WHERE IS PHU QUOC ISLAND
Phu Quoc – The Pearl Island of Asia – is the largest island in Vietnam, located in the Gulf of Thailand, 45km West of Ha Tien and 15km south of the coast of Cambodia and is a part of Kien Giang Province as Phu Quoc District. Phu Quoc Island has a total area of 574 square kilometers and a permanent population of approximately 130,000. Phu Quoc island is no lightweight: at 48km long and has about the same size as Singapore.
The district of Phu Quoc includes the island proper and 21 smaller islets. The district seat, Duong Dong, located on the west coast, is also the largest town on the island. The economy is centered on fishing, agriculture and a fast-growing tourism sector. By 2020, Phu Quoc becomes the island marine ecological tourist city at a high level, competitiveness and the ability to connect with other countries in the world.
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HOW TO GET TO PHU QUOC ISLAND
FLYING TO PHU QUOC FROM VIETNAM
Traveling by air is the most convenient way to get to the island with at least 15 daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and it takes approximately 40 minutes to fly from Tan Son Nhat Airport of Ho Chi Minh City and 2 hours from Noi Ba Airport of Hanoi.
Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, VietJet Air and Bamboo Airways are four main domestic commercial airlines, which flies directly to Phu Quoc Island. Usually, during the months of January and February or during public holidays, particularly Tet Holidays, more flights have been scheduled per day (up to 18 flights).
FLYING TO PHU QUOC FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
For international travelers, the best way to reach Phu Quoc is to fly via Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. From 2017 many more direct flights have been added:
Bangkok Airways from Bangkok, Thailand (4 flights per week)
Vietjet Air from Hong Kong (4 flights per week)
China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou, China (3 flights per week)
Vietjet Air from Seoul, South Korea (daily)
Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (daily)
AT PHU QUOC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Our Guest Relations Team at Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island will help to save your time and get yourself comfortably to the resort with our transfer from Phu Quoc International Airport. There are also taxis always available at the exit of the arrival hall of the airport.
Traveling by sea will give the traveler time to continue their journey by sea and explore Vietnam from another angle.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The most convenient and comfortable time to travel by sea is during the dry season from late October to May. Check the weather conditions before choosing this mode of transportation.
The duration of the trip varies from one and half hours from Ha Tien port and two and half hours from Rach Gia (it will take about 4-5 hours to reach Rach Gia Port from Ho Chi Minh City by bus).
With continuous development, traveling by ferry and boat is becoming a popular option between the mainland of Vietnam and Phu Quoc Island, and a variety of services will be available in the years to come. There are currently six main operators to travel by sea:
- Duong Dong Express
- Super Dong Hydrofoil
- Hai Au (Seagull)
- Vietrosko Hydrofoil
- Bien Xanh Express
DO I NEED VISA TO ENTER PHU QUOC ISLAND?
Since it is designated as a Special Economic Zone, foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports are eligible for a 30-day Vietnam visa exemption on Phu Quoc without going to any other destination in Vietnam. To do this you will need to show an outbound ticket on arrival in Vietnam.
REQUIREMENT FOR PHU QUOC VISA EXEMPTION
To be eligible for Phu Quoc 30-day visa waiver, visitors must meet the requirements below:
- Your passport must be valid for 6 months since your arrival date or else you should renew it prior to taking the trip to Phu Quoc.
- You must fly from an international country to Phu Quoc via the Phu Quoc International Airport. This applies to direct, indirect and layover flights, where your final destination along the route is Phu Quoc. The onward destination could be any country, except Vietnam.
- Your stay on the island must be less than 30 days. You must provide proof (return airplane ticket, cruise ship departure date, etc.) that you will be leaving Phu Quoc Island within 30 days in order to be granted a “Visa Exemption Stamp”.
- You have not been extradited from Vietnam in the past.
- You are not on the wanted person list of Interpol.
- You travel to Phu Quoc by sea (international cruise) or by air (international flight), not by land border (domestic flight or local ship).
In case you plan to visit other destinations in Vietnam after Phu Quoc or want to stay for more than 30 days, getting a Vietnam visa is a must. Travelers can easily apply for a visa on arrival online or in person at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. You can learn all the information you need on visas for Vietnam here.
WEATHER ON PHU QUOC ISLAND
Don’t worry, you will find no more winter on Phu Quoc Island!
Phu Quoc has a tropical climate that varies throughout the year so it’s worthwhile knowing what weather conditions to expect before you arrive. Tropical climate with an average temperature 27°C is very comfortable. The following Phu Quoc climate and weather information is based on six years of the most recent climate and weather statistics and first-hand accounts of weather conditions, to provide you with a reasonably accurate picture of the weather to expect on Phu Quoc island for an enjoyable and relaxing holiday.
