Phu Quoc Island Beach Guide, Vietnam

Phu Quoc Island: Beach Guide

Last updated November 2023 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

Tom, Vietnam Coracle

Tom Divers is the founder and creator of Vietnam Coracle. He’s lived, travelled and worked in Vietnam since 2005. Born in London, he travelled from an early age, visiting over 40 countries (he first visited Vietnam in 1999). Now, whenever he has the opportunity to make a trip, he rarely looks beyond Vietnam’s borders and his trusty motorbike, Stavros. Read more about Tom on the About Page, Vietnam Times and ASE Podcast.


Vietnam’s largest island and one of the country’s most popular coastal destinations, Phú Quốc has dozens of excellent beaches. This guide covers all 21 beaches on Phú Quốc Island, including tips for accommodation, food and drink, and things to see and do on each one of them. Phú Quốc has all kinds of beaches: from rustic, empty and undeveloped to sophisticated, modern and resort-studded; from budget backpacker enclaves to secluded, luxurious private bays. Don’t listen to the naysayers: Phú Quốc is not ruined. There is something for everyone on this island. It’s all about managing your expectations and finding the right beach and the right accommodation to suit your particular needs: that’s what this guide is for. I’ve spent many, many months exploring Phú Quốc Island and I love it. Yes, trash can sometimes be a problem, but this is a much more nuanced and complex issue than most foreign visitors have time to appreciate.


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Phu Quoc Island Beach Guide, Vietnam

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21 BEACHES ON PHU QUOC ISLAND


Finding Your Perfect Beach on Vietnam’s Largest Island

The following beaches are listed in order of my own personal preference. (Note that this guide does not include the small islands off the southern tip of Phú Quốc.) I’ve written a description of each beach, plotted them on my map, illustrated them with photos, and included my tips for places to stay with links to check rates and make bookings. I’ve listed accommodation in three price categories: ($)=budget, ($$)=mid-range, ($$$)=high-end. The best time to visit is from November to April or during the shoulder months (October and May) when prices are lower, availability is higher and tourist numbers are fewer. As well as my map, try to get a copy of the annually updated free tourist map of the island, available at most hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants. (Remember there’s much more to Phú Quốc than beaches: check out my other Phú Quốc Island guides in Related Posts.) Click a beach below for details and photos:

CONTENTS:

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Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

MAP:

Phú Quốc Island Beach Map

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1. Ông Lang Beach: 

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  • Location: central north-west coast
  • See & Do: sandy & rocky beaches, low-key vibe, lots of good accommodation, drinking & dining, temples & plantations

Description: Peaceful, calm, low-key and low-rise, Ông Lang is a series of connected mini-bays, coves and beaches just 15 minutes north of Dương Đông, the island’s main town. Taking everything into consideration – natural beauty, range and quality of accommodation, drinking and dining options, proximity to conveniences and transportation, the balance of development and the natural environment – Ông Lang is the best overall beach for travellers on Phú Quốc Island. Rather than a long, unbroken beach, Ông Lang is a mixture of soft sand punctuated by slabs of black rock and small jungle-clad bluffs that meet the clear, calm, vivid-blue sea. Being on the west coast, Ông Lang boasts some of the best sunset views on the island. The beach is backed by coconut palms, casuarina trees and tropical fruit orchards along most of its length. Inland, between the beach and the main road, a leafy network of paved lanes and dirt alleyways was, before the pandemic, a thriving tourist enclave of boutique stores, organic-produce shops, hipster cafes, smooth bars and Western restaurants. Today, many of the businesses have closed, but there are signs of a return to the vibrancy of the pre-pandemic period.

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Unlike other popular beaches on the island, most of the development on Ông Lang has been low-rise and relatively low-impact. Despite being one of the best-known and popular beaches on Phú Quốc, Ông Lang has somehow managed to retain a low-key atmosphere and it remains an extremely attractive place to stay for a few days on the island. Whether you’re a family, a couple, or a group of backpackers, Ông Lang Beach has got you covered. The general level of accommodation across all budgets is excellent. Luxury and mid-range resorts are along the beachfront, while most of the cheaper options are inland, just a few minutes’ walk from the sea. Mango Bay is quite simply one of the most atmospheric resorts in Vietnam, but Camia, Ancarine, Coco Palm, Ocean Bay, Chen Sea and The Shells are also very nice indeed. Excellent budget options include Island Lodge, Ninila Fruit Farm, and Coco Garden.

Photos of Ông Lang Beach:

Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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2. Rạch Tràm Beach: 

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  • Location: north coast
  • See & Do: long, empty, beautiful beach, swimming, camping, remote fishing community

Description: Right at the northern tip of the island, Rạch Tràm is by far the most remote and least-visited of all the beaches and bays on Phú Quốc Island, and yet it is also one of the most beautiful. Completely undeveloped, Rạch Tràm features kilometres of fine white sand beneath arcing coconut palms lining a calm, clear, turquoise sea. Rạch Tràm fishing hamlet, at the southern end, is a scruffy-looking collection of corrugated-iron dwellings and wooden fishing boats. While there’s some trash from the village in the sea and on the sand, the further north you go along Rạch Tràm, the cleaner it gets. The 10km branch road to the beach is now wide and paved, making access easier than ever before. At the end of the road, bear right along a hundred meters of dirt track, then left down a sandy path until you reach the sea. From here, head north along the sands and enjoy the completely empty beach and wonderful sea swimming. There are plans to make the area into an ‘eco-tourism’ site, but for now there’s no accommodation whatsoever. If you have a tent, camp out on the sands for a memorable night. Behind the beach, densely jungled hills rise into the sky where birds of prey circle; and in the distance, the silhouettes of the Cambodian mainland and islands are clearly visible.

Photos of Rạch Tràm Beach:

Rach Tram Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Rach Tram Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Rach Tram Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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3. Gành Dầu Beach: 

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  • Location: north-west coast
  • See & Do: wonderful coastal vistas, watersports, good accommodation, fishing village, street food, seafood restaurants, local life

Description: On the remote northwestern tip of the island, Gành Dầu is a fascinating little corner of Phú Quốc. Gành Dầu is a rocky, jungle-clad cape within just a few of kilometres of Cambodia, whose forested islands and rugged mainland can be seen across the glistening sea. Gành Dầu is a bustling fishing village with an active and interesting market, a harbour full of wooden boats, an ornate temple, and lots of street food and local life. Either side of the village there are short, sandy beaches and coves which are very pretty and good for swimming. The western beach is close to the village and lined with some good seafood restaurants, such as Biên Hải Quán, a couple of great beachside bars with sea views (check out Chill Bistro and 40six Beach Haus, which are perfect for cocktails and a swim as the sun sets behind the Cambodian islands), and a waterfront raised wooden walkway leading along the rocks to the south.

