DISCOVER

Ganh Dau

Gành Dầu Region

For most foreign visitors Gành Dầu means one thing: Bai Dai Beach — the long stretch of idyllic yellow sand that lures in tourists from all over the world.  The attractions for fun-seekers are hard to resist: you can visit an amusement park and safari here, play golf, gamble at the Phu Quoc Casino, snorkel and scuba dive or enjoy sunset cocktails at one of the beach front resort bars.  In fact, you can do just about everything that the average Vietnamese can only dream about.  But to suggest that Ganh Dau terminates at Bãi Dài is like saying Hanoi begins and ends with Halong Bay.

Highlights

  • Observe Local Life: The most enjoyable thing to do here is to ride your motorbike or bicycle down towards the coast where the fishermen are and observe how the locals live. Be warned that the area is littered with garbage.
  • Take Pictures: Ganh Dau Village is a perfect spot to take pictures of local life, the sea, and how they both intersect.
  • Tour the coastline, view Cambodia, and Snorkel: You can commission a boat (800,000VND for the entire boat) from the beach and tour the coastline.  The boat will take you to two snorkeling spots and take you to an area where you can observe Cambodia, which is only 4kms away from Phu Quoc.
  • Nguyen Trung Truc Pagoda: You can visit the famous local hero's shrine.
  • Visit Bang Island: You can visit nearby Bang Island which is a great spot for snorkeling.  To catch a boat to Bang Island (250,000VND per person) please visit 754 Restaurant located beach side.
  • Snorkeling: The ocean here is clear and teeming with coral and marine life.  Commission a boat or venture out on your own.
  • Local Eateries: There are a dozen or so local eateries serving both traditional Vietnamese food and seafood for a decent price.  There are also many street side vendors where you buy bbq meats, banh mi, pho, com tam, etc.  There is also a local ice cream parlor and a few coffee shops as well.

Orientation

Getting to Ganh Dau Beach from the main town of Duong Dong is easy.  Just take the Cua Can Road from Duong Dong Town all the way up until you reach Vinpearl Phu Quoc.  Stay on the paved road and keep heading north and you will eventually reach the Ganh Dau region.  The total journey is approximately 30kms from Duong Dong.

Ganh Dau Village

Ganh Dau Village (Làng Chài Gành Dầu) is the main fishing village in Ganh Dau commune and it is where most of the locals live.  The village is located along the northern side of Phu Quoc Island and there isn't much to see and do here except explore rural living and visiting the local market.

Rach Vem

Rach Vem is a small fishing village (800 meters wide and 4 km long) located within Ganh Dau commune.  There are about 160 household with approximately 1,100 people living here. Rach Vem is accessible by traveling down a relatively wide side road heading east away from Ganh Dau.  The village is located between the "Nhum" and "Coc" canals and faces the sea where Cambodia can be seen in the distance.  You can expect to see very basic houses built on stilts, chickens and ducks being farmed, stray dogs and cats running around, and children following you around.  The original inhabitants of Rach Vem do not speak much English but are very friendly and helpful.  The life here is simple and there is a certain charm that exists in the village. 

Things to see and do in Ganh Dau Phu Quoc

Ganh Dau Beaches

The beaches in the Ganh Dau region — especially those located along the north western coast are the stuff of dreams.  You can find long stretches of beach which you can have to yourself and other stretches of beach dominated by luxury resorts, beach bars, and sea view restaurants.

Chuong Vich Hamlet - location of the beach with resorts.

Ganh Dau Beach (Bai Ganh Dau) is located in Ganh Dau Village up in the northern part of Phu Quoc Island and it is widely considered to be one of the best beaches on the island.  The beach is surrounded by pristine forest & mountains and it also famous for its revolutionary past, where a Vietnamese fisherman named Nguyen Trung Truc set up a base near by and fought off the French.

The beach is arch shaped and about 500 meters in length, fringed by palm trees, and is shielded by two mountains.  The sand is yellow in color and a bit coarse due to the vast amount of coral found in the water.

Rach Vem Village

For beach aficionados, bird lovers, fishing enthusiasts, sunset chasers, foodies, and those who want a glimpse of what Phu Quoc looked like a long time ago, Rạch Vẹm is a required day trip.  Rach Vem is particularly famous for its coastal fishing village (Làng Chài Rạch Vẹm) that has a few rustic seafood restaurants set out at sea.

