Update: 10:13 | 15/05/2018
Phu Quoc Island boasts sandy beaches, turquoise waters, historic relics, fresh seafood and more. Lying on the southern coast off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, Phu Quoc has become one of the top holiday destinations in Vietnam. Vietnam’s largest island has recently been named one of the most beautiful places in the country by U.S. news site CNN.
Sunset in Ham Ninh beach.
Day 1: Phu Quoc – Ham Ninh
For a castaway-esque experience, head east to one of the oldest fishing villages on the glamorous island that lies just 20 kilometers to the south of Duong Dong Town, the capital of Phu Quoc. It is no exaggeration to call Ham Ninh a priceless jewel with pristine charm and beauty that has luckily escaped the tourism boom raging on Vietnam’s largest island.
Locals still live in the same thatched houses and catch shrimp, fish, pearls and sea cucumbers to earn a living.
Travel tip: Sunrise is the best time to stroll around Ham Ninh, and don’t forget to bring your camera with you to capture the best of the fishing village.
Day 2: Sao Beach – Phu Quoc Prison – Cau Temple
The breathtaking beauty of Sao Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Phu Quoc. Photo by Vnexpress/Ngoc Thanh.
On the second day, wake up early to make your way to Sao Beach, one of the top beaches on Phu Quoc and dubbed as “crown jewel” of the pearl island by the U.K.'s Telegraph.
From the downtown, hop in a taxi for around VND300,000 ($13) to get to the beach that boasts crystal blue water and stretches of soft white sand. A bit of advice: buy a package tour for VND550,000 ($24) per person for the hands-on experience. The tour includes a 30-minute motorboat ride, snorkeling on the coral reef and squid-fishing at night.
Once branded "Hell on Earth" for its notorious jail, Phu Quoc Prison is living witness to the most horrifying scenes of oppression during wartime that has left mysterious and creepy stories behind. A tour here will render every heart heavy but will make your trip a lot more memorable.
And don’t miss a chance to drop by Dinh Cau (Cau Temple), which is just 25 kilometers from the prison. Get lost and allow your breath to be taken away as the sun goes down over the shimmering water.
Prepare to take your wallet with you for a night trip to Phu Quoc night market, which has around 50 food stalls serving a wide range of Vietnamese seafood. It is a great place for anyone who wants to go out for a late bite.
Day 3: Ganh Dau Cape – Phu Quoc National Forest
Ganh Dau Cape.
Leaving the noisy downtown behind, pack up and head north around 20 kilometers to Ganh Dau Cape, one of the few inhabited and secluded gems on Phu Quoc. It would be a waste of a trip not to set foot on Ganh Dau and enjoy the fresh air and peaceful atmosphere.
Tourism is not yet a popular term here, so services are still underdeveloped. Don’t expect a fancy world of restaurants and bars, but instead try little homestay facilities willing to treat you to exotic seafood dishes.
After that, take a trek through the primitive forests in Phu Quoc National Park which is home to a rich variety of fauna and flora.
If you have enough time, try to conquer Chua Mountain at a height of 565 meters above sea level, considered the roof of Phu Quoc.
Day 4: Shopping
Long Beach Pearl lures many visitors.
It’s not difficult to find all the local specialties in markets on Phu Quoc. Among them are honey, pearls, fish sauce, pepper and Rose Myrtle wine.
Plus, several famous restaurants in Phu Quoc that you should note down are Com Bac 123 on April 30 Street, Hello on Tran Hung Dao Street, and Quoc Anh on Bach Dang Street.
The best time to make a trip to Phu Quoc is between October and May.
The best time to make a trip to Phu Quoc is between October and May, with the rain long gone and the sun shining down on crystal blue waters.
Avoid the crowds and beware of the heat and scorching sun.
Phu Quoc is also home to other places of interest, including Nguyen Trung Truc Temple, Ho Quoc Pagoda, Khem Beach, Long Beach and the Rach Vem fishing village.