Camping Season in Southern Vietnam
Noodle Street: Nguyễn Qúy Đức, An Phú, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Edible flowers in Vietnamese Cuisine
The Odes: A Collection
Hiking the Con Dao Islands
Quy Nhon Food Guide
Lonely Planet Experience Vietnam

Phu Quoc Island

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  1. Phu Quoc Island, North & East Coasts

    Phu Quoc Island: North & East Coasts

    Newly completed roads have opened access to the beaches, bays, forests & hamlets of the north & east coasts of Phu Quoc Island. Previously difficult to get to, these parts of Phu Quoc are the least developed, most characterful & charming on the island….

  2. Lahana Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, Independent Review

    Lahana Resort Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    An excellent, tasteful mid-range resort on a lush hillside with a fabulous infinity pool overlooking the trees & ocean….

  3. The Spring-Hopping Loop, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Spring Hopping Loop | Phu Quoc Island

    Several refreshing streams run cool & clear off the spine of jungled mountains along Phu Quoc Island’s eastern flank, all linked by quiet back-roads…

  4. Camia Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Camia Resort, Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    A lush, tasteful & understated property with a narrow but beautiful beachfront & two elegant infinity pools, Camia Resort is a good value mid-range place to stay on Phu Quoc Island…

  5. Núi Đá Bạc Mountain Trekking Guide, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Núi Đá Bạc Mountain Trek | Phu Quoc Island

    Offering stupendous views, this is a fun & rewarding hike to the top of one of the jungle-clad escarpments lining Phu Quoc’s eastern flank…

  6. InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, Independent Review

    InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort | Independent Review

    Immaculately clean, well-designed, well-maintained, well-run & luxurious, the InterContinental features outstanding facilities, spacious & well-equipped rooms & a great beach…

  7. Phu Quoc's Beaches, Vietnam

    Phu Quoc’s Beaches: A Guide

    A halo of sand encompasses this green & forested island in the Gulf of Thailand. But Phu Quoc is currently undergoing major development, so now is the time to visit its beaches, before it’s too late (in some cases, it already is)…

  8. Where to Eat Seafood on Phu Quoc Island

    Where to Eat Seafood on Phu Quoc Island

    Away from the tourists & towns are several clusters of local, informal, atmospheric, reasonably priced, fresh, fun, friendly & scenically located seafood restaurants…

  9. Camping on Dragon Beach & the Northern Bays, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Camping on Dragon Beach & the Northern Bays | Phu Quoc Island

    Sleeping on the sands of the beautiful & deserted northern beaches is a real adventure & an experience that will stay with you for a long time…

  10. 21 Great Places for Cocktails on Phu Quoc Island

    21 Great Places for Cocktails on Phu Quoc Island

    Stylish sky bars with sunset views, windowless speakeasies with professional mixologists, rustic-chic wine bars above the waves, cheap beach shacks & much more…

  11. Bún Kèn noodle soup, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Bún Kèn Noodles | Island Broth

    A speciality of Phu Quoc Island, bún kèn is an underrated dish that deserves a place in the pantheon of Vietnamese noodle soups. Packed with fish, fruit & colour, it’s a tropical island in a bowl.

  12. Trekking to Đỉnh Tiên Sơn Peak | Phu Quoc Island

    Trekking to Đỉnh Tiên Sơn Peak | Phu Quoc Island

    Ascending steeply through thick rainforest, a pathway leads to a nest of giant boulders atop Đỉnh Tiên Sơn, from where there are stunning 180-degree views…

  13. Mango Bay, Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    A long-time favourite beach retreat for travellers & expats, Mango Bay is still the best place to stay on Phu Quoc Island in its class & price bracket. Mango Bay offers guests both comfort & a connection to nature, but not one at the expense of the other…

  14. Huu Tri ‘Donut’ Shack | Phu Quoc

    A local, hole-in-the-wall, Vietnamese-style ‘donut’ shack on Phu Quoc Island, Huu Tri specializes in bánh chiên (fried dough). For over a generation, this family-run business has been serving hundreds of bánh chiên made freshly on the premises each day…

  15. Bamboo Cottages, solar-powered resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Bamboo Cottages Off-Grid Resort, Phu Quoc Island

    Situated on one of Phu Quoc Island’s most attractive & least developed bays, Bamboo Cottages is a small, tasteful, mid-range beach resort powered by solar energy….

