Phu Quoc TRAVEL GUIDE

Phu Quoc is world famous! We invite you to discover its beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and endless tourist activities, right at your fingertips. Everything about this island is inviting and it is a perfect escape from reality and everyday life. 

Phú Quốc

Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam was once a sleepy backpacker retreat renowned for its fish sauce, pearl and black pepper production. Today this tiny heart shaped island is on the cusp of becoming Asia's next top holiday destination. There are plenty of activities for adventure seekers visiting Phu Quoc, such as joining other visitors on a island hopping and snorkeling expedition or trekking through lush rainforests teeming with exotic plant and wildlife. The hunt for the perfect pearl necklace may take devoted shoppers on a chase throughout town and history buffs can learn about the country's checkered past by intimately touring a decommissioned war prison. However most people come to Phu Quoc Island for one purpose: lazing the day away on a post card perfect beach and watching a brilliant sunset over the bright turquoise ocean.

 Learn more by exploring Phu Quoc Island's very first infographic below:

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.

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 on Phu Quoc Island 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.

 
Overview:

  • Phu Quoc District contains 3 large island zones: Phu Quoc Island, Hon Thom & the An Thoi Archipelago, and Tho Chu.
  • In 2006 the Phu Quoc archipelago and the coastal area surrounding Kien Giang was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
  • There are 3 tourist complexes: Bai Truong Tourist Complex, Bai Vong Tourist Complex, and Vinh Dam Tourist Complex.
  • North to South main island road: Starts at An Thoi Port and ends in Bai Thom Village. It is 49 km in length, and merges two older roads called Nguyen Trung Truc (in the north) and Nguyen Van Cu (in the south) to create DT46 highway.
  • The coastal highway: This coastal highway, which is 70 km in length is called DT45. It starts near Kem Beach in An Thoi and ends in Ganh Dau.
  • Ham Ninh to Da Chong: TL 48
  • Suoi Cai – Ganh Dau Road – Between Ganh Dau & Bai Thom. It connects with DT46 Tran Hung Dao
  • Suối Cái- Cửa Cạn – road in between DT 46 and DT 48, through eco tourism site of Xoi Moi, Bai Thom
  • Power Supply: 110KV underwater power line from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc. 55.8 km cable length
  • Wastewater Treatment: Duong Dong Pipeline systems and wastewater treatment located in Ong Lang and connects Duong Dong with An Thoi.
  • Waste disposal and processing – Ham Ninh Waste Processing Project: located in Ham Ninh just south of Da Chong, 25 hectares

 

What Does “Phu Quoc” Mean?

The meaning “Phu Quoc” refers to the districts its rich ecosystem – “Phu” means fertile land and “Quoc” means nation. The island district is also marketed by the following names:

Pearl Island: For the numerous oyster bearing pearls found in the sea, 99 mountain island: The main island of Phu Quoc has numerous mountains with ridges that gradually descend from the north to the south.

Emerald Island: In reference to the island's jungles.

Regardless of what you call this place, one thing is for sure… Phu Quoc is simply spectacular.

 

Geography

Located in Vietnam's Kiên Giang Province, Phu Quoc is an 28 island district with a total area of 593.4 km². The island district is located in the Gulf of Thailand at 10°01’-10°27’ north latitude and 103°51’-104°50’ east longitude. The three island district consists of Phu Quoc Island(6 islands), the An Thoi Archipelago (15 islands), and Tho Chua (7 islands). Phu Quoc Island is the largest island in Phu Quoc district with a total area of 574 km² and it is the center of all tourist related activities.

Phu Quoc is divided into 8 communes and 3 urban centers and shares no land borders with any other country. The nearest country is Cambodia to the north east and Thailand to the west. Phu Quoc is blessed with a 150 km long coastline.

The closest Vietnamese town is known as Ha Tien which is about 45 km 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 18 km away.

The GPS coordinates of Phu Quoc are: 10.2289° north latitude and 103.9572° east longitude.

 

map of phu quoc's regions

 

Safety

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.

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.

Economy

The former commodity based island is now driven by the tourism industry. The average annual GDP growth is 22% and the per capita income is over 70,000,000VND per year. In 2016, Phu Quoc's gross domestic product (GDP) per capita hit US$5,469, representing a three-fold increase against 2010.

