Phu Quoc sits in the Gulf of Thailand around 45km from the town of Ha Tien on the Vietnamese mainland, measuring approx. 48 km from north to south, and 19 km east to west, the island packs a lot in to a small space.You can liken the shape of the Island to that of a “teardrop”, widest at the top in the north and narrowing to a small point at the bottom in the south.
Running along the west coast is the popular Long Beach, home to many resorts and restaurants and the perfect spot to catch the wonderful Phu Quoc sunset.
As the beach runs for almost half the length of the island, you shouldn’t struggle to find a quiet spot. Whilst Long Beach dominates the west coast, also in the north the National Park and other rural areas the key attractions, hiking trails, waterfalls and wildlife await thos e with a strong sense of adventure.
The 14 smaller islands to the south that make up the stunning Phu Quoc archipelago make for a great day out with fishing and snorkeling trips being very popular excursions to the remote southern island beaches. Phu Quoc’s main town is Duong Dong, located on the west coast about half way up the island.
This is a typical Vietnamese town but is developing very fast into an urban area – bustling morning markets, quiet lunchtimes and busy again in early evening as the locals finish their day and head out for fun in the cooler hours. Duong Dong has a great selection of bars, cafes and restaurants as well as a night market, supermarkets, shops and services for pretty much every eventuality.
For that local culinary experience go where the locals go and town is the top recommendation, try your luck along 30/4 street from 6pm there are some great restaurants and at reasonable prices too.
The town marina where you can always catch a cool breeze and the night market are also popular visiting spots at night.
With the rapid development of the Island in the last few years the local population is now well over 150,000 people whom historically have been employed largely in the fishing industry.However, as the island’s popularity continues to soar, tourism has become a main source of employment for the islanders and those coming from the mainland in search of opportunity.
If you’re moving around the island it’s useful to get your bearings, the airport is towards the southern end of Phu Quoc, about 10 km or a 20-minute drive from Duong Dong town.
There’s essentially one main road running the length of the island up the middle, which splits in the north to take you to the northwestern and northeastern corners.
There are also two other main roads are to be noted, one from the International Airport heading south to An Thoi (this is almost complete at the time of writing) and also one from Duong Dong town heading north west finishing at the sleepy coastal village of Ganh Dau.
There are of course smaller roads and lanes, and more are being added all the time as the island infrastructure develops, some back roads however are often un surfaced and may not be suitable for motorbikes or bicycles, particularly in the wet season pay careful attention.
Whatever road you take though, and however you take it, you’ll find plenty of quiet spots to explore – often with just a handful of villagers for company and that may only be on a Sunday!
That’s the beauty of Phu Quoc – so much variety in such a small space.