The big attraction of Phu Quoc for most visitors is its fabulous beaches, and dedicated sun-seekers will be content to spend hour after hour sitting and snoozing on the beach in front of their hotel, dragging themselves into the sea once in a while to cool down.
However, for more active types, the island is big enough to make an exploration by motorbike a tempting proposition, though few of the island’s roads are surfaced so this should not be tempted by the faint-hearted.
Phu Quoc Beaches
The island’s top beach is Long Beach, which stretches for around 20kms in almost a straight line down the west coast. This is where the great majority of the big-name resorts are found, as well as lots of budget options and plenty of restaurants and bars.
Until now, these are all on the northern section of the beach as it stretches south from Duong Dong, though no doubt development will spread further south.
Long Beach has soft sand, some shade and is generally fine for swimming, though you need to keep an eye open for jellyfish which can cause a nasty rash. The only other beach with tourist accommodation is Ong Lang Beach, located north of Duong Dong on the west coast.
There are now half a dozen resorts here, though all are well tucked away and out of sight of each other. Ong Lang Beach is broken up into several shallow bays that are not so good for swimming, though the clear water and patches of coral make snorkelling a worthwhile activity here. All resorts can arrange boat trips to go snorkelling or just take a tour round the island. Diving can also be arranged easily but is restricted to the months of November to May.
In the southeast corner of the island are a couple of fantastic, blinding-white beaches, though they have little in the way of facilities. Bai Sao, or Star Beach, is the one to head for, as it has a couple of simple restaurants offering drinks and food. Just to the south of this is Bai Khem (Ice Cream Beach), which may sound like fun but in fact is run by the military who do not normally permit access to the public.
Phu Quoc Activities
Diving, snorkelling and boat rides are understandably the most popular activities on Phu Quoc, apart from lounging on the beach and indulging in delicious meals from the various restaurants along the beach.
All resorts can help make bookings, though if you’d rather fix it up yourself, the experienced team at Rainbow Divers should be able to help you out.
If you’re an experienced motorbike rider, you might like to hire a motorbike to take a closer look at the island’s interior. Rental here is a bit more expensive than on the mainland (about US$7-$12 a day), but it’s a great way to explore other beaches, as well as pepper farms and mountain streams. Be warned that few roads are sealed, so you’re likely to return to your hotel caked in mud or dust, depending on the season.