But, the best way to experience Gành Dầu is to take the paved lane east of the village, through the market and out to a collection of good, small, beach resorts. Here, coconut palms grow tall over spits of white sand, and the sea is calm and blue. By far the best place to stay (and eat and drink and swim) is Gold Coast with it’s lovely little beach, wooden house restaurant by the sea, and great cocktails served on a pier with sunset views. If you’re looking for something cheaper, Kim 2 is a good option. There’s also a range of watersports available at Gió Biển.

Photos of Gành Dầu Beach:

Ganh Dau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ganh Dau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ganh Dau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ganh Dau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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4. Hàm Rồng (Dragon) Beach: 

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  • Location: north coast
  • See & Do: beautiful beach only accessible by boat, excellent swimming, beach camping, watersports

Description: Only accessible by boat, Hàm Rồng (Dragon) Beach is a long, narrow lip of white sand sliding into shallow, turquoise water backed by dense jungle with dramatic hills rising behind. The location is beautiful. There’s no development here apart from some wooden platforms for daytrip picnics and group camping, and a boat house for watersports equipment and a small homestay hut. The stunning 10-minute boat ride can be arranged from any of the seafood restaurants on neighbouring Rạch Vẹm (Starfish) Beach, just to the south. With some negotiating, you should be able to get the price down to a reasonable 100,000vnd per person for a group of at least four people. Dragon Beach has two rickety wooden piers at either end, but the boat can drop you anywhere you like along the sand. The northern end is popular with day-trippers and it looks like there’s going to be some small development here, so if you want a peaceful, quiet and isolated patch of sand, stick to the southern end. Out in the distance, you can see the jungle-covered hills of Gành Dầu, the northwestern-most point of Phú Quốc, beyond which the Cambodian islands and mainland are clearly visible. There’s currently no accommodation on Dragon Beach, but this may change soon. However, wild camping on the beach is a magical experience if you have your own equipment.

Photos of Hàm Rồng (Dragon) Beach:

Ham Rong (Dragon) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ham Rong (Dragon) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ham Rong (Dragon) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ham Rong (Dragon) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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5. Vũng Bầu Beach: 

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  • Location: north-west coast
  • See & Do: long, beautiful beach, quiet, green, modest development, great swimming

Description: One of the most attractive bays on the island, Vũng Bầu is a long, arcing stretch of sand on the north-west coast. Development has been very slow and most of the beach is still empty. There are a handful of mostly low-key resorts at the northern end, but the south remains untouched. However, much of the central and southern section are roped off to visitors and there are rumors that Vingroup has acquired the land, which usually heralds the beginning of gigantic resort construction and the destruction of all trees. But, for now, travellers can enjoy the lovely sands and sea of the northern bay, particularly at Bamboo Cottages, Gold Sand, and Wild Beach, which are all quiet, small, low-rise mid-range properties. The classy Nam Nghi Resort, which occupies the beautiful northern cape, was under renovation at the time of research, but promises to reopen with a new ‘island bar’ on the little islet just offshore. Access to Vũng Bầu is easiest from the north via the paved road to Nam Nghi and then the dirt road to the small resorts. It’s also possible to take the dirt road from the south, past Green Bay Resort, and through the jungle to a small section of beach right at the southern end. The centre of the bay is off limits.

Photos of Vũng Bầu Beach:

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Vung Bau Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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6. Cửa Cạn Beach: 

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  • Location: north-west coast
  • See & Do: long, local beach, fishing village, temples, riverside restaurants, good accommodation, watersports, low-key vibe

Description: Mellow, slow-paced and yet to be developed, Cửa Cạn is a small settlement in the north-west of the island, situated at the point where a clear-flowing river empties into the sea. As it drains into the Gulf of Thailand, the river creates a long sandbar lined with casuarina trees, with the sea on one side and the river on the other. The village is a bit run-down, but it’s a friendly place with some street food and several tiny alleyways leading onto the beach. It’s a lovely spot under the casuarina trees with Dinh Bà Thủy Long temple facing the ocean. The sea is good for swimming, but the beach suffers from trash: it functions as an informal dump for the village. There are two excellent resorts at the northern end of Cửa Cạn Beach: Green Bay and Chez Carole. Much cheaper but still very atmospheric accommodation can be found just back from the beach, overlooking a lagoon formed by the river: Eco Lodge and Eco Lagoon. There’s also a good local seafood restaurant here, called Huỳnh Bình. To the south of the river mouth, although not technically Cửa Cạn Beach, the Mộ Bà Lê Kim Định shrine is an OK place to swim and the enormous, very well-equipped and well-run (if a bit characterless) Movenpick Waverly Resort has a great stretch of beach too.

Photos of Cửa Cạn Beach:

Cua Can Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cua Can Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cua Can Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cua Can Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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7. Rạch Vẹm (Starfish) Beach: 

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  • Location: north coast
  • See & Do: good beach & bathing, snorkeling with starfish, excellent floating seafood restaurants

Description: Reached via a sandy lane, which itself is off a long red-dirt road traversing the densely forested northern coast, Rạch Vẹm (better known as ‘Starfish Beach’) is remote, and this has so far kept development away. Over the last few years, Rạch Vẹm has become a popular day/lunch trip (especially for domestic tourists) due to its abundance of floating fish farms (which double as excellent seafood restaurants) and the hundreds of red starfish that live in the shallow water here. It’s a very beautiful location: the sand is backed by coconut palms and the water is blue and clear. The southern section is scruffy and suffers from litter, but the further north you go, the cleaner and more beautiful it gets. As everywhere else on the island, resort development is on its way, but as yet there’s no large-scale tourist development at all. At present, there’s nowhere to stay on Starfish Beach, although camping is possible if you have your own equipment or you can ask to rent one of the many hammocks on the sand for a night. Don’t miss a seafood lunch or dinner at one of the many waterside restaurants, particularly Nguồn Sống and Ngàn Sao Biển. In the high-season months, inflatable slides float offshore for children (and adults) to enjoy.

