DISCOVER

Rach Vem Beach

Bãi Rạch Vẹm

Discover Rach Vem Beach on Phu Quoc Island, a shallow low tide beach located in the northern part of the island

ABOUT

Rạch Vẹm Beach

ABOUT

Thị Trấn Dương Đông

LEARN

Phu Quoc's Economic Heart

Dương Đông (pronounced “Sa-zoo-ong Dong”) is the the administrative capital of the island. The town is located on the west coast of the island and has a population of roughly 80,000 inhabitants. Duong Dong is the epicenter of all tourism on Phu Quoc.

Town In Transistion

Visitors should know that Duong Dong is no tropical "paradise", as it may or may not be presented in travel guides and brochures.  The city appears at first glance to be old, congested and run-down, and, though it's perched on the edge of the Gulf of Thailand, its beaches are often inundated with trash.  Antiquated clapboard buildings on stilts line some of the inner streets but are slowly being replaced by concrete structures.   However the town is in a rebuilding phase and by 2030 Duong Dong will be a high end urban center.  The abandoned airport will be transformed into a digitally connected city, there will be a yacht club, numerous waterfront plazas, as well as an international cruise ship port.

The people for the most part are friendly, and their future more hopeful than that of the residents of many other cities in Vietnam.  Restaurants are everywhere, luxury shopping plazas are popping up, and some of the simplest bars are gathering places for truly interesting people.  There's also an electricity in the air, buzzing with growth, dreams, plans — history in the making.

Hub of the Island

Duong Dong has direct access to rivers, ocean, and four out of the five major roads on the island (DT45, DT973, DT47, and Tran Hung Dao Street).  The city is centrally located for reaching any part of Phu Quoc by land or by sea within an hour's time.  Because of this access, Duong Dong is also where you will find the headquarters of the bus lines, rental car agencies, tour agencies, airlines, speedboat operators, as well as sightseeing boats.

Danger & Annoyances

Duong Dong is not without its fault.  Visitors should be careful of their smartphones and personal belongings while walking around the city as the number of reported snatching's have gone up recently. 

Business Ethics

One of the islands biggest "black eyes" is a coffee shop called "Buddy Ice-cream" run by an old Australian expat.  Besides selling fake products, using fake environmental logos, and even harassing our staff - his unethical business practices have resulted in a poor user experience for tourists and locals alike.  It is best to avoid this coffee shop for your families health and safety.

Planning Your Time

A self-guided, daytime walking tour of Duong Dong is a must for anyone wishing to get a complete understanding of the island.  You can see everything you need to in one full day.  There are also a handful of excellent restaurants and a plethora of cheap, local eateries to keep you happy.

Getting Around

Duong Dong is small enough to be explored comfortably on foot.  However, the most  popular mode of transport is a taxi.  A ride anywhere in town should cost no more than a few dollars.

The most prominent area in the capital is around 30/4 street, boasting cultural sites, markets, great restaurants, and a variety of shops.

Need To Know

  • In Duong Dong Town there a few imported goods stores in case you need western snacks.
  • There is a public gym, tennis courts, basketball court, and table tennis in Duong Dong Town.
  • If you are planning on coming here during TET holiday and want to stay at one of the popular beachfront resorts, you should book in advance.  If you come here during TET without any plans you can always find accommodation along 30 Thang 4 Street in Duong Dong Town proper.
  • You can find cheap street food all along Nguyen Trai street.  The food is fresh and delicious.
  • If you are vegan/vegetarian, then there are a few restaurants along Tran Hung Dao Street that will meet your needs and satisfy your taste-buds.
  • Avoid swimming and paddling down Duong Dong River is it is heavily polluted.

Regions

Duong Dong Town in Phu Quoc Island

Downtown

The area by the two night markets, Mui Dinh Cau, and the main bridge marks Duong Dong's downtown core.  Here you will also find the post office, police station, cruise ship port, and access to the Duong Dong River.

duong dong market

Old Duong Dong

The Duong Dong River divides downtown Duong Dong from Old Duong Dong Town, where most of the islands locals live.  If you are planning on visiting the northern part of the island you have to cross this river.  There are currently 2 bridges that connect you with the north, the new bridge located on Nguyen Trung Truc Street, which passes by the Duong Dong Market, and the older one located on Hung Vuong Street (also called DT45).  There are some amazing AirBNB rentals available here.

Duong Dong Port

Duong Dong Port

Located on the banks of the Duong Dong River you will find the port where all the fishing and sightseeing boats are docked.  This is a good place to see very colorful boats and fishermen unloading anchovies, the key ingredient in Phu Quoc Fish Sauce.  If you want to go night fishing or explore the northern islands, you can also commission a private boat from here.

