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Needless to say, Phu Quoc is an incredible place to visit in Vietnam which offers wonderful nature ( such as sandy beaches, turquoise water and colourful reef, lush green tropical forest) and amazing hospitality.
I have been to Phu Quoc several times for business and holiday trips but I have never been bored of visiting this beautiful Pearl Island. After 3 trips to Phu Quoc, I learned a lot about this island, especially how to save money when travelling to Phu Quoc (which will be shared in the last part).
This Phu Quoc travel blog will show you how to get to Phu Quoc island, when to go to Phu Quoc? where to stay? places to visit in Phu Quoc and some money-saving tips when travelling to Phu Quoc.
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Table of Contents
- 1. About Phu Quoc Island
- 2. How to get to Phu Quoc Island?
- 3. How to get around Phu Quoc Island?
- 4. Where to stay on Phu Quoc Island?
- 5. Interesting places to visit on Phu Quoc Island
- 6. Phu Quoc travel itinerary
- 7. How much does it cost to go to Phu Quoc? Is Phu Quoc expensive?
- 8. Money-saving tips when travelling to Phu Quoc
- FAQ – Frequently asked questions
1. About Phu Quoc Island
Where is Phu Quoc Island?
Phu Quoc – the Pearl island of Vietnam – is situated in the Gulf of Thailand and belongs to Kien Giang city (located in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam).
It is the largest island in Vietnam with a total area of 574 km2. Besides the main island, there are also more than 20 islets located around Phu Quoc island.
Interesting facts about Phu Quoc
- “Phu Quoc” means the land of wealth.
Phu Quoc island is the largest island nearby Ha Tien – a city in the Mekong Delta.
In the 17 century, Mac Cuu – a Chinese immigrant – made Ha Tien become an important trading port. He also built 7 casinos in the surrounding area of Ha Tien, one of them was built in Koh Tral island (the old name of Phu Quoc island).
Since then, Koh Tral island became prosperous thanks to its trading port and casino. Therefore, the island was renamed “Phu Quoc” which means the land of wealth.
- Phu Quoc is famous for its fish sauce all over Vietnam.
Phu Quoc’s fish sauce has been produced for over 200 years thanks to its abundant source of anchovies. Although fish sauce can be made of any type of fish, Phu Quoc people only use certain types of anchovies for the best quality fish sauce.
- Phu Quoc is the first island in Vietnam to achieve island city status (Phu Quoc City) in 2021.
This event is expected to be a landmark for the island to develop in terms of economy and enhance the territory’s security and defence.
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When is the best time to go to Phu Quoc Island?
The weather in Phu Quoc island is divided into 2 seasons:
- The rainy season (June to September): in this period, sudden rain or storm is common in Phu Quoc. However, it won’t happen every day and usually lasts for only a while. During these rainy days, island tours and beach activities will be cancelled due to strong wind and waves.
Other than the rainy days, Phu Quoc island’s weather during this period is quite pleasant with an average temperature of 25-30 Celcius degrees. Moreover, this is the low season for tourism, so accommodations and tours in Phu Quoc will be cheaper.
From my experience: I went to Phu Quoc in August but there was only 1 rainy day.
- Dry season (October to May of next year): Phu Quoc island’s weather is pleasant and sunny during the dry season with the highest temperature of 35 Celcius degree. Needless to say, this is an ideal time to travel to Phu Quoc island.
To conclude, the period from October to May of next year is the best time to go to Phu Quoc. However, if you travel during the rainy season, you can check the weather forecast before booking your ticket.
What to wear when travelling to Phu Quoc?
In general, the weather in Phu Quoc is warm and sunny all year round, except for the rainy season as mentioned above. Thus, when travelling to Phu Quoc, you should prepare comfortable, summer clothes. In the period of June – September, you need to prepare a thin jacket as it might be a bit cold during the night.
2. How to get to Phu Quoc Island?
Phu Quoc international airport is located in Duong To commune which is about 5km away from Duong Dong (Phu Quoc city centre).
