Vietnam - Getting to know Phu Quoc
Located in the Gulf of Thailand parallel to Vietnam's border with Cambodia, Phu Quoc Island is about the size of Singapore, with much of the island designated National Park. Many of its famous 99 hills are covered in thick vegetation, creating a safe habitat for the indigenous wildlife. Apart from the critters, the main draw here is undoubtedly sand, with almost non-stop beach running around the island.
We're lucky enough to have been visiting the island since the late 90s when it was absolutely unknown. We love it for its incredible seafood, laid back vibe and quiet beaches - you can drive for miles at a time without passing anything but the odd fishing village.
The island has now come of age, with a handful of world class resorts, while local operators have installed the necessary infrastructure to allow access to natural highlights, such as snorkelling hotspots and the Cua Can River.
What to do on Phu Quoc
- Explore the National Park, which covers more than half the island and is home to species like macaques, hornbills and otters. There are a few decent walking trails, or you can explore by motorbike or with a guide.
- Relax on one of the island's idyllic wild beaches. Thanks to a new airport the island has developed a fair bit since we first went there, but you can still find long stretches of unspoilt golden sand where you can swim and admire the picturesque fishing boats.
- Snorkel the coral reefs around the island. Speak to your Selective Asia advisor for the latest hotspots, as these are constantly evolving.
Phu Quoc is in fact ‘disputed territory’, with Cambodia also claiming a historical right to sovereignty; quite understandable when you consider that the island lies just five miles off the coast of Kep, in Cambodia.
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Best time to visit
Phu Quoc enjoys a sub-equatorial climate with two seasons: rainy (late-July to late October), and the dry season (November to July). You can visit all year round - outside of October the chances of sunny days remain high - but the best time is dry season.
Aside from travel, the main local industries are fish sauce and pepper production.