Phu Quoc best things to do & travel guide

Phu Quoc is a beautiful island with crystal clear waters, incredible sunsets, lush tropical landscapes, perfect sandy beaches and welcoming locals. It is the largest island in Vietnam, the size of Phuket in Thailand. The northern part of the island is relatively unaffected by its status as a UNESCO protected national park, but there are numerous luxury resorts, funky bars and cafes along the southern coastline.

5 reasons to visit Phu Quoc

  1. Enjoy a wonderful beach vacation
  2. Take a boat trip to the An Thoi Islands
  3. Explore the island and local life with the engine
  4. Explore the underwater world with diving or snorkeling
  5. Watch the sunset on the beach with a few cocktails or bbq

What is in this Phu Quoc travel guide

Practical information

Recommended days to stay

Besides the beaches, there is not much to do in Phu Quoc. So it mainly depends on how long you can lie on the beach without getting bored.

ATM's & money exchange

ATM’s are mainly found in the main towns like Duong Dong.

Local events and holidays

  • Vul Lan Festival: Is held during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Thousands of people from Phu Quoc go to the Dinh Tran Pagoda.

Best time to visit

  • High season – November to March: the weather is exceptionally pleasant with an average temperature of 30 degrees and clear sky.
  • Shoulder season – April to June: the hottest months of the island. The chance of good weather is fifty-fifty.
  • Low season – July to September: a lot of rain.

10 best things to do in Phu Quoc

Most things to do in Phu Quoc revolve around the beautiful beaches. If you don’t feel like a beach holiday or to end your tour here, you better skip the island. If you like this, you will be treated to the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, with typical beach activities to choose from.

1. Enjoy the beaches

Sao Beach
beach Phu Quoc

The best thing to do in Phu Quoc is enjoy the beach. This is also the main reason for most travelers to travel to the island. And not without reason, because here you will find the best beaches in Vietnam.

Sao Beach is seen by most people as the most beautiful beach in Phu Quoc. There are plenty of places where you can sit on a lounge chair with a parasol and enjoy the calm water.

Long Beach is the most popular beach, as it runs along Duong Duong, the largest city on the island. Here you will find many restaurants and resorts right on the beach.

Read the full list of the best beaches in Phu Quoc here.

2. Island hopping

An Thoi Islands Phu Quoc
An Thoi Islands Phu Quoc

The third best thing to do in Phu Quoc has to do with the beaches again. Off the coast of the main island are many smaller islands with more beautiful beaches that you can visit by boat trip.

There are several boat trips that are organized. This way you can quickly visit various islands with a speedboat. The larger boats are slow, but have a place to enjoy a drink, have a BBQ and jump off the boat.

The most beautiful islands of Phu Quoc are the An Thoi island group, at the southernmost point. A perfect place for snorkeling, swimming and fishing.

3. Phu Quoc prison

Phu Quoc Prison
Phu Quoc Prison

The Phu Quoc prison is also called the coconut prison. It was built in 1949 during the French colonial era and used to imprison political dissidents. Later it was used by South Vietnam during the Vietnam War to detain and sometimes even torture North Vietnamese soldiers.

Today the prison is a museum that you can visit and where you can see how the prisoners lived at the time.

4. Visit local fishing villages

fishing village Phu Quoc
fishing village Phu Quoc

To get a taste of the Vietnamese culture, you can visit the fishing villages along the coast. See how boats are repaired on land, the houses the fishermen live in and the basket boats that lie on the beach to paddle to the fishing boats that lie off the coast. It is an authentic experience and an interesting change from the beautiful beach life. Ham Ninh village and Ganh Dau are two fishing villages that are well worth a visit.

5. Suoi Tranh waterfall

Suoi Tranh waterfall
Suoi Tranh waterfall

If you have had enough of all the beaches, you can also explore the interior of the island. The Suoi Tranh waterfall is therefore a good option. At 4 meters high it is not a very special or impressive waterfall, but the natural pools and the location between the lush rain forest makes it worth a visit.

6. Diving & snorkeling

diving in Phu Quoc
snorkeling in Phu Quoc

This island may not be the best place to dive in Vietnam, but it is one of the most popular things to do in Phu Quoc. There are several options for diving in Phu Quoc, for both beginners and experienced divers.

Snorkeling is possible during day tours. You can do a boat tour to May Rut Island Finger Island and Dam Ngang Island, where you can snorkel among the fish and coral.

7. Enjoy the sunset

sunset in Phu Quoc beach
sunset Phu Quoc

What could be better than relaxing on the beach at the end of the day with a great view of the sunset. For example, you can choose to sit at a beach bar with a delicious cocktail or what is certainly recommended is a sunset bbq on the beach.

8. Visit local plantations and factories

pepper plantation in Phu Quoc
fish sauce factory in Phu Quoc

For Vietnamese, Phu Quoc, beyond its beautiful beaches, is also known for its pepper and famous fish sauce that is used in almost every dish. Scattered across the island you will find pepper plantations and fish sauce factories. You can visit these without any problem to see how they work here. Of course you can also buy some souvenirs here to take home.

9. Phu Quoc night market

Phu Quoc night market
Phu Quoc night market

Phu Quoc night market, officially Dinh Cau nigh market, is an open-air market in Duong Dong town. Every evening from 5am, the streets here are closed to vehicles and more than 100 different street stalls emerge. Here they sell everything, such as seafood, souvenirs, ice cream, banana pancakes and drinks.

