Phu Quoc Island Vietnam: Best Things to Do & Top Things to See
Best Things to Do & to See in Phu Quoc Island: Tourist attractions in Phu Quoc prove that there’s plenty of things to do during your tropical vacation besides relaxing on its pristine beaches. Situated 45 kilometres west of Ha Tien, Phu Quoc Island is home to unique Cao Dai and Buddhist temples, vibrant markets, traditional fishing villages, and pepper plantations – perfect for travellers looking to experience the local lifestyle.
Despite the growing number of tourist accommodation and modern facilities along its expansive coastline, more than half of this tropical island is still a UNESCO-listed national park, where you can enjoy a full-day of spotting rare wildlife species, hiking, camping, photography and bird-watching. Read on for our list of the most popular things to do in Phu Quoc Island.
- Location: 26 kilometres north of Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc National Park takes up more than half of Phu Quoc Island, where nature lovers can spot rare wildlife and plants such as long-tailed macaques, silver langurs, otters, and hornbills. Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2010, a part of this verdant landscape is open to a wide range of activities such as camping, hiking, bird-watching, and photography.
If you’re looking to test out your endurance level, Mount Heaven in Phu Quoc National Park is accessible within a challenging four-hour trek through the evergreen forest followed by a 10 metre-tall bamboo ladder.
- Phu Quoc Prison:
- Address: 350 Highway 46, Phu Quoc Island
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 11:00 & 13:30 – 17:00
- Price Range: VND 3,000
Phu Quoc Prison is a bleak reminder of Vietnam’s turbulent history, where over 40,000 North Vietnamese soldiers were imprisoned during the Vietnam War. Built in 1949 by French colonists, this war museum now houses torture instruments, photographs of former detainees and exhibits of brutal punishments such as crucifixion, food deprivation, and electrocution.
A prominent site in Phu Quoc Prison is the row of tiger cages, where prisoners were kept in total darkness and subjected to extreme heat and cold for a prolonged period of time. Entrance fee is priced at VND 3,000 per person, with tours available in English, French and Vietnamese.
Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island is divided into 2 parts: the northern and southern ends, with the former housing most of the luxury resorts, restaurants, and tourist facilities on the island. There’s also a backpacker’s area called Long Beach Village located behind Tran Hung Dao Street. You can still find several public areas towards the south, while most of the beachfront are owned by various five-star resorts.
Long Beach is easily navigated on foot with walking distance, but we highly recommend you taking a motorbike or bicycle to explore traditional fishing villages and pearl farms, wchich is located on the southern end of the beach. As Long Beach is located on the west coast of Phu Quoc Island, many travellers usually make their way here during the late afternoon to enjoy breathtaking sunset views. It’s also an ideal place for sunbathing, snorkelling, and swimming, especially for those staying at the high-end hotels abd resorts.
- Suoi Tranh Waterfall
- Location: 7 kilometres west of Duong Dong
- Price Range: VND 5,000
Suoi Tranh Waterfall is a 4 metre-tall waterfall that’s surrounded by lush greenery, numerous walking paths, natural caves, and rock pools. Located 7 kilometres west of Duong Dong, nature lovers can enjoy recreational activities such as picnicking, jungle-trekking, camping and bird-watching.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike further up from the main waterfall site to visit Hang Doi (Grotto of Bats), which measures 200 metres in height and houses unique stalactites. Due to its close proximity to the main town, Suoi Tranh Waterfall is usually packed with locals during weekends and national holidays.
- Duong Dong Market
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
- Address: Tran Phu Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island
Duong Dong Market, located along Tran Phu Street, is Phu Quoc Island’s busiest and largest outdoor market. The best time to visit is in the early morning, where you can see the locals bargaining hard for household items, fresh and dried seafood, meats, sweets and fruit from mainland Vietnam.
Duong Dong Market also houses plenty of food stalls serving fresh seafood, fruit juices, and Vietnamese cuisine at relatively low prices. As the island is renowned for its mushroom, pepper and cashew nuts, we highly recommend picking up a few as souvenirs for loved ones back home.
- Sung Hung Pagoda
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
- Address: 7 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island
Sung Hung Pagoda is a combination of two shrines that were built in the early 10th century, making it the oldest of its kind on Phu Quoc Island. Set along Tran Hung Dao Street in Duong Dong Town, the front courtyard features a statue of the Goddess of Mercy, potted plants and Bodhi trees while the three-storey prayer hall houses three Buddha statues and intricate paintings of Buddhist mythical creatures and legends.
Open daily, visitors are advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the monks and locals who frequent Sung Hung Pagoda.
- Vinpearl Land Amusement Park
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 21:30
- Address: Bai Dai, Ganh Dau, Phu Quoc island
- Tel: 1 900 6677 ext. 2
- Price Range: VND 500,000 for adults, VND 400,000 for senior citizens & children below 140cm
Vinpearl Land Amusement Park features thrilling water slides, rollercoasters, outdoor and indoor arcade centres, amphitheatre, 5D cinema, and a wide range of dining options. Accessible within a 20-minute drive from Ong Lang Beach, Vinpearl Land Amusement Park is set between Vinpearl Phu Quoc Resort and Vinmec International Hospital.
