Holidays in Phu Quoc
Lying in the Gulf of Thailand, around 40km off the southwest coast of Vietnam, the island of Phu Quoc is growing in popularity but remains relatively undeveloped, with secluded beaches and a lush landscape of dense forest and mangroves. With accommodation ranging from charming boutique hotels to luxury resorts, Phu Quoc is an ideal place to relax at the end of a trip.
With pristine beaches and azure waters, Phu Quoc is a place to unwind, soaking in the tranquillity of the island, relaxing on the beach and snorkelling through the warm waters to discover the colourful marine life.
Part of an archipelago of 28 islands, Phu Quoc is famed for its untouched, ivory-white beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Over 50% of the island is protected, leaving way for translucent waters and an abundance of colourful wildlife. There are national parks, traditional markets, and coral-fringed islets off the shore to explore.
What to See and Do in Phu Quoc
This is an ideal fly-and-flop destination after a tour of Vietnam or if you’re on your honeymoon thanks to the picture-perfect beaches and luxury resorts in Phu Quoc. It is largely a place to go and enjoy a relaxing hotel stay, but there are also a few nature-based activities to keep those with itchy feet occupied. Here’s what to do in Phu Quoc, tried and tested by our travel experts.
Visit An Thoi Islands
An Thoi Islands, a collection of 15 smaller islets, lie on the southern tip of Phu Quoc. Also renowned for their white sandy beaches, clear waters, and vibrant marine life, they give off a serious desert island vibe and are perfect for snorkelling and even better for diving. Going deeper you might see eagle rays or bamboo sharks, while closer to the surface are colourful fish including parrot fish, clown fish, butterfly fish and rabbit fish. A boat trip around the islands, with a stop for a picnic lunch is a highlight for visitors to the area.
Dinh Cau Night Market
For a taste of local culture and a chance to indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine, the Dinh Cau Night Market is high on our list of what to do in Phu Quoc. Located in the heart of Duong Dong town, this vibrant market comes to life in the evenings, when you’ll find a diverse array of street food stalls and fresh ingredients. Make your way around trying tantalising dishes such as fresh seafood, traditional Pho, and that famously sweet Vietnamese coffee.
Phu Quoc National Park
Phu Quoc National Park’s lush tropical rainforest is home to fabulously colourful flora and fauna. Hiking trails wind through the park, allowing you to explore the rich biodiversity and breathtaking views of the island. They vary in difficulty level. Some are more suitable for children such as the Guan Dao trail, which will take you past huge, ancient trees. Keep an eye out for the elusive Phu Quoc langur and colobus monkeys while you walk. More experienced hikers should follow the Ham Ninh Mountain trail, which will reward you with fantastic ocean views at the top.
Cua Can River runs through Phu Quoc Island, its clear, calm waters are decorated with schools of colourful fish, and the green riverbanks are home to fishing villages. Sao Beach is another great spot for kayaking. One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, it also offers up still waters to peacefully paddle through. Kayaking is a fantastic, inclusive family activity, with younger children and teens being able to join in.
Explore the beaches
There are 19 beaches on the island in total. Sao Beach is one of the best beaches in Phu Quoc. Located on the southeastern side of the island, its 7km of soft white sand is lapped by gently shelving crystal clear waters. It’s an idyllic setting to walk, swim and sunbathe under the palm trees, plus great for families. Other beaches worth exploring are Ong Lang, which has a wonderful sunset, Ganh Dau Beach, which is also known as Starfish Beach because of the bright red creatures floating in the shallow water, and Long Beach, where most of the resorts, restaurants and souvenir shops are located.
When to go to Phu Quoc
The best time to visit Phu Quoc is from November to May before it starts to get very hot in the summer. It’s a particularly good destination to end up in, after visiting other places in Vietnam, especially if you’re looking for beach time.
“Phu Quoc is a relaxing change of pace after the intense sights and sounds of Vietnam’s cities. This little Vietnamese paradise off the southwest coast offers visitors white sand beaches and sunshine over the festive period (December and January) when the beaches on the central coast are experiencing their rainy season.” Sophie Herbert – Travel Specialist, Scott Dunn Tailormade
Where is Phu Quoc Island?
Phu Quoc Island is in the Gulf of Thailand, between Vietnam and Cambodia, although technically part of Vietnam. Flying is the most convenient way to get to Phu Quoc, it takes an hour from Ho Chi Minh, with at least 10 daily flights departing. You could also go by ferry from Ha Tien and Rach Gia, which takes two and a half hours, however when the sea is rough boats often get cancelled.
Where to stay in Phu Quoc
One of the best luxury resorts in Phu Quoc is La Veranda. Its secluded French colonial-style mansion buildings are arranged around a bright blue swimming pool and surrounded by frangipani, hibiscus, and other delightful tropical plants. Its warm and friendly atmosphere is the influence of the founder 90-year-old Madame Catherine who decorated the rooms, combining fresh linens with teak furniture. Located right on a full-serviced beach, you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from the sunbeds and thatched parasols, but if you do manage to, head for the Tinh Wellness Centre where you’ll find heavenly spa treatments and yoga classes. There’s a fantastic restaurant serving local delicacies and a more casual, all-day dining deck on the beach. Activities largely centre around beach life but there is a kids’ club and excursions can be organised to see more of Phu Quoc Island.
Phu Quoc, Southern Coasts and Islands, Vietnam
La Veranda is a charming boutique hotel, located on the sandy shores of Vietnam's Phu Quoc island. With colonial-inspired décor, La Veranda aims to be a home away from home, offering a relaxed atmosphere combined with warm and friendly service.
Hanoi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho & Phu Quoc
Sample Hanoi's tantalising street food and discover Phu Quoc island's azure waters and lush forests on this spellbinding Vietnam tour. This 20-night trip is ideal for travellers who have time to play with. Our specialists have handpicked the most knowledgeable guides and enthralling experiences for you.
GBP £4,900 pp