Phu Quoc Island Jobs

Most people working in Phu Quoc are employed either in the lodging and hospitality industry, tourism, energy industry, or work in subsistence farming and agriculture. For expats who plan on working in Phu Quoc, the hospitality industry is the most pragmatic choice. As the cost of living in Vietnam is relatively low in comparison to other countries, most expatriates in Phu Quoc find themselves living a comfortable, almost luxurious, lifestyle.

The best resource to find a job on Phu Quoc is through your network. If you know someone already working on the island, just reach out to them. If you do not have a network you can use the following job boards:

Banking, Money, Currency Exchange

All transactions on Phu Quoc are done in Vietnamese Dong (VND) so you need to exchange your money. 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.

phu quoc banks

Other banks on the island include Agribank, Vietcomb, and Kien Long Bank.

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.

western union phu quoc island

Demographics

Population

112,000 people in Phu Quoc District (September 2017 est).

The population density is evident along the coastal region of Duong To, the metropolitan area of Duong Dong, Cua Can, and An Thoi. A high degree of urban development in recent years has attracted a growing urban population, which currently represents 39% of the total population of the island.

Distribution by age

0-14 years: 28.6%
15-64 years: 64.1%
65 years and over: 7.3%

Ethnicity:

Ethnicity's include Kinh, Khmer, Hoa. Among them, the Kinh people account for 96.3% of the population, ethnic Chinese and Khmer 2.4% is 1.3% of the total population.

Language on Phu Quoc

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.

Weather

when to go to phu quoc
when to go to phu quoc island

Dry Season (November to March)

The best time to visit Phu Quoc is during the dry season because the weather is less unpredictable, it is less humid, you can watch more sunrises and sunsets, the sea is calm and clear, and the island restaurants, resorts/hotels, and tour operators are 100% in service as it is peak tourist season. However there are also more visitors to the island, prices are at there peaks, and some of the waterfalls have dried up due to the lack of rain.

Wet Season (April to October)

During the wet season, prices are very low, you can book a last minute flight to the island at a very good rate, and the waterfalls are gorgeous. However it does rain a lot and once the rain starts, it sometimes feels like it will never end. If you here in July and if you are lucky you may even see a water spout!

Annual monsoons that affect Phú Quốc:

Winds on Phu Quoc have two directions: the northeasterly winds (“northeastern monsoon”) which last from November to March and the southwesterly winds (“southwestern monsoon”) which last from April to October. The northeasterly winds coincide with the dry season and mainly affect Phú Quốc’s eastern coast resulting in the sea there to be more rough and garbage to be blown in from mainland Vietnam.

Some of Phú Quốc’s best beaches, e.g. Sao Beach & Kem Beach, are located along the eastern coastline and are dramatically affected by the northeasterly monsoonal winds while the west coast beaches (e.g. Long Beach & Ong Lang Beach) remain relatively unaffected.

On the contrary, the southwesterly winds coincide with the wet season and the devastating monsoon which is typical of this geographical area. It is during this time that most of the rain falls down on the island. The southwesterly winds mainly affect the sea located on the west coast of Phú Quốc while the sea surrounding the eastern coastline remains calm. Most tourists who are frightened off by the southwestern monsoon are unaware that the winds are far from constant, and that sunny or partially sunny days outnumber the rainy days during this time. Most of the torrential downpours are quite short with some coming as a refreshing cure to the searing heat of the summer.

One important warning—the southwesterly winds bring large waves and dangerous undercurrents to Phú Quốc's western beaches. If you do plan on swimming, do not swim too far from the shoreline and always obey the beach flags. The wet season (summer time) is the best season to visit and discover the beauty of the beaches dotting the eastern coastline.

Phu Quoc Traditional Medicine

Vietnam is a tropical Southeast Asian country possessing a broad range of natural resources and a long history of a traditional medicine system. Phu Quoc Island and the locals living here possess abundant indigenous knowledge and experiences regarding the use of plants as herbal medicine. A lot of the plants found in Phu Quoc National Park have medicinal properties and can be seen being sold at various markets throughout the island.

How to use traditional medicine:

Most of the natural medicine that is found on the island is prepared by either boiling it in water and then drinking the tea OR placing the raw material in rice wine and allowing the alcohol to leach out the beneficial material from the plant.

Medicinal Plants

About 155 medicinal plant species has been identified, including 34 plant species for tonic medicine, and 11 species used in curing serious diseases; along with them are 23 species of Orchids including a new species for Vietnam named Podochilus tenius.