Photos of Rạch Vẹm (Starfish) Beach:

Rach Vem (Starfish) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Rach Vem (Starfish) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Rach Vem (Starfish) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Rach Vem (Starfish) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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8. Cây Sao Beach: 

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  • Location: east coast
  • See & Do: serene coastline, very green & dramatic scenery, up-and-coming beach area, good accommodation, beach bars, seafood restaurants

Description: Only in the last few years, since the east coast road was paved, have visitors started to flock to the alluring coastline of Cây Sao. This long, enchanting section of the east coast is one of the most up-and-coming beaches on the island right now. In large part this is due to the laid-back vibe, quiet setting and beautiful natural surrounds of Cây Sao. But it’s also because Rory’s Beach Bar relocated here from the west coast several years ago, suddenly shining a light of this part of Phú Quốc and giving travellers a reason to visit. Rory’s is a popular long-running island establishment and the new location is an oasis of trees, pools, rocky coves, wooden decks, treehouses, bungalows and, of course, the bar and restaurant itself. To the north and south of Rory’s several very good small resorts dot the rocky coastline, including The Pier, Kiki Coconut, and Cây Sao Beach Resort, among others. These are all great places to soak up the tranquil atmosphere and paddle in the shallow waters of the east coast. Though it may lack the long sandy beaches of other parts of the island, Cây Sao has a charm and isolation that’s more and more appealing to me with each passing year, especially as construction, crowds, and the general paraphernalia of mass tourism continue to take over much of the rest of the island.

Photos of Cây Sao Beach:

Cay Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cay Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cay Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Cay Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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9. Trường (Long) Beach: 

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  • Location: central & south-west coast
  • See & Do: long stretch of sand, good swimming, loads of accommodation, bars, restaurants, partying, shopping, watersports, selfie-parks

Description: Aptly named, Long Beach (Bãi Trường) stretches for almost 20km along the southwestern coast of Phú Quốc. Beginning just south of Dương Đông town and stretching almost as far as An Thới on the southern-most tip of the island, the beach’s yellow sand is backed by rows of coconut palms, and the sea is placid and clean for much of the year (November-May). Long Beach is by far the most developed on the island, boasting hundreds of places to stay, drink, dine and shop for all budgets. However, this also means that it is the most densely populated beach on the island, and the central and southern sections are the scene of some of the most intense and large-scale development on Phú Quốc. Long Beach can be roughly divided into three sections: the north (from Dương Đông down to the airport), the centre (from the airport to the Intercontinental), and the south (down to the cape near Đất Đỏ Beach):

The northern section of Long Beach is the original Phú Quốc tourist strip. This is where the majority of visitors to the island stay, in one of the many good budget, mid-range, and high-end accommodations available. In general, the mid- and high-end resorts are on the beach side of the road, while the budget guest houses, hostels, restaurants and bars are on the other side. These days, the road is pretty busy and unpleasant. But, head down any of the smaller lanes to the seaside resorts, and the beautiful, palm-studded beach reminds you why all this development is here in the first place. However, it’s getting pretty cluttered along the beach, and noise pollution can be an issue at night. But, providing you’re staying in good, beachside accommodation, the northern section of Long Beach is still a very satisfying place to spend a few days on the sand. I love the lush, calm oasis of Thanh Kiều right on the beach or the beautifully judged Lahana Resort which is on a hillside away from the beach and is also home to one of the best backpacker digs, 9Sation Hostel. Salinda is a solid luxury option. The northern section is also the drinking and partying capital of the island: check out Bittersweet, OCSEN and Chuồn Chuồn for a start.

The central section of Long Beach begins south of the International Airport, where huge chunks of beachfront are portioned off to different international resort developers: Pullman, Novotel, Hyatt, Intercontinental etc., each have giant slabs of land featuring huge resorts, many of which are still under construction. This area is generally referred to as Dương Tơ. If you’re not staying at one of the large resorts, you can still enjoy the beach here by visiting places like Sunset Sanato Beach Club where there are creative sculptures by the sea designed for selfies, or the Sailing Club for good food and drink, or INK 360 rooftop bar at the InterContinental for extraordinary views.

The southern section of Long Beach stretches beyond the Intercontinental, where yet more enormous resort developments are underway. But, even further south, construction dissipates a bit, leaving the old red dirt road to plough its course along the serene coast all the way to Mũi Xếp Cape. Here, there are still a couple of deserted stretches of beach to bathe in the calm, clear sea. Unfortunately, trash and construction debris are a problem.

Photos of Trường (Long) Beach:

Truong (Long) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Truong (Long) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Truong (Long) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Truong (Long) Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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10. Thơm Beach: 

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  • Location: north-east coast
  • See & Do: exploring a large, empty coastline, beach-hunting, seafood restaurants, camping opportunities, small islet, local hamlets

Description: Thơm Beach has a stark beauty. Silent, still, hot, sparsely populated and filled with the scent of cashew fruit and the sound of midday cicadas, there’s something beguiling about this remote northeastern coast of Phú Quốc Island. The sandy, pebbly, rocky beaches are mostly hidden from view – reached via dirt tracks off the main road – and the water is very shallow and tidal. At the northern section of Thơm Beach is a fishing hamlet consisting of just a few local shops, a couple of seafood restaurants, fishermen’s houses and a school. Local Beach is a good place for a drink or a quiet night by the sea. South of the village is the central section of Thơm Beach, characterized by charming, tranquil stretches of sand beneath tall tropical trees, many of them with informal local seafood restaurants, such as Hương Biển Quán. The southern section of Thơm Beach stretches from the tiny green islet of Hòn Một all the way down to Đá Chồng port. Hòn Một islet is worth visiting by crossing the rickety wooden bridge, and there are good beachside restaurants near here too. Phu Quoc Camping and Bãi Thơm Retreat is a lovely location for a meal and a swim or a night under the stars. Overall, Thơm Beach is a quiet, undeveloped coast perfect to exploration, but sometimes litter can be an issue.

Photos of Thơm Beach:

Thom Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Thom Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Thom Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Thom Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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11. Sao (Star) Beach: 

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  • Location: south-east coast
  • See & Do: good white-sand beach, seafood restaurants, watersports, cafes, beach bars

Description: Sao Beach, with its leaning coconut palms, snow-white sand and distinctive butane-blue water, is one of the most popular and striking beaches on the island. Once touted (optimistically) as the ‘Best Beach in Vietnam’, Sao is still a very attractive stretch of sand to walk along and swim. By far the most beautiful part of the beach is at the northern end, where the excellent Paradiso Restaurant & Bar has a wonderful breezy terrace beneath tall palms and loungers on the sand. But, sadly, for the rest of the beach, the writing has been on the wall for several years, and there are many reasons for this. Its increasing popularity has led to haphazard, temporary construction of small resorts, bars, cafés and restaurants; trash has built up – squeezed into the narrow freshwater creeks that feed onto the beach and into the sea; and jet skis fill the water with gasoline, break the silence and pollute the air. Today, I personally find Sao Beach quite a sad place and a sad sight. Even though the dirt road to the beach has finally been paved and people still flock to Sao by the thousands each day, it’s a shadow of its former self. And it’s no surprise that massive resort development – which was always inevitable and surely part of the reason why the temporary structures were of such low quality – is now on the way. It’s going to take a lot of work to reinvigorate Sao Beach for the future. (There’s another beach just to the south of Sao, called Bãi Giữa, hidden down a paved lane, which is worth a visit, although trash is a problem.)