  16. Gold Coast Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Gold Coast Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    In the northwest of the island, Gold Coast is a mid-range resort with excellent food, a good beach, easy access to local life & superb views of Phu Quoc’s rugged northern bays & jungles

  17. Bún Quậy Kiến Xây, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc Island

    Bún Quậy | ‘Stirring’ Noodles

    A seafood noodle soup native to Phu Quoc Island but with roots in the central coastal region of the mainland, bún quậy literally means ‘stirring noodles’…

  18. Premier Village Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

    Premier Village Resort Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    A luxurious resort in a spectacular location comprised of large villas with private pools, two beaches & a plethora of high-end facilities. Premier Village would usually be out of my budget. But, due to unique pandemic-related circumstances, my friends & I were able to stay for a reduced rate…

  19. Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc, Independent Review, Vietnam

    Mövenpick Resort Waverly Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    An enormous, five-star accommodation on a long beachfront with great facilities, the Movenpick is ideal for large families with children or travelling groups…

  20. The Pier Phu Quoc Resort, Vietnam, Independent Review

    The Pier Phu Quoc Resort | Independent Review

    A small, modern, mid-range resort on Phu Quoc’s lesser-known east coast, The Pier occupies a fabulous position beneath jungled hills with sweeping coastal views.

  21. The Shells Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, Independent Review

    The Shells Phu Quoc | Independent Review

    Quirky but classy, The Shells is a modern resort on the west coast of Phu Quoc Island, offering generously proportioned rooms with sea-views & lots of light & space…

  22. Thanh Kieu Resort, Phu Quoc Island

    Thanh Kieu Beach Resort, Phu Quoc Island

    The unsung hero of seafront, mid-range accommodation on Long Beach, Thanh Kieu Resort is an exceptionally lush, peaceful, and unassuming place to stay on Phu Quoc Island. It’s been my go-to resort for years…

  23. Paradiso Beach Club, Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island

    Paradiso Beach Club, Phu Quoc Island

    Occupying the best spot on Bai Sao, the most popular beach on Phu Quoc Island, Paradiso Beach Club is a great place to chill, drink, eat & swim…

  24. Phu Quoc Island by ferry boat, Vietnam

    Phu Quoc Island by Boat

    Taking the boat between the Mekong Delta & Phu Quoc Island is fun, cheap, convenient & relatively hassle-free. A huge increase in fast boats & car ferries operating on several routes, means it’s now easier than ever to reach Phu Quoc Island by sea….

Popular Guides

  1. The Hai Van Pass: Motorbike Guide

    One of the most famous roads in Vietnam, the Hai Van Pass weaves around a mountainous stretch of coastline in Central Vietnam, linking Danang & Hue

  2. 23 of the Best Beaches in Vietnam

    23 of the Best Beaches in Southern & Central Vietnam

    With a coastline of over 3,200km & thousands of islands lying offshore, Vietnam is a great beach destination. Blue bays, hidden coves, white sands, swaying palms & dramatic cliffs, Vietnam has it all….

  3. Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: All 8 Episodes Reviewed

    Anthony Bourdain in Vietnam: All 8 Episodes Reviewed

    Anthony Bourdain felt a special attachment to Vietnam. Over the course of his TV career, he filmed multiple episodes in the country. I’ve pulled together & reviewed all 8 of his Vietnam shows…

  4. 25 of the Greatest Riding Roads in Vietnam

    25 of the Greatest Riding Roads in Vietnam

    Vietnam has some incredible riding roads: possibly some of the most scenic in the world. Based on my experience of riding around Vietnam for the last decade, I have compiled a list of what I consider some of the greatest riding roads in Vietnam…

  5. The Best Street Food Streets in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

    7 Great Streets for Street Food in Saigon

    Saigon is arguably the best place to explore Vietnam’s extraordinary street food scene. The city boasts so many street food outlets that it feels like a gigantic open-air restaurant. This is my guide to 7 of the best streets for street food in Saigon…