Common uses of traditional medicine in Phu Quoc:

Traditional medicine is used to treat the following symptoms:

  • gout
  • headaches
  • menstrual cramps
  • fertility
  • chest pain
  • cold and cough
  • rheumatism
  • joint pain
  • blurred vision
  • diarrhea
  • a variety of skin disorders
  • general weakness
  • and others.
phu quoc island traditional medicine

HEALTHCARE

Hospitals & Clinics

As Phu Quoc increasingly caters to middle to upper-middle class tourists, the island has plenty of high standard hospitals, clinics, dental facilities, etc with the latest machinery and well educated staff. 

Self-treatment may be appropriate if your health problem is minor, you are carrying the appropriate medication and you cannot attend a recommended clinic. If you think you may have a serious health issue, especially malaria, dengue, or have been bitten by a wild animal you need to travel to the nearest quality facility to receive attention.

Duong Dong Phu Quoc Hospital (Bệnh viện Đa khoa) — Phu Quoc’s main hospital. 

Located in Duong Dong Town along 30 Thang 4 (Tel: 077 384 6074) provides decent health care services at a extremely affordable price. [MAP]

An Thoi Hospital & Medical Center, An Thoi Commune – There is a older hospital and a new medical center in the southern region of Phu Quoc Island which handles basic medical needs.  [MAP]

International Hospital – There is also an WHO standard international hospital in Ganh Dau Commune managed by the Vingroup corporation.  This hospital is cleaner and has new machinery. [MAP]

Dental Clinics

There are 2 major dental clinics in Duong Dong Town with English speaking staff. Both of these clinics specialize in cosmetic dentistry. If you have a serious dental issue we advise you to go to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi for diagnosis and treatment.

Pharmacies in Phu Quoc

There are a number of pharmacies in Phu Quoc. They are located in all the major towns and villages. Most of these pharmacies carry limited types of medication so it is best to come to the island well prepared.

Vaccinations

Travelers to Phu Quoc and in Vietnam in general should be up-to-date on routine vaccines, such as measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and influenza. Travelers should also protect themselves by getting vaccinated against typhoid and hepatitis A. Hepatitis B protection is also advised, especially for long-term travelers and expatriates, given the high prevalence of chronic HBV infection in the local population.

Vaccination Types:

  • Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine: Japanese Encephalitis is endemic throughout Vietnam and a vaccination is recommended for all travelers who spend more than one month or more in the country during the transmission season between May to October.
  • Rabies Vaccine: Travelers should consider receiving immunizations against rabies if they will be spending a lot of time in rural and forest area. Most dogs on the island are not routinely vaccinated. Care should also be taken to avoid contact with nonhuman primates (e.g. macaques) that are not afraid of humans and may be infected with herpes B virus as well as rabies and these animals are prevalent on Phu Quoc. Human rabies immune globulin is available in larger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Malaria: Malaria is primarily a concern in rural areas and is mostly caused by Plasmodium falciparum. There are rare cases in Phu Quoc. Travelers to Phu Quoc should avoid exposure to mosquitoes but do not necessarily need to take antimalarial drugs.
  • Dengue: Dengue is prevalent during the rainy season. Travelers to Vietnam should take measures to protect themselves from daytime mosquito bites to prevent dengue.
  • Food-borne Illnesses: Drinking tap water should be avoided, as should beverages with ice. Travelers to Phu Quoc should also avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, seafood, uncooked vegetables, and raw fruits that cannot be peeled by the traveler.
  • Avian Influenza: Vietnam continues to report sporadic cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) or “bird flu,” as it is commonly known. To avoid infection, travelers to an area affected by avian influenza should avoid direct contact with birds, including poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds; avoid touching surfaces that have bird droppings (feces) or other bird fluids on them; and avoid places where live birds are raised or kept.
  • Skin Diseases: Skin rashes may result from the combination of heat and humidity or fungal infections. Efforts should be made to keep clothes, shoes and linens clean and dry.

ZIKA VIRUS PHU QUOC ISLAND VIETNAM *2018 Update

The Center of Disease Control has recently stated that pregnant women should not travel to Vietnam because of the presence of the Zika.  Phu Quoc is part of Vietnam and thus included in the travel warning.  Zika is spread in several ways, including being bitten by an infected mosquito, an infected pregnant mother passing the virus along to her fetus, and through sex with a person who is infected with Zika, both male and female.   Zika virus can stay in a man's semen for a long time and the CDC has stated that those who plan on visiting Vietnam should practice safe sex.

There is also not a lot of publicly available information about Zika in Vietnam either because the methods for collecting the data is flawed or not available or the fear of reporting information that may disrupt tourism.