Dinh Cau Temple

Mũi Dinh Cậu

Begining at the mouth of the Duong Dong River, Mui Dinh Cau Cape is where the sea merges with the island center. Mui Dinh Cau consists of the unique Dinh Cau Temple, Lighthouse, Pier, and Dinh Cau Beach.

Phu Quoc Cruise Ship Port

Phu Quoc Cruise Ship Port

The cruise ship port occupies 180 hectares with 2.8 hectares allocated onshore for the passenger terminal.

duong dong town phu quoc

Duong Dong Urban Zone

Still underdevelopment - refurbishing the old airport into a 9,000 square meter modern mixed residential and commercial.

BEACHES

dinh cau beach

Bãi Dinh Cậu

Dinh Cau Beach is a small local beach that is technically considered to be part of Long Beach however if you look carefully you can see that Dinh Cau is a separate beach altogether.

duong dong beach

Bãi Dương Đông

Located across the Duong Dong River in old Duong Dong Town lies Duong Dong Beach. Duong Dong Beach is an urban beach located on the west coast of the island. It is not a beach where most tourists would want to visit as it is a more of a residential beach.

ganh gio beach

Bãi Gành Gió

Ganh Gio Beach is a lovely short stretch of beach that has fine yellow sand and is one the cleanest beaches in Phu Quoc mainly because the beach is taken care of by the resort. Being lesser known than the other beaches, it appeals to those seeking a tropical paradise in a secluded environment.

 

SEE & DO

phu quoc island pepper farm

Pepper Farms

You do not need to travel far up north or south to visit Phu Quoc’s famous pepper farms. At the edge of town along 30 Thang 4 Street you will find 3 pepper farms which are open to tourists.

phu quoc fish sauce

Fish Sauce Production Tours

There are 3 fish sauce factories in Duong Dong town that are receptive to visitors and all of them can be found along the Duong Dong River just behind 30 Thang 4 Street.

night squid fishing phu quoc

Squid Fishing Sunset Tours

You can try your luck at catching squid at night by either joining an organized tour or by commissioning your own boat from Duong Dong Town.

deep sea fishing in phu quoc

Shore Fishing

You can fish off the shore or from Doung Dong Pier at sunset with the other locals. Read our Phu Quoc Fishing Guide for more information.

old Duong Dong Town

Karaoke

There are a couple of karaoke bars found along 30 Thang 4 Street and Vo Thi Sau Street however the cater to mainly to the local population.

duong dong phu quoc sports and fitness

Phu Quoc Sports Center

At the center of town there is a public sports center that has tennis courts, basketball, as well as rides for kids.

Duong Dong River

Duong Dong River

There are boat trips up the Duong Dong River where you can see the Fish Sauce factories from the rivers edge. 

CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS

duong dong market phu quoc

Duong Dong Market

Every morning the town’s main market (Cho Duong Dong) comes to life with the buying and selling of fresh fish, vegetables, and consumer goods.  This is a great market to buy fresh fruits and unique local food like the Phu Quoc Mushroom, Fresh Island Pepper or Herring to make the infamous Herring Salad. You would be surprised how cheap everything is here.  The market is located behind the construction site of a new bridge which kind of makes it a bit difficult to find. 
Note: Due to the fact that this is a local market, not a tourist market, we do not recommend that you go in large groups, it will be easier for you and less intimidating for the vendors if there are just 2 or 3 of you, rather than a whole gang.

cao dai temple phu quoc

Cao Đài Hội Thánh

If you want to discover Cao Daism or have a panoramic view of the Phu Quoc National Park, Duong Dong Town, Dinh Cau Temple, etc then head over to the Cao Dai Temple on Nguyen Trai Street. Parking and admission are both free. Remember to dress appropriately.

Sung Hung Pagoda on Phu Quoc

Sung Hung Co Tu Pagoda

The oldest pagoda on Phu Quoc with multiple levels as well as a cemetery.

dinh cau temple

Dinh Cau Temple

A unique rock temple located in the heart of Duong Dong Town.  This temple, which is also the symbol of Phu Quoc, should not be missed.

 

Hang Duong Cemetery

Phu Quoc Martyrs Cemetery

The Phú Quốc Martyrs Cemetery (Nghĩa trang Liệt sỹ Huyện Phú Quốc) is the resting place of more than four thousand people who sacrificed their lives in Phu Quoc.

food & drink

There are a lot of restaurants in and around Duong Dong Town. From international restaurants to street-side eateries, Phu Quoc has it all. Read our Phu Quoc Food Guide.