  6. Ha Giang Extreme North Motorbike Loop, northern Vietnam

    Ha Giang Extreme North Motorbike Loop

    Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northern-most province, is home to a mythical landscape of conical limestone peaks & craterous valleys. Over the years, it has gained an almost legendary status among travellers. This motorbike loop is perhaps the most thrilling road trip in the country…

  7. Plants, Flowers & Trees of Vietnam

    Plants, Flowers & Trees of Vietnam

    The colours, shapes, sizes, smells & variety of flora in Vietnam is mesmerizing. In this guide I’ve compiled an illustrated index of some of the flowers, plants & trees I regularly see in Vietnam’s countryside & cities….

  8. Saigon to Hanoi by motorbike: 5 Suggested Routes

    Saigon to Hanoi by Motorbike: 5 Suggested Routes

    Thinking about riding the length of Vietnam by motorbike? Here are 5 great routes between Saigon and Hanoi, each one specifically designed to suit the needs of different travellers, based on scenery and time frame among other things….

  9. Phu Quoc's Beaches, Vietnam

    Phu Quoc’s Beaches: A Guide

    A halo of sand encompasses this green & forested island in the Gulf of Thailand. But Phu Quoc is currently undergoing major development, so now is the time to visit its beaches, before it’s too late (in some cases, it already is)…

  10. The Ho Chi Minh Road, Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh Road: Motorbike Guide

    Stretching almost 2,000km along the mountainous spine of Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh Road is fast becoming famous as one of the finest motorbike rides in Asia. Now fully paved from Saigon all the way to Hanoi, this is my updated and extended guide to the entire Ho Chi Minh Road….

  11. The Cafe Apartment on Nguyen Hue Street, Saigon

    The Cafe Apartment on Saigon’s Walking Street

    Boasting over 30 independent coffee shops & fashion boutiques, the old apartment block at No.42 Nguyen Hue is the coolest address on Saigon’s Walking Street. I call it the Cafe Apartment: this is my complete floor-by-floor guide…

  12. Climbing Fansipan mountain independently, without a guide, Vietnam

    A Guide to Climbing Mount Fansipan Independently

    Known as the ‘Roof of Indochina’, Mount Fansipan is the highest mountain in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. At 3,143m (10,312ft) it’s a ‘real’ mountain. But Fansipan can be climbed independently, without a guide or porters or any specialist climbing equipment, in one day…..

Mountain Retreats

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  1. Auberge de Meo Vac Mountain Lodge, Chung Pua, Ha Giang

    Auberge de Meo Vac Mountain Lodge, Ha Giang

    A timber, tile & rammed-earth structure encircling a stone courtyard surrounded by a stone wall with haunting limestone peaks looming all around, the Auberge de Meo Vac is a remarkably atmospheric place to stay in Vietnam’s northernmost province, Ha Giang….

  2. Where to Stay in Phong Nha: A Guide

    Backpacker dorms, family homestays, boutique farmstays & luxurious lakeside bungalows: here’s my independent guide to accommodation in & around Phong Nha….

  3. Homestays in Pu Luong Nature Reserve, northern Vietnam

    Homestays in Pu Luong Nature Reserve

    Set among sublime landscape just a few hours southwest of Hanoi, the homestays in Pu Luong Nature Reserve are some of the most atmospheric & romantic places to stay anywhere in Vietnam….

  4. Ivory Falls Villa Resort, Di Linh Highlands, Vietnam

    Ivory Falls Villa, Di Linh Highlands | Review

    Surrounded by coffee farms, tea plantations, rice paddies & fruit trees, Ivory Falls Villa is a quiet, secluded & peaceful place to stay in the mountains & valleys of the Central Highlands…

  5. Ana Mandara Villas Resort, Dalat, Vietnam

    Ana Mandara Villas, Dalat

    17 beautifully restored French colonial villas on a pine-studded hillside, Ana Mandara Resort & Spa keeps the romance of Dalat alive. Luxury accommodation in the Central Highlands doesn’t get more atmospheric than this…

  6. Pan Hou Village Ecolodge, Ha Giang, Vietnam

    Panhou Village Ecolodge, Ha Giang

    Deep within the folds of steep mountains & plunging valleys, Panhou Village Ecolodge is set in the middle of a remote & seldom-visited part of Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northernmost province….