As a small airport, it only operates direct international flights from/to some countries such as Korea, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.
For domestic routes, it operates routes between most of the airports in Vietnam.
Check out the flight tickets to Phu Quoc via this link.
Another way to get to Phu Quoc island is by ferry from Ha Tien.
The total travel time between Ha Tien and Phu Quoc ferry port takes only 2.5 hours. In addition, there are many trips between Ha Tien and Phu Quoc every day operated by Superdong, Phu Quoc Express, Ngoc Thanh Express, etc.
Cost: ~ 250.000VND/way
Note: if you want to get to Phu Quoc from Cambodia, there is a guide in the FAQ.
3. How to get around Phu Quoc Island?
From Phu Quoc airport to hotel
In Phu Quoc, if you book a 4 to 5-star hotel, most probably that the hotel will provide free airport pick-up and drop-off van/ private car. Contact your hotel about 1 week in advance to ask for a free airport transfer service.
In case your hotel does not provide free airport transfer, you can travel from Phu Quoc airport to your hotel by taxi/grab car. A 4-seater airport pick-up car costs from 170.000VND to 700.000VND for one way, depending on where your hotel is located. For Duong Dong area, it costs around 170.000VND/way. But if your hotel is in the North or South of Phu Quoc city, then it can be up to 700.000VND/way.
You can book airport transfer service via this website: Click here.
Or you can book a taxi/Grab car when arriving at Phu Quoc airport. Link to Grab app: click here.
Note: Grab is an application which is similar to Uber. It’s very common in Southeast Asia.
Getting around Phu Quoc
Most of the places to visit in Phu Quoc are not within the walking distance. Thus, walking is not an ideal way to discover the island. Here I recommend getting around Phu Quoc by either car or motorbike.
- Is grab available in Phu Quoc?
Yes, it is. You can get around Phu Quoc island by grab car. The cost is just a little bit more expensive than other places in Vietnam.
Link to book Grab car: click here.
- Car renting in Phu Quoc
Renting a car on Phu Quoc island is a good option if you travel in a group. Be noticed that car rental here is more expensive than in other places in Vietnam. For example, an 8-hour trip to Rach Vem from Duong Dong costs around 1.000.000VND and an 8-hour trip around Duong Dong area costs around 600.000VND.
Here is the website to book car rental services in Phu Quoc: click here.
Motorbike rental in Phu Quoc costs around 150.000VND – 200.000VND/day (without petrol). The shop will deliver the motorbike to your hotel/ homestay. A passport copy and cash for deposit are required.
Note: I found out that it’s pretty cheap to rent a motorbike in Phu Quoc via this website and there are a lot of good reviews as well. Check it out!
4. Where to stay on Phu Quoc Island?
Hotels/ Homestays in Phu Quoc pearl island are located mainly in 3 areas: North island, Duong Dong (central area), and South Island. Here are some interesting places to visit in Phu Quoc in each area:
- North Island: Vinpearl complex including Grand world, Vinwonder and Vinsafari; Rach Vem fishing village.
- Duong Dong: Phu Quoc night market, Dinh Cau shrine, Duong Dong market, Khai Hoan fish sauce barrel house, Sunset Sanato, Khu Tuong pepper garden, etc.
- South Island: Hon Thom cable car, Ham Ninh fishing village, Sao beach, Phu Quoc prison, Ho Quoc pagoda, etc.
- Duong Dong area has the most food options and is more convenient to travel around Phu Quoc. More affordable hotels are mainly located in here as well.
- Most of the day tours in Phu Quoc depart from Duong Dong area. If you do not stay in Duong Dong, you may need to pay extra for the pick-up service.
- 4-5 star resorts are located mostly in the North and South of Phu Quoc. You also cannot find many restaurants in these areas. I stayed in Novotel (South) and Radisson hotel (North) before and had to order food from the hotel most of the time.
To conclude, Duong Dong is suitable if you want to discover as much Phu Quoc. North and South Phu Quoc is suitable for a relaxing holiday with small kids/ the elderly.