There are also several restaurants around the market if you’d rather eat somewhere where you can sit.

10. The Phu Quoc cable car

Phu Quoc cable car
Phu Quoc cable car

The Phu Quoc cable car is a cable car that starts on the most south-westerly part of the island and then goes across the sea to An Thoi island. This 15 minute tour is the longest and continuous 3 cable aerial car system in the world.

Along the way you can enjoy a panoramic view of the An Thoi island group, fishing villages and ocean.

Best hotels & hostels in Phu Quoc

Where to stay

Duong Dong – The heart of the island, centrally located to everything. The most important place for entertainment, shopping, dining and sightseeing. You can find most famous restaurants here and it is full of bars and coffee shops. A city literally for those who cannot live without comfort. With a beautiful beach and 10 minutes from the airport.

Other locations where you can find accommodation are Ong Lang, Cua Can, Vung Bau, Ganh Dau and An Thoi.

Best hotels & hostels in Hanoi

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Island Life Hostel
  • 9 Station Hostel Phu Quoc
  • Dormstay Riverside
  • Seaside Homestay

Mid range hotel

  • Lahana Resort Phu Quoc
  • La Mer Resort Phu Quoc
  • Little Garden Bungalow
  • Cottage Village
  • Nadine Phu Quoc Resort

High end hotel & resort

  • Camia Resort & Spa
  • Ancarine Beach Resort
  • Green Bay Phu Quoc Resort and Spa
  • Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resort

Food & drinking

Restaurants

There are quite a few restaurants of varying quality along the way along Long Beach. There are also some simple seafood restaurants at the end of Long Beach. If you stay at Ong Lang beach, you are more likely to eat at the resort most of your time. You will find lots of fresh fish at the night market in Duong Dong.

Local restaurants

  1. Chuon Chuon Bistro & Sky Bar
  2. Iris cafe
  3. Nemo Restaurant
  4. Bun Cha Ha Noi – Phu Quoc
  5. Mango Bay Restaurant

Fine dining

  1. The Pepper Tree Restaurant
  2. May Restaurant
  3. Happy An Restaurant
  4. Sunset Beach Bar & Restaurant
  5. Winston’s Burgers & Beer

Nightlife

The nightlife and nightlife on Phu Quoc are mainly found in Duong Dong, the most popular region in Phu Quoc. You will find backpacker bars, luxury lounges, rooftop bars and night clubs here.

  • Dinh Cau Night Market
  • La Veranda Beach Bar
  • Golden Sand Bar
  • Eden Beach Bar
  • An Duong
  • Xin Chao
  • Coco Bar
  • Beer Garden
  • Boba Club

How to get there

Flights to Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) is located on the south side of Long Beach, approximately nine kilometers from the city of Duong Dong. There are several flights a day from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. From the airport to Long Beach the taxi costs me around 100,000 – 150,000 VND. Jetstar runs a shuttle bus to Duong Dong for 50,000d.

Ferry to Phu Quoc

When weather permits, ferries travel at least once a day from Ha Tien (1.5 hours) and Rach Gia (2.5 hours) to Phu Quoc and vice versa. The vast majority of travelers take the Superdong fast ferry, which is efficient, orderly, air-conditioned and comfortable.

How to get around

Taxis are available outside of Phu Quoc International Airport, as well as prominent resorts and places of interest on the island. It is also possible to rent a car with driver for a day that takes you around the island.

Bicycle rental is offered by most hotels and resorts on the island of Phu Quoc for around US $ 1 per day. Ideal for short trips within Duong Dong and Long Beach.

Motorcycles and scooters are ideal if you want to explore Phu Quoc at your own pace. The traffic in the center of Duong Dong is less bad compared to other cities in Vietnam, but the roads that lead to the countryside and Phu Quoc National Park are quite winding and bumpy. Motorbike rental shops can be found in Duong Dong, with daily rates between VND 120,000 and VND 250,000. Most resorts also offer motorbike rentals. Always check the quality of the engine before you start driving, especially the brakes.

Itinerary 2 days in Phu Quoc

Day 1

  • Explore the island on a motorcycle or car with driver.
  • Learn more about the Vietnamese revolution in the Phu Quoc prison museum.
  • Take a walk on the sands of Sao Beach.
  • Visit a local pepper plantation.
  • Explore the Suoi Tranh waterfall.
  • Enjoy the sunset on Long Beach with a cocktail.

Day 2

  • Take a day trip to the An Thoi Islands.
  • You will visit various islands by boat and explore the underwater world with snorkeling.
  • Alternatively you can also take a diving excursion.

More tips for traveling in Phu Quoc

Where to go next?

Via the international airport you can fly abroad as well as to the largest cities in Vietnam, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

If you don’t want to fly then the most logical next destination is the Mekong Delta. From here you can travel to Cambodia or Ho Chi Minh City.

Phu Quoc with kids

If you are traveling in Vietnam with kids than Phu Quoc should be on your list. Despite the increased tourism, there is little traffic. There are beautiful beaches where your children can play and there are a number of theme parks where you can go well. There is also plenty of choice in child-friendly hotels and resorts.

Language

The island is very developed for tourism so it is easy to get by with English.