for shopping, drinks, street food and for fresh seafood. It is also a hot spot for domestic and foreign tourists to congregate at night. Don’t miss tucking into mouthwatering local favorites like grilled oysters, scallop kebabs, and our favorite, steamed lemongrass crab.
Phu Quoc is famous for its’ fish sauce production and a visit to the island would be not be complete without touring one of the many fish sauce factory’s. This unique aromatic sauce has even been granted the status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the European Union!
White sand, warm turquoise water, and a gentle breeze blowing on your neck. Yes a place like this does exist in Vietnam and can only be found on Phu Quoc Island. Sao Beach is possibly Vietnam’s best beach, but don’t take our word for it, discover it for yourself… and you better hurry as this tranquil beach will not remain Vietnam’s best kept secret for too long as big business has plans on developing the area into a concrete wonderland.
Phu Quoc is best discovered on a motorbike. The roads are well paved and there is hardly any traffic. Discover the unique island ecosystem, find an abandoned beach, see wild monkeys jumping from tree to tree, visit a local village… the possibilities are endless. Create your own unique adventure and memory on the island! Don’t know where to start? No worries… we have all the maps, routes, itineraries, and more right here on our website.
There are so many things to do on Phu Quoc but unfortunately most people do not have the time to see and do everything. One of our favorite things to do on Phu Quoc is, well… nothing at all. Just sitting back and enjoying the beach, warm weather, gorgeous sunset, while reading a good book is heaven for us. For those of you who cannot sit still we have created 1, 2, and 3 day classic itineraries that most usually people follow.
EXPLORE LOCAL FAVORITES
Find the best things to do based on your interests
Exotic white and yellow sand beaches overlooking a turquoise sea. This is Phu Quoc.
Conjure up an image of the best Vietnam beach and you’ll find Phú Quốc’s generous shoreline fits the description perfectly: stretches of soft powdery sand often freckled with both shady palm and casuarina trees – and limpid, aquamarine seas. The island districts main tourism draw are its spectacular beaches and with 150 kilometers of coastline there are beaches to suit all needs: great swathes of yellow and white sand groomed by resorts promise days on end of utter luxury, offshore islands act as jumping off points for exploring a wealth of coral reefs, while hidden down jungle-choked dirt tracks are sandy slices of undiscovered paradise.
Here are the 5 most popular beaches found on Phu Quoc Island:
Location: Center-west of the island | Area: Bai Truong Tourist Complex – Duong Dong, Duong To, Cua Lap | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Trường
On the western side of Phu Quoc Island lies the most popular stretch of beach called Long Beach (aka Bai Truong or Truong Beach). The beach faces the setting sun and it encompasses the islands 3 major tourist areas: Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Cua Lap (Ba Keo/Long Beach Backpacker Village), and Duong Dong. The longest uninterrupted stretch of the beach is located south-west of the airport while the most popular stretch of the beach lies south of Duong Dong Town. The total length of Long Beach is roughly 20 kilometers (hence the name) and it is the epicenter of all tourist related activities on Phu Quoc.
Location: Northwest of the island | Area: Ganh Dau | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Dài
Located on the north western coast, just past Vung Bau Beach, lies Dai Beach (Bai Dai), a 6 kilometer beach home to a few of the islands premiere multi-purpose beach resorts and entertainment complexes. Dai Beach is Phu Quoc’s second longest beach.
Location: Center-West of Phu Quoc | Area: Cua Duong | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Ông Lang
Ong Lang Beach is located on the western shores of Cửa Dương Village, just north of Duong Dong Town. “Ong Lang Beach” is also not a continuous stretch of beach but rather a series of smaller beaches broken up by a rocky coastline and home to some great boutique resorts.
Location: Southeast of the island | Area: An Thoi | Vietnamese Name: Bãi Khem
Located in the south eastern part of the island, just south of Sao Beach, lies Kem Beach or Khem Beach (Bãi Khem), which literally translates to “cream” beach, in reference to the white powdery sand found here. Bãi Kem Beach was initially used as military training area but has now transformed into one of the islands most premiere beach destinations.