There are a couple of places to stay right on Sao Beach, including My Lan which offers simple, clean but soulless rooms. Better accommodation is found inland on the road leading to the beach, such as DAD Resort and Xuân Hiền, which are both good, small, modern resorts with swimming pools.

Photos of Sao Beach:

Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Sao Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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12. Bãi Bổn Beach: 

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  • Location: north-east coast
  • See & Do: quiet, serene, green area, scenic drive, local hamlet, remote port, beach-hunting opportunities

Description: Bãi Bổn is the name of a small, sleepy hamlet on the lovely East Coast Road. North of the hamlet all the way to Đá Chồng port is a long stretch of coast with hardly any development on it whatsoever. The sea can be reached via narrow sandy lanes leading through tropical foliage to the beach. The water is very shallow and, although there are some sections of sand, much of the coastline is pebbly. Take your time and explore until you find a good spot. There’s something calm, serene and charming about the coast here, especially with the sea breeze rustling the palms, eucalyptus and mango trees, the silhouettes of the Cambodian mainland on the horizon, and the thick jungles of Phú Quốc National Park in the background. So far, there are only a couple of places to stay, the best of which is Hideaway Beach Glamping, with safari-style tents on a shady beach. A short detour to Đá Chồng port is worthwhile to see the eerie passenger terminal for the ferry to Cambodia, which has long since ceased to operate, and the small fishing fleet. In Bãi Bổn hamlet you’ll find a couple of stores and street food vendors, but there’s nothing much else around: this is one of the most tranquil parts of the entire island.

Photos of Bãi Bổn Beach:

Bai Bon Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Bon Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Bon Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Bon Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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13. Khem & Ông Đội Beach: 

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  • Location: south-east coast
  • See & Do: scenic drive, massive luxury resort complexes, seafood restaurants, good beach

Description: At some time, in between restricted access due to military control and the development of the absurd luxury resort JW Marriott Emerald Bay, there was a brief period – probably less than a year – when the snow-white sands of Khem Beach were accessible to the public. But that time has pretty much gone now. The central and southern portions of the bay are taken up entirely by luxury resorts and residences, although it is still possible for non-guests to drink and dine at some of the beachfront restaurants and bars. All this leaves only a tiny slither of beach at the northern end for public access, where there’s a decent local seafood restaurant on the sand. Otherwise, there’s very little reason to visit Khem Beach. However, branching south of the beach, a paved lane leads along a steep and jungled hillside by the sea, all the way to Ông Đội Cape. It’s a beautiful little ride but dead-ends at the entrance to the upscale property Premier Village. This luxurious resort consists of white villas built on stilts over the rocky bay and sandy coves of the entire cape. It’s a luxurious and secluded place to stay, especially with a group, if you can afford it. Just west of Ông Đội Cape is Cây Dừa Beach, which looks enticing but is off limits due to a naval base.

Photos of Khem & Ông Đội Beach:

Khem Beach & Ong Doi Cape, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Khem Beach & Ong Doi Cape, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Khem Beach & Ong Doi Cape, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Khem Beach & Ong Doi Cape, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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14. Đất Đỏ Beach: 

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  • Location: south-west coast
  • See & Do: excellent beachside local seafood restaurants, fish sauce factory, fishing scenes, decent beach
  • Where to Stay: none

Description: Accessed via a bumpy dirt road from the south or the north, Đất Đỏ Beach is a pretty bay bookended by two small headlands that frame an attractive stretch of sand and calm waters in the south-west of the island. The bay is nice enough (although the surroundings are quite scruffy) and there are a handful of very good local seafood restaurants (try Quán Ngọc Đông) right on the sand at the northern end of the beach. The swimming is pretty good if you want to work up an appetite before a seafood feast. But the beach’s primary focus is the production of cá cơm khô – dried anchovies – which are laid out to dry in their hundreds of thousands on wooden trestles on the sloping beach to be used in the production of the island’s famous fish sauce. It’s quite a sight. There’s no development on Đất Đỏ Beach yet: it is still a working beach, rather than a leisure beach. At the moment, there’s no accommodation here, but there’s lots of rooms to the south at the gigantic, hideous Sun Group resort-theme park-cable car monstrosity.

Photos of Đất Đỏ Beach:

Dat Do Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dat Do Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dat Do Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dat Do Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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15. Dài Beach: 

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  • Location: north-west coast
  • See & Do: good beach, waterpark, safari, aquarium, golf, casino, shopping malls, big resorts

Description: This long stretch of fine sand beach with turquoise water used to be one of my favourite beaches in Vietnam. Just a few of years ago, Dài Beach was completely undeveloped, save for a handful of seafood shacks dotted on the grass beneath the shade of large tropical trees. However, that changed dramatically when Vingroup moved in (as they always do) to build a mega-resort complex, including theme parks, aquariums, safaris, waterparks, casinos, golf courses, enormous hotels, and rows upon rows of luxurious faux-Roman villas. Collectively known as Vinpearl, this development now sprawls along the entirety of Dài Beach. To make way for this, thousands of old-growth tropical trees were cut down. Today, Dài Beach is a entertainment complex which many visitors enjoy, but it’s not my thing. If you’re staying at one of the many big hotels here, the swimming is still fine and the bay is still quite beautiful.

Photos of Dài Beach:

Dai Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dai Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dai Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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16. Dăm (Pagoda) Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: south-east coast
  • See & Do: large & ornate pagoda complex, scenic drive, decent beach, wild honey farm, vegetarian restaurant
  • Where to Stay: small resorts

Description: Accessed via a scenic, concrete road curling along the south-east coast, Bãi Dăm is a wide, mostly rocky bay, where dense jungle meets the sea from the hills behind. I’ve given it the name ‘Pagoda Bay’ because of its most famous attraction, the recently completed Hộ Quốc Temple, with its colossal sculpture of Quan Âm (the Goddess of Mercy) presiding over the pagoda complex and looking out to sea. The pagoda itself is impressive, serene, and very attractive, with lots of shrines, long staircases and sculptures of deities from the Buddhist pantheon. Its position looks out over the bay, across the dark blue sea and down to Vịnh Đầm port, just to the south. Visit in the afternoon (about 4pm-5pm) for the low light and a beautiful cool, scented breeze off the forested hills. The Trúc Lâm vegetarian restaurant is fine for lunch. Beyond the pagoda, where the road ends, it’s possible to find a couple of quiet, secluded spots for a waterside chill and a swim, although trash is a problem. At the southern end of the bay, near the main road, there’s another little shrine called Miếu Hoàng Tử and a wild honey farm and shop. There’s no accommodation on the bay itself, but there are a few decent small resorts at the beginning of the entrance road.