PHU QUOC TEMPERATURE
The island’s monsoonal sub-equatorial climate is characterized by distinct rainy (June to September) and dry (October to May) seasons. The average temperature is around 28°C, while April and May are the hottest months, with the temperature reaching 35°C.
GREEN SEASON IN PHU QUOC
Phu Quoc’s rainy season starts from June to September with an average rainfall of 361mm per month.
Phu Quoc has its driest months from November through to May when average rainfall is a mere 43mm/mth. January and February are the driest months of the year and also the most popular times for visiting the island, when the sky is blue and the sea is calm.
PHU QUOC HUMIDITY
Phu Quoc has a fairly consistent year around humidity, averaging nearly 80%, however, you will find that the more humid months of the year also co-inside with the wettest months during the monsoon. Humidity starts to increase from March each as the monsoon approaches, and decrease after the last of the heavy rains in September, with the most pleasant months being December through to February.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PHU QUOC
The best time to visit Phu Quoc is during the period between the end of October to the end of May, when the daily temperature is about 27-31°C and 24-26°C at night, water temperature is 28-30°C and the humidity is at its lowest throughout the year, the sky is blue and the sea is calm. In March and April, the temperature and humidity are a bit higher and the monsoon season starts in June. If your looking at scuba diving during your visit to Phu Quoc, the best months are from November through to April when rainfall and cloud cover are lower than the rain swept monsoon season.
THINGS TO DO ON PHU QUOC ISLAND
Phu Quoc Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia – not to mention the world’s longest oversea cable car. Explore pristine islands, crystal-clear waters and lush forests which are some of the famous Phu Quoc attractions. Immerse yourself in local traditions, such as fishing, island hopping, snorkeling, diving, sandy shores and more with the help of our Salinda Guest Relations Team.
Distance is shown from Salinda Resort, which is located on the west coast of the island. You can also download a brief guide to main attractions here
HEART OF THE ISLAND
Pearl Farms (1.6km)
Some pearl farms are complemented by a host of pearl centers located in this part of the island, many of them housing cultivation pools and a jewelry store in one complex. You may witness how they retrieve pearls and how these pearls are bored, strung or placed on silver or gold ornaments.
Rose Myrtle “Sim” Farms (1.3km)
Another specialty of the island is the rose myrtle fruit wine, which is a slightly sweet tasting wine similar to alcoholic blackcurrant juice that has a violet color and aroma of the sim fruit. In addition to producing wine, the factory also makes simberry honey, sweets and jams.
Pepper Plantations (6.8km)
Phu Quoc peppercorn vines are unique as they are one of the few kinds that can be grown on an island. There are over 400 hectares of pepper plantations found throughout the central and northern region of the island, producing three different varieties of peppercorns. All farms are easily accessible even within the perimeters of the main town Duong Dong.
Fish Sauce Factory (8.1km)
The island is famous for its production of high quality fish sauce, which are the major contributors to its economy and are undoubtedly one of the most important condiments in Vietnamese cuisine. Some fish sauce distilleries are open to the public for visit to get a better understanding of how this vital kitchen ingredient is produced.
Night Market (4.3km)
One of the most atmospheric and best-value places to dine on the island, Duong Dong’s busy night market has stalls of snacks, souvenirs, ice cream parlors and a parade of outdoor restaurants serving a delicious range of Vietnamese seafood, grills and vegetarian options. Quality can be a mixed bag, so follow the discerning local crowd.
Da Ban Spring (13.8km)
The stream at Da Ban (literally means ‘stone table’) is situated near Duong Dong Lake. The stream rises from a high mountain range, edging its way through big, flat stone slabs lying in series and overlapping each other to the upstream. The two sides of the spring are embraced by green forest with small waterfalls, becoming an ideal cool place to bathe in the wild nature.
Tranh Stream (6.3km)
Just inside the entrance to Suoi Tranh are Eden-like gardens adorned with large statues of figures from the ancient Chinese folk tales. The site is made up of a string of peaceful rock pools and waterfalls and the short trek to the larger waterfall at the top of the trail is well worth the effort. The best time to visit is from June to November.
Ham Ninh Fishing Village (16.6km)
Learn about the culture and watch the fishing boats throwing nets into the sea, while enjoying the natural scenery and peaceful life of local fishermen. Before returning home, you can buy flower crabs, a bottle of sea-horse in liquor or some souvenirs made of shell as gifts for friends and family.
NORTH OF THE ISLAND
National Forest Walk (35.4km)
There is a relatively easy and pleasant walking trail 5km before Ganh Dau. To escape the heat of the daytime sun, take a walk along a park trail or motorbike on one of the roads, giving you a taste of the natural environment on Phu Quoc. The forest contains many types of landscape, including mangroves and wetlands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation and forest on rocky hills.