There’s an endless array of tranquil and desolate beaches to choose from, so it can be hard to select which ones to see if you’ve got limited time. To make things a bit easier for you here’s a list of all the Phu Quoc Beaches found on the island.
Part of Duong Dong, and located just a few kilometers north of the airport lies the most dense mixed-tourist area on Phu Quoc Island known as Cua Lap (Vietnamese: Cửa Lấp). Cua Lap also encompasses a coastal area known as “Ba Keo” —which was also supposed to be converted into a beach tourist zone but the real estate development plan was not executed. As a result, random and uncontrolled development in the area just south of Ba Keo began and this led to the rise of Long Beach Village instead, which is now Phu Quoc’s official backpacker district (see below). A popular, and well known, resort in the Cua Lap area is the luxurious La Veranda Resort.
Long Beach Village is a tightly packed beach area located west of Tran Hung Dao, the islands most popular tourist street, and has evolved into becoming Phu Quoc’s very own backpacker area – like Bangkok’s “Koh San Road“, Hanoi’s “Old Quarter District” or Saigon’s “Pham Ngu Lao” area. At Long Beach Village you will find numerous places to stay, tourist shops, tour agencies, restaurants, and bars. Contained within this backpacker area is Long Beaches main public beach access point.
Nested in between Phu Quoc’s two major towns (Duong Dong & An Thoi) lies Duong To, a vast central area that is home to the Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Phu Quoc’s main tourist area. The Bai Truong Tourist Complex is often referred to as just “Long Beach”, the literal translation of the Vietnamese words in English. Recommend hotels and resorts in this area include the Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, Salinda Resort, and the Sol Beach Resort.
Duong Dong is Phu Quoc’s largest town and it is located along on the western coast of Phu Quoc island. Duong Dong is famous for its mighty river that bears the same name, temples, fish sauce factories, pepper farms, and of course the plentiful accommodation options available at all price points. At Duong Dong you will find some hillside retreats, private villa’s, and one of Phu Quoc’s most lavish beach resort, and the one that keeps winning design awards— The Shells Resort.
Ong Lang is a coastal beach area within the larger Cua Duong Village area. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Long Beach and you are looking for some privacy then head on over to Ong Lang. There are few amazing resorts here and you are only a stones throw away from all the major tourist attractions. Ong Lang is about 45 minutes away from the airport via taxi. Check out our top 5 places to stay in Ong Lang list.
If you are looking for solitude, long stretches of clean beach, and ecotourism water-sport activities like kayaking and beach snorkeling, then the Cua Can area is perfect for you. Cua Can (Vietnamese: Cửa Cạn) is located in the north western section of Phu Quoc and consists of Vung Bau Beach, Cua Can Beach, Cua Can Village and the Cua Can River. Cua Can Village is famous for having the highest concentration of rustic wooden bridges in Phu Quoc District. Recommended accommodations for this area are reviewed here.
Ganh Dau is located in the Northwestern part of the island and the area is slowly becoming the “Las Vegas” of Phu Quoc. Here you will find “Vinpearl Phu Quoc“, a vast multipurpose complex that consists of the luxurious Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort, Vinpearl Phu Quoc Villas, an amusement park, safari zoo & animal research center, casino, 27 hole golf course, and southern Vietnam’s only WHO recognized international hospital. Also in Ganh Dau is the Grand World Resort, located right on Dai Beach and set to open soon. On-the-ocean seafood restaurants and Phu Quoc’s most popular hiking trail— Ganh Dau Trail, are both also found in the area.
Located at the southern tip of Phu Quoc Island is An Thoi, the island districts crown jewel and the area that makes Phu Quoc competitive with similar international vacation destinations such as Phuket, Bali, Maldives, and Fiji. An Thoi is the second largest urban area on Phu Quoc Island, the gateway to the Phu Quoc Marine Park, has two beautiful white sand beaches — Bai Sao & Bai Khem — and the world’s largest over sea cable car. An Thoi also has an international sea port and marina, various historically significant cultural sites, and the majestic Ho Quoc Pagoda. At the southern most tip of the area lies An Thoi Town, a dense urban area and the islands second town (the other one being Duong Dong Town).
