Culture Tourism

Phu Quoc’s cultural sites revolve around the lives of its people who are mainly farmers and fishermen. One of Phu Quoc’s most famous products is its pepper. An estimated 715 families grow pepper on 300 hectares of land, producing an astounding 800 tons of pepper per year. Many of the farms are located 15 km north of Duong Dong and farmers usually allow visitors to stroll among the plants. There is a farm specifically set up for tourists near the Suoi Da Waterfall. Harvest time is between November and February. Another specialty of Phu Quoc is sim wine, a sweet beverage made from the fruit of the rose myrtle tree. The fruit is ground into a pulp, then sugar is added and the juice is fermented for 40-45 days. There are several sim wine factories around the island, including Simson in Duong To Commune near the Phu Quoc International Airport and Eden Resort, where you can see the sim plants and flowers (and perhaps even the berries which are typically harvested in the spring). Phu Quoc’s “nuoc mam” (fish sauce) is also famous throughout Vietnam. Visitors can tour some of the island’s many fish sauce distilleries, located mainly around Duong Dong or An Thoi,  where giant wooden vats contain the amber liquid of anchovies, salt and water left to ferment for 6-12 months. It’s free to visit the distilleries, but there are no tours per se. Bring along someone who speaks Vietnamese if you’d like to find out more of the distilling process from the workers. Two of the more popular distillers are Hung Thanh and Khai Hoan, both near the market in Duong Dong. Vietnam’s homegrown religion of Cao Dai got its start in Phu Quoc in 1920 when the Supreme Being supposedly revealed himself to Ngo Van Chieu, the then governor of the island. Visit the very colorful Cao Dai temple at 40 Nguyen Trai and see elements taken from Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and Confucianism. There are several fishing villages around the island which can be visited for a better understanding of how fishermen and their families live. These villages can easily be explored on motorbike. Come and watch as the small boats return to shore after an evening of fishing, or see families sorting through the day’s catch to prepare for market or to dry on racks. Some of the more scenic fishing villages include Ham Ninh on the island’s east coast and Ganh Dau to the north.