In addition to the pretty Phu Quoc beaches, a wonderful combination of history, culture, and nature await on the island of Phu Quoc.
History buffs will enjoy visiting the French-built “Coconut Prison” in the south of the island, near the port of An Thoi, which also housed political prisoners of the South Vietnamese government in the 1960s and 1970s. Several structures have been rebuilt including jail cells, a kitchen, watchtower and escape tunnel. There is also a gallery on-site with original artifacts and graphic recreations of prison life.
Nature lovers will want to head south along Long Beach to visit the Pearl Museum and various pearl farms to see how oysters are seeded with pearls and turned into exquisite jewelry or stroll through the many pepper plantations to see one of the island’s most famous products. North of the island is the expansive Phu Quoc National Park, ideal for leisurely hikes and walks.
On the water, Phu Quoc snorkeling, diving, kayaking and island hopping tours are easily booked through your hotel or local travel agencies. Cheap day trips combining bus transport to the port of An Thoi in the island’s south with boat trips for snorkeling, lunch, a visit to a pearl farm and picturesque Bai Sao (Star Beach) which many consider the best beach in Phu Quoc, are especially popular. More exclusive boat trips can be arranged, visiting some of the pristine islands in the An Thoi archipelago to the south or the remote islands to the north, along with fishing, snorkeling and picnics on the beach. Diving in Phu Quoc is also good during the dry season.
To get off the beaten path, visitors can head up to the island’s north shore and visit the sleepy fishing village of Ganh Dau where racks of silvery fish can be seen drying in the sun while the womenfolk mend fishing nets. You can also arrange to see other Phu Quoc specialties including a small factory that makes sim wine from the fruit of the rose myrtle tree, or a camp for Phu Quoc Ridgeback dogs, native to the island, where they are trained to race and climb fences.