We recently caught up with a newly engaged couple from Sweden who visited Phu Quoc in 2017. The following is their account of the island.
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and where are you from?
→ My name is Mikael Bellon and my fiances name is Sarita Sihvonen, we are both from Sweden.
Why did you come to Phu Quoc and how long did you stay for.
→ I came because I went there in 2013, but didn’t have time to see everything that time, so I went one more time. We were planning on staying for two weeks, but the weather was so bad that we only stayed for one week and went to Nha Trang the second week. This time I visit with my Fiance.
How romantic! Where did you two meet?
→ We met at a party at a common friend's house in January 2016. We started dating immediately and became a couple like a month later. We both share the interest of traveling, and I had been dreaming about going back to Vietnam, and Phu Quoc for many years. Since she had never been to Asia we decided to go together. We had to save up some money so it took something like 13 months before we actually went. On our first day in Hanoi we got engaged, our three weeks in Vietnam, and one week on Phu Quoc, will be a wonderful memory for the rest of our lives!
Where did you stay?
→ Hotel Sandy, a nice little hotel just 100m from Long Beach. Good standard, but too small swimming pool and way too many loud Chinese people, and terrible breakfast!
What was your most favorite memory or experience while on Phu Quoc Island?
→ Riding a motorbike to explore the island is always so much fun! You get to see and experience so much! Be careful though and ride safe, the traffic in Duong Dong (and all Vietnamese cities) is insane! Although the traffic outside of the Duong Dong isn’t that bad, sometimes you are all alone on the big new highway. Make sure to check out the waterfalls!
What was your least favorite?
→ The worst part of Phu Quoc is all the trash! They don’t recycle and throw garbage everywhere! If you go there off-season as we did, the hotels don’t clean the beaches in front of their hotels either. At one place in the south of Long Beach we even found used syringes, probably from drug use.
What was your favorite food and/or restaurant?
→ Phuong Vi Restaurant, this is by far the best restaurant we've found on the island! It's so clean, no noise from traffic or people screaming. No funny smells. It's perfect and located right by the Cua Can river. So relaxing, great Vietnamese and international food at normal prices. The staff speaks really good English, a must visit if you're going to Phu Quoc!
The island has a lot of beaches, which one was your favorite and why?
→ We went to a lot of different beaches. We had very high expectations of Khem Beach and Sao Beach, but they both looked like crap with garbage everywhere! If they were clean they would have been nice, especially Sao Beach. Although Sao Beach is VERY crowded, people everywhere! It’s mostly Asian people, me and my girlfriend were the only tourists from outside Asia I think. Many Asian tourists are very loud, rude and disrespectful. They never stand in line for anything and they aren’t ashamed to point at you, making you feel as if you are the first white person they have seen in their life. Therefore I say Long Beach, it wasn’t at all crowded and lots of restaurants.
What is your favorite photo/video while visiting the island
→ We made a video of our experience on Phu Quoc (see below)
You were here in Phu Quoc back in 2013, what is the biggest difference you have noticed from back then and now in 2017?
Biggest change from 13 to 17 is more trash and more big hotels popping up everywhere. I don't think that most changes are for the better.
What advice would you tell others before planning a trip to Phu Quoc?
→ Don’t go there thinking it’s like Thailand! It’s very different from Thailand, but in my opinion, much better than Thailand! Don’t be afraid of the angry looking Vietnamese people, they are so friendly! Give them a smile and they will smile back!