Sunset at Ganh Dau Commute (30.8km)
A small fishing village located in the northwestern tip of Phu Quoc. Surrounded by palm trees you will find the arch shaped yellow sand beach with a bit coarse due to the vast amount of coral found in the water toward the sun setting.
Rach Vem Fishing Village (27.7km)
Accessible by traveling down a red dirt road is Rach Vem beach where where you can relax in a floating restaurant with your choice of fresh seafood, kayak in the open sea, and snorkel nearby corals or visit remote beaches, inaccessible by land.
Starfish Beach (29km)
Along the north east corner of Rach Vem is a home of hundred red starfishes could be seen in the shallow crystal clear water.
Safari Phu Quoc (35.4km)
Safari covers an area of 500ha designed as half-wild and half-natural habitat model where approximately 3,000 animals is preserved. Visitors can enjoy animal shows or eye the animal species by taking trams to tour throughout the park. The safari is part of the Vinpearl Complex including an amusement park, waterpark and golf course all located at the same location – something for everyone.
Corona Casino (35.4km)
The two-floor casino, with a total area of 18,800sqm is open round the clock, including a total of 100 gaming tables, offering eight kinds of games such as baccarat, roulette, blackjack, sic bo and several forms of poker. It also has 1,000 slot machines, and close to 1,000 electronic gaming machines.
SOUTH OF THE ISLAND
Ho Quoc Pagoda (19.7km)
The temple is located in beautiful high between the sea and the mountain side along the eastern coast, facing towards the rising sun. The pagoda features Quan Am statue, various statues of Buddha and a new bell tower, offering you a secluded spiritual retreat.
Sao Beach (20km)
This beach is famous for its white sand, blue water and coconuts stretching towards the beach, there are many local restaurants to relish on some fresh seafood. Various beach activities are available like jet skiing, paragliding.
An Thoi Harbor (21.4km)
You can reach An Thoi Archipelago by cruise ships and catamarans organized by tours for fishing and diving on the coral reefs. Enjoy the world’s longest oversea cable car connecting Phu Quoc Island with Hon Thom Island (literally means ‘Pineapple Island’) that offers a 360 degree views of the ocean during the journey.
HOW TO GET AROUND THE ISLAND?
Pick up a copy of our own Phu Quoc map available at our reception and start exploring the island.
We recommend traveling by taxi for a more comfortable ride, and you may always ask our Guest Relations Team to call you a taxi, which is always available outside of Salinda Resort during the day. There are a great number of metered taxis now operating on Phu Quoc, such as Sasco, Mai Linh and Phu Quoc Taxi. Rates are generally from 85,000VND from Salinda Resort to Duong Dong Town (4km and 10 minutes away).
You can find complimentary bicycle rental at Salinda Resort, which is a great way to explore the island on fresh air and enjoy the natural wonders of Phu Quoc. If you plan on cycling further away, poor road conditions and unsealed dusty roads can make this a difficult experience. We recommend purchasing a face mask before you head off on these longer journeys and take plenty of water. The coastal strip surrounding Phu Quoc makes cycling relatively easy however the island heats up when you get move from the coast.
Renting a self driven vehicle on Phu Quoc Island is not possible unless you have a Vietnamese driver’s license and a permanent registered address on the island. The best option is to hire a car or 4WD with a driver/guide. Alternatively, at Salinda Resort we offer our drivers for rent or full/half day tours. Prices start from around US$50 per day, increasing depending on the size of vehicle, number of passengers, distances travelled and rental periods.
***As per the information from the Police Department, Expats are allowed to drive cars or motorbikes in Vietnam if they have a valid international license or a Vietnamese driver’s license.
Renting a motorbike is one of the cheapest ways to discover Phu Quoc Island and motorbikes also provide the best access if you are adventuring out to the more remote beaches and dirt roads beyond the main towns. Bikes rental rates will vary depending on the condition of the bike and your bargaining skills, here is guide to prices:
Per hour from 30,000VND
Per day from 150-300,000VND
Per week from 900-2,000,000VND
Note: since the end of 2007, it is now illegal to ride on a motorbike without wearing a helmet, so please ensure you request a helmet when renting a motorbike. All operators are aware of the law and will provide you with a helmet.
MOTORBIKE TAXIS (XE ÔM)
Hiring a motorbike with driver is one of the easiest and quickest ways to travel short or one off distances around Phu Quoc between the main towns. If you arrive by plane, these motorbike drivers will likely find you before you find them, just find a friendly face, negotiate a little and off you go. Guide to motorbike taxi rates:
Short distances from 20,000VND
Longer distances from 20,000VND to 40,000VND per every 5km traveled