Zika Virus Phu Quoc

IMMIGRATION

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.[/su_spoiler]

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.

* 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.

E-VISA

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.

GETTING THERE

By Plane

Direct flights from Thailand, China, Korea are now available.  There are also charter flights from London, Sweden, Italy and Norway.

By Boat

The eight ways to get to Phu Quoc Island By Sea:

1. Fast Ferry from Ha Tien or Rach Gia. Taking the fast ferry is convenient, fun, and a safe way to travel to Phu Quoc by boat.

2. Slow Ferry from Ha Tien only. The slow ferry is a great option for those transporting vehicles or want to a more relaxed journey to the island. The difference between the fast ferry and slow ferry to Phu Quoc in terms of travel time is just one hour. Both boats are equally comfortable, clean, and modern.

3. Phu Quoc Express VIP Catamaran.  A new luxury ferry service to Phu Quoc.

4. Sightseeing boat from Saigon. The Saigon to Phu Quoc junk boat “cruise” is a private 2 day travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Phú Quốc with a stop at Can Tho.

5. International Cruise Ship Travel.  Trial runs for an international cruise ship route to Phu Quoc first began in 2008 by Hong Kong's Royal Group “Jupiter Cruises”, followed by the successful arrival of the German ferry cruise ship “MS Europa 2” in 2013 and 2014. In 2017 Italy's Costa Crociere ferry cruise liner company launched the Thailand → Cambodia → Phu Quoc route once Bangkok's Laem Chabang Port began operations. The cruise-ship known as “The Costa Victoria” arrived on Phu Quoc at Duong Dong Port, and it's arrival officially kicked off the South East Asia cruise ship travel and tourism industry. More international routes will be established once the new Duong Dong International Seaport and the Phu Quoc Marina are fully operational.

6. Local Boat.  It's possible to travel to Phu Quoc Island via a local boat however you will be sharing the boat with animals, produce, and other goods.  The trip from Vietnam's mainland to Phu Quoc by a local fishing boat takes about 8 hours and it is not a comfortable journey.  If this is intimate cultural experience is of interest to you then your first step involves finding a local fisherman in the Mekong Delta area who's willing to accommodate you and accept the risks of transporting tourists to the island.  Traveling to Phu Quoc by a local boat is done at your own risk and will violate your travel insurance policy.  If you do chose this method, please make sure you have a valid Vietnam visa.

7. Ferry From Cambodia to Phu Quoc. A new speed ferry route connecting Sihanoukville, Kampot, & Kep  with Phu Quoc is currently being established via Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s new multipurpose terminal (coming in 2018).

8. Ferry from Thailand. A new ferry route from Koh Chang to Phu Quoc is currently being established (coming in 2019).

GETTING AROUND

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.

GETTING AWAY

If you get bored of Phu Quoc Island you can always take a ferry to the mainland and visit the nearby port cities such as Ha Tien, Rach Gia, and even Cau Mau. You can also take a ferry and bus combination and head into Cambodia and/or Thailand. The following are the 2016 – 2017 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

By Plane

Direct flights from Thailand, China, Korea are now available.  There are also charter flights from London, Sweden, Italy and Norway.

By Boat

The eight ways to get to Phu Quoc Island By Sea:

1. Fast Ferry from Ha Tien or Rach Gia. Taking the fast ferry is convenient, fun, and a safe way to travel to Phu Quoc by boat.

2. Slow Ferry from Ha Tien only. The slow ferry is a great option for those transporting vehicles or want to a more relaxed journey to the island. The difference between the fast ferry and slow ferry to Phu Quoc in terms of travel time is just one hour. Both boats are equally comfortable, clean, and modern.

3. Phu Quoc Express VIP Catamaran.  A new luxury ferry service to Phu Quoc.

4. Sightseeing boat from Saigon. The Saigon to Phu Quoc junk boat “cruise” is a private 2 day travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Phú Quốc with a stop at Can Tho.

5. International Cruise Ship Travel.  Trial runs for an international cruise ship route to Phu Quoc first began in 2008 by Hong Kong's Royal Group “Jupiter Cruises”, followed by the successful arrival of the German ferry cruise ship “MS Europa 2” in 2013 and 2014. In 2017 Italy's Costa Crociere ferry cruise liner company launched the Thailand → Cambodia → Phu Quoc route once Bangkok's Laem Chabang Port began operations. The cruise-ship known as “The Costa Victoria” arrived on Phu Quoc at Duong Dong Port, and it's arrival officially kicked off the South East Asia cruise ship travel and tourism industry. More international routes will be established once the new Duong Dong International Seaport and the Phu Quoc Marina are fully operational.