Here are some of the best 4-5 star hotels in Phu Quoc:
Address: Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc
Pros: 4-star hotel, good service, free airport transfer, free buggy to travel around the complex (including Grand World, Vinwonder, Vinsafari).
Cons: too far from the city centre.
#2 Sol by Melia
Address: Bai Truong, Duong To, Phu Quoc
Pros: good service, has its own private beach, nearby airport, provides free airport transfer.
#3 Sunset Beach Resort & Spa
Address: 100C2, Hung Dao Street, Phu Quoc
Pros: has an infinity pool, and beachside bar; provides free airport transfer; convenient location.
Address: Vo Thi Sau Street, Area 1, Phu Quoc
Pros: prime location, provides free airport transfer, good reviews from customers.
Address: Duong Bao, Duong To, Phu Quoc
Pros: beautiful rooms, provides free airport transfer, and various options for breakfast.
Cons: far from the central area.
5. Interesting places to visit on Phu Quoc Island
Activities & Places to visit in North Phu Quoc
See starfish in Rach Vem
This is one of the best places to visit in Phu Quoc where you can see a lot of starfish on the beachside.
Rach Vem is located in the North of Phu Quoc which is known as the “Kingdom of Starfish” of Phu Quoc. Starfish appears the most from October to April next year. It is also said that noontime is the best time to see starfish.
Note: PLEASE do not take the starfish out of water because it cannot live without water.
Stroll around Grand World Phu Quoc – Unite Center
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I was totally astonished when visiting this instagrammable place of interest in Phu Quoc. In this area, you can see both the Vietnamese ancient village and beautiful little Europe. There are plenty of shows/parades happening all day in both areas.
It’s too good to be true as it’s too beautiful and most of the attractions are free to visit, not to mention, there are even free buggy cars.
Enjoy a night show – The quintessence of Vietnam
The quintessence of Vietnam is a night show in Grand World Phu Quoc which occurs 265 days/ year. The show helps people to understand more about Vietnam’s history and culture in a lively way.
The performance is held on a huge stage with a total area of 11.200 m2, performed by over 300 actors and actresses with advanced stage technology. It is advertised to be the most modern real live show in Vietnam as of 2021.
Ticket price: 300.000VND/ person
Link to book ticket: click here
Have fun with animals at Vinpearl safari
Vinpearl Safari is known as the first and only open zoo in Vietnam with an area of 390 hectares, accommodating more than 4000 animals of 200 species. There are some rare species that you can see such as Bengal tigers, lions, white rhinoceros, leopards, etc.
Not only can you see the animals, but you can also interact with them (of course, not with those carnivores, only with herbivores such as giraffes, elephants, birds, etc.) by feeding them food. Each box of food for those animals costs 30.000VND.
There is also a very impressive animal show in which many kinds of birds from different continents are introduced and give performances on the stage.
Additionally, when I visited Vinpearl Safari, they ran a promotion which is a free food voucher valued at 150.000VND/person. Thus, I can have free lunch at any restaurant at Vinpearl Safari. Worth it!!
You can buy Vinpearl Safari’s tickets and check whether there is any promotion at the moment via this link in the “additional information”.
Visit Phu Quoc pepper farm
Phu Quoc is well-known for its aromatic black pepper. Therefore, you can visit some pepper farms to learn how pepper is harvested.
There are several pepper farms in Phu Quoc but one of the largest is Khu Tuong pepper farm which is located in the north of the island.
Activities & Places to visit in South Phu Quoc
Sunbath at the beach
Sunbathing is definitely one of the best things to do on Phu Quoc island.
Known as the Pearl Island of Vietnam, Phu Quoc has several beaches on the west and north coast namely Sao beach, Long Beach, Ganh Dau beach, etc.
Although it is said that Sao beach is the most beautiful beach in Phu Quoc, it is now polluted with too much garbage discharged by tourists.
Other than Sao beach, the other beaches in Phu Quoc still remain untouched and clean.