Photos of Dăm (Pagoda) Beach:

Dăm (Pagoda) Beach, Chùa Hộ Quốc, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dăm (Pagoda) Beach, Chùa Hộ Quốc, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Dăm (Pagoda) Beach, Chùa Hộ Quốc, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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17. Dương Đông Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: west coast
  • See & Do: local market, night market, small beach, fishing fleet, seafood restaurants, street food, local life, temples

Description: Right in the middle of the west coast, Dương Đông is a sprawling, bustling town of the sort you’d expect to find on the mainland. A massive increase in population, fueled partly by the tourism boom and partly by domestic migrants arriving from other provinces as far afield as the north, Dương Đông is a busy, frenetic place, filled with street food (don’t miss bún kèn and bún quậy, both are island specialities), beeping traffic and busy people. The main market is fascinating, as is the river which winds through town, its black waters clogged with fishing vessels and cargo barges. At its mouth is Dương Đông harbour, where a fleet of wooden tour boats lie at anchor and a slender new pier for cruise ships reaches out to sea. Riding a motorbike along the old airport runway is a lot of fun. There’s a small beach to the south of Dinh Cậu temple, a shrine to the sea goddess atop a rocky outcrop at the harbour’s entrance. Bathing here is quite nice but trash from the fishing fleet can be a problem. A sleek new hotel, Seashells, occupies a prime position overlooking the harbour and ocean. For much cheaper accommodation, there are dozens of local guest houses and mini-hotels in town, such as Nipola. Just north of the harbour are several small budget accommodations on the seafront, such as Chill House. The popular night market (chợ đêm) is a bit too touristy for my tastes, but it’s a good place to sample some seafood. Also near the night market, is Phú Quốc’s ornate Cao Đài temple.

Photos of Dương Đông Harbour:

Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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18. An Thới & Xếp Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: south-west coast
  • See & Do: local market, street food, bustling port, fishing village, lighthouse, cable car & gigantic Sungroup beach development

Description: A lively, busy little town at the southern tip of the island, An Thới is Phú Quốc’s main fishing port. Away from its bustling main street lined with shops, markets and street food stalls, the harbour is an interesting place to explore. There’s an entrance fee (10,000vnd) for the main terminal and pier, but you can get to the habourfront just next to it, where the smaller fishing boats are moored, for free. The fishing-related activity is interesting but the water is filthy. Boat tours to the An Thới Islands (just off Phú Quốc’s southern tip) also depart from An Thới’s main terminal. There are some good, cheap hotels in town, including Phung Hung Boutique which has a rooftop bar, and Hotel D’Anna.

Around the back of town (due west), Bãi Xếp is a sheltered bay reached by a series of narrow alleyways. It’s home to a massive fleet of wooden fishing boats and quite a rough-looking fishing community, whose crumbling homes lie under the path of the Hòn Thơm cable car, the concrete pylons soaring into the sky and stretching into the distance out to sea. There’s a sandy beach here which is good to look at, but it’s a working beach and the water isn’t particularly clean. Around the back of Bãi Xếp (due south) a lighthouse stands on a rocky rise with good views over town and towards the An Thới Islands. It can be accessed via a steep and narrow concrete path.

In fact, the best view of Bãi Xếp and An Thới is from above: seen through the windows of the cabins of the Hòn Thơm cable car. The cable car station is on a bluff just north of Bãi Xếp, accessed via a separate road. The scale of the project is astonishing – it’s one of the longest oversea cable cars in the world. The concrete pylons are colossal columns that look like the legs of a Wellsian alien from ‘War of the Worlds’, traipsing across the sea from island to island. It’s impressive, but also rather hideous, as is the entire Sungroup megadevelopment attached to the cable car. It’s not my kind of thing, but it’s fascinating for its sheer scale, if nothing else.

Photos of An Thới & Xếp Beach:

An Thoi, Bai Xep Beach & Hon Thom cable car, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

An Thoi, Bai Xep Beach & Hon Thom cable car, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

An Thoi, Bai Xep Beach & Hon Thom cable car, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

An Thoi, Bai Xep Beach & Hon Thom cable car, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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19. Hàm Ninh Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: central east coast
  • See & Do: excellent local seafood restaurants, street food, markets, local life

Description: Once a thriving port, Hàm Ninh village is now best-known for its fresh seafood restaurants, which used to be clustered along a pier, until it collapsed into the sea. Now, the restaurants line the coast road due north of the village. Some of them are excellent, including Tình Biển which offers a range of fish, shellfish and crustaceans served on a wooden platform extending out over the ocean. The village itself is a small but lively fishing community on the central east coast. Hàm Ninh doesn’t really have a beach. Rather, it’s a cluster of concrete and corrugated-iron dwellings crowded around a small river mouth as it empties into the sea, where a collection of wooden fishing vessels lie at anchor in the murky waters. So, leave your swimwear at home and come with a good appetite for a seafood feast. Hàm Ninh also has a good local market with lots of street food stalls out front. It’s busiest during the mornings and late afternoons.

Photos of Hàm Ninh Beach:

Ham Ninh Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ham Ninh Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Ham Ninh Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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20. Bãi Vòng Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: central south-east coast
  • See & Do: take/watch the ferries come & go from the mainland
  • Where to Stay: a couple of budget accommodation options

Description: Bãi Vòng is a broad bay on the south-east coast. For some visitors, Bãi Vòng is their first impression of the island, because this is where all the fast boats and car ferries from the mainland arrive and depart. The wide, long bay is impressive enough when seen from the boats as they approach the island, especially with the forested hills of Phú Quốc National Park rising behind. But, in reality, Bãi Vòng is more of a port than a beach: a transportation hub rather than a place to relax on the sand. There are a few shops and snack outlets around the fast boat pier at the northern end of the bay, but very little else of interest, except to watch the boats as they come and go. The northern portion of the bay is sandy and lined with casuarina trees, but the water here is often thick with jellyfish and not very clean. The southern section of the bay is mostly rocky and given over to industry. There are a couple of decent, cheap places to stay near Bãi Vòng which might be useful if you have to take a boat early the next morning.

