Another place for a trip relaxation in Vietnam is Phu Quoc island. 1 hour flight from Ho Chi Minh city. Here visitors can fully enjoy the natural beauty of sun-drenched beaches, vivid marine life, tropical forests and verdant countryside, or completely relax in the comfort of an international standard resort amidst the hospitality of the local peopleMoreover, visitors can pay visits to fishing villages, fascinating streams, pepper gardens and fish sauce workshops or joy in water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, angling, etc.
First-time visitors to Phu Quoc are often surprised that its beaches can be so sugary-white and the water so crystal-clear. All are rated to be the best in Vietnam. The most spectacular beaches mostly spread along the western coast and gather around the southern end of the island. Not far from the district town, private beaches next to all kinds of cozy hideaways are perfect for the family holiday. For young couples, the best choice of a secluded haven is deserted bays ringed by sand, bushes and hills at the southern tip of the island.
Established in 2001 and later expanded to a total area of 31.422 ha, Phu Quoc Natural Reserve with diverse flora and fauna covers mainly the mountainous northern part of the island. There are nearly 929 tree species of which 19 newly-found species are first recorded in Vietnam. The forest is home to many species of birds and small mammals (flying squirrels, sloth-monkeys…). As explained by the French Larousse dictionary, the famous Phu Quoc dog is a well-tamed wild canine species which has become hunters’ favourite companion. Trekking through the park should be done in the dry season only.
A nice way to get an insight into the life of a locality is by socializing yourselves in its marketplace. Everything in Duong Dong market looks so different from everything else in town: huge fish, odd fishing tools… A lively and cheerful atmosphere permeates the marketplace from vendors in conical hats sitting on the ground with their small baskets of little fruits and vegetables to salespeople at their big well-stocked stands. A walk to the market jetty where visitors can take wonderful snapshots of boats constantly loaded and unloaded in a hurry is worth trying.
Situated by the mouth of the Duong Dong River, Dinh Cau Rock is considered the symbol of Phu Quoc where sand, sea, sun and stone blend in perfect harmony. It is not only an odd-shaped scenic beauty but also a quaint sacred holy place. With its small shrine dating from the 1930’s, this place has become a sanctuary where local fishermen pray to God before setting sail. The romantic steps take visitors to the top, where visitors can feel the gentle sea breeze, watch sunset over the eroded rock formation and enjoy a peaceful view of the Duong Dong River.
Away from the hustle-bustle of the mainland, Phu Quoc is an ideal serene retreat for those who wish to while away the time in contemplation or meditation. Quite a few temples and shrines lie scattered across the island, in the district town and in the surrounding countryside as well. Built in the early 19th century, Sung Hung Pagoda, with its original structure and intriguing statues, is well worth visiting. Nestled in thick vegetation on a hill side, Su Muon Pagoda is always an inspiration for visitors thanks to its unique blend of nature and architecture. All the rest is yours to discover and explore.
Off the southern tip of the main island (30 minutes by boat from An Thoi), the 15 islands of An Thoi abound with scenic beaches, azure waters, colourful coral reefs and colonies of diverse fishes. Large or tiny, some of them are still uninhabited and perfectly pristine. A host of leisure activities awaits visitors such as swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, fishing or just lounging. Don’t fail to stop at a fishing village in Hon Thom to see the locals’ daily chores and experience their friendliness. Boats can be arranged at your hotel.