our tips for things to do on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam!
Are you planning on going on a holiday to Phu Quoc island anytime soon, in the South of Vietnam? Your Little Black Book just got back from there and in this blog we’ll list the most special and most fun things to do on Phu Quoc in Vietnam for you! When we booked the flights to get from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) to Phu Quoc to experience the island life in Vietnam I honestly didn’t really know what to expect from it.
Of course… I’ve seen the beautiful pictures online that feature pearl white beaches, palm trees and azure blue water but is there enough to do on the island to spend more than five nights there? If you want to alter ‘relax days’ with some activities than you can easily enjoy yourself for a week on Phu Quoc. In this blog I’ve lined up the most fun things to do on Phu Quoc in Vietnam for you!
TIP: also check out the Vietnam Travel Guide for more tips on the South of Vietnam >>
And make sure to also check out our travel vlog by YOURLBB.TV before you take off!
What to do on Phu quoc island? 16 tips!
Dinh Cau Night Market Phu Quoc: Everyone who has visited Phu Quoc at least once will tell you that you can’t leave the island without having paid a visit to the famous Dinh Cau Night Market in the capital city Duong Dong. What to expect? Seafood, LOTS of seafood restaurant where the fish is delivered freshly from the fishing boats right onto your plate. The prices don’t seem to be as low as they used to be, because the island gets more popular every year and they welcome more and more tourists but you’ll still get a dinner for not too much food, and still the portions are huge and very tasty. Consider clipper lobster, tiger prawns, blue carbs and all sorts of possible clams that you can imagine. Furthermore you’ll find the well-known souvenir stands on the night market of Phu Quoc that sell wicker bags among others, souvenirs with inlaid pearls, Vietnamese hats and jewelry with Jade.
Go for a spa day: If you ask me, one of the best things of Asia is the amount of great spas and wellness salons you’ll find there. from local to cheap, from massages on the beach to very professional salons in the more luxurious hotels. There’s a great massage for every budget on Phu Quoc.
Waterfalls: If you rent a scooter on Phu Quoc island one of the highlights you could go to is the Suoi Tranh Waterfall in the middle of the island. Exactly how big the waterfall is differs per season!
Relax at Sao Beach: There’s been some discussion on what the most beautiful beach on the island is. Because this varies per season! In the more humid season Sao Beach is without a doubt the most beautiful beach of the island. Here you can rent some lovely beds at the beach restaurant Paradiso that are situated directly at the azure blue water! At Paradiso you can also go for a massage for a fair price (less than € 15,-!). During the high season the prettiest beach can be found at Long Beach, where the water at that moment is bright blue and very calm. Some great restaurant there are Pepper Tree restaurant and beach bar Rory’s for a beautiful sunset.
Get a picture on the swing: Have you always wanted to make a picture while sitting on a swing hanging from a palm tree? If yes, this is your chance because at Sao Beach you can find two of these swings! Go early in order to take the best pictures without other people or beach beds on it. Or go when the sun sets if you want a picture on the swings with a sea view. And one more tip: make your move when the sun is shining! I thought… Oh well, I’ll just take one tomorrow but the day after it was cloudy and gray the entire day. BUMMER!
Cuc Phuong National Park: In the North of Phu Quoc Island you’ll find the Cuc Phuong National Park. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to make a tour here, but according to the locals we’ve met it’s definitely worth it. The Northern part of the island is still really a jungle and very intact compared to the Southern part.
Visit a pepper farm: Are you into cooking and are you interested in the several spices that can be found in other countries? Phu Quoc Island is known for the farms where they harvest red peppers. The reference to these spices can also be seen in many names of the restaurants and hotels. Are you going to do such a tour, a farm can be combined with a visit to the day market, for example.
To the local day market: Personally I always like to visit a local market everytime I’m in a foreign country. The “Day Market” on Phu Quoc Island can be found under the bridge in the capital city Duong Dong. Right behind the market stalls the fishermen moor their boats to sell the fresh catches of the day. Furthermore, you’ll find lots of vegetables and all the imaginable sorts of fruit, butchers and stalls where the locals buy their clothes. Very fun to stroll around and learn about the basis of the Vietnamese dishes. I’ve went there with one of the Chefs of the MGallery La Veranda resort and that really makes a visit to the local market extra special!
Participate in a cooking class: Would you like to visit the local market at Phu Quoc with a Chef? If yes, book a cooking class and chances are you’ll start the class at the local market where you’ll look out for all the ingredients needed for the Vietnamese dishes you’re about to prepare. I personally really liked doing one of those cooking classes and the most luxurious hotels do offer classes like this to their guests. You’ll learn how simple it actually is to make the fresh springrolls at home (summer rolls) and this way you can reminisce about your trip back home!