6. Local Boat.  It's possible to travel to Phu Quoc Island via a local boat however you will be sharing the boat with animals, produce, and other goods.  The trip from Vietnam's mainland to Phu Quoc by a local fishing boat takes about 8 hours and it is not a comfortable journey.  If this is intimate cultural experience is of interest to you then your first step involves finding a local fisherman in the Mekong Delta area who's willing to accommodate you and accept the risks of transporting tourists to the island.  Traveling to Phu Quoc by a local boat is done at your own risk and will violate your travel insurance policy.  If you do chose this method, please make sure you have a valid Vietnam visa.

7. Ferry From Cambodia to Phu Quoc. A new speed ferry route connecting Sihanoukville, Kampot, & Kep  with Phu Quoc is currently being established via Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s new multipurpose terminal (coming in 2018).

8. Ferry from Thailand. A new ferry route from Koh Chang to Phu Quoc is currently being established (coming in 2019).

BIODIVERSITY

There are 43 mammal, 119 species of birds, 47 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, 125 species of fish, 132 species of mollusc and 62 species of sea weed. Interestingly enough, Phu Quoc is also one of the two places in Vietnam where the Dugong, a marine species on the brink of extinction can be found.

phu quoc wildlife

Some of the animals you may see on Phu Quoc Island include:

  • Sea Eagle
  • Slow loris
  • Silver Langur
  • Monitor lizard
  • Wild pig
  • Ridgeback Dog
  • Hornbill
  • Sea Cow
  • Sea horse
  • Macaque
  • Python
  • Giant flying fox bat
  • Phu Quoc Dog
  • Flying Squirrel
  • Hawksbill Turtle
  • and others

*Sea turtles used to be common in the waters around the Phu Quoc islands in the past, mainly hawksbill, Eretmochelys impricata and green turtle, Chelonia mydas.

Phu Quoc Plants

There are 1,164 green plant species, belonging to 137 families and 531 genera.

Seagrass

Seagrass beds in this area are the largest in extent in Vietnam with 9 species recorded. This habitat is considered important not only for the livelihood of local communities but also since it harbors significant biodiversity and supports populations of migratory endangered species.
phu-quoc-island-seagrass

Seagrass bed distribution

The shallow waters around the islands with sand, muddy sand, gravel substrata support development of extensive seagrass beds. Seagrass beds are found abundantly in the littoral and sub littoral of the coastal waters of the northern area (from Rach tram to Ganh dau), along the eastern coastal waters (from Mui duong, Bai thom, Xa luc, Bai bon, Ham Ninh, Bai vong, Mui Chua hamlets) and the south-eastern part (An thoi). The total area of seagrass beds is estimated about 13,000ha.

Algae

A total of 98 species in 51 genera of marine algae have been recorded in the waters of Phu Quoc islands. The dominant phyla were Rhodophyta (62 species) and Chlorophyta (16 species). The Phaeophytes Turbinaria decurrens, T. furcigera, the Rhodophytes Gelidium pusillum, Ceramium gracillium, the Cyanophyte Lyngbya martensiana and coralline algae Amphiroa fragillissima, Jania ungulata f. brevior, Lithophyllum samoense were most common. Numbers of species of algae per site
varied widely from 8 (Hon Mong Tay) to 49 species (Bai Thom).

Coral Reefs of Phu Quoc

Coral reef communities occur in patches around most of the islands in An Thoi area and some locations around Phu Quoc, the biggest island. The corals grow directly on native rock bed stretching from the islands. Fringing coral reefs mainly occur on the west and southwestern part of Phu Quoc and most of the smaller islets. In general the structure of the reefs in this area can be divided into three different zones:

  • Zone 1: Shallow zone is composed of native rock blocks, which extend from the islands down to a depth of 2 – 3 m. Colonies of Acropora and Porites are scattered on the rock block.
  • Zone 2: Middle zone is wide area from 3 – 10 m depth. This zone is high in coral cover and biodiversity. Acropora is mainly found in this zone at depths of 3.5 – 4.5 m.
  • Zone 3: This is a sandy, muddy-sandy or gravel-sandy zone extending from zone 2 at the end of coral rich zone. Topography is gentle and smooth.

