Soak up the sun and some Vietnamese culture on Phu Quoc Island, where white sands and tropical waters entice beachgoers from all over the globe. Snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing are the most popular water sports here, though jet-skiing, wind sailing and squid fishing—yes, squid fishing—are also at your holiday-making fingertips. Check out the early-morning Duong Dong Market for an authentic local experience.
Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) is located at the southern end of Long Beach, approximately nine kilometres from Duong Dong town. Opened in 2012, the new airport was built to accommodate larger aircraft and international flights. There are several flights a day from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and though Vietnam Airlines has had direct flights from Singapore and Siem Reap in the past, as of January 2016 there were no regularly scheduled international flights. Domestic flights are increased during high season.
Ho Chi Minh City (Jetstar, Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air)
Hanoi (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air)
Rach Gia (Vietnam Airlines)
Can Tho (Vietnam Airlines)
Jetstar offers an airport shuttle to/from Duong Dong. From transport from town to the airport, you or your hotel can call their hotline. Meter taxis are lined up out from. A surcharge applies for taxis leaving the airport. There are three ATMs under the outside stairwell that connects to the second floor departures level.
Weather permitting, ferries make the trip at least once a day from both Ha Tien and Rach Gia to Phu Quoc and in the reverse. The vast majority of travellers take the catchily-named Superdong fast ferry, which is efficient, orderly, air-con and comfortable. Seating is assigned and you even get a bottle of water, a moist towelette and entertainment on flatscreen TVs.
The Superdong office in town has English speaking staff and is open daily from 06:00 to 20:30. Superdong ferries arrive/depart from Bai Vong Pier on the east coast of Phu Quoc. When you buy your ferry ticket, you can also purchase a bus transfer to/from the pier for only 30,000 dong per person. The bus leaves the office one hour before boat departure.
More departures can be added during peak holiday seasons (Saturday, Sunday, Tet and during summer months of May to July). In times of rough weather, when winds exceed safe levels, boats can be cancelled for days on end – in which every scrambles to get a flight. Weather is more unpredictable in rainy season and flying may save you from the headache.
Phu Quoc to Ha Tien: Departs at 08:00, 13:00. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes. On Saturday, Sunday, public and summer holidays, extra departures may be added at 09:45 or 10:00 and 14:30.
Ha Tien to Phu Quoc: Departs at 08:00, 13:50. On Saturday, Sunday, public and summer holidays, extra departures may be added at 07:30, 10:00, 12:00, 12:15 or 14:00.
Phu Quoc to Rach Gia: Departs at 08:00, 13:00. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes on Saturday, Sunday, public and summer holidays, extra departures may be added at 08:45 and 12:40.
Rach Gia to Phu Quoc: Departs at 08:00, 08:45, 13:00. On Saturday, Sunday, public and summer holidays, an extra departure may be added at 12:40.
Phu Quoc has a reasonable network of roads, with key north to south and east to west roads now sealed and easygoing. There are still dirt roads, mainly on the north and north east coast, that give you a taste of what Phu Quoc was like 10 years ago. The going can be slow and it requires some experience and finesse — nearly every day we saw someone hobble into a hotel muttering about hitting a slippery patch of sand. Wet season is especially difficult, when the quality of the unsealed roads deteriorates into a muddy mess.
Phu Quoc’s freshly paved roads, dramatic scenery and numerous beach options make it a great place to explore by bicycle or motorbike and this is the most popular way for travellers to get around. However, by law, in order to drive a motorbike, foreigners must have an International Driving Permit. A fatal motorbike accident involving a tourist and prominent local in 2014 led to the change and local authorities do enforce it with regular stings specifically targeting foreigners. Also check the fine print of your travel insurance.
If you do choose motorbike, every hotel, guesthouse or tour agency will happily rent you one (but don’t expect any support with the fine).
The speed limit in town is a strict 40 kilometres per hour, or 50 kilometres per hour outside of town — there are police stings in this regard too. When in Duong Dong town, if you don’t see anyone else parked in a spot it is probably because it is not allowed and yes, the popo will be on your tail again.
On the flipside to all these motorbike caveats, you won’t find any of the usual pay-to-park schemes at beaches. No protection is needed as in other parts of Vietnam. Many locals told us it was perfectly safe to park, lock it and enjoy a day at the beach, be it a busy or quiet one.
Sasco Taxi and green Mai Linh meter taxis are available on the island.
Duong Dong town – Phu Quoc International Airport: 9km
Duong Dong town – Ong Lang beach: 10km
Duong Dong town – Bai Vong port: 14km
Duong Dong town – Vinpearl Land: 23km
Duong Dong town – An Thoi: 27km
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