Phu Quoc: Much More Than An Island

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. 

INTRODUCTION

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:

2017 phu quoc island infographic

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.

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.

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

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

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

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!

when to go to phu quoc island

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.

phu quoc monsoon season

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. 

phu quoc island 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]

vinmec phu quoc international hospital

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 *2017 - 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

Getting Around

Getting Around Phu Quoc Island

So you've finally arrived on Phu Quoc Island, congratulations! Now how do you move about on this 574 km island? Well we will tell you. The good news is that all the national roads are now paved making it easy for you to travel to all the major towns and tourist attractions. There are even dedicated pedestrian walkways in all of the major tourist areas. Here are some options on how you can get around Phu Quoc:

By Bus

Public transportation does exist on the island, however the schedules are unpredictable and this mode of transport is not recommended for tourists. "Public" transportation on Phu Quoc is basically shared minivans which travel up and down the major cities and used mostly by locals.

By Bicycle

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.

By Motorbike

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. If this is something you want to do, make sure you read our comprehensive motorbike guide found here.

  • 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.

phu quoc xe om

By Taxi

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.

phu quoc cheap taxi

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.

By Jeep

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.

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

Phu Quoc to Cambodia by Bus & Ferry - Schedules & Fares

  • Phu Quoc to / from Kep | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 1:30pm | $19USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Kep | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 2:30pm | $16USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Kampot | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 2:30pm | $21USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Kampot | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 3:30pm | $18USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 4:00pm | $23USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 7:00pm | $20USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 4:00pm | $23USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Phnom Penh | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 7:00pm | $20USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Sihanoukville | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 5:30pm | $23USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Sihanoukville | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 7:00pm | $20USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Siem Reap | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 10:30pm | $34USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Siem Reap | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 12:00am | $30 USD

Phu Quoc to Bangkok by Bus & Ferry - Schedules & Fares

  • Phu Quoc to / from Bangkok | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 7:00pm | $55USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Pataya | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 6:00pm | $55USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Koh Chan | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 5:00pm | $55USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Koh Samet | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 6:00pm | $55USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Koh Kong | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 11:00pm | $38USD
  • Phu Quoc to / from Koh Kong | Departure Time: 7:00am - Arrive 2:30pm | $35USD

** All prices include: Pickup, ferry fare, bus fare.

FLORA & FAUNA

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

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