Recommended places to stay in An Thoi: the J.W. Marriott Phu Quoc resort, which is located on Khem Beach, a villa rental at Premiere Village in Mui Ong Doi, or an AirBnB niche rental in An Thoi Town, Dat Do Beach, or Bai Xep Beach.
FOOD & DRINK
Eat well and be merry
Phu 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.
Phu Quoc Night Market
Formerly known as the Dinh Cau Night Market, later renamed to Phu Quoc Night Market and now simply referred to as the “Night Market” – this upscale open air market in Duong Dong Town is a major tourist attraction which draws thousands of locals and tourists alike every evening after the sun has set. They come to the Night Market for 3 reasons:
To sample some of the islands best seafood dishes;
To be amazed by all the live marine life on display – from shark and snakes, to sting rays and even eels;
To people watch.
The Phu Quoc Night Market (Chợ đêm Phú Quốc) is also a great place to try “food-truck” style deserts, minus the food-truck of course. Local favorites include ice cream rolls, sticky coconut candy (Kẹo chỉ), chocolate banana crepes, and vegetarian tofu sandwiches.
“The food, culture, landscape and smell; they’re all inseparable. It just seemed like another planet; a delicious one that sort of sucked me in and never let go.”
For the most part the Phu Quoc nightlife scene is relatively quiet compared to other tropical island destinations such as Phuket, Bali, or Boracay. This island caters to more of a mature crowd with a preference for families, groups, and couples – think Maldives or Fiji. With that being said, on Phu Quoc you will find a lot more upscale lounges, some of which are next to the beach and some perched on top of a hill. That’s not to say that there aren’t any dance clubs on Phu Quoc, it’s just that the party options are very limited and the environment is more intimate. However when Phu Quoc does decide on throwing a party, it goes all out – international DJ’s, premium beach front locales, and beautiful people from all over the world. Every year Phu Quoc hosts a 2 week long music festival attracting a large international crowd – one of Asia’s largest musical festival and a traditional that began in 2017.
The bar scene on the island is quite exciting and diverse catering to all demographics – from backpackers to sommeliers. Mostly concentrated in the Bai Truong area, the bars on the island are plentiful so if your time is limited and you are looking for a great place to have a drink and meet other people, then be sure to read our Phu Quoc Pub Cral Guide, the definitive guide on where to drink and bar hop on Phu Quoc. From beach bars to hole-in-the-wall types, everything can be had on Phu Quoc Island. Beer lovers should definitely check out some of the islands microbreweries and sample some of the freshest beer produced on this side of the planet.
GETTING TO PHU QUOC
Planes, ferries, boats, and automobiles
As you may already know, flying or taking a ferry is the only way to travel to Phú Quốc. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, and Jetstar are the domestic airlines that currently fly to the island and during the high season there are both direct and via transit flights from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Rach Gia, Hai Phong, Dalat, Russia, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, and Australia with more routes to be added shortly.
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.
Flights To Phu Quoc Island
All flights to the island land at the Phú Quốc International Airport (Sân bay quốc tế Phú Quốc) which is Vietnam’s fifth largest airport and one that can handle an estimated seven million domestic and international passengers annually.
There are numerous domestic flights from most of the major Vietnamese cities daily (e.g. Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Rach Gia, Da Nang, Hai Phong and Cam Ranh/Nha Trang), and most of these flights are competitively priced throughout the year. Actual airfares vary from airline to airline with Viet Jet Air, the country’s leading discount carrier, being the cheapest while Vietnam Airlines, the country’s national airline, being the most expensive. As mentioned above, there are also many international routes that fly to and from Phu Quoc and more routes are being added annually. During Christmas, New Years, and Tet Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year), expect the prices to be at their peaks and seat availability to be limited so plan accordingly.
PHU QUOC AIRPORT ARRIVALS
Once you have landed at the airport and picked up your luggage you have 4 transportation options available to you in order for you to reach your hotel/resort destination:
Prearranged transportation. Most of the top tier resorts offer airport pickups – some are complimentary and others are not.
