One of Vietnam ’s star attractions, mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with beautiful white-sand beaches and quaint fishing villages. Adventure comes in many forms here – from motorbiking the empty dirt roads circling the island to sea kayaking its quiet inlets, scuba diving the coral reefs or simply having a bang-up seafood meal followed by a cocktail on the beach. Once a sleepy, backpackers’ retreat, Phu Quoc has ramped up tourism significantly, and visitors can now choose between five-star resorts and rustic family-run bungalows. Plans are underway for developing the island even more heavily – a la Phuket style. If package tourism isn’t your bag, get there now before this happens.
Phu Quoc Island served as a base for the French missionary Pigneau de Behaine during the 1760s and 1780s. Prince Nguyen Anh, who later became Emperor Gia Long, was sheltered here by Behaine when he was being hunted by the Tay Son Rebels.
Phu Quoc is not really part of the Mekong Delta and doesn’t share the delta’s extraordinary ability to produce rice. The most valuable crop is black pepper, but the islanders here have traditionally earned their living from the sea. Phu Quoc is also famous in Vietnam for its production of high-quality fish sauce (nuoc mam).
The island has some unusual hunting dogs, which have ridgebacks, curly tails and blue tongues and are said to be able to pick up their masters’ scent from over 1km away (the nuoc mam their masters eat certainly helps). Unfortunately, the dogs have decimated much of the island’s wildlife.
Despite the impending development (of a new international airport, a golf course and a casino), much of this island is still protected since becoming a national park in 2001. Phu Quoc National Park covers close to 70% of the island, an area of 31, 422 hectares.
Phu Quoc’s rainy season is from July to November. The peak season for tourism is midwinter, when the sky is blue and the sea is calm; however, when it’s not raining it’s stinking hot. Bring sunglasses and plenty of sun block. Take plenty of water when setting out to explore the island.
PLACES TO VISIT IN PHU QUOC:
In this entry, I will show the picture taken from hidden charm of Phu Quoc we found out accidentally in 2007. Getting lost on the way finding Da Ban stream, we rode our motorbike to Duong Dong Reservoir – the biggest lake in Phu Quoc. Talking to the local, the man in charge of guarding the lake offer to take us to the other side of the lake on his little motor sampan. Little hesitating but we decided to take this adventure. Here is the sampan on the lake
Little scary to be on the sampan.
Blue lake and green tree.
On the other side of the lake, the beautiful stream that supply water for the lake hidden from our view. The boat man slow down the boat and here we can see the stream.
From here, the man leave us there for discovering the stream. This is the most beautiful one I ever seen in Vietnam.
The rock along the stream were so clean and nice shape
Some beautiful puddle right on the stream:
Looking back to the lake
Lots of tree like this grew along the stream
Lots of place promised for the beautiful bath.
More scene of the stream
Everyone happy when coming back. It is really the hidden gem of Phu Quoc.