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Phu Quoc, the largest island in Vietnam, is part of a 22-island archipelago situated in the Gulf of Thailand. It belongs to the Phu Quoc island district, which is directly governed by Kien Giang province. The district’s main urban center is Duong Dong Town, located on the northwest of the island. In 2006, the coastal Biosphere Reserve and the waters surrounding Kien Giang island, including the Phu Quoc district, were designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Phu Quoc Overview
Phu Quoc Island is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, southwest of Vietnam. The district encompasses an area from 9°53′ to 10°28′ north latitude and 103°49′ to 104°05′ east longitude.
The waters surrounding Phu Quoc consist of 22 large and small islands, with Phu Quoc Island being the largest, covering 567 km² (56,700 hectares) and stretching 49 km in length. The natural terrain gradually slopes from north to south and features 99 hills. There is a strait with a depth of over 60 meters that separates clusters of small islands in An Thoi port from the southern tip of Phu Quoc Island Vietnam.
Phu Quoc is renowned for its fish sauce, and I highly recommend visiting a fish sauce factory to witness the fascinating process of creating this fermented delicacy. To get a glimpse of local life, a visit to a traditional fishing village like Ham Hinh is a must. There, you can savor fresh seafood at a floating restaurant and pair it with locally-grown black pepper, which is another exquisite treat.
For travelers interested in immersing themselves in the local culture and history, exploring educational sites such as Cay Dua prison and temples like Cao Dai is a great option. Cao Dai Temple is particularly intriguing as it represents a unique religion that combines elements of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, Genie worship, and Taoism.
Weather and best time to visit Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam
To determine the best time to visit Phu Quoc Island, consider the following information:
During the dry season
The dry season in Phu Quoc extends from late October to April. This period is characterized by pleasant weather, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and engaging in various tourism activities.
When you visit Phu Quoc Island during the dry season, you’ll have the opportunity to bask in the sun, lying on the sandy beaches and soaking up the warmth. It’s truly a fantastic experience in this exquisite island of Kien Giang Province.
Moreover, the dry season is perfect for exploring renowned tourist attractions in Phu Quoc, such as Ham Ninh Fishing Village, Long Beach, VinWonders Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Safari Phu Quoc, and more. However, it’s important to note that this season is also the peak time for tourism in Phu Quoc Island, resulting in larger crowds of tourists during these months.
During the rainy season
Following the peak period, Phu Quoc enters the rainy season, which typically spans from the end of May to the beginning of October. During this time, heavy rainfall, strong ocean waves, constant winds, and high humidity are common. Consequently, this may not be the most suitable answer to the aforementioned question. However, embarking on a trip to Phu Quoc Island during this season can offer unique and interesting experiences.
One advantage of traveling during the rainy season is the reduced influx of tourists. This period is particularly suitable for those who seek tranquility and privacy. Additionally, the service prices during the rainy season are relatively low. In comparison to the peak season, they are significantly reduced!
At the time of season change
During the transitional period between the dry season and the rainy season, which marks the time of season change, is another viable option for visiting Phu Quoc with your family or friends. The weather in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, during this time is generally favorable for various activities. Whether you choose to stay at a resort or have a beach picnic, you will undoubtedly feel a sense of excitement!
How to get Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC), located at the southern end of Long Beach and approximately nine kilometers from Duong Dong town, offers direct flights from Thailand, China, Korea, and Malaysia. Additionally, there are charter flights available from London, Sweden, Italy, Norway, the UK, and Russia.
The airport, inaugurated in 2012, was designed to accommodate larger aircraft and international flights. It serves do
mestic routes such as Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Hanoi, and regional international routes including Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Weather permitting, fast ferries operate daily between Ha Tien and Rach Gia to Phu Quoc and vice versa. The most popular choice among travelers is the Superdong fast ferry, known for its efficiency, orderliness, air conditioning, and comfort. Passengers are assigned seating and provided with amenities such as bottled water, moist towelettes, and entertainment on flatscreen TVs.
High-speed boat Rach Gia
From District 10 of Saigon, tourists can take Phuong Trang or Mai Linh passenger cars to reach Rach Gia bus station in Rach Gia city, Kien Giang province.
Alternatively, they can choose Kumho, Ba Dung, Tuyet Hon, and Chau Ha passenger cars at the East station. The travel time is approximately 6-7 hours, with a fare of about VND 120,000-150,000 per guest. For time-saving convenience, travelers can opt for a passenger car departing around 10:00 p.m, allowing them to sleep during the journey and arrive in Kien Giang at 5:00 a.m.
From Rach Gia ferry port, visitors can continue their journey to Phu Quoc Island via high-speed boat. Superdong operates the Rach Gia – Phu Quoc route, departing at 8:00 a.m and 1:00 p.m. The travel time on the sea is approximately 2.5 hours, with fares ranging from VND 240,000-330,000 per guest.
Ferry and high-speed boat Ha Tien
For those traveling from Saigon to Ha Tien city in Kien Giang province, there are several high-quality passenger car lines available, including Phuong Trang, Kumho, and Tuan Nga. These depart from Ho Chi Minh City or the East station and arrive at Ha Tien bus station. Prices range from VND 165,000-190,000 per guest. The ferry departs from Thanh Thoi ferry port (Ha Tien) and arrives at Da Chong harbor (Bai Thom commune, Phu Quoc). The ferry has a large capacity to accommodate various types of vehicles. The travel time by ferry is over 2 hours.
From Da Chong harbor, visitors can reach the center of Duong Dong town, which is approximately 20 kilometers away, by bus or motorbike taxi. High-speed boats such as Superdong I, Superdong II, and Hong Tam operate the Ha Tien – Phu Quoc route. Departure times are at 8:00 a.m and 1:00 p.m, with travel time around 1.25 hours and fares ranging from VND 150,000-230,000 per guest.
International cruise ship travel to Phu Quoc
International cruise ship travel to Phu Quoc began with trial runs in 2008 by Hong Kong’s Royal Group “Jupiter Cruises.” The German ferry cruise ship “MS Europa 2” also successfully arrived in 2013 and 2014. In 2017, Italy’s Costa Crociere ferry cruise liner company launched the Thailand → Cambodia → Phu Quoc route once Bangkok’s Laem Chabang Port became operational.
The cruise ship known as “The Costa Victoria” arrived at Duong Dong Port on Phu Quoc, marking the official start of the Southeast Asia cruise ship travel and tourism industry. Future international routes are planned to be established once the new Duong Dong International Seaport and Phu Quoc Marina are fully operational.
Phu Quoc Island offers a wealth of attractions and activities, including stunning beaches, national parks, water sports, trekking opportunities, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Phu Quoc has something for everyone.