  7. Lak Tented Camp, Lak Lake, Dak Lak, Vietnam

    Lak Tented Camp | Independent Review

    With luxury safari-tents & lakeside bungalows spread over a lush hillside on the shores of Lake Lak in the Dak Lak highlands, Lak Tented Camp is an atmospheric accommodation with a deep attachment to the natural environment…

  8. Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa, Lao Cai, Vietnam

    Aira Boutique Sapa Hotel & Spa

    On the edge of Sapa town, Aira Boutique is a brightly-painted, alpine-style lodge affording spectacular vistas across the plunging, mist-filled valley, with the jagged peak of Mount Fansipan casting a long shadow over the scene. Aira is one of Sapa’s best higher-end accommodations…

  9. Vu Linh Homestays, Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai Province, Vietnam

    Vu Linh Homestays, Thac Ba Lake

    Vu Linh is a rural commune on the eastern shores of Thac Ba Lake, where several excellent homestays offer atmospheric lodgings & access to the lake & local community….

  10. Victoria Nui Sam Mountain Lodge, Chau Doc, Vietnam

    Victoria Nui Sam Mountain Lodge

    Built on a rocky escarpment near the summit of a scared mountain, Victoria Nui Sam Lodge offers tasteful, well-appointed rooms with fantastic views over acres of rice fields. It makes a great stopover when travelling through the Mekong Delta…

  11. Ba Be Lake homestays, Bac Kan Province, Vietnam

    Ba Be Lake Homestays

    At Ba Be Lake, limestone cliffs meet the placid water at right angles, creating a spectacular backdrop to Vietnam’s largest natural lake. On its southern shores, where the terrain is slightly less vertical, several dozen homestays offer cheap, atmospheric accommodation & excellent home-cooked food….

Coastal Routes

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  1. Dragons' Graveyard Coast Road, Cà Ná to Phan Rang, Vietnam

    Dragons’ Graveyard Coast Road | Cà Ná to Phan Rang

    Chiseled into the cliffside high above the sea, this stunning coast road negotiates a boulder-strewn promontory where people say dragons come to die…

  2. Nui Chua Coast Road

    Nui Chua Coast Road | Phan Rang to Cam Ranh

    Probably the most scenic coastal route in Vietnam, this is a meandering ocean road skirting the edges of a green & rugged peninsula…

  3. The Sand Dune Highway: Mui Ne to Ca Na Coast Road

    Sand Dune Highway: Mui Ne to Ca Na Coast Road

    A short, scenic, easily navigable & rewarding road trip through desert-like landscape on excellent coast roads between Mũi Né & Cà Ná…

  4. Tomb Rider: Hue to Dong Hoi on Back-Roads by motorbike, Vietnam

    Tomb Rider: Hue to Dong Hoi on Back-Roads

    Covering nearly 200km of completely empty beach, coastal back-roads lead from the old imperial capital of Hue to the beach city of Dong Hoi. Scattered with thousands of traditional-style tombs, this coastal region is rarely explored by foreign visitors…

  5. The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Dong Hoi

    The Coast Road: Saigon to Hoi An & Beyond

    Thanks to new coastal roads, it’s now possible to ride from Saigon to Hoi An, and beyond to Dong Hoi, following the coast all the way & avoiding the busy main artery of Highway 1 for the vast majority of the route. This is a salty, sunny, sandy & scenic road trip….

  6. The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne, Vietnam

    The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne

    The scenic route between Saigon and Mui Ne, the Ocean Road is an easy, feel-good road trip, with a great balance of off-the-beaten-track experiences & creature comforts. Ride it in a day or linger for a week soaking up all it has to offer…

  7. The Hai Van Pass: Motorbike Guide

    One of the most famous roads in Vietnam, the Hai Van Pass weaves around a mountainous stretch of coastline in Central Vietnam, linking Danang & Hue

  8. Son Tra Peninsular, Danang, Vietnam

    Son Tra Peninsula, Danang | Motorbike Guide

    A rugged headland at the northern tip of Danang’s municipal beach, Son Tra offers mountains & forests, cliffs & coves, wildlife & centuries-old banyan trees, lofty mountain passes with majestic views & sandy beaches untainted by concrete high-rises….