Photos of Bãi Vòng Beach:

Bai Vong Port, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Vong Port, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Vong Port, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Bai Vong Port, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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21. Vịnh Đầm Beach: 

[View Map]

  • Location: south-east coast
  • See & Do: under construction
  • Where to Stay: under construction

Description: A sheltered bay on the south-east coast, Vịnh Đầm is in the process of becoming a major port and naval base. The southern half of the bay is undergoing large construction for port and naval facilities, while the northern part of the bay has been partitioned off for large resort development. With access to the southern half controlled by the navy, and most of the northern half roped off for construction, it’s very difficult to actually get onto the bay at all. In short: there’s nothing much to see or do here at the moment, but it’s likely that Vịnh Đầm resort and entertainment complexes may open within the next couple of years.

Photos of Vịnh Đầm Beach:

Vinh Dam Port, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

*Disclosure: My content is always free and independent. I’ve written this guide because I want to: I like Phú Quốc’s beaches and I want my readers to know about them. For more details, see the Disclosure & Disclaimer statements and my About Page

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Leave a Comment

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. Jane says:
    February 18, 2024 at 10:51 PM

    Hi. If I could I’d like to ask you a question or three please? We are a family of 4 with children 24 and 20. We like to both relax and also see what places have to offer and explore. We’re visiting in August. Would you say Phu Quoc or somewhere else like Nha Trang (we’ve been to Danang) would be best for weather and experience please? Open to ideas but I would like a paradise beach if possible. Thanks.

    1. Tom says:
      February 20, 2024 at 1:19 PM

      Hi Jane,

      Phu Quoc isn’t at its best in August, unless you stick to the south of the island or the east coast. Although resorts are much cheaper at that time of year.

      You should consider Con Dao Island, Quy Nhon and the beaches to the north and south of it, such as the Crown Retreat and Timothe Beach.

      Nha Trang and Cam Ranh would also be good.

      Best,

      Tom

  2. Rachelle McDermott says:
    April 15, 2023 at 9:04 PM

    Hi Tom

    Congratulations on an awesome website, I am finding it very useful as I research my family’s upcoming trip

    One question, I am planning on heading to Phu Quoc in July. I understand it’s not the best time to travel there but wondered if it’s rains for short bursts or whether it’s likely to rain for days on end

    Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    Rachelle

    1. Tom says:
      April 16, 2023 at 1:38 AM

      Hi Rachelle,

      Yes, that’s the rainy season on Phu Quoc. I was actually living on the island at that time of year in 2021. There was quite a lot of rain, but the main issue is that the sea can be relatively rough and grey, which means that swimming isn’t that good/easy, especially on the west coast.

      On the other hand, tourist numbers are fewer and hotel prices are lower. It’s difficult to make a decision. I think if you want to guarantee sun, sea, sand and swimming then July might not be the best month, and you might be better off choosing a different beach destination: Con Dao, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Hoi An, Da Nang all have better weather and sea conditions at that time of year.

      Best,

      Tom

      1. Rachelle says:
        April 16, 2023 at 1:43 AM

        Thanks so much, really appreciate your advice!

  3. Ladislav says:
    November 7, 2022 at 4:41 AM

    Hi Tom,
    first of all thanks a lot for your amazing website. All the articles with the attached google maps are very useful. The best website and guide to Vietnam, we have found.

    I would have a very specific question, if you wouldn’t mind. We are going to Phu Quoc an Tuesday and will be staying until Friday. Unfortunately, on Wednesday evening we have
    to join a very important online meeting (a start-up pitching competition). We are searching for a place to stay, where they have a stable internet connection and maybe even a laptop, which we could borrow for the 1-hour long evening session (we have only phone with us). Would you have an idea, which hostel/homestay/place would be open to such a special wish and would have a good internet connection?

    Thanks a lot!
    Ladislav

    1. Tom says:
      November 8, 2022 at 11:11 AM

      Hi Ladislav,

      The internet is pretty stable on the island. However, if you want to be more certain of a good connection and of being able to communicate successfully to staff what you need (a laptop, for example), I think you will find it much easier in a mid-range accommodation, rather that a budget one. Also, a place that’s nearer town, rather than on an isolated beach.

      You should also buy a Vietnamese SIM card and get data, then you have a back up if the internet connection isn’t stable.

      Best,

      Tom

      1. Ladislav says:
        November 13, 2022 at 5:08 PM

        Hi Tom,
        thanks a lot for your answer. All accommodations which we visited on Ong Lang beach had really fast wifi, so we ended up in one of those. And it went well eventually. 🙂

        Best regards,
        Ladislav

        1. Tom says:
          November 14, 2022 at 5:13 AM

          Hi Ladislav,

          I’m glad to hear that.

          Tom

  4. Johanna says:
    February 9, 2021 at 3:38 PM

    Thank you so much for your amazing travel guides. I’ve a question about visiting Phu Quoc in late March/early April, and was hoping you could help. What is the weather typically like at that time of the year? Thank you in advance.

    1. Tom says:
      February 10, 2021 at 6:14 AM

      Hi Johanna,

      Thanks for your message.

      Usually the weather on Phu Quoc is March/April is very good: dry, sunny, bright and very hot 🙂

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Johanna says:
        February 10, 2021 at 2:55 PM

        Thanks! Yes, helpful. Chúc mừng năm mới!

  5. Vanessa Barbiero says:
    January 29, 2020 at 1:42 AM

    Hey! Just spent the day at Ham Ninh and the bridge to the floating fishing village collapsed. It’s very difficult to get there now. Very sad.

    1. Tom says:
      January 29, 2020 at 7:03 AM

      Hi Vanessa,

      Sorry to hear that. And thank you for the update – much appreciated.

      Tom

  6. Thomas says:
    January 21, 2020 at 9:55 AM

    Hi Tom,

    I spent 6 days at Gold Coast resort, Ganh Dau, with my wife and 2 kids. It was absolutely perfect, we loved it. Thank you so much for your good advice ! Clear water beach, snorkeling, kayak, free bike, 250k VND/day for a motorbike, this resort has everything needed !

    Thanks again Tom !

    1. Tom says:
      January 21, 2020 at 10:02 AM

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s great that you enjoyed Gold Coast with your family. That’s also where my parents and I like to stay too 🙂

      Tom

  7. Jerzy Gozdek says:
    December 19, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    Great piece of work you have done Tom. As usually your descriptions are detailed and fair. Thanks for showing the damage and dirt at some of the places. Last year we spent a week at the island and my comment could be summed up that it is a paradise turned into an environmental disaster area. Unless the authorities and local people do something to clean the place – not only the beaches but generally the island the charm of the place will be gobe for ever. The fact that resorts and hotels care just for what belongs to them and do not mind smelly waste containers just outside their parameter is a sorry picture. But the work you are doing to open potential visitors’ eyes so that they come well informed and prepared is just fantastic.