Visit beautiful islets
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There are several small islets nearby Phu Quoc island that you can visit within a day such as Mong Tay islet, May Rut islet, Roi islet, etc. Those islets are famous for their turquoise crystal-clear water and shimmering reefs.
To visit those islets, you need to join a group tour or rent a private speed boat.
Experience Hon Thom cable car
Hon Thom cable car is the longest sea-crossing cable car route in Vietnam as of 2021. The total journey takes 30 minutes and ends at Hon Thom waterpark located on Hon Thom island. What I love about this cable car is that it offers a spectacular view of Phu Quoc island.
To take the cable car, you need to go to An Thoi cable car station. Tickets can be booked online or on-site.
- Remember to keep your tickets carefully because the staff will check your ticket when you take the cable car back to Phu Quoc main island as well. If you lose it, you have to buy a new one.
- If you plan to have lunch in Hon Thom waterpark, consider buying the combo of theme park and lunch. It’s cheaper.
How much is the cable car in Phu Quoc?
Hon Thom cable car costs around 500.000VND/ 2 ways if you book online via Klook.
Admire Ho Quoc Pagoda
Ho Quoc Pagoda is located in the south of Phu Quoc island, near other tourist attractions in the south of Phu Quoc island such as Sao beach, Phu Quoc prison, etc. It is the biggest temple in Phu Quoc with the architectural design of the Ly and Tran dynasties.
Eat fresh seafood at Ham Ninh fishing village
You are a seafood lover? Come to Ham Ninh fishing village!
This village is the main supplier of seafood for the whole Phu Quoc island. So… you know where to find the cheapest and freshest seafood huh?
Here are some recommended seafood restaurants in Ham Ninh: Song Le restaurant, Be Ghe restaurant, Hanh Nhung restaurant.
And don’t forget to order “fish salad” – this is a famous local dish in Phu Quoc.
Learn history in Phu Quoc Prison
Phu Quoc prison brought me to the question: Why is there war??
This prison is the central prisoner detention camp of the Republic of Vietnam from 1967 to 1973 which held more than 32,000 Vietnamese political prisoners. After only 6 years, Phu Quoc prison caused thousands of casualties including 4,000 death.
A variety of human torturing methods are displayed here. For example:
- Using old needles to slowly stab through 10 fingers of prisoners.
- Serving the prisoners only bland food with NO salt at all. After two months, their eyes will be blurred, after 5-6 months, some people will be completely blind.
- Knocking on a barrel which is placed upside down on the squatting prisoner. Prisoners will have headaches or be deaf because of the sound and air pressure.
- Keeping the prisoners inside a barrel of water and knock. That could cause the prisoner to vomit blood because of the pressure of the water.
Activities & Places to visit in Duong Dong
Learn how fish sauce is made in a fish sauce distillation house
As Phu Quoc is well-known for its high-quality fish sauce – a very important sauce in Vietnam cuisine, visiting a fish sauce distillation house will be an amazing experience in Phu Quoc.
The fish sauce distillation house is where fish sauce is made. Today, there are about 100 fish sauce manufacturers in Phu Quoc island which are mainly located in An Thoi and Duong Dong ports.
What is tempting is that it is totally free to visit them, and you can buy their fish sauce if you want.
Here I recommend some trustworthy and famous fish sauce distillation houses namely Thinh Phat, Phung Hung and Khai Hoan.
Watch the sunset by the beach
In Phu Quoc island, the sun goes down at around 6:17 PM and the sunset here is gorgeous just like a colourful painting in the sky.
You can find a beach bar to watch the sunset in Phu Quoc while enjoying the drinks. Some of the most famous ones are Sunset Sanato, Ocsen Beach Bar, etc.
Go to Phu Quoc night market
You want to see how is Phu Quoc nightlife? Come to the night market.
Phu Quoc night market is located in Duong Dong which offers a myriad of food options and souvenirs.
