Phú Quốc island – “Phú Quốc is a Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s known for white-sand beaches and resorts, most of which are along the palm-lined southwest coast. More than half of the island is part of Phú Quốc National Park, which features mountains, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails, and wildlife. Duong Dong is the largest town, with day and night markets selling crafts, produce and fish” Wikipedia.
To get there, you can book a flight from Hochiminh City, Ha Noi or other big cities of Vietnam. To enjoy the scenery of Mekong Delta, you can take the bus service from Hochiminh City to Ha Tien or Rach Gia province, then take the speedboat or ferry to the island. The bus trip will take around 7 hours. Most of the bus service is modern, comfortable and has wifi. The bus ticket is very cheap, around $6. Here are some bus service companies Phương Trang, Mai Linh, Kumho, Tuyết Hon, Hoàng Minh, Châu Hà, Ba Dũng…. Speedboat and ferry ticket is around $20.
Flights to the island provided by these company: Vietnam Airline, Vietjet, and Jetstar. Prices are from $100 to $300. Vietnam Airline is the most expensive one but also the most reliable one. I heard many delay problem with Vietjet and Jetstar from family and friends. If you check often, there are many tour company offer some very good deal package including resort and flights.
I love this island very much even though it is changing very quickly and losing its natural beauty, it still has many beautiful beaches and resorts. There are so many resorts to choose from. From $25/day to $500/day. We stayed at Eden Resort for $90/day and we really enjoy it. The resort has very friendly staffs, green environment, big swimming pool and a nice bar by the beach. The breakfast buffet is delicious and has many Vietnamese dishes and Western dishes to choose from. There are many beaches on the island with emerald clear water, white sand, and coconut trees. Please check this link for reference https://www.ivivu.com/blog/2015/10/12-bai-bien-dep-tua-thien-duong-cua-dao-ngoc-phu-quoc/
Taxi on the island is expensive. You can rent a motorcycle for a very affordable price and explore the island. Ridding a scooter and motorcycle on the island is not very dangerous due to very few traffic. But please ride slowly and stick to the right side of the road, to be safe. Most of the hotels and resorts will offer snorkeling and island tour service. They are so so very cheap, around$15 for all day snorkeling tour.
Foods here are good, cheap and the locals are friendly. One of the dishes I love the most is the gỏi cá trích phú quốc – Sardinella salad. Fresh Sardinellas have been cleaned and fillet then tossed in veggies vinegar, ground coconut meat, peanut, shallots an seasoning as salt and sugar. The flavor was mild and the main fresh fish flavor is stand out. Then the prepared fish fillet will be rolled with fresh herbs and dipping sauce made from peanut, fish sauce and fish stock. The whole dishes is just a fresh and full of flavor melted in your mouth.
The thing I love to do the most in Vietnam is going on a trip to the beach and enjoy fresh seafood with my family. Seafood is usually still alive in the tank and freshly caught early in the morning. If you wake up early, you can walk to the beach and see the fishermen who just came back from their fishing trip and buy some seafood from them. We went to Sông Lê Restaurant at Hàm Ninh Fishermen market and tried so many varieties that I never tried before. In the photo is cá kho tộ. The tộ in cá kho tộ refers to the clay pot this dish is traditionally prepared in, kho means braised or stew. The freshly caught fish stew in Phú Quốc fish sauce and peppercorn. If you haven’t heard of, Phú Quốc is the most famous place which made the most delicious fish sauce in the whole world. One of the famous brands is Red Boat fish sauce which is used by most of the famous chef and can be found at Wholefoods market or Sur la Table. Please avoid the seafood vendors at the night market. It isn’t a good idea to eat seafood at night in a lowlight condition on the sidewalk. I often heard about the low quality of those seafood vendors.
This is Mantis shrimp. I tried it for the first time and I really like it but it looks like the insect which I don’t like so I don’t think I will have it again next time. If you want to try them, ask the restaurant to cook them in two styles, one is steam and one is “deep fried with garlic” style. This way you can taste the shrimp as it is without seasoning and the second style is full of flavor.
Some of seashell and seahorses soak in vodka which I didn’t want to try but the local said that this herbal drink was good for men sexuality.
The island also has a lot of delicious varieties of tropical fruits as coconut, pineapple, durian, jackfruit.
The locals suggested a dish they said it was better than anywhere else, Hột vịt lộn – Balut. No need to describe this dish because I believe that you can easily google it. The local said the baluts in this area are very good because it came from the nearby mainland and the ducks are raised on clean water, rice, and seafood diet. I personally like it a lot but you won’t miss anything if you don’t want to try. It is sweet and flavorful like Oyster. The Hot Vit Lon in Vietnam always been served with Rau Ram – Vietnamese Coriander. The reason is, rau ram is an herb which can cool down our body, while Hot Vit Lon has a lot of nutrition and will make our body “hot” if we consume so many of them. Together, they will have a “ying and yang” effect. There is also salt, pepper, chili and lime juice for seasoning. Hot Vit Lon vendors often accompany by Nuoc Mia – fresh sugar cane juice stand.
Two days on the island seem too short. We had our last breakfast here with the seafood noodle, rice noodle served in pork broth and seafood topping. It was said to say goodbye to the lovely island with a promise to come back for more.