Taxi: there are 4 taxi companies that serve the island and fares ($/per kilometer) vary based on the size of the vehicle you hire. The smallest vehicle and lowest fare taxi company is known as Phú Quốc Taxi. Please note that if you take a taxi to and from the airport you are also responsible for the airport toll fee.
Shuttle bus: For 50,000VND per person an airport shuttle will drop you off at the end of Bai Truong in Duong Dong Town. This is a great option if you are staying in and around the city center and are carrying a few pieces of luggage.
Xe Om. A Xe Om (pronounced “say ohm”) is a motorbike taxi that is a cheap alternative to a regular taxi and a good option for those solo travelers with just a small piece of luggage/backpack and are looking to leave the airport right away. To find a Xe Om at the airport, look for men wearing blue shirts near the entrance of the arrivals section.
Ferry To Phu Quoc
You can also take a boat to Phu Quoc by catching a fast from the southern Mekong Delta town of Ha Tien or Rach Gia City. Taking the ferry to Phu Quoc is fun, fast, and a great opportunity to passively see the other islands in Kien Giang Province. The ideal time to take the ferry is in the morning where the seas are calm and where you will get a chance to watch an amazing sunrise!
The boats are modern with decent washrooms, have soft seats, and there is also open air area in the back if you need fresh air or just want to watch the ocean scenery. There is also a small snack bar on board in case you need water, food, or beer. As of 2017 there are three ferry’s that go to and from the island, the fast ferry and the slow ferry. [Ferry Routes & Map]
PHU QUOC'S FAST & SLOW FERRIES
The Fast Ferry service to Phu Quoc is predominantly operated by two ferry companies known as “Ngoc Thanh Express” and “SuperDong”. Both ferries depart from Ha Tien Town (1.5 hrs to Phú Quốc) or Rach Gia City (2.5 hrs to Phú Quốc) , on mainland Vietnam, and dock at Bai Vong Port on the eastern coast of Phú Quốc near Ham Ninh Village. For an extra fee you can even bring a motorbike/motorcycle on board, assuming there is capacity.
The Slow Ferry is operated by company called Thanh Thoi and is only available in Ha Tien Town. The primary purpose of the slow ferry is to transport automotive vehicles, motorbikes, tour buses/vans, and heavy machinery, but individual passengers may also take this ferry to visit Phu Quoc.
The slow ferry docks at three locations on Phu Quoc Island:
Da Chong Port (~3.5 hrs to Phú Quốc), located in the Northeastern part of Phú Quốc in Bai Thom; and
Bai Vong Port (3.0 hrs to Phu Quoc), located in the Eastern part of Phu Quoc at Vong Beach, just south of Ham Ninh Village.
Vinh Dam Port (3.0 hrs to Phuquoc), located in the Southeastern part of Phu Quoc in Duong To, just north of Sao Beach.
Most travelers opt to take the slow ferry to Phu Quoc if: a) they plan on bringing a vehicle (car, truck, or motorbike) to the island, b) staying in the Northern region of Phú Quốc (e.g. Bai Thom, Rach Tram, Rach Vem, etc.), or c) they cannot get a ticket for the fast ferries and the slow ferry is their only option. If you plan on taking your vehicle/motorbike to the island, you will need your passport, vehicle ownership, and license plate number to register and reserve a spot. Once you arrive at one of the two ports mentioned above you can either take a taxi, xe-om (motorbike taxi), or mini van to your destination on the island. Pre-paid transfers can be arranged as well through the slow ferry operator at Ha Tien Port.
Vietnam Cambodia Travel
Cambodia shares a land and marine border with Vietnam and if you are planning on traveling to Phu Quoc from Cambodia by air, land, or see please review the following for more information:
CAMBODIA TO PHU QUOC BY AIR
As of 2017 there are no direct flights to Phu Quoc from Cambodia. All flights originating from either Phnom Penh (via Phnom Penh International Airport) , Siem Reap (via Siem Reap International Airport) , or Sihanoukville (Sihanouk International Airport) fly into Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport before connecting to a domestic flight to Phu Quoc. There were once direct flights from Siem Reap to Phu Quoc Island operated by Vietnam Airlines however this route has been temporarily suspended.