Based on the scale and distribution of coral reefs around the islands, the area of coral reefs can be roughly estimated ca. 600 ha. There are currently 108 species of corals, 135 species of coral reef fish, 3 types of migrating fish, 132 types of mollusks and 6 types of marine mammals living in Phu Quoc sea area.

Coral Biodiversity

The area supports 89 species in 37 genera of scleractinian corals, 1 Hydrozoan and 19 soft and gorgonian corals. Several species are yet to be confirmed and may be new records to the list of corals in Viet Nam. Acropora, Montipora, Porites and Pavona are the dominant genera at most site.

The area supports 89 species in 37 genera of scleractinian corals, 1 Hydrozoan and 19 soft and gorgonian corals. Several species are yet to be confirmed and may be new records to the list of corals in Viet Nam. Acropora, Montipora, Porites and Pavona are the dominant genera at most site.

Coral species distribution<

  • Hon Roi: Porites, Acropora, Montipora, Fungia
  • Hon Dam Ngang: Porites, Pavona, Montipora, Fungia
  • Hon Mong Tay: Porites, Pavona, Montipora, Pocillopora
  • Hon Dam: Acropora, Porites, Montipora
  • S. Hon Vong: Acropora, Montipora, Pavona, Porites
  • N.W. Hon Vong: Porites, Pavona, Acropora, Montipora
  • Hon Vang: Porites, Montipora, Pocillopora, Acropora
  • Hon May Rut: Sinularia, Acropora, Sarcophytum, Pocillopora
  • Hon Dua: Turbianria, Porites, Montipora, Sarcophytum
  • N.W. Hon Thom: Porites, Acropora, Turbinaria, Montipora
  • Hon Gam Gi: Porites, Sarcophytum, Acropora, Pavona
  • N.W. Bai Thom: Porites, Acropora, Montipora, Fungia

coral reefs of phu quoc

Within the zone, the west of Hon Thom and Ganh Dau communes are affected by the highest coverage of coral bleaching, with around 90 per cent. In the core areas of Hon Vong, Gam Ghi and Hon Xuong, 20-40 per cent are affected. In general, condition of the reefs in Phu Quoc Island is still not bad with mean coral cover ranging from fair to good.

Reef area and reef structure

The morphology and profile of coral reefs in Phu Quoc waters varies considerably. The 20m bathymetric contour runs along the western shoreline of the islands while the eastern parts of most islands are steep hills. The bottom topography in the southern island group is irregular with a very deep strait (60 m) between Phu Quoc and Hon Dua Island. On the western sides, native rock blocks are found on the sea bottom to a depth of 5-7 m beyond which are gentle slopes often of gravel, coral debris, littoral materials and occasionally muddy sand.

Coral Reef Animals

Molluscs or Mollusks

Up to present, some 132 species in 83 genera from 35 families of reef-associated macro-molluscs were recorded in Phu Quoc waters.

Crustaceans

There are 9 species in 4 genera of crustaceans recorded at Phu Quoc islands. Among them, 4 species of lobsters including Panulirus ornatus, P. homarus, P. longipes and P. versicolor are commercially important species.

Echinoderms

A total of 32 species in 23 genera of 15 families of echinoderms are found in Phu Quoc. Of these, the family Holothuriidae was the most abundant.

Transient fish

Mackerels and tunas waters surrounding the islands Hon Dam Ngang, Hon Mong Tay, Hon Vong, Hon May Rut, Hon Kim Quy (An Thoi area) at specific periods of the year.

Coral reef fish

Some 135 species of reef associated fishes, in 60 genera from 27 families, were recorded at the Phu Quoc islands. The abundance of ornamental fishes such as damsel fish and wrasses was high in some areas around the island. Groupers and snappers were recorded at low numbers while parrot fish occurred with higher numbers on most of the reefs.

snorkeling nudibranch gardens phu quoc

Tips

» 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.

Smart City Island

Phu Quoc will be transformed into a digitally connected island through strategic investments in technology and communication infrastructure. The initial smart city roadmap was released in 2011 and by 2016 key milestones were achieved with the island now having stable electricity, a quality digital tourism product, and 4G LTE technology. The next stage involves investment in e-government, implementing edge computing technology, and internet of things city devices. A data center, a concentrated operation center and continue implementing basic and smart services will follow.

The objective for the Phu Quoc Smart City initiative is to focus on tourism, traffic, e-government and environment while continuing to transform Phu Quoc into a world class tourism destination.

phu quoc smart city

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