    1. Tom says:
      December 20, 2019 at 4:28 AM

      Hi Jerzy,

      Yes, there’s non doubt that large parts of the island have been damaged irreparably by construction and litter. But it is a big island, and now that the north and east coasts are more easily accessible, they have plenty of charm, local character, local life, food and undeveloped beaches to explore. I’ve written in detail about that in this guide. Of course, it remains to be seen how the north and east coasts develop in the next few years, but there are plans to create a large eco-tourism area in the north. Also, even on the more developed west coast, there are some really lovely places to stay on beautiful stretches of beach: it’s all about choosing the right place and the right beach. That’s what this guide tries to help people to do.

      Tom

  8. Thomas says:
    December 16, 2019 at 1:26 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for this great article, very well documented !
    We booked 6 nights at Gold Coast Resort at Ganh Dau.
    We really appreciate your work.

    Thanks again Tom !

    1. Tom says:
      December 16, 2019 at 1:29 PM

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it there at Gold Coast.

      Tom

      1. Thomas says:
        March 10, 2020 at 2:56 AM

        It was absolutely fantastic!
        Actually I think Gold Coast Resort is even more beautiful in real than what it looks like on photos. Staff is so friendly, the restaurant food is great, and I had big fun riding a motorbike (directly in the resort for 250KVND/day) through the jungle road 🙂 Location of the resort is perfect: 15mn from the village by walking, and the private beach is just awesome: quiet, calm and clean. Just one thing: beware of the sea urchins: their needles are damn long and there is heaps of them in some areas …
        Thx again Tom!

        1. Tom says:
          March 10, 2020 at 1:30 PM

          Hi Thomas,

          Really great to hear you enjoyed your time at Gold Coast – and thanks for the warning about the urchins 🙂

          Tom

  9. Elizabeth George says:
    September 5, 2019 at 4:21 PM

    Hey, we want to travel to a beach between September 21 and 23 from saigon.. Would mui ne be better or would phu quoc be better. I’ve read literally all the comments and I’m basically more confused than ever

    1. Tom says:
      September 7, 2019 at 12:17 PM

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Well, there’s no ‘right’ answer to that question. Phu Quoc is more beautiful than Mui Ne. But it really depends on where you stay – if you’re in a nice accommodation, I’m sure you’ll enjoy either.

      Phu Quoc is an island whereas Mui Ne is just a beach, so Phu Quoc has more choice and variety. Personally, I would choose Phu Quoc.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  10. gael zajdnerj says:
    May 31, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    Hi
    Thank you for a thorough and enligtening post !!
    We are coming in august and were looking for a wite sand quiet palm trees cristal water beach… witch is best recomended at this seoson ? (Rainy seoson ?)

    1. Tom says:
      May 31, 2019 at 12:26 PM

      Hi Gael,

      That’s difficult to say, because the water quality isn’t the same during the rainy season, and the seas are often choppy. The good thing is that the prices go down significantly, because it’s the low season 🙂

      Tom

  11. Iga says:
    April 15, 2019 at 3:20 AM

    What an awesome blog post and website! I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your thoroughly researched and very helpful post – my boyfriend and I used it to explore the island. I will be checking in again for more tips and advice! 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Tom says:
      April 15, 2019 at 6:28 AM

      Thanks, Iga.

      It’s great to hear you enjoyed Phu Quoc and that my guide was useful.

      Tom

  12. Eleen says:
    April 2, 2019 at 4:16 AM

    Hi Tom,

    It is indeed very useful article. I’m travelling to Phu Quoc on 13th April, we have 8 pax and thought of staying in VinOasis. Is there any street food/affordable restaurant nearby? Looking forward to hear from you.

    Thanks.

    1. Tom says:
      April 2, 2019 at 6:25 AM

      Hi Eleen,

      Not really. That area is almost all exclusively big resorts now. Ironically there is street food available on the main road there because that’s where all the construction workers (who are building the big resorts) go to eat. But it’s not especially good street food. Instead you can head into Ganh Dau village to the north for street food.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  13. Maja says:
    March 18, 2019 at 2:08 PM

    Thank you for your guide to the beaches. Totally spot on and I ended staying in your no 1 choice and absolutely loved it. Its the place away from the busy places I was looking for. Thanks for creating this guide!!

    1. Tom says:
      March 18, 2019 at 3:24 PM

      Hi Maja,

      Really great to hear that. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Tom

  14. Chris says:
    February 22, 2019 at 6:19 AM

    Hi Tom, great write up, very helpful.
    I’m considering staying in the Ganh dau area, but would like to know, is there good local street food there? E.g. the noodle stalls etc, for lunch and dinner, or small family run restaurants that cater to locals? We enjoy eating real local food, catered for local tastes. I know I’d have no problem finding this in the main town area, but would this village have these or is it too small. Basically looking to get the best of both worlds of a quiet beach area and yet within easy distance of local food that’s for the locals.
    Thanks very much.

    1. Tom says:
      February 22, 2019 at 8:49 AM

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, there is street food in Ganh Dau. I know exactly what you mean, and that’s one of the reasons why Ganh Dau is currently my favourite place to be on Phu Quoc: the proximity to local life and food makes all the difference. You get soup vendors, grilled meat, local rice eateries and fish restaurants etc. It’s not a big place, but in the mornings and late afternoons it has a food scene.

      Also, Duong Dong town (not Long Beach strip that spreads south of the town) is a bustling, thriving, and pleasantly chaotic place where you’ll find loads of Vietnamese street food. It’s great for a foodie outing, but not for staying in.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Chris says:
        February 25, 2019 at 1:41 AM

        Yes, Tom, thanks very much, it’s very helpful to know.
        In Ganh Dau village, when you say there’s a food scene in the mornings and late afternoons, it would still be available at lunch around 12-1pm, and evenings, 6-7pm, or do they close before evening?

        Regarding the other beaches e.g. Ong Lang and most of the other beaches- I notice (looking at the satellite pic on google maps) that it’s more away from local villages? In other words further away from local street food too?

        Cua Can might have some street food scene? Being a very small village?

        Any other locations you’d recommend to get the best of both worlds (staying/beach/quiet and local food within 15-30mins walk) other than Ganh Dau? In case the places within my budget there get’s booked out when I want to go (early June), as there doesn’t seem to be that many places to stay there.

