With 150 km of coastline, there’s sure to be a beach for everyone on idyllic Phu Quoc. Note: The word “bãi” (pronounced: bahy) means “beach” in Vietnamese.
Long Beach (Bãi Trường, pronounced “bahy troo-uhng” ) starts just south of the main town of Duong Dong. Stretching approximately 20 km down the southwestern coast of Phu Quoc almost to the port of An Thoi, the jumping off point for island and snorkeling tours, Long Beach starts off busy towards the hotels and resorts of Duong Dong with plenty of Phu Quoc attractions and activities, ranging from cafes, restaurants and bars to locals walking by with freshly cut fruit and offers of beachside massages and even body hair removal by threading! The further down you go, the less developed the beach becomes, with many a quiet spot, backed by palm trees, to claim for your own.
Insider tip: The closer you are to town, the busier the beach, making Long Beach a fun place to hang out with groups of friends. The many restaurants and shops means there’s plenty to do with the family when you’ve had enough of lounging on the beach. The further south you go, the less developed the beach becomes, ideal for couples looking to get away from the crowds.
Sao Beach (Bãi Sao, pronounced “bahy sou”), towards the southeast of the island, is considered the best beach in Phu Quoc with clear, turquoise water and a beautiful stretch of fine, powdery sand, all backed by palm trees and forested mountains. There are only a few local guesthouses here which means the beach is one of the top Phu Quoc attractions, especially for day trippers. A host of seafood restaurants line the beach and provide beach chairs and umbrellas for rent as well as showering and changing facilities. With its shallow, clear waters, Sao Beach is excellent for families with small children.
Insider tip: To avoid the crowds, plan on arriving early before the tours turn up by mid- afternoon, usually after a morning of snorkeling or sightseeing. Or simply head towards the northern (and prettiest) end of the beach, home to the Paradiso Beach Club, a haven of tranquility separated from the masses by an undeveloped stretch of beach. The beach club has a highly-rated restaurant serving up freshly prepared local and international favorites.
Vong Beach (Bãi Vòng, pronounced “bahy vohm”) may be the first beach ferry-goers see as it’s located where most of the passenger boats from Rach Gia and Ha Tien arrive from the Vietnamese mainland, the least expensive way of getting to Phu Quoc. While pretty to look at from the sea, the beach itself is dominated by the port and is therefore not a popular spot for swimming or sunning.
Thom Beach (Bãi Thơm, pronounced “bahy tuhm”) is located at the far northeast section of the island. Difficult to get to because the only road leading there is through the densely forested interior, its remoteness, rather than its beauty, makes it a draw for those willing to brave the rough roads on a Phu Quoc day trip. With only a few local eateries in the area and not much else in the way of amenities, Thom Beach is best for adventurers and nature lovers looking to get off the beaten path.
Rach Tram Beach (Bãi Rạch Tràm, pronounced “bahy ruht truhm”) and Rach Vem Beach (Bãi Rach Vẹm pronounced “bahy ruht vem”) are the next Phu Quoc beaches you would encounter if continuing on a counter-clockwise loop from equally remote Thom Beach. These beaches are wild and pretty with few tourists and fewer amenities other than the small local cafes encountered at the rustic fishing villages along the way. This pair of rustic beaches are ideal for those looking for a Robinson Crusoe, “swept away” feel.
Insider tip: Bring your own beach mat and towel along with some drinks and snacks and make a day of it.
Ganh Dau Beach (Bãi Gành Dầu, pronounced “bahy guhn zou”) is at the very north of the island and is famous for its beautiful views, including of the nearby Cambodian mainland. Multiple roads lead to the general vicinity, included paved roads along the western coast as well as dirt roads through the national park. Once there, you’ll find wonderfully clear water, all backed by coconut trees, making it a contender for the best beach in Phu Quoc’s northern end. The shallow, calm waters makes Ganh Dau excellent for swimming and for families, especially if arriving by car.
Insider tip: There is a handful of resorts and guesthouses on Ganh Dau Beach, making it a popular lunch spot for locals who rarely swim. Plan to arrive at around lunch and spend the afternoon on the beach, as some of the guesthouses will allow visiting diners to use their facilities including hammocks and showers.
Dai Beach (Bãi Dài, pronounced “bahy zahy”) is at the northwest of the island. Previously undeveloped, in recent years, this pretty stretch has been taken over by the Vinpearl Group and now is the site of a massive resort complex which includes a safari, golf course, amusement park, casino and hotel.
Just south of Dai Beach on the way back to Duong Dong town lies three relatively quiet beaches: Vung Bau Beach (Bãi Vũng Bầu, pronounced “bahy vom boh”), Cua Can Beach (Bãi Cửa Cạn, pronounced “bahy koo kan”), and Ong Lang Beach (Bãi Ông Lang, pronounced “bahy ohm lang”). Cua Can Beach is where the Cua Can River empties out into the sea and is home to a small fishing village. Some of these beaches have more rustic, eco-friendly accommodations for those looking to get away from it all.
Insider tip: Ideal for those with a moderate sense of adventure, these beaches are easily accessible by motorbike along paved roads just 15 minutes or so from the main town of Duong Dong. Have a drink at one of the many resorts on Ong Lang Beach and enjoy the included beach access.