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20 Things To Do When On Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc is the biggest island in Vietnam located at Ken Giang Province. With the major livelihood being fishing and agriculture, it is basically a provincial area with a traditional lifestyle. But with a fast-growing tourism industry as well, it is an interesting place to visit with just a motorbike and heaps of adventurous spirit.

Here are 20 things you can do and/ or visit when you’re in Phu Quoc Island, at least:

1. Sunset at Dinh Cau Rock/ Temple. Built in 1937, Dinh Cau Rock or Dinh Cau Temple is both a Buddhist temple and a lighthouse originally made to worship the Goddess of the Sea Thien Hau who is believed to protect the fishermen and their vessels when they set out to sea. Located at Duong Dong Town, at the entrance of Duong Dong River, it offers a beautiful view of the fishing boats sailing along the river and of the coastline as well. The beach and a small lighthouse are also popular sights in the area.

2. Diving and Coral-sighting at Hon Thom. A one-of-a-kind place wherein mostly everyone who lives in the island owns two houses because of the changing seasons, which are called “mua trong and “mua nam.” The residents live their life according to their home town’s weather and thus have a house on the East and one on the West. Hon Thom may be a little backward with uncemented roads and a traditional lifestyle, but it is this simplicity in fact which constantly draws tourists to visit and admire its natural beauty. The place can be reached either by a cruise ship which offers fishing and coral reef diving packages, or a passenger ship which sail between Hon Thom and An Thoi.

3. Swimming in Da Ban Stream. Situated on a high mountain range in Duong Dong Town, Da Ban Stream is considered a “watercolor painting of two gods playing chess on stone slabs.” As if its natural beauty is not enough, tourists are also treated to the peace and privacy of the place along with engaging in activities like collecting wild fruits, fire-making in the cave, fishing and grilling it, and of course swimming in the stream itself.

4. Picnicking at Tranh Stream. Known for its tranquil rock pools, several-sized waterfalls and Eden-like gardens which are designed with big and ancient statues inspired from the Chinese fable “Journey to the West.” In fact, the story is so famous that it was featured in the TV series “Monkey.” Suoi Tranh is located seven kilometers West of Duong Dong Town or about halfway to Ham Ninh on the East coast.

5. Da Ngon Stream. Has a system of seven waterfalls which makes it a favorite tourist destination. Ideal for people who love exploration and adventure.

6. Dai Beach. Voted one of the Most Beautiful and Primitive Beaches by BBC, you can be assured of Dai Beach’ natural magnificence. It’s white sand; clear, green waters; giant trees and 1,500-meter long coast attract visitors all the time which strengthens its tourism.

7. Sao Beach. It may be a little challenging to reach the place, but the pristine beauty of the beach is more than worth the adventure. There are basic services like taxi and restaurants, too so guests can enjoy both nature and convenience all at the same time.

8. Khem Beach. Guarded beauty, literally. As spectacular as the beach may be, tourists can only stare at its beauty from a distance. Khem Beach belongs to a military zone and as such is off limits to swimming and tourists in general.

9. Ganh Dau. If Phu Quoc is called Pearl Island because of its “shimmering, wild, pure and romantic beauty,” Ganh Dau is considered the “brightest pearl on the necklace.” Located at the North side of the island, Ganh Dau is blessed with virgin forests, majestic mountains and beautiful seas. Phu Quoc Pearl Island is shaped like an open-mouthed fish with its tail thrashing and swimming to the North. Ganh Dau is the open-mouthed fish. Nguyen Trung Truc Temple, Ta Lon Mountain, a 500-meter long bow beach, corals and rocks are popular attractions in the area. Visitors can also swim on the beach or rent a boat to explore the nearby off-shore islands of Hon Ban and Hon Thay Boi. When it comes to food, Ganh Dau is abundant in seafoods such as shrimp, squid and fish. Red grouper is the specialty which local fishermen can catch and cook right away for the guests.

