Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam and a diverse mix of nature, food, and hidden gems! Its close proximity to Ho Chi Minh City makes it an easy option for travelers looking for a tropical escape. We’ve been several times now, and each visit has left us with a deeper appreciation for this wonderful island. From the bustling night market to the beautiful beaches and sunsets, there’s so many fun things to do on Phu Quoc! Here’s some helpful tips to know before your first visit..
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10 Tips For Phu Quoc Island
1. How to Get to Phu Quoc Vietnam
Most travelers heading to the island take the quick one hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City. However, Phu Quoc International Airport has tourists arriving from all over Southeast Asia! Domestic flights are extremely affordable and we’ve flown this route for as cheap as $20 USD. The airport is also conveniently located close to the main town.
If you’re coming from Cambodia there is an option to get to Phu Quoc Vietnam by boat. After you cross the border into Vietnam, the ferry is about a two hour ride to the East Side of the island. From here you’ll need to take a local taxi to your accommodation.
2. Stay Near Long Beach
Long Beach runs along the western coast of Phu Quoc, and is one of the best on the island. We recommend staying near Long Beach just outside of the main town center.
This way you’ll be close to the ocean, great restaurants, and Phu Quoc night market which comes alive once the sun goes down. Below are some of our favorite places to stay on the island!
Phu Quoc Vietnam Hotels
Ultra Luxury – JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa – This stunning 5 star resort sits right on the exclusive Khem beach on the south end of Phu Quoc. While it’s not on Long Beach, if you’re looking for a luxury vacation this is the spot to be. From the incredible architecture and design to the crystal clear waters at the private beach, you’ll be in heaven at the JW Marriott!
Fun Vacation – Lahana Resort Phu Quoc – Eco-friendly accommodations on the mountainside overlooking the ocean. The views are amazing from the pool and the bungalows are very spacious and comfortable.
Affordable Option – Sun & Wind Paradise Bungalow – We actually stayed here on two separate Phu Quoc trips and absolutely loved it. The cute bungalows are tucked back from the main road, but still just minutes from Long Beach. It’s also one of the only hotels with a swimming pool in this price range!
Hostel Stay – Sleep Box Hostel – Sleep box is fun, colorful, and the perfect place to meet other travelers on your journey. You’ll find plenty of fun island tours to go on with your new friends!
3. Eat Snails, Shrimp, & More!
We’ve eaten some of the best seafood of our lives on Phu Quoc Island. Gigantic snails, cockles, fresh fish, shrimps, scallops, and seafood hot pots are just some of the delicious things you’ll find at local restaurants.
Since even the most lavish and exotic seafood dishes are super affordable here, this is your time to be adventurous. Try all the strange stuff you might have never thought to before. We promise you will be pleasantly surprised!
Phu Quoc is known for its seafood, but also mixes in the classic soup and noodle dishes from around Vietnam. Locals will sit for hours while they drink beer and nibble on snacks and seafood treats. Also, be sure to try the delicious flavored salt and peppers with your seafood.
4. Explore Phu Quoc Island by Motorbike
The easiest way to get around Phu Quoc Vietnam is by motorbike. They can be rented from almost every hotel for as little as $4 USD per day. With a motorbike you can easily access every beach, waterfall, and viewpoint on the island!
Our best days were spent with no plans, cruising around and hopping from beach to beach. If you’re not comfortable riding a motorbike metered taxis are also available. However, know that they come at a higher cost. For longer trips try to negotiate a set rate beforehand, or hire a driver for an entire day.
5. See the Best Phu Quoc Beaches
If you’re heading to Phu Quoc then you’re surely going to spend some time at the beach! From the sandy shores of Long Beach to the rugged jungle shores of Sao, there are plenty to choose from.
Sao Beach is known as the most scenic on Phu Quoc for its white sands and beautiful landscape. One thing to note is that the best Phu Quoc beaches are slightly spread out. Make sure you pack a day bag and plenty of water.
While at the beach you can get everything from a massage to a pedicure, or even a facial! To have an hour long massage right on the beach (with an aloe vera face mask) for $7 USD was heaven. Everyone raves about Thai or Swedish massages, but we think Vietnam can compete!
6. Take the Phu Quoc Cable Car
Just off the southern tip of Phu Quoc is a set of three smaller islands. To get there you will take the famous Phu Quoc Cable Car! It starts on the mainland and soars over to the islands in the distance. The view from the cable car alone is worth it and makes for a fun day trip.
Still, know that there is nowhere to stay on the islands so make sure to start your day early! You can easily take a group tour or hire your own boat from the ferry port and hit the more private spots.
7. Visit Coconut Prison
The history of the Vietnam War can be seen throughout the country whether you’re looking for it or not. Yet, on Phu Quoc Island, Coconut Prison draws in travelers looking to gain a deeper understanding of the conflict.
Originally built by the French during colonial times, it went on to be used by the South Vietnamese to imprison their foes from the North. This is one of the most interesting things to do on Phu Quoc but not for the faint of heart. Coconut Prison has some very graphic displays of what life was like inside.
8. Watch the Phu Quoc Island Sunset
We’ve mentioned Long Beach a few times now and it’s also the best place to watch the sunset! Cap off an afternoon of your Phu Quoc adventures by relaxing in the clear water.
Then pull up a beach chair with a cold drink, and watch the sunset over for the island. During our last trip here we were shocked as each sunset become more beautiful than the last!
9. Check Out the Phu Quoc Night Market
Surprisingly, Phu Quoc Vietnam doesn’t have the nightlife you might have seen on other islands in Southeast Asia. Don’t worry though! At night, head to the main town where the Phu Quoc night market is on full display.
Here you’ll find plenty more delicious seafood, grilled meats, and other snacks. However, are favorite thing at the Phu Quoc night market was the coconut ice cream! Be prepared for big crowds here but a whole lot of fun as well.
10. Watch Out For Fake Pearls
You won’t be on Phu Quoc long before you notice the many pearl shops. From massive department store buildings to small stands, pearls seem to be one of the main goods sold here.
After looking into it a little deeper, we were surprised to discover that many of the pearls on the island are actually fake! The real Phu Quoc pearls (which are revered as the best in Vietnam) are instead exported to other countries like Japan.
Where to Go After Phu Quoc Vietnam
Have more time? From Phu Quoc Vietnam we recommend taking the ferry to Cambodia or flying to Ho Chi Minh City to continue your Vietnam travels.
If you decide to go to Cambodia, the town of Kep should be your first stop! Check out the famous crab market, head to the Koh Rong islands, and make your way to the Angkor Wat Temples. You can read our 2-3 Week Cambodia Itinerary for more information.
Staying in Vietnam? It’s time to fly back to Ho Chi Minh City! After exploring this exciting metropolis you can travel up the coast to Mui Ne, hit the mountain town of Da Lat, and then visit the ancient town of Hoi An. Check out our 2 Week South to Central Vietnam Itinerary to learn more!
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite things to do on Phu Quoc Island? Comment below and let us know!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Vietnam Travel Planning
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Vietnam!
Tours: Get Your Guide is an amazing place to find fun activities all over Vietnam! There is everything from a Hanoi Cooking Class and market tour to a Mekong Delta Pagoda & rowing boat trip, and even the Phu Quoc Cable Car Ride with three island snorkeling tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
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