Temples and pagodas: Around 60% of the habitants of Vietnam is Buddhistic and on Phu Quoc you can find several colourful pagodas and temples that you can visit. The most well known tempels and pagodas are: Dinh Cau Rock, Ho Quoc pagoda, Cao Dai Temple and the Sung Hung Pagoda.
Go snorkling and diving: If you want to go snorkling and diving on Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam make sure to check beforehand during what season you’ll be travelling to the island. During the rain season chances are that the water is too wild so it’s impossible to go to the smaller An Thoi Islands, that are located in front of the coast in the South of Phu Quoc. According to the locals we’ve met snorkling and diving is supposed to be the most beautiful over there. If you’ll book a snorkling tour during the rain season chances are you’ll stay in the bay in front of the coast where there’s not as much to be seen.
Wake up with Yoga: The most luxurious hotels, like the JW Marriot resort and the MGallery LaVeranda resort, offer yoga sessions in the morning so you’ll start your day in the best possible way. If the weather’s good you’ll awake with a sunshine and yoga on the beach or on a peddle board!
Visit the prison: Opinions differ on whether it is or isn’t worth paying a visit to the prison. But… this blog wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Coconut Tree Prison. Simply because this prison plays a large part in the history of the island (just like in most of the other islands in front of the coast of Vietnam by the way). The horror that happened here in this prison is re-encated by using dolls, which makes for an intense image.
Eating seafood: I mentioned it earlier in the tip on the Night Market on Phu Quoc Island, but you certainly can’t leave the island without enjoying the seafood that can be found on the menu of most restaurants. Phu Quoc is renowned for its octopus and crabs that can be found explicitly on menus in Saigon for example. And to be completely honest… they definitely are delicious!
Watch the sunset at Long Beach: If you’re looking for the most beautiful sunset on Phu Quoc, Long Beach is the place to be. If you want to enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in your hand and your feet in the sand, beach bar Rory’s is recommended!
Travel on to Cambodia: If you’ve been Googling Phu quoc Island for some time you’ve probably noticed that the island actually isn’t in front of the coast of Vietnam, but that it’s practically located next to Cambodia. That makes it the perfect base for travelling onto Siem Reap and pay a visit to Angkor Wat! At least… that is what I’m going to do when I’ll (hopefully as soon as next year!) go back to Vietnam to make a bigger round trip.
more tips on phu quoc island and saigon
Because that Vietnam is an amazing country to travel through, that I’ve seen already. During my recent trip to Vietnam I’ve been mainly focused on Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the Southern island Phu Quoc. But because of the enthustiastic stories of the locals that I’ve met I can’t wait to go back to Vietnam and to also discover the Northern part of the country. The food, the people, the nature and its history with tons of wars and French colonial influences make it a special country of which I can’t wait to see more of.
Curious as to what other tips I have for Vietnam? Make sure to check out the extensive Vietnam Travel Guide about the Southern part!
Vietnam Travel Tips for Phu quoc island
Are you busy planning a round trip through Vietnam? If so, below are a couple of more tips lined up for you if you plan on starting your trip from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
> THIS IS HOW YOU GET THERE: during my trip I flew to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. From Hong Kong several flights per day depart to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam.
> Tip: for a mere € 100,- you can make a stop over in Hong Kong with a regular ticket of Cathay Pacific!
HOTEL TIPS SAIGON (HO CHI MINH CITY): you’ll find lots of good hotels in Saigon suitable for every budget, but the three different hotels that I’ve stayed in and can recommend are:
– Hotel Des Arts (a beautiful boutique hotel in the centre of the city with a fantastic rooftop bar!)
– Pullman Saigon Centre (a little further from the centre, but with a rootop pool and an amazing view of Saigon)
– Villa Song (a colonial villa situated by the water outside of the city, that’s been turned into an exclusive boutique hotel that’s honestly so beautiful and the food in the restaurant is delicious)
HOTEL TIPS PHU QUOC ISLAND: for Phu Quoc Island as well, here are three hoteltips for some hotels that won’t disappoint you and also suitable for every budget!
9Station Hostel (budget): a cool designed hostel or poshtel, with a pool, dorms or a room for two.
MGallery La Veranda Resort (boutique & luxe): beautiful boutqie hotel situated by Long Beach that’s built in colonial style and from where you have the best view of the sunset.
JW Marriot Phu Quoc (luxe): an incredibly pretty resort in the Southern part of Phu Quoc, right next to Sao Beach with several restaurants, activities like yoga and peddle boarding and an amazing pool in the shape of a shelf.
I hope the tips from this Phu Quoc travel guide are useful to you! Have fun in Vietnam.
& HAPPY TRAVELS!