10. Phu Quoc National Park. Composed of 8,603 hectares of strictly-protected area; 22, 603 hectares of biological restoration area and 33 hectares of administration and services area; 6,144 hectares of land-buffer zone; 20,000 hectares of sea-buffer zone; and Marine protection zones still to be established, Phu Quoc National Park covers over 50% of the whole island. Opened in 2001, it is designed to give a feel of the natural environment which makes it a popular tourist attraction because visitors can enjoy walking, riding on a motocycle or taking a boat ride around the park. Aside from its interesting climate of mixed terrestrial and coastal, the park is also rich in different forest types and landscapes like mangroves and wetlands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation and forest on rocky mountains. Phu Quoc National Park is also home to many plant and animal species. Based on research conducted by the Vietnam’Russia Tropical Center in 2005, the park has 1,164 higher plant species and 208 animal species. The flora recorded 23 orchid species and 12 rare plants, including the endangered Paphiopedilum callosum. Fauna included 28 mammals, 119 birds, 47 reptiles and 14 amphibians of which 6 mammals, 4 birds and 9 reptiles are also endangered, specifically the following species: lorises, long-tailed macaque, silver langur, otter, and hornbill. As rich as it is in natural resources though, Phu Quoc National Park still needs to be further developed in order to cater more to the needs of its visitors and strengthen the tourism of the place.

11. Ham Ninh Fishing Village. Used to be known for its stunning natural scenery and simple fisherman lifestyle. But recently has ventured into tourism as well selling seafoods and handmade souvenirs to tourists. The sea is what draws visitors to come to the place especially in the summer. The food is also interesting like ginseng-seaweed water, “Tram” mushroom, seahorse-soaked liquor and flower crabs, which are also great as souvenirs.

12. Coi Nguon Museum. Founded by Huynh Phuoc Hue in 2009 who spent 15 years collecting thousands of antiques and artifacts. The museum houses 2,645 antiques made of different materials such as stone, pottery, bronze and fossilized wood dating back from the early 15th century to the early 20th century; 540 artifacts consisting of furniture, artworks, household appliances and fishing tool; and 100 traditional paintings. The building is designed with five floors with a different set of displays per floor: overview of the museum on the ground floor; battles to protect the island on the first floor; antique collection on the second floor; wreck and antique fish from sunken vessels on the third floor; and pictures of the daily lives of the local people on the fourth floor. The rooftop has a breathtaking view of Duong Dong Town. There’s also a souvenir shop on the ground floor wherein visitors can buy pearl jewelry; fossilized wood; and shell and craft products made from lua wood. A sea eagle reserve is situated on a hill wherein many black ang white birds are displayed. Coi Nguon Museum is located at 149 Tran Hung Dao Street, Quarter 7, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province and tickets can be bought at VND20,000 each.

13. Phu Quoc Prison. Built in 1949-1950 by the French colonists to imprison those considered enemy of the colonist government, including high-ranking Vietnamese leaders. Recognized as a “special historical relic of national importance” by the Vietnamese government. “Tiger cage” is the most famous site in the prison covering an area of 40,000 square metres. It was closed after the country united but is now open to visitors again.

14. Nguyen Trung Truc Temple. Built in honor of the executed and considered local hero Nguyen Trung Truc. Tourists visit the temple every year during his death anniversary wherein they burn incense and pray to commemorate his act of bravery. A festival is also celebrated to rejoice in his heroism.

15. Phu Quoc fish sauce. Phu Quoc is famous for its fish sauce because of its traditional taste which has been preserved for over a decade. It’s ideal for souvenir or gift. There are more than 100 fish sauce producers in the place.

16. Ho Quoc Temple. Located at An Thoi Town which has a breathtaking viewof the beach as well.

17. Phu Quoc Market. A tourist attraction in itself wherein the lifestyle of the local people is highlighted by the different types of boats which come alive as early as dawn and sell varied kinds of fruits and seafood.

18. Rambutans. Duong Dong is abundant in this kind of fruit wherein every harvest season in June and July, the whole place looks red. Visitors can go to any garden and pick and eat the fruit for free.

19. Pepper gardens. Phu Quoc pepper is popular because of its unique strong but fragrant taste. It is also a popular souvenir or gift especially among tourists.

20. Seafood at Dinh Cau Night Market. Famous for its lobster, herring salad and snails, among others. The market is located at Duong Dong Town and is open everyday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.



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