Phu Quoc Island
Situated 15km off the Cambodian coast, Phu Quoc Island rises from its south tip like a genie liberated from its container. Relatively unknown to tourists ten years ago, it has now charmed visitors with its soft sand beaches, placid waters, and dancing palms, and is now challenging Nha Trang as the country’s sought after beach destination. At 46km from south to north, it is Vietnam’s biggest offshore island (593 sq. km). The Cambodians also claim the island, giving it the name ko Tral. Phu Quoc is approximately 120km from Rach Gia and is 45km from Ha Tien.
The vegetation and landscape are unlike the rest of the Mekong, which gives the area a different aura. Phu Quoc’s isolation made it the perfect hiding place for two prominent figures in Vietnamese history. Nguyen Anh hid on the island while running away from the Tay Son family in the late 18th century. Nguyen Trung Truc also used the island as a hiding place in the 1860s. Nowadays, more than 8,000 people and a large number of indigenous dogs, live on the island. Phu Quoc is also known all over Vietnam for its black pepper, and fish sauce, which is on the same grade as olive oil.
Like Mui Ne, Phu Quoc is a favorite destination for expats living in Ho Chi Minh City. Despite the fast development of bars, resorts, and paved roads on the island, Phu Quoc still provides visitors with a pioneer experience. Most destinations can only be accessed through dirts roads and beaches are mostly free of hawkers. During the rainy months from May to October, Phu Quoc is quiet and room rates are negotiable, but during the peak months of December to January, prices for accommodation increase and advance booking may be necessary.