Read all about this Phu Quoc beach paradise from one of our ZUJI Travel Specialist!
If you’re the type of traveler that likes to get away from cities, traffic, crowds and shopping then Phu Quoc might just be the place for you. This beautiful island of Vietnam is still relatively unknown (I actually got asked by the security at Changi Airport where is this place haha!) so you’re guaranteed space and serenity there. That is, before the news spread and it becomes the next Ho Chi Minh.
November to April is the best time to visit Phu Quoc as it’s the dry season so there’s lesser chance of rain. It will be extremely hot though, be warned. May to October is the rainy season which may not be ideal if you’re looking for some sun-tanning action.
My tour group travelled via Vietnam Airlines which took less than 2 hours (omg faster than going Bangkok) before we arrived at Phu Quoc's brand spanking new airport. It’s so new and small that I saw only 2 planes parked there. Don’t expect much for shopping at the airport as there’s very few selections of stores there.
Our hotel is Vinpearl resort which is about an hour drive away. There was a joke from our guide that Phu Quoc used to only have 1 traffic light in the entire island and that was located at the center of the town area. Of course, there are a “few more” added now but it still baffles me coming from Singapore where we see traffic lights at almost every few metres of driving. Phu Quoc is only slightly smaller than Singapore but their population is only about 100K in total so most of the land is still forested areas and there’s not much traffic on the road (bliss!).
Vinpearl look very impressive! From the entire ride there, I kept seeing the ‘poorer’ state of the island and houses and it felt like I was driving through some outskirt part of Vietnam. Then you drive into Vinpearl estate and it felt like I stepped into another country. Can you say 5-Star wowza?
And I got an awesome view from my bedroom balcony! Ahhhhh sunset by the sea.
There’s a beach by the resort too! It’s clean, plenty of chairs to lounge and relax by the sea, and of course grab plenty of photos to Instagram. There’s even a bar near the beach if you’re looking to sip some margaritas while gazing at the ocean.
Here are some recommended things to do if you’re looking to take a short trip to Phu Quoc. 4D3N is my recommended length of stay for this island before I’d itch for some city life.
1) Take a ferry ride to Turtle Island to do some snorkeling.
The ferry will stop by the pier from the hotel beach and it’s less than 20 mins ride away. It’s a really tiny island and you can actually see it from the hotel beach itself! After snorkeling, grab some lunch aboard the boat where they serve super fresh seafood. Ask to try fishing as well! They’ll scale and cook the fish you catch for you.
2) Make a stop by the night market.
The night market is in the town area so you'll need to grab a cab from the hotel. It takes approximately 30 mins to reach and you can get a nice supper of seafood there. Yes, seafood is going to be the main highlight for most meals as 70% of the island residents are in the fishing business. Although the night market seafood will be slightly more expensive as they target mainly for tourists but the food is still cheaper than what you can get in Singapore. If you want, you can also buy a few trinkets for back home but there wasn't anything that interest me much.
3) Visit Bai Sao beach.
This is claimed to be the most beautiful beach on the island and is definitely worth a visit. The photos you see are exactly as what you’ll see there. Clear blue sky, white sandy beach, and foamy blue-green sea. Notice the lack of people? The bliss of being at a gorgeous beach without rubbing shoulders with hoards of sun-seekers is priceless. Grab a bottle of their local beer (I like the beer called ‘333’), find an empty beach chair and you’re set for the day.
Tip: Apparently they charge for the use of the lounge chairs so check with a staff for the pricing before sitting down to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Only the wooden bench and chair are free for use. You can also rent a hammock too!
4) Visit the pepper farm.
They have a lot of pepper farms in Phu Quoc and you can visit them to walk amongst the tall stalks of pepper plant and buy some fresh made peppers (they have a lot of variety). As there’s not much to buy in terms of souvenirs, why not grab some peppers to make a unique and funny gift for loved ones back home.
5) Indulge in a massage.
I had the massage at the resort so it’s a little more expensive than if you were to get one from the town area but after a hot day out in the sun, I really wanted to relax (plus, there wasn’t much to do at night). The local people are mostly very polite and professional so highly recommended to try out their massage services.