Part of the appeal of a trip to Phu Quoc is the easiness of getting there. With half a dozen daily one-hour flights from Ho Chi Minh City, and even more in the high season, it’s just a quick hop from the traffic-choked streets of Saigon to the breezy, sunny beach. There are also flights from Rach Gia on the mainland of the Mekong Delta, which are convenient for travellers who have been exploring the Delta.
However, the most popular form of transport from the mainland are the regular hydrofoils that zip from Ha Tien (1 hr 30 min) to Ham Ninh and from Rach Gia (2 hr 30 min) to Bai Vung – both on the east coast of Phu Quoc.
The route to Ha Tien is a relatively new one, and with the opening of the Cambodian border here, it’s easy for beach bums to get from here to Sihanoukville in Cambodia.
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Most boats run in the morning (07:00-08:00) or in the afternoon (13:00-14:00). If you haven’t travelled by hydrofoil before, there’s definitely a novelty about half-flying, half-floating across the waves. It’s not so much fun in stormy weather, however, when the novelty can change to nausea.
Getting Around Phu Quoc Island
Most resorts will arrange a pick-up from the airport, and some from the hydrofoil jetty, which makes for a smooth arrival. Even if you don’t have a pick-up arranged, it’s best to know where you’re going or the taxi mafia will pounce on you and cart you off somewhere that they can make a good commission.
The airport is right beside Duong Dong town, so most taxi rides are short, but the hydrofoil jetty is on the east coast, about 12kms away. Minibuses charging around US$1 each wait for hydrofoil arrivals. There’s really nothing like a bus service on Phu Quoc, so the only ways to get around are walk or rent a bicycle or motorbike.
If you don’t plan to go any further than Long Beach and Duong Dong, then your feet will do you fine, but if you want to explore the island’s interior, the only practical choice is to rent a motorbike. Bicycles are available at around US$2 a day but a combination of heat and distance makes them impractical to see all of the island.
Motorbikes can be hired from any resort for around US$7-$10 a day, but given the poor state of many of the island’s roads, this is only for experienced riders. If you do decide to go for it, check the bike out carefully (lights, brakes etc) before heading out, and try not to stay out after dark, as there’s no street lighting.
If you don’t trust yourself to ride a motorbike, it may be possible to arrange a motorbike taxi or car with driver through your resort, but this will cost you anywhere between US$30 and US$50 a day.