Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc and nearby islands, along with the distant Tho Chu Islands, are part of Kiên Giang Province as Phu Quoc City, the island has a total area of 574 km2 and a permanent population of approximately 179,480 people. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the island city of Phu Quoc includes the island proper and 21 smaller islets. Duong Dong ward is located on the west coast, and is also the administrative and largest town on the island. The other ward is An Thoi on the southern tip of the island.
Its primary industries are fishing, agriculture, and a fast-growing tourism sector. Phu Quoc has achieved fast economic growth due to its current tourism boom. Many infrastructure projects have been carried out, including several five-star hotels and resorts. Phu Quoc International Airport is the hub connecting Phu Quoc with mainland Vietnam and other international destinations.
From March 2014, Vietnam allowed all foreign tourists to visit Phu Quoc visa-free for a period of up to 30 days. By 2017, the government of Vietnam planned to set up a Special Administrative Region which covered Phu Quoc Island and peripheral islets and upgrade it to a provincial city with special administration.
The historical Phu Quoc Prison was based here; the prison was built by French colonialists to detain captured Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers.
Phu Quoc’s gleaming white sand beaches have earned it the nickname “Pearl Island”, but the island’s environmental conservation efforts and cultural heritage deserve as much attention as its picturesque sand and surf. Fishing and agriculture remain primary industries, and more than half the laid-back island has been protected by a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2006.
Home to fish sauce, pepper, and pearls, Phu Quoc offers both luxury and local life, with clean water by day and clear skies at night.
Phu Quoc’s Beaches & Nature
Phu Quoc’s 150-kilometer coastline, with gentle waves and transparent turquoise water, makes it Vietnam’s most popular destination for water sports. If you’d prefer to lounge, head to Long Beach, which spans 20 kilometers of unobstructed sunsets. Further north, dirt roads and secluded resorts keep tree-lined beaches like Ganh Dau and Bai Thom hidden from crowds.
Adventurous travelers can trek the mountain range that spans the length of the island, but even short walks through the evergreen forest reward explorers with waterfalls, rock pools, and caves.
Culture and Heritage
Phu Quoc is famous for its fish sauce, and it’s well worth touring a fish sauce factory to see how this fermented treasure is made. For a glimpse into everyday life, visit a traditional fishing village like Ham Ninh to eat fresh seafood at a floating restaurant (try it with locally-cultivated black pepper, another delicacy!).
Travelers interested in local culture and history will enjoy educational sites like Cay Dua prison and temples like Cao Dai, where believers follow a unique religion that synthesizes elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, Genie, and Taoism.
Phu Quoc Weather – When to Visit
Phu Quoc is warm and comfortable year-round, with an average temperature hovering around 27°C. It’s coolest in the dry season between October and March, and hottest in April and May, when the rain begins to take hold. By July, the rainy season is in full swing, bringing cooler temperatures until October.
Vietnam Tours VIP Advisory
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s borders have been closed to tourists since March 2020. Only citizens, diplomats, investors, and highly skilled foreign specialists have been currently allowed into the country since then.
From November 2021, Phu Quoc Island will open to an unlimited number of vaccinated tourists, who will be able to travel to the island without quarantine requirements. Please check the current Vietnam Tours VIP advisory for updates and application details.