The most famous food in Phu Quoc night market is Chou Chou Peanuts. It is a snack created by the French. Walking along the market, you will see a lot of Chou Chou Peanuts stores but only one of them is genuine which is the first store on the right side of the market’s entrance.
They have 30 flavours of peanuts and you can try as much as you can. My favourite flavours are mint, coconut and cheese.
Here is their official website: click here
6. Phu Quoc travel itinerary
You might get dizzy since I listed down so many places to visit in Phu Quoc. Don’t worry! I’ll make it easier by creating the Phu Quoc travel itinerary for you below.
Phu Quoc travel itinerary 3D2N
- Check-in at the hotel.
- Visit places in the south of Phu Quoc island including Ho Quoc pagoda, Phu Quoc prison, Ham Ninh fishing village.
- After sightseeing, you can relax at Bai Truong beach and watch the gorgeous sunset.
- Take a speed boat day tour to visit some islets where you can swim in the crystal clear water and see the colourful coral reefs. Lunch and transportation are included in the tour package.
- When returning from the island tour, ask the driver to drop you at Sunset Sanato beach bar. This is one of the most famous and instagrammable beach bars in Phu Quoc, especially during sunset. Admission to Sunset Sanato is 100.000VND (excluding drinks).
- Visit Phu Quoc night market.
- Visit Khai Hoan fish sauce distillation house.
- Check out of the hotel and go to the airport.
Phu Quoc travel itinerary 4D3N
Day 1: as above
Day 2: as above
Day 3: Explore some interesting places to visit in the North of Phu Quoc
- Visit Khu Tuong pepper farm
- See starfish in Rach Vem (in North Phu Quoc) and visit Rach Vem fishing village.
- Watch The quintessence of Vietnam show.
- Visit Khai Hoan fish sauce distillation house.
- Check out of the hotel and go to the airport.
7. How much does it cost to go to Phu Quoc? Is Phu Quoc expensive?
Phu Quoc travel cost varies largely depending on your choice of accommodation, activities, places to visit, food, etc. Here below are some expenses when travelling to Phu Quoc:
Hostel ~ 150,000VND/ night
3-star hotel ~ 900,000VND/ night
5-star hotel ~ 2,000,000VND/night
Cost for activities & places to visit in Phu Quoc
Free places to visit in Phu Quoc: Pepper farms, Fish sauce distillation houses, Ho Quoc pagoda, Phu Quoc night market, Phu Quoc prison.
The quintessence of Vietnam show – 300,000VND/person
Hon Thom cable car ~ 500,000VND/person
Speed boat day-tout to visit small islets – from 1,000,000VND/person
Street food/ noodles ~ 30,000VND to 40,000VND/portion
Seafood restaurants ~ 300,000VND/person/ meal
Rent a Motorbike – 150,000VND/day
Rent a car – 500,000VND to 1,000,000VND/day (8 hours)
To conclude, I would say travelling to Phu Quoc is not expensive, but it is more costly than other destinations in Vietnam. To save cost, you can choose more affordable accommodation and apply some money-saving tips as below.
8. Money-saving tips when travelling to Phu Quoc
This is probably the most exciting part of this post. Below are several money-saving tips that you can apply during your trip to Phu Quoc. Read carefully!
- You want to go to Phu Quoc night market but your hotel is quite far from Duong Dong? Ask the front desk if the hotel offers free transportation to the Phu Quoc night market. (Only for 4 or 5-star hotels/resorts).
- The cheapest and freshest seafood in Phu Quoc can be found in Ham Ninh fishing village. Avoid Phu Quoc night market, because seafood is overpriced there.
- Avoid buying any tours/services which are printed on leaflets around Phu Quoc night market. The price offered is cheap, but they will get your money by sending you to overcharged shops to get a commission from these shops.
- Regarding entrance tickets to some places to visit in Phu Quoc such as Hon Thom theme park (by the cable car), Vinwonder, Vinsafari, etc., online booking will definitely save your cost at least 10-20%. And at least 24 hours booking in advance would even be cheaper by 5% more.
