Phú Quốc island, the biggest island in Vietnam. In case you haven’t heard of, it’s located in the South East, in the Gulf of Siam. On of a few places haven’t been polluted yet. Well, a little bit polluting, but it’s way better than Nha Trang or Hạ Long Bay.
Here comes the beach
Question: So beside beaches, what’s it famous for? – Uhmm, fish sauce, black pepper, Phú Quốc dog (I will waste your time by another post about this nice companion, haha) and their is new pearl farms.
Phú Quốc dog with his unique back
Phú Quốc fish sauce, it’s not a good idea to visit the place if you still not get used to the smell of the sauce.
Black pepper. Soil here is as red as the soil in Tay Nguyen, it’s really good for this kind of plant. No wonder the pepper here’s famous in Vietnam.
Getting the pearl.
Question: How to get there?
Answer: There are two ways, you can take plane from Tân Sơn Nhất airport to Phú Quốc airport. Another is by boats. I would prefer boat. From Ho Chi Minh city, get the bus Mailinh – Rạch Giá at 11pm so you can get there in the early morning and watch sunrise from the dock. Boat ticket to Phu Quoc is 270k, at that time. I’m pretty sure it gets more expensive now due to the rise of fuel cost.
Inside the boat – photo from phuot.com
The dock in early morning – photo from phuot.com
Phu Quoc has been a sleepy historical backwater for most of its history. During the Vietnam War the island housed South Vietnam’s largest prisoner camp (40000 in 1973, cf. Ngo Cong Duc, deputy of the Vinh Binh province, quoted in “Le régime de Nguyen Van Thieu à travers l’épreuve”, Etude Vietnamienne, 1974, pp. 99–131).
The temple on Cậu rock, which was built in 1937
After Mainland China fell under the control of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, General Huang Chieh led 30,000 Republic of China Army soldiers to Vietnam and they were stationed at Phu Quoc Island. Later, the army moved to Taiwan in June 1953. There is currently a small island in Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s Chengcing Lake that was constructed in November 1955 and named Phu Quoc Island in memory of the fleeing Chinese soldiers in 1949.
On May 1, 1975, a squad of Khmer Rouge soldiers raided and took Phu Quoc Island, but Vietnam soon recaptured it. This was to be the first of a series of incursions and counter-incursions that would escalate to the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in 1979.
Southern beach of the island
Bateau de peche
Hopefully, I’ve just add one more place into your list for this summer vacation. Wish you lots of joy.
Have a nice summer in Vietnam!
Saigonstay – All the best a local friend can give you!