Phu Quoc Island is one of the rare and few paradises left on Earth.
It’s a gorgeous teardrop-shaped island, Vietnam’s largest, off the coast of Cambodia. Luckily for me, development hasn’t progressed too much yet on the unspoilt island, leaving me miles of white-sand beaches, secluded coves and local restaurants to explore.
Most of the beach bungalows, hotels and tourist restaurants are located on the Western coast of the island on Long Beach. The beach is lined with hammocks and deck chairs, ready for your disposal. Restaurants offer superb, but a bit pricey, food ranging from Western staples to traditional Vietnamese cuisine right along the shore. The sun shines down with hardly any shade to offer you cover. The water is clear and calm, making it perfect for cooling off from all the heat. Because of the clear water, you can also snorkel on off Phu Quoc’s shores. I’ve been told the snorkeling is better in the nearby smaller cluster of islands of An Thoi but even just off shore, I was able to view several types of colorful fish and crabs.
Relaxing on the beach has its perks but after a couple days of lazying on the beach, I found myself restless to DO something so I hired a motorbike. I set off to find local street food and hit the jackpot just after five minutes of driving. A woman had a food stand on the side of the road, selling some of the best bun (a bowl of cold vermicelli noodles topped with fresh vegetables, grilled BBQ pork and sweetened fish sauce) and fresh spring rolls I’ve tasted outside of Ho Chi Minh City! She was lovely too! We couldn’t communicate but we sure had a good laugh trying!
While I motorbiked around the island, I saw, to my dismay, a lot of development taking place with plans to build new hotels and resorts. The Vietnamese government has plans to up tourism by touting Phu Quoc as the next Phuket so move fast if you want to experience Phu Quoc at its finest.
You don’t want to miss this island while it can still offer you beautiful, secluded, calm and peaceful surroundings to escape to! You can’t enjoy a glorious sunset like this one while hundreds of others are surrounding you.
© Connie Hum 2010