- Book Phu Quoc’s hotel/airport transfer/ day tours with me to get cheaper price.
Above is my ultimate Phu Quoc travel guide including when to go to Phu Quoc? how to get to Phu Quoc island? where to stay? places to visit in Phu Quoc and some money-saving tips when travelling to Phu Quoc. Do you find it useful? Share your thoughts in the comment box.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
How many days do you need in Phu Quoc?
I would say 4 days 3 nights is just enough to discover some of the most beautiful places of interest in Phu Quoc.
Above are just several most famous attractions, in fact, Phu Quoc offers a lot more places to visit such as Tranh waterfall, Phu Quoc national park, etc. Thus, if you really have time, you can spend more time exploring some hidden gems on Pearl island.
Is Phu Quoc Island worth visiting?
There are a plethora of beautiful places to visit in Phu Quoc for nature-lovers such as sandy beaches, turquoise water and colourful reef in the islets, lush green tropical forests, etc.
In addition, Phu Quoc local people are very friendly and kind. I have met some taxi drivers and all of them are kind and honest. They suggested to me some best places to visit in Phu Quoc and warned me about scams as well. I was totally impressed by their hospitality.
How long does it take to drive around Phu Quoc?
It takes approximately 5 hours to drive around Phu Quoc.
How to get to Phu Quoc Island from Cambodia?
It can be either by flight or by road.
Here I will show you how to get to Phu Quoc island from Cambodia by road.
From Cambodia: you can start your journey from some places in Cambodia such as Kep Beach, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap. From those places, you take a bus to Ha Tien and ask the bus driver to drop you off at the ferry port if possible. Be noticed that there are several ferry stations which are operated by different companies. Make sure that you reach the correct one.
Contact this company to buy the bus ticket:
Phone: (+84) 772630000 – (+84) 0944440235
Email: [email protected]
From Ha Tien ferry port: you take a ferry to Phu Quoc island. Tickets can be bought online at the official website of Superdong, Phu Quoc Express, Ngoc Thanh Express, etc.
How to get to Phu Quoc Island from Ho Chi Minh?
There are 2 options to get to Phu Quoc island from HCMC: by air or by road.
There are direct flights from HCMC to Phu Quoc which takes only 1 hour. The ticket costs from 700.000VND/way.
From HCMC to Ha Tien: take a bus to Ha Tien bus station (you can ask the bus driver to drop you off at Ha Tien ferry station if possible). Bus tickets cost around 200.000VND.
Contact of some trustworthy bus operators – HCM to Ha Tien route:
- Phuong Trang: +84.838309309
- Tuan Nga: + 84.946790055 / +84.962571199
From Ha Tien ferry station to Phu Quoc: take a ferry to Phu Quoc island. Tickets can be bought online at the official website of Superdong, Phu Quoc Express, Ngoc Thanh Express, etc.
Where to snorkel in Phu Quoc?
Snorkelling is included in most of the speed boat tours in Phu Quoc. The tour includes transportation, lunch, speed boat, snorkelling. Some trustworthy tour operators are John’s Tour, Puputrip, Rooty trip.
Which are the best places to visit in Phu Quoc for families with kids?
Below are some fun places/ activities that I recommend for families with small kids:
- Hon Thom cable car
- Phu Quoc grand world
- The quintessence of Vietnam show
- Phu Quoc beaches: Ganh Dau, Long Beach, etc.
- See starfish in Rach Vem
- Visit Khai Hoan fish sauce distillation house
Which are the best places to visit in Phu Quoc at night?
Below are some places/activities in Phu Quoc at night:
- The quintessence of Vietnam show
- Watch Phu Quoc sunset
- Phu Quoc night market
Which are the best places to visit in Phu Quoc for couples?
Here are some romantic places for couples to visit on the Pearl Island:
- Sunset Sanato beach bar
- Phu Quoc Grand World
- Rach Vem village (to see starfish)
- Hon Thom cable car
- Small islets such as May Rut, Mong Tay, etc.