(#wanderlusttips #PhuQuoc) Fringed with white-sand beaches and with large tracts still cloaked in dense, tropical jungle, Phu Quoc rapidly morphed from a sleepy island backwater to a must-visit beach escape for Western expats and sun-seeking tourists. Wanderlust Tips October issue has introduced 8 places of this Island which is great to visit in the morning.
1. Ganh Dau Cape: A beauty of golden forest and silver sea
Ganh Dau Cape is located northwest on Phu Quoc island, attracting tourists with its unspoiled natural beauty. The 500-meter-long beach is curved like a crescent moon and protected by mountains on both sides, resembling the wings of a seabird. The smooth white sand, the blue waves gently embracing the beach, the clear blue water allowing you to see the bottom of the ocean, and the relaxing fresh air are all on offer here. At Ganh Dau Cape, you can immerse yourself in the stunning ocean surrounding Phu Quoc while exploring pristine primary forest.
Top Tips: To reach Ganh Dau Cape, you have to travel across Cua Duong and Cua Van, travel over 20 kilometres across red dirt road between the primary forests of Phu Quoc, pass Nguyen Trung Truc Temple, and continue going Northwest, until you reach Ganh Dau Beach in Ganh Dau Commune.
Where to eat: Bien Hai Restaurant, Quy Map beef hotpot, Long Phung Restaurant, or visit the nearby Ganh Dau Market.
2. Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc – an entertainment paradise for visitors of all ages
Covering an area of over 170,000 square metres in Long Beach, Phu Quoc Vinpearl Land boasts a waterpark, an aquarium, an outdoor amusement park, a cinema, street food, a shopping centre and a castle. Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc also hosts a variety of artistic performances including water musicals, dolphin shows, mermaid show and street festivals, which add to Vinpearl Land’s reputation as an entertainment paradise on Phu Quoc.
Top Tips: Tickets are 500,000 VND per adult, 400,000VND per child under 140 centimetres tall or adults over 60, and free for children less than 1 metre. To book, contact: +84 776 567 505.
Must-see: Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc.
Where to eat: There is a choice of street food dishes available in Phu Quoc Vinpearl Land.
3. Tranh Stream – Total relaxation in a natural green space
Tranh Stream is a beautiful natural painting showcasing the forests and the mountains on Phu Quoc. The stream is made up of many small streams, creeping through the forest and the mountains and colliding with rocky cliffs to create soft, white waterfalls. With its charming natural scenery, Tranh Stream is the ideal location to camp, host picnics, swim in the stream, or simply relax.
Top Tips: Tranh Stream is located about 9 kilometres South of Duong Dong Town, and is part of the Suoi May Hamlet in Duong To Commune.
Must-see: A bat cave is located about 200 metres up the mountain. It is roughly 50 metres deep, and home to numerous beautiful stalactites.
Where to eat: You can bring your own food and water or make use of the resort facilities.
4. Sao Beach – Phu Quoc’s most beautiful beach
Sao Beach is home to a 7-kilometre coastline covered by smooth white sand and hugged by two surrounding mountain ranges which isolate it from the rest of the world, thus giving the beach serenity and fresh air. Bai Sao (or Star Beach) owes its name to the starfish that used to cover the beach and the ocean here every night. Swim, fish, or go snorkelling.
Top Tips: Sao Beach is located on the Southern part of Phu Quoc, about 28 kilometres from Duong Dong Town. You can rent a motorbike or take a taxi to get here.
Must-see: Nearby Khem Beach.
Where to eat: Enjoy fresh seafood at any of the beach restaurants here: Paradiso Restaurant, Ai Xiem Restaurant, The Beach House, Long Beach Club.
5. Visit Surrounding Islets – Amazing Unspoiled Nature
A number of small islets are located Southwest of Phu Quoc, these include: Dua Island, Roi Island, Thom Island, Vang Island, Xuong Island, Gam Ghi Island, Mong Tay Island and May Rut Island. These islets are unaffected by human life so the nature here is completely unspoiled and made up of turquoise blue water, smooth white sand, spectacular mountains and lush forests.
Top Tips: You can rent a boat to visit these islets. These islets still lack tourism services, so you should bring your own food and water, or eat on the boat. If you choose to eat on the islets remember to respect the nature and clean up after yourself before you leave.
Where to eat: you can buy fresh seafood including sea urchin, abalone and herring from floating fish farms and ask the boat owners to prepare the food for you.
6. Phu Quoc Prison – Proof of the barbaric crimes of imperialist aggressors.
Covering an area of about 400 hectares, Phu Quoc Prison (locally known as the Coconut Tree Prison) was the largest detention centre for communist soldiers in South Vietnam. Learn more about the barbaric crimes of colonialism and imperialist aggression and the valiant struggle of Vietnamese revolutionaries. Phu Quoc Prison was named a National Historical Site in 1996 and a Special National Historical Site in March 2015. Watch documentaries about the prison and see models, artefacts, remnants and replications of the brutal torture that communist soldiers suffered here.
Top Tips: Phu Quoc Prison is located in Cay Dua Hamlet in An Thoi Commune, in the Southernmost area of Phu Quoc.
Must-see: Phu Quoc Prison martyrs’ monument
Where to eat: Nang Va Gio Phu Quoc Restaurant, Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Restaurant, Ai Xiem Restaurant, Paradiso Restaurant
7. Rach Vem fishing village – Peaceful and relaxing moments
Located in the north of Phu Quoc, Rach Vem is a small and quiet fishing village, home to only 170 households, most of which are made up of fishermen. The beach here is the most pristine on the island, with clear blue water kissing the shore, small wooden houses decorating the beach under the shades of coconut trees and a cool ocean wind, which adds to the peaceful surroundings. Rent a boat to go sightseeing offshore, and ask the boat owners to cook some delicious fresh seafood for you. Enjoying seafood in the middle of the vast ocean will truly be a memorable experience, sure to make you forget about all worries and fatigue.
Top Tips: Rach Vem village is located about 20 kilometres from Duong Dong Town. You can get here by motorbike or taxi.
Where to eat: Enjoy fresh seafood in the fishing village.
8. Ho Quoc Pagoda – A sacred space
Also known as Truc Lam Ho Quoc, Ho Quoc Pagoda leans against the majestic Dang Mountain and faces the ocean, which makes the surrounding natural scenery charming and gorgeous. The pagoda was built following the architecture style of the Ly and the Tran Dynasties, which makes it striking yet peaceful and sacred. The pagoda was built entirely from ironwood, and features an altar to worship the three men, similar to temples in Northern Vietnam.
Top Tips: From Duong Dong Town, you can travel toward Phu Quoc prison. The pagoda is located about one kilometre from Sao Beach, to the left.
Where to eat: On your way back, you can stop by Cua Ap (Duong To, Long Beach), where there are many famous restaurants including Ballroom Salinda, Baika Phu Quoc, Nemo, Wing and Phu Quoc Su Café.
Van Ly | Wanderlust Tips | Cinet