Phu Quoc Night Market

Cho Dem Phu Quoc

This is the infamous night market that sells seafood, pearl jewelry, and other souvenirs.  Plenty of restaurants and bars can be found here, most of which serve similar types of dishes - seafood BBQ and traditional Vietnamese food.

Dinh Cau Night Market

Cho Dem Dinh Cau

The other "less touristy" night market located close to the Dinh Cau Temple.

dinh cau temple and lighthouse phu quoc

Bai Dinh Cau

At Dinh Cau Beach you can enjoy a snack around the temple or opt for a full seafood meal at the night market. In the evenings a lot of locals sit around and drink sugar can juice (Nuoc Mia) and watch the sunset.

phu quoc street food

Vietnamese Food

If you are craving Pho, Com Tam, Bun Bo Hue, Com Ga, or local sweets then head over to 30 Thang 4 Street.  There are plenty of restaurants and street side eateries found here.

WHERE TO STAY

There are plenty of hotels, resorts, and guesthouses in Duong Dong Town.   If you are looking for a simple hotel or guesthouse, then you can find some near Duong Dong Port and a lot along 30 Thang 4 street.  The accommodations here are limitless.

duong dong beach

Sea Shells Resort

The Sea Shells Resort is located in the Mui Dinh Cau area off of Vo Thi Sau Street.  It is the only luxury resort in downtown Duong Dong.

shells resort phu quoc ong lang beach
Imagine waking up every morning with the best view imaginable, this is what its like at The Shells Resort & Spa on Phu Quoc, a unique contemporary five star luxury resort located just south of Cua Duog commune.  The resort has beautifully designed rooms, luxurious white Terazzo walls and floors, a semi-private beach, full service spa, and best of all - one of the best swimming pools in all of Asia.

Map

LOCATION

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LEARN

Rach Vem Beach (Bai Rach Vem) is an exciting beach located along the northern coast of Phu Quoc and it is part of Ganh Dau commune.  The beach consists of white sand overlooking turquoise water however this is not your typical beach as it is a part "working" tidal beach where fishermen and their families reside and part 'made-for-tourism" beach where you will find plenty of seafood restaurants, some of which are literally floating on the ocean.

Rach Vem Village

There are two "Rach Vem Villages", one which is a residential community and the other which is part of a growing ecotourism product and called Làng chài Rạch Vẹm.

Rach Vem Village, the authentic hamlet,  is a small fishing village (800 meters wide and 4 km long) and this is the place to experience traditional village life as not much has changed in the past 10 years.  There are about 160 household with approximately 1,000 people living here.

rach vem village

rach vem village

rach-vem-village-life

Getting There

Rach Vem is accessible by traveling down a relatively wide red dirt side road.  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 locals do not speak English but are very friendly and helpful.  The life here is simple and there is a certain charm that exists in the village.

 

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rach vem beachRach Vem Beachrach vem beach phu quoc

Rach Vem Village

rach vem village



What to see

  • Khmer life:

Farms
rach-vem-phu-quoc

Khmer Homes

rach-vem-local-people

Note: When talking to the locals, please do not mention about the Cambodia-Vietnam war or about Pol Pot’s regime as this is a sensitive issue up here.

What To Do

  • Fishing: Besides taking pictures you can also ask a local fisherman to take you out fishing for a small fee.
  • Làng Biển Sea Village: Just off Rach Vem beach there is a floating water sport center that has jet skis, boat, water jet packs, and even a on-water playground all of which you can use for a fee:

Làng Biển Sea Village

Where To Eat & Drink

  • Local eateries: You can purchase snacks and local dishes off the main road leading into Rach Vem Village:

rach-vem-phu-quoc-road

  • Offshore restaurant:

zion hut phu quoc

 

 

Press play and tour on Phu Quoc Island

Why we love Bai Rach Vem

Khmer Life

You can see how local Khmer communities live on the island. All the residents at Rach Vem Village are quite friendly and are more than willing to talk with you or pose for pictures.

Rach Vem Village
rach vem fishing village in phu quoc

Floating Restaurants

There is an offshore seafood restaurant located right above the sea.  The restaurant's small canoe taxi's people to and from the restaurant from Rach Vem Beach.

Paradise Swing

One of the most romantic spots on the island and a top selfie spot is this simple wooden swing tied to a palm tree.  The "Paradise Swing" can be found along the northern section of Bãi Sao Phú Quốc.  

rach vem phu quoc national pak

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#RACHVEMBEACH

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Stay up-to-date with what is happening on Phu Quoc Island. Just click the "Like Page" button below and you are all set. Cảm ơn!