  9. Hoi An-Danang-Hue by Motorbike

    Hoi An→Danang→Hue by Motorbike: 3 Routes & Loops

    There are now four different routes between these three cities in Central Vietnam. Each route has something different to offer: choose between The Coast, The River, The Mountains, or The Tunnel…..

  10. The Twin Passes: Cổ Mã & Cả

    Historically, four great passes have divided what is now Vietnam. These occur at the four points along the coast where spurs from the Truong Son Mountain Range spread eastwards to the sea. Of these, my favourites are the ‘twin passes’….

Recently Published & Updated

  1. Camping Season in Southern Vietnam

    Camping Season in Southern Vietnam

    A period of ideal weather conditions for sleeping outside in the varied landscapes of the south, Camping Season lasts from December to March…

  2. Noodle Street: Nguyễn Qúy Đức, An Phú, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Noodle Street: Nguyễn Qúy Đức, District 2

    A wide variety of noodle dishes from across Vietnam all within a few steps of each other on a tree-lined street in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City…

  3. Edible flowers in Vietnamese Cuisine

    Edible Flowers in Vietnamese Cuisine

    Vietnamese cuisine utilizes edible flowers in myriad ways. Flowers are healthy and aromatic, adding colour, flavour and texture to many dishes…

  4. The Odes: A Collection

    The Odes | A Collection

    Over the years, I’ve written ‘odes’ in praise of aspects of Vietnam: from natural phenomena to types of food to specific places & personalities…

  5. Four Points Danang by Sheraton Hotels

    Four Points by Sheraton Danang | Independent Review

    On the seafront road along Danang’s long, sweeping beach, the Four Points by Sheraton is a high-rise hotel with a rooftop pool, bar and excellent views…

  6. The Golden Loop, Motorbike Guide, Central Vietnam

    The Golden Loop | Motorbike Guide

    Nowhere in Vietnam is there such variety of landscape & richness of culture as in the central provinces, a region best explored by motorbike…

  7. Can Tho→Con Dao Islands Express Ferry

    Can Tho→Con Dao Express Ferry

    A fast ferry route connecting the largest city in the Mekong Delta with Con Son Island in the Con Dao Archipelago…

  8. Hiking the Con Dao Islands

    Hiking the Con Dao Islands

    One of the most pristine natural environments in Vietnam, several hiking trails traverse the Con Dao Islands offering sensational views…

  9. Quy Nhon Food Guide

    Quy Nhon Food Guide

    An up-and-coming beach city on the south-central coast, Quy Nhon has a vibrant dining scene, featuring fresh seafood & a host of local specialities…

  10. Guide to expenses for a motorbike road trip in Vietnam

    Expenses for a Motorbike Road Trip in Vietnam

    A guide to essential daily costs & how much to budget for your road trip in Vietnam…

  11. Fresh herbs & spices in Vietnamese Food

    Fresh Herbs & Spices in Vietnamese Food

    A gardener & home cook walks you through the most commonly used fresh herbs & spices that are fundamental to Vietnamese cuisine & culture…

  12. The Secret Con Dao Resort, Independent Review

    The Secret Con Dao | Independent Review

    Featuring minimalist décor & contemporary design, The Secret is a luxury resort on the beautiful & elegant seafront road on Côn Sơn Island…

  13. Nui Chua Coast Road

    Nui Chua Coast Road | Phan Rang to Cam Ranh

    Probably the most scenic coastal route in Vietnam, this is a meandering ocean road skirting the edges of a green & rugged peninsula…

  14. Lonely Planet Experience Vietnam

    Lonely Planet Article

    For the new Lonely Planet ‘Experience Vietnam’ book, I explore the joys, history & practicality of motorbiking Vietnam…

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