Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

In the early 17th century, Phu Quoc was a desolate area, where Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants earned their living from sea cucumbers. From 1782 to 1786, Phu Quoc became a stronghold of Lord Nguyen Anh, later Emperor Gia Long, in his confrontation with Tay Son forces.

In 1869, the French occupied it and set up rubber and coconut plantations in the island. From 1967 to 1972, a P.O.W detention camp of 40,000 inmates during the war covering on 400 hectares was built at An Thoi by the Saigon regime.

After being liberated on 30 April 1975, Phu Quoc has been converted into an eal tourist destination for nature and sea lovers.

Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the hear-shaped island lies just 62 nautical miles from Rach Gia and nearly 290 nautical miles from Laem Chabang (Thailand). It covers an area of 567 sq. km (about 62 km long and 3-28 km we) and is situated at 10o01'-10o27' north latitude and 103o51'-104o50' east longitude. Its population is approx. 85,000 (2001).

Phu Quoc is called the island of "99 mountains" because of its many sandstone chains gradually descending from the north to the south. The longest one is Ham Ninh which stretches for 30 km along the eastern edge with its highest peak called Mt. Chua (603m).

Phu Quoc has a monsoon sub-equatorial climate. There are two seasons in the year: the rainy season (October only) and the dry season (November to September). The average annual rainfall is 2,879 m and the average temperature is 27oC. Trips to Phu Quoc can be made all year round, but the best time is dry season when the sky is always sunny, clear and blue.

Phu Quoc Natural Reserve: Established in 1986 and later expanded to a total are of 37,000 ha, Phu Quoc Nature Reserve with erse flora and fauna covers mainly the mountainous northern part of the island. There are nearly 929 tree species of which 19 newly-found species are first recorded in Vietnam. The forest is home to many species of birds and small mammals (flying squirrels, sloth-monkeys …) As explained by the French Larousse dictionary, the famous Phu Quoc dog is a well-tamed wild canine species which has become hunters' favorite companion. Trekking through the park should be done in the dry season only.
White sandy beaches: First-time visitors to Phu Quoc are often surprised of its beaches which look sugary-white and the water is so crystal-clear. All are rated to be the best in Vietnam. The most spectacular beaches mostly spread along the western coast and gather around the southern tip of the island. Not far from the district town, private beaches next to all kinds of cozy heaways are perfect for the family holay. For young couples, the best choice of a secluded heaven is deserted bays ringed by sand, bushes and hills at the southern tip of the island.
Dinh Cau Rock:Situated by the mouth of the Duong Dong River, Dinh Cau Rock is consered the symbol of Phu Quoc where sand, sea, sun, and stone blend in perfect harmony. It is not only an odd-shaped scenic beauty but also a quaint sacred holy place. Local fishermen pray to God here before setting sail. The romantic steps take you to the top, where you can feel the gentle sea breeze, watch sunset over the eroded rock formation and enjoy a peaceful view of the Duong Dong River.
Religion sites: Away from the hustle-bustle of the mainland, Phu Quoc is an eal serene retreat for those who wish to put away the time in contemplation or meditation. Quite a few temples and shrines lie scattered across the island, in the district town and in the surrounding countryse as well. Built in the early 19th century, Sung Hung Pagoda, with its original structure and intriguing statues, is well worth visiting. Nestled in thick vegetation on a hill se, Su Muon Pagoda is always an inspiration for visitors thanks to its unique blend of nature and architecture. All the rest is yours to discover and explore.
Duong Dong Riverse market: A nice way to get an insight into the life of a locality is socializing yourselves in its marketplace. Everything in Duong Dong market looks so different from anything else in town: huge fish, odd fishing tools … A lively and cheerful atmosphere permeates the marketplace from vendors in conical-palm hats sitting on the ground with their small baskets of little fruits and vegetables to salespeople at their big well-stocked stands. A walk to the market jetty where you can take wonderful snapshots of boats constantly loaded and unloaded in a hurry is also worth trying.
An Thoi Islands: Off the southern tip of the main island (30 minutes by boat from An Thoi), the 15 islands of An Thoi abound with with scenic beaches, azure waters, colorful coral reefs and colonies of erse fishes. Large of tiny, some of them are still uninhabited and perfectly pristine. A host of leisure activities awaits you such as swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing or just lounging. Don't fail to stop at a fishing village in Hon Thom to see the locals' daily chores and experience their friendliness. Boats can be arranged at your hotel.

Getting there and away

By Air : Vietnam Airlines ATR72 aircraft fly daily from Ho Chi Minh and 5 times from Rach Gia (Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri., Sat.) to Phu Quoc and back (2002 flight schedule).

By Ferry : Public boats ply between An Thoi (in the south) and Rach Gia (6 hours, daily) and between An Thoi (in the north) and Ha Tien (4 hours, once every other day). The best season for these short voyages is from late October to late September when the sea is calm.

Passport and visa

Citizens of south-east Asia countries don't need to have im-emmigrating certifications when entering Duongdong town within 15 days. If they want to go to other places from here (except restricted areas), they can get im-emmigrating certifications given by im-emmigrating management Offices of Duongdong town. Foreign-tourist ships can arrive or leave Duongdong harbor as the projects signed with Vietnamese tourist companies. Foreign tourist ships to Duongdong area & other areas(except restricted areas) have to obey the laws mentioned above.

Foreign cargo ships are allowed to arrive or leave Duongdong town to deliver or get cargoes as the contracts signed business-manufacturing organizations. The crewmen on these ships can use their passports or sailor's registers to enter Duongdong area issued by foreign authorities. If they deliver or get goods in other harbors of Kiengiang province, they have to obey Vietnam's current law.