CAMBODIA TO PHU QUOC BY LAND
Most people who travel to Phu Quoc from Cambodia by land usually begin their journey in either Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville and cross into Vietnam through the Prek Chak/Xa Xia border crossing. Although Phu Quoc is classified as a special economic visa exemption zone, Phu Quoc visa exemptions are not available through land border crossings unless you are a) holding a passport from a country that is eligible for a Vietnam-wide visa exemption or b) part of a special tour group, in which case your Phu Quoc tour organizer will hand all immigration related processes. If you do not fall into the aforementioned categories, you must have a valid Vietnam visa prior to entering the country. Currently there is no visa-on-demand processing/issuing service at the Prek Chak/Xa Xia border.
If you need to obtain a Vietnam Visa in Cambodia there is a the Vietnamese Consulate General in Sihanoukville at 310, Ekareach Boulevard (Khan Mittapheap) and the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Phnom Penh, Cambodia at 436 Preah Monivong Blvd (93). For most nations, you can obtain a visa to Vietnam on the same day for an extra fee.
CAMBODIA TO PHU QUOC BY SEA
It is possible to travel directly to Phu Quoc Island from Cambodia by sea, but as of 2017 this option is only available to international cruise ship passengers originating from Bangkok via the Laem Chabang Cruise Terminal. A new international ferry port is currently being developed in Kampot that will connect with Phu Quoc and will launch in the near future. If you are traveling from Koh Rong to Phu Quoc, you must first take a ferry to Sihanoukville and then travel by land to Ha Tien, a coastal town in Vietnam. There is a fast and slow ferry port located in Ha Tien that have multiple trips to and from Phu Quoc. It’s best to arrange all travel to Vietnam from Cambodia through one of the many travel agencies found in Sihanoukville.
Typical route to Phu Quoc from Cambodia is as follows:
Koh Rong (Cambodia) → Sihanoukville (Cambodia) → Kampot (Cambodia) → Kep (Cambodia) → Prek Chak/Xa Xia Border Crossing (Cambodia/Vietnam) → Ha Tien (Mainland Vietnam) → Bai Vong Port (Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam) → Long Beach Village (Dương Đông, Phú Quốc).
GETTING AROUND PHU QUOC
Taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, and boats.
Getting around Phu Quoc island can be done by either bicycle, motorbike, car, jeep, or by taking a taxi. Taxis can be used for short trips or you can hire them for a day to take you and your group around the island. If you stay in the Bai Truong / Long Beach area you can easily visit the beach, discover great local and international restaurants, and explore few of the major landmarks all by foot.
Key things you should know:
Tran Hung Dao Street is the main tourist street in Bai Truong where you will find most of the bars, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.
Getting around Phu Quoc Island by bicycle is possible and bicycles cost around 70,000VND or $3.50USD per day. Bicycles are available for rent at most hotels and resorts.
Xe om, or motorbike taxis, cost from 30,000VND or $1.50USD for short trips to 60,000VND or $3.00USD for every 5 km’s.
It is illegal to ride a motorcycle/motorbike in Vietnam without a Vietnamese driver’s license yet most motorbike rental places on Phu Quoc will rent you a motorbike. Please refer to our motorbike guide for more details. You can rent a semi automatic motorbike from 120,000VND to 150,000VND and a fully automatic motorbike for 160,000VND to 240,000VND. Prices vary based on the bikes age and model.
If you want to visit either the safari or amusement park in the north, there are free shuttle buses that are available in the Long Beach Area (Dương Tô , Dương Đông, Cửa Lấp, Bà Kèo, Long Beach Village)
Beware of snatchers! Be cognizant of your environment in and around the Duong Dong/Long Beach area, especially when using your smartphone.