Vibrant street performances, mermaid shows, and traditional dances are also held every day, making it an ideal destination for travelling families looking to enjoy a fun-filled day on Phu Quoc Island. Vinpearl Land Amusement Park also offers complimentary shuttle services for those who purchase tickets from travel agents within Duong Dong Town.
- Cao Dai Temple
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
- Address: 40 Nguyen Trai Street, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island
Cao Dai Temple has two outlets in Duong Dong Town, with the main (and newest) shrine located along Nguyen Trai Street. Founded in 1919, Cao Daism is a monotheistic religion which combines Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam. Currently, there are over two million people practising Cao Daism in Vietnam.
Cao Dai Temple easily stands out from other temples on Phu Quoc Island thanks to its technicoloured exterior and religious symbols such as Buddhist swastikas, Christian crosses, and Islamic crescent moons. The temple is open to the public, with worshipping ceremonies held between 06:00 and 12:00 every day.
- Ham Ninh Fishing Village
- Location: 15km northeast of Duong Dong
Ham Ninh Fishing Village attracts foreign visitors looking to experience the daily life of the local fishermen as well as enjoy authentic regional specialities. A 20-minute drive from Phu Quoc International Airport, there’s also a pier not far from the village, where you can enjoy relaxing views of colourful fishing boats, Ham Ninh Mountain range and coastline, and the Hai Tac Archipelago.
Ham Ninh Fishing Village is also renowned for its unique dishes such as sea cucumber soup, tram mushroom, and boiled flower crab as well as medicinal drinks made with seaweed, ginseng, seahorse, and rice wine.
- Su Muon Pagoda
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 18:00
- Location: 4 kilometres east of Duong Dong
Su Muon Pagoda sits atop a hill about four kilometres east of Duong Dong Town, where visitors can pay their respects, get fortunes told, or simply enjoy the peaceful ambience. Built in 1932 by accountant-turned-monk Nguyen Kim Muon, this pagoda is mostly frequented by locals thanks to its rather hidden locale.
The main hall is accessible via a 60-step stairway, housing colourful relics and golden statues of Buddha. As with most religious sites around the world, do dress conservatively and refrain from making noises during your visit to Su Muon Pagoda.
What is the Best Time to visit Phu Quoc Island Vietnam?
Being a tropical weather island near the equator and located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc has quite different climatic features. The island has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.
- The dry season in Phu Quoc: From late October to mid-May is the dry season in Phu Quoc. At this time, when the rains have ceased and the waves are not too intense.
- The rainy season in Phu Quoc: May to early October is the rainy season in Phu Quoc. Located at the gateway to receive the monsoon West – Southwest, the air humidity is often remarkably high.
There’s constant rain with strong waves that hinder traffic from the mainland to the island. Sudden rains, which are not too long but heavy, can cause danger to people on the road.
In particular, it can be difficult to explore on rainy days because of slippery roads and limited visibility.
Typhoon period in Phu Quoc: From July to September is the typhoon season in Phu Quoc. At this time, the rain and storms are often unexpected. Rain and wind are intense, and the streets are likely to be flooded with limited traffic on the sea.
The best time to visit Phu Quoc Island is from October to March. During this period, it’s less rainy, and the waves are smooth, so it’s convenient for taking a ferry from Rach Gia to Phu Quoc.
Please note that it’s also a peak travel season in Phu Quoc. Therefore, if you travel at this time, you should book your flight tickets and hotels in advance.
How to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc Island?
This guide will give you some options on how to get from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island. There are several ways that you can do this – by plane, by bus and ferry, as well as by private hire taxi.
The trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc will take around 10.5 hours by bus and ferry, 7.5 hours by private transfer (taxi) or if you are flying then the flight time is around 1 hour but you will need to allow further time for airport transfers and negotiating the airports.
The distance between Ho Chi Minh City and Phu Quoc is 378km in total and depending on your preferred method of transport the costs can range from USD19 to USD250 one-way.
- Flights from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc:
There are currently three operators that have daily flights from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc, namely Vietnam Airlines, JetStar Pacific and VietJet Air.
Vietnam Airlines have 3 daily flights from Ho Chi Minh's Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) which is located about 6km (4 miles) north of the city centre. Flight prices are definitely leave much to be desired and start from USD100 one-way but USD125-150 looks more realistic. This is, however, the most expensive option.
JetStar Pacific operate 4 more competitively priced daily flights with prices starting from about USD50 and flights leaving between 6.10am and 7.40pm.
The last but not least is VietJet which provides the cheapest option to fly between Ho Chi Minh's Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) – sometimes referred to as Duong Dang Airport. VietJet have 3 flights daily with prices starting from just USD30.