Rach Vem Floating Restaurants

The floating seafood restaurants located off the coast of Rach Vem were established in 2016 and were created soley to cater to tourists.  There are several restaurants out at sea and you can either walk to them from shore via a wooden bridge or be taken out to them by a small boat.  Technically these restaurants are not “floating” but built on stilts otherwise they would be swept away during the monsoon season.  The attraction here is not the restaurants per se, all of which serve the same style of seafood, but rather the views of the sea and the long wooden bridges built over the shallow bay of Rach Vem Village.  The best time to visit is at high noon when there are less crowds and when the water is at its bluest.

Remote Islands

From the western coast of Ganh Dau you can see three islands, Turtle Island (Hon Doi Moi), Ban Island (Hon Ban) and Mouse Island (Hon Thay Boi).  

Turtle Island

Turtle Island (Hòn Đồi Mồi) is a lovely uninhabited island that is a popular snorkeling and scuba diving spot.  Here one can abandon oneself to utter relaxation for the day feeling like Robinson Crusoe.  The boats depart from Bai Dai beach, and most tour/scuba shops also offer excursions leaving from Duong Dong and Bai Trong.
turtle island on phu quoc

Mouse Island

Just off the coast of Ganh Dau in the north western section of Phu Quoc lies Hon Thay Boi (Mouse Island), a tiny uninhabited island that literally resembles a mouse.  Mouse Island in Phu Quoc is an ecotourism destination for low impact activities such as bird watching, freediving and snorkeling.

Bang Island

Hon Bang Island is located off the north west coast of Ganh Dau across nearby Mouse Island.  The island is popular with picnicking locals, who apparently do not like to pick up their garbage.  Hon Bang is not worth visiting due to the island inundated with trash.

bang island phu quoc

Ganh Dau Coral Gardens

The Ganh Dau Coral Gardens

Ganh Dau Trail

Trail

Golf

golf

Starfish Beach

Starfish Beach is a small area located on the far eastern section of Rach Vem Beach where you can find a lot of giant red starfish in only a few feet of water.

Nguyen Trung Truc Temple

Nguyen Trung Truc was a leader of the Anti-French Colonist movement of Vietnam from 1861 to 1868. He is known for two great military achievements: 1) The sinking of the French warship named Esperanza (December 10, 1861) and 2) Taking back Rach Gia from the French on June 16, 1868. Nguyen Trung Truc was eventually captured on Phu Quoc Island, imprisoned, and executed. There is a temple devoted to him at Ganh Dau Village on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam.

One of the first things you will notice at the temple is a variety of different colored bark laid out on mats and left to dry. These barks are actually used to treat a variety of illnesses and are available for free for all guests. Just ask for a small bag and grab a handful.

The bed Bark is called “Cao Dang” and it is used to treat headaches. The lighter yellow bark is called “Phuch Linh” and it used for heart aches, insomnia, and for urinary tract infections. The darker yellow bark is called “Do Trong” and it is used to treat arthritis.  The way you process the bark is by boiling it in water, filtering out the bark, and then drinking the juice or “tea”. Some also put the bark in alcohol, usually rice wine, and let it sit for several days before consuming it.

Phu Quoc Casino

The Phu Quoc casino is a unique casino in Vietnam that allows international visitors as well as locals to gamble.  The casino has numerous hotels and resorts connected to it and offers more than just gambling.  There are live shows, concerts, and great international cuisine.

vinpearl casino on phu quoc

Why we love Ganh Dau

Amusement Park

Imagine a magical place on a tropical island that has fast water slides, heart stomping roller coasters, a castle, and some of the best local and international food found in all of Vietnam. That place is Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc. If you ever get bored of the sun, surf, and beach living on Phu Quoc then this is the place to go to. The amusement park is a stones throw away from Bai Dai Beach, the Phu Quoc Casino, and The Phu Quoc Safari.  There are also shuttle buses that will take you from Bai Truong Duong Dong, and Ong Lang to the amusement park.

ferris wheel at vinpearlland
phu quoc safari

Safari

Embark on a fascinating journey through Vietnam's first safari park on Phu Quoc Island. This safari is the largest open-range safari park and wildlife care and conservation park in Vietnam. The Safari Zoo Phu Quoc will have approximately 3,000 animal representing 150 species and 400 species of plants on 380 hectares of land. Launched on Dec 24, 2015 the open air zoo concept is modeled after a similar safari-style zoo found in Singapore.

Where to eat and drink

There are two beach front restaurants that serve a good selection of seafood and Vietnamese dishes.  Dishes start at around 100,000VND and up.

Name: 725 Restaurant
Location: Right on Ganh Dau Beach

Name: Bien Hai Quan Restaurant
Tel: 0773645425
Location: Right on Gan Dah Beach

Near town you can eat Pho, Bun Bo Hue, and other traditional dishes for only 35,000VND.

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