PHU QUOC AT-A-GLANCE
Location / Geography
Vietnam’s largest island located in a 22-island archipelago
Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, just south of Vietnam and Cambodia coastlines
Lined with beaches, both developed and rustic, with a heavily forested interior
Easy 50 minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Steady, year-round temperatures of 24-34 C with two distinct seasons
Dry Season: November to April with lots of sun and low humidity
Wet Season: May to October with sometimes heavy rains and high humidity
Phu Quoc Highlights
Known for peppercorns, fish sauce, fresh seafood, Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs, colonial-era prison, beautiful beaches, laid-back island vibe
Approximately 100,000 islanders
Phu Quoc Beaches
Prettiest Beaches: Sao Beach, Ganh Dau Beach
Closest Beaches to Town: Truong Beach (Long Beach), Cua Can Beach, Ong Lang Beach
Best Beaches in Phu Quoc for Families: Sao Beach, Truong Beach (Long Beach), Dai Beach
Best Beaches in Phu Quoc for Swimming: Sao Beach, Ganh Dau Beach, Ong Lang Beach, Vung Bau Beach
Best Beaches in Phu Quoc for Nature Lovers: Ong Lang Beach, Thom Beach
Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Beaches: Vung Bau Beach, Rach Tram Beach, Rach Vem Beach, Thom Beach
Best Low-Key Beaches: Ong Lang Beach, Ganh Dau Beach
Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island, located in the Gulf of Thailand, just 45km southwest of the Vietnamese mainland. In Vietnamese, the island is spelled Phú Quốc and pronounced roughly as “Foo Kwok” or “Phu Coc”.The island is also known as Koh Tral by Cambodia, as it lies just 15km off the Cambodian coast.
The tear-shaped island of Phu Quoc has in recent years been touted as the next “It” destination in Vietnam (also known as “Viet Nam”). With beautiful beaches, lush forests and picturesque hills, this idyllic paradise island offers something for everyone.
At about 580 sq km, Phu Quoc is roughly the size of Singapore, making it the largest of the islands in Vietnam. In 2001, a national park was established on Phu Quoc and up to 70% (31,422ha) of the interior is densely forested. This unique combination of wild, rustic beaches on its perimeter, coupled with forests and hills in the interior, is ideal for nature and adventure lovers who like hiking, walking and exploring nature.
While exploring the forest along dirt roads is itself enjoyable, it’s really the Phu Quoc beaches, some of the prettiest in the country, and its laid back way of life which hold appeal for couples and families alike.
The island has about 100,000 inhabitants, mostly involved in tourism and a mix of fishing and farming, and based in 6 major towns and villages. On Phu Quoc’s west coast, Duong Dong is the island’s main town and home to restaurants, guest houses and some of the best beach resorts in Vietnam. Families will especially enjoy the convenience of beaches, hotels and restaurants all within easy distance of each other. From La Veranda Phu Quoc, head clockwise to the north, and you’ll come across Cua Can, a small, picturesque fishing village where the Cua Can River meets the sea, then the fishing towns of Ganh Dau and Rach Vem on the northern end of the island. Coming down to the eastern shores, there’s Ham Ninh, another fishing village backed by forested mountains and finally An Thoi to the very south of the island, the jumping off point for off-island tours.
Phu Quoc’s relatively secluded location also means that it has played a fascinating role in the history of Vietnam. It’s served as a refuge for some, like Vietnam’s Emperor Gia Long in the late 18th century who fled there ahead of a rebel rebellion, as well as forced imprisonment for others, when the island housed a prison known as the Coconut Tree Prison during more recent French colonial times and subsequently by the Americans and South Vietnamese until the conclusion of the Vietnam War.
The intoxicating mix of some of the best of Vietnam beaches, historical sites, national park and superb year-round weather in Phu Quoc make it one of the top destinations in Vietnam for anyone looking for a slice of paradise.