Once you arrive in Phu Quoc, you will discover that the transfer time to Duong Dang Town is very quick as the airport is only a few kilometres away. If you have a pre-booked hotel somewhere else on the island then transfer time may be a little longer though.
- From Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc by bus and ferry via Rach Gia
There are two ports that run ferry services to Phu Quoc, Rach Gia and Ha Tien. The fastest and most efficient way to get from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Phu Quoc is to use the Superdong fast boat service from Rach Gia Ferry Port. To do this you will first need to get a bus from Mien Tay Bus Terminal in Ho Chi Minh to Kien Giang Bus Station in Rach Gia. The journey will take about 7 hours at a cost of around USD7. Buses leave hourly between 1am and 11.30pm.
Inconveniently, Kien Giang Bus Station in Rach Gia is located 7km southeast of the city centre in Rach Soi so you will need to get a taxi to Rach Gia pier on arrival. Once you arrive at the pier you can then buy your ferry ticket at the Superdong office, which is located behind the pier at 14 Tu Do Street.
Note While there are many other vendors selling Superdong tickets around the pier, it is best to buy your ticket direct from the operator and you will need to show them your passport before they will give you the ticket.
The Superdong service is well known for being comfortable and efficient. It takes around 2.5 hours to complete the crossing to Phu Quoc from Rach Gia Pier. Tickets cost around USD15 for an adult and the service departs at 8am and 1pm daily, subject to good weather conditions. There are also additional services during the high season (December to April) at 9am and 12.40pm.
On Phu Quoc, you will arrive at Bai Vong Pier, which is on the east coast of the island and once you are back to firm land, the cheapest way to get to Duong Dong Town or Long Beach on the west coast is by using the shuttle bus, which costs USD1.50 per person.
Tip: Rach Gia is sometimes referred to as Kien Giang on bus signs and schedules, which can be confusing if you don't know that!
- From Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc by bus and ferry via Ha Tien
If you would prefer to use one of the other ferry services to get to Phu Quoc then you will need to make your way to Ha Tien first. There are 2 ways you can get to Ha Tien from Ho Chi Minh City.
The first would be to travel overnight using a night sleeper bus service (Phuong Trang – Futa Bus) from Mien Tay Bus Station to Ha Tien and then on to the pier itself. The journey time is between 8 and 9 hours and the buses leave at 8.30am, 10.30am, 8.30pm, and 10.30pm at a cost of USD7.50 per person.
The other option is to get the bus from Mien Tay Bus Terminal in Ho Chi Minh to Kien Giang (Rach Gia) first (about 7 hours at a cost of around USD7; buses leave hourly between 4am and 11.45pm) and then take a minibus to Ha Tien, which is 2.5 hours away (USD3). The best option is the Mai Linh Express air-conditioned buses, which depart hourly between 4.40am and 8.15pm.
When you have arrived at the ferry port in Ha Tien, you then have 2 further options to get to Phu Quoc. You could choose the Superdong fast service from Ha Tien to Bai Vong Fast Boat Pier in Phu Quoc, which is the recommended option, provided you don't have a car. The journey takes about 1.5 hour and tickets are USD10 per person. The fast Superdong service leaves from Ha Tien daily at 8am and 2pm. There are also additional services during the high season (December to April) at 7.30am, 10.00am and 12.30pm daily.
Note: Another point worth making is that if you are travelling by motorbike then the fast Superdong service is still an option for you at an additional cost of USD8 per bike.
The other ferry service from Ha Tien is the slower car ferry service operated by Thanh Thoi, which goes to either Vinh Dam Port or Da Chong Port in Phu Quoc and takes 3.5 hours and 2.5 hours respectively. The car ferry is large and can accommodate around 400 passengers, 200 motorbikes and up to 20 cars. While there is not generally a need to book car ferry tickets in advance, it is always a good idea especially in the high season.
The ferry to Vinh Dam Port in the south of Phu Quoc departs at 4.30am, 7am, 10am, 12.30am daily and tickets cost USD8 per person, USD4 per motorbike and USD31 if you have a car.
If you are planning on going to Da Chong Port in the north of Phu Quoc then the ferry leaves Ha Tien at 5.30am, 2.30pm, 5pm daily and the tickets cost the same as the ferry to Vinh Dam Port - USD8 per person, USD4 per motorbike and USD31 if you have a car.
The car ferry is reasonably comfortable and there is plenty of space to move around on the outside deck or, if you prefer, you can relax inside on the reclining chairs. There is also a cafe bar on-board where you can grab drinks and light snacks.
After you arrive at either Vinh Dam Port or Da Chong Port in Phu Quoc you will probably need to get a taxi into Duong Dong Town. If you are using the fast service or the slow ferry to Vinh Dam Port then this should only cost a few dollars but from Da Chong Port in the north of the island it is likely to bit quite a bit more as the distance is further.
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