Phu Quoc: An island paradise in Vietnam, says UK magazine

Phu Quoc, which is Vietnam’s largest island, is hailed as a much-loved destination among tourists, foreign and domestic, and caters to all budgets, according to UK magazine The Week.
Phu Quoc: An island paradise in Vietnam, says UK magazine
Vinpearl Resort & Spa on Phu Quoc island. (Photo: VNA)

In its article entitled ‘Phu Quoc travel guide: an island paradise in Vietnam’, the magazine said that Phu Quoc is famous for its endless palm-dotted, ivory-sanded beaches, more than half of the island is a pristine national park. This creates a glorious vision of deep jungle green fringed with pale cream beaches, surrounded by an ocean of jade fading to deep blue.

The island has changed dramatically over 10 years and will continue to do so – go soon, while there’s plenty of space to get lost, dirt tracks to drive down for hours to hidden beaches, friendly faces everywhere and delicious, local bars, cafes, street food and restaurants.

The Week provides its readers with recommendations on the beaches, food and drink, and things to see and do on Phu Quoc Island.

Phu Quoc: An island paradise in Vietnam, says UK magazine
Canoes take tourists out to May Rut Island, one of the most pristine and beautiful islands in the Phu Quoc chain. (Photo: VNP/VNA)

According to the magazine, much of what happens on the island is focused on Long Beach, where the majority of beach clubs, restaurants, shops and bars are located.

Even at the expensive end, these places are super-cheap by Western standards, with local beers starting at around 2 GBP.

Further north up the coast from Long Beach is Ong Lang, home to a few, quieter resorts, the sand dotted with limestone rocks and the occasional bar or restaurant.

Meanwhile, the south is home to some of the island’s best beaches – in part because of a steady, cooling breeze which rolls in off the sea, whisking away some of that sticky heat. Broad swathes of the beach are largely quiet with few people, gentle waves and a cooler sea temperature.

Regarding eating and drinking, there are countless options for dining in Phu Quoc – from plastic stools around food carts on the street, to modern takes on classic dishes and high-end luxury seafood spots.

A few must-tries on the island, available all over, are the Phu Quoc-style herring salad with onions, garlic, chilli and coconut; ‘ken’ noodles with herbs, pounded fish, shredded green papaya and cucumber over rice noodles with a coconut and lemongrass broth; and grilled sea urchins with spring onions and peanuts.

Visitors can enjoy a lot of things to see and do in Phu Quoc – the home to some of Vietnam’s best diving with the core season from October to May. There are waterfalls to hike to, fishing trips, temples and pagodas, the world’s longest cable car out to the small island of Hon Thom, and a knock-off version of Disneyland called ‘VinWonders’.

Mainly, Phu Quoc is about downtime, about relaxing, reading, snoozing in the shade of palm trees by the lapping sea, and eating well and inexpensively.

The island has everything from backpacker hostels for a few bucks a night, to ultra-luxe hotels.

The Week suggested several upscale properties for holidaymakers to stay in Phu Quoc, namely Regent Phu Quoc, La Veranda, and JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa.

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