PHU QUOC VISA & IMMIGRATION
Policy & Procedures Demystified, Updated for 2017
A Vietnam Visa Is Not Needed To Travel To Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc Island will soon be designated as a special economic zone and it is the only place in Vietnam where foreigners and Vietnamese with foreign passports are eligible for a 30 day visa exemption upon arrival (entry, exit, and transit). In order to be eligible for the exemption, all visitors must hold a valid passport that will not expire within the next 45 days, depart from an international country, arrive directly or indirectly (via transit) to Phú Quốc, and they must depart Phú Quốc, either directly or indirectly (via transit), to an international destination. Under this visa exemption policy, visitors can stay on Phu Quoc for a duration not exceeding 30 days and are not permitted to enter mainland Vietnam nor any islands that are outside Phú Quốc District, a 28 island archipelago.
PHU QUOC VISA EXEMPTION FAQ's
Q: I am from a country where its citizens are eligible for a 15 day Vietnam Visa exemption. Can I visit Phu Quoc within the 15 days without obtaining a Visa? A: Yes. Phu Quoc is part of Vietnam and your 15 day exemption is applicable to all parts of Vietnam.
Q: How can I get the 30 day Vietnam Visa exemption for Phu Quoc? A: You are eligible for a 30 day Vietnam Visa Exemption specifically for Phu Quoc if you plan on only visiting Phu Quoc and no other place in Vietnam. Your end destination must be Phu Quoc and you must leave Phu Quoc within 30 days to any international country via airplane. Upon arrival to Vietnam you must show customs officers your itinerary as proof.
Q: What does a Phu Quoc visa exemption look like in my passport? A: It’s a stamp that marks date of entry to Phu Quoc and date of exemption expiration.
Q: I am in Vietnam now and my Vietnam Visa is about to expire and/or my current Vietnam Visa Exemption is about to expire. Am I eligible for a 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption while I am in Vietnam? A: No. The 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption is only applicable to those who are planning to visit Phu Quoc directly (or via transit) from an international country. If you are currently in Vietnam you do not qualify for the 30 day Phu Quoc Visa Exemption.
Q: I want to visit Phu Quoc first and mainland Vietnam. What are my options in terms of getting the right Visa? A: You can get a Visa on Arrival (VOA), just make sure the VOA letter states Phu Quoc as port of entry. Alternatively you can get an E-Visa.
CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER VISA REQUIREMENTS
The visa exemption also applies to passengers on board international cruise ships that will dock at either the international cruise ship terminal in Duong Dong Town or at An Thoi Port. Currently there are two international cruise ship operators that visit Phu Quoc: 1) The Costa Victoria, operated by Italy’s Costa Crociere and 2) Jupiter Cruises, operated by Hong Kong’s Royal Group.
TRAVELING FROM THAILAND OR CAMBODIA TO PHU QUOC
Unless you are part of an authorized tour group you will not receive a Phu Quoc visa exemption if you travel by land (Ha Tien / Kep via Prek Chak – Xa Xia border crossing) or by boat via Cambodia (Sihanoukville) or Thailand (Koh Chang). You must obtain a Vietnam visa in advance prior to arriving to Phu Quoc. There are exceptions to this policy as there are certain number of nations that are eligible for a Vietnam visa exemption (see below).
VISA EXEMPTION FOR VIETNAM
As of 2017 visitors from the following countries do not may not need to obtain a visa to Vietnam, which includes Phu Quoc and all other parts of Vietnam:
Norway – less than 15 days
Sweden – less than 15 days
Finland – less than 15 days
Denmark – less than 15 days
Germany – less than 15 days
France – less than 15 days
Spain – less than 15 days
Italy – less than 15 days
United Kingdom – less than 15 days
South East Asia
Singapore – less than 30 days
Thailand – less than 30 days
Malaysia – less than 30 days
Laos – less than 30 days
Indonesia – less than 30 days
Japan – less than 15 days
South Korea – less than 15 days
Philippines – less than 21 days
* Phu Quoc has 3 international border gates: Phu Quoc International Airport, Phu Quoc International Passenger Port in Duong Dong Town, and the An Thoi International Seaport in An Thoi Town.
Vietnam has a e-Visa portal that allows citizens of 40 countries to be eligible for a single entry 30-day visa to Vietnam. The electronic visa is issued by the Vietnamese Immigration Department and the processing time takes 3 business days and costs $26.00USD. Visitors holding the electronic visas can touch down at any of Vietnam’s 8 international airports, including the Phu Quoc International Airport and can also arrive by land at 13 international border gates, and by sea at 7 ports across the country.
EXTENDED STAYS IN VIETNAM
To stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days you must obtain a special pre-approval letter and visa on arrival which can be easily and securely obtained here.
Advice from past visitors to Phu Quoc
» Bring insect repellent: Mosquito’s, sand flies, ticks, spiders and other stinging insects are present on the island. The bug spray that is sold on the island is not of the same quality as those found in western nations. Although there has been no reported case of the Zika Virus on Phu Quoc, it is better to protect yourself regardless by using bug repellent. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has stated that mosquito borne illnesses such as Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue, Avian Flu, and Malaria (rare) are endemic to Vietnam, so its best to take the necessary precautions. The CDC recommends using insect repellents containing EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone).
» International Hospital: In Ganh Dau there a clean new hospital that should be your first choice in case you are sick, hurt, or poisoned. Telephone: +84773985522 | Emergency: +84981481924
» Toxic chemicals: Do not allow your children to touch any color-based print maps or print guidebooks on Phu Quoc as there is a possibility that the ink that is used contains highly absorb-able BPA which is a carcinogenic chemical. There is widespread BPA contamination in paper products in Asia due to the print industry using cheap low-grade untested Chinese inks (remember the melamine scandal?). We’ve asked for verification and for businesses to switch to soy ink use, but our requests fell on deaf ears. Stick with your smartphone unless you see something with a “BPA-free” logo on it, but even then the logo could be fake. Welcome to Asia!
» Fruits: since we are on the subject of toxic products, try to avoid Chinese imported fruits, e.g. kiwi, oranges, apples, grapes, etc. They are grown in uncontrolled environments with heavy pesticide and hormone use and imported into Vietnam – they are cheap for a reason. Stick with local fruits such as longines, mangoes, mangosteen, dragonfruit, and simfruit.
» Pack your own sunscreen: The sunscreen found on the island, and in Vietnam in general, is of low quality, most likely counterfeit, and probably contains a skin whitening product. On PhuQuoc there are some shops that do sell imported sunscreen, especially in the Bai Truong, Bà Kèo, and Long Beach Village area but they are marked up by over 75%. Tanning in the sun is an activity that most Vietnamese do not engage in. In fact they do everything possible to avoid the sun altogether!
» Bring your own snorkel and mask: Phu Quoc Island is an awesome place to snorkel directly from the beach, and if you have your own equipment that’s even better. If you do not plan on bringing your own fins, then at bare minimum you should pack water booties as the coral here is extremely sharp and the depths are very shallow.
» Tampons: Maxi-pads are easy to find on PhuQuoc Island but tampons are not so plan accordingly.
» Google Translate App: Make sure you download “Google Translate” from either the ios or android app store prior to coming to Phú Quốc. In Google’s latest release you can literally use your smartphones camera to instantly translate text. This comes in handy when translating Russian or Vietnamese language text into English as there are a lot of good restaurants on Phu Quoc that only have menus in the aforementioned languages.
» Book 1 domestic flight per day: Flights aren’t reliable within Vietnam and a good portion of domestic flights are delayed or behind schedule.
» Luxury pool use: You do not necessarily have to stay at a luxury resort in order to use the resorts pool. Just buy a drink or a snack and jump in! This does not apply to boutique resorts as they charge a fee for their pool use.
» Sending Postcards: Near the Dinh Cau Temple there is a post office where you can send postcards back home. They are located on 30/4 street, Duong Doong Town.
» Sim Cards: These three Vietnamese telecom’s offer 4G: Vinaphone, Mobiphone, and Viettel. If you want to buy a sim, you will need to register your passport however you can also buy pre-paid sim cards as well.
» Musical Instruments Shop: Vietnam made guitars make great gifts/souvenirs and on 95 Nguyen Trung Truc street in Duong Dong you will find a small music shop.