        Thanks again for responding, much appreciated.

        1. Tom says:
          February 25, 2019 at 1:52 PM

          Hi Chris,

          Yes, you can get street food in Ganh Dau village all day: it’s just at its most vibrant during the mornings and late afternoons.

          There is food around Ong Lang, bbut most of it is geared towards the tourists staying in the resorts there – pizza, pasta, burgers, higher-end Vietnamese etc. Along the main road there are some ‘real’ food outlets, but the main road is quite busy these days. Cua Can has some street food stalls, too, but it’s nowhere near as good as Ganh Dau. As mentioned, Duong Dong has the best street food scene on the island, but it’s a big, busy place, so no somewhere you’d necessarily want to stay.

          Tom

          1. Chris says:
            February 26, 2019 at 1:10 AM

            Tom, thanks, that’s information that’s useful to know. I know better now what to expect and to make an informed choice of where to stay.
            Yes, tourist food is not what I’d want to eat, I don’t go to a SEA country to eat pizza, burgers, pasta, etc.
            I’ll probably stay at Ganh Dau, and maybe rent a motorbike for a trip to Duong Dong if I really get the urge to leave the peace of a serene (?) place for a busy, crowded place.
            Thanks again for your useful site.

  15. Judy MacAulay says:
    January 13, 2019 at 10:34 PM

    Thank you so much for this article. My husband and I are going to vietnam in March and could not decide if we should go to Phu Quoc or not because of the litter and construction. After reading your post we booked at the Gold Coast Resort for 5 nights. I’m hoping that it will be something like Koh Lanta in Thailand, but am prepared for it not to be. That was our favourite spot last year. Thanks again, and if you have any further advice for me I’d love to hear it. Cheers,
    Judy

    1. Tom says:
      January 14, 2019 at 3:01 AM

      Hi Judy,

      Well, I think you picked a beautiful part of the island, and it sounds like you are ready for everything 🙂

      I have been to Koh Lanta years and years ago, so it’s difficult for me to say whether it’s similar or not. But I do always enjoy staying at Gold Coast. I hope you do, too.

      Tom

      1. Judy MacAulay says:
        January 23, 2019 at 4:51 AM

        Thanks Tom

  16. Fabia says:
    December 20, 2018 at 5:41 PM

    Thanks for the really informative and honest post. We arrived today and are keen to find good snorkeling spots…any recommendations on Phu Quoc?

    1. Tom says:
      December 21, 2018 at 1:04 AM

      Hi Fabia,

      Snorkeling is usually best in the north of the island – check out those beaches. Or get a boat to the smaller islands in the south, off the coast of An Thoi.

      Tom

  17. Philip Salmon says:
    December 4, 2018 at 8:13 AM

    You paint a very bleak and sadly true picture of a once beautiful island. I have just arrived, and feel like leaving already. I was here ten years ago and I frankly don’t recognise the place. Money,money,money ruins everything. I don’t even understand the mindset of people paying $300per night in some places to come here, to what is basically one huge garbage dump. Its very sad indeed.

    1. Tom says:
      December 6, 2018 at 4:04 PM

      Hi Philip,

      Although I understand your point of view, it’s certainly not my intention to paint a bleak picture of Phu Quoc Island, but rather to represent it as it currently is: which is a confusing mix of large construction and mass tourism but also beautiful beaches, jungles, and quiet, relatively undeveloped corners. I feel I’ve done my best to represent these juxtapositions in this guide, and although I find the rapid transformation of Phu Quoc Island disturbing, I still really enjoy visiting the island and have a lot of fun exploring its many beaches, especially the first few that I’ve outlined in this guide.

      Tom

  18. Laura says:
    October 17, 2018 at 6:42 AM

    Hey Tom thanks so much for all your wonderful help and posts.i am trying to keep track of my adventures too here in Vietnam and beyond-how to you customize your maps-google maps does not seem to have this feature but it’s so useful.

    Thanks so much

    1. Tom says:
      October 17, 2018 at 12:47 PM

      Hi Laura,

      If you google something like ‘how to create your own customized maps using google my maps’ then lots of information, step by steps guides, and video tutorials will come up to help you through the process 🙂

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  19. Steve says:
    March 1, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    Tom, thanks for your review. I’m on Pho Quoc now, and – a couple of things.

    The people here are beautiful. They’re friendly and hospitable. I really enjoy their company.

    But Pho Quoc is history. It’s done. The island hasn’t figured out what to do with the results of exploiting tourism – sewage, trash, etc. It – or those who are in political control – smell the almighty buck, so you have rampant growth everywhere. And yes, the great wtf moment is seeing Vinpearl. That says it all. It is bizarre yes also but heart-breaking. The island itself is becoming a giant amusement park. You have to make an effort to seek out genuine Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam really isn’t here anymore. The entire island is catering to tourism and is rapidly consuming the island like a ravenous animal.

    Admittedly, I look to avoid heavily touristed areas. Remote and beautiful, particulately beaches, is what calls my heart. So I’m up at Gold Coast and Peppercorn, north side. It’s cool how you can look out to Cambodia from the beach. And again the folks up here are super sweet. But the amount of trash is unbelievable. It’s in the once clear-and-beautiful waters, and in the dead and dying coral. It surrounds the very clean resorts. It’s a small island and it’s producing more garbage than it knows what to do with. And other things are washing up on shore, from cruise ships and whatnot. Anyway, I’m sure some folks who don’t know better or have different sensibilities will be fine here. For me, Phu Quoc is done.

    1. Tom says:
      March 2, 2018 at 12:42 AM

      Hi Steve,

      Yes, I know what you mean. Some of the problems, such as trash and construction will gradually get better – the island has gone through such momentous changes over the last 5-10 years that it hasn’t had time to catch up with itself. I’m confident that trash will start to be controlled (in the sense that you won’t see it on the beaches etc but not as a wider issue), and that construction will gradually slow down and will exist in pockets rather than across the entire island.

      I think a lot of the problem is travellers’ expectations of what Phu Quoc will be: it was for so long touted as a quiet tropical island, undeveloped compared to Thai beaches – a backpackers’ paradise etc. But that is not the reality anymore, nor is it the way that Phu Quoc wants to be seen: it wants to be a big, sophisticated, money-making, package holiday and high-end integrated resort island – and that’s what it’s on its way to being.

      Tom

  20. Justine of Travel Lush says:
    January 15, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    This is awesome. I’m on Phu Quoc now and your guide is so useful, as always! I can’t wait to get out and explore these beaches tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for putting up such a useful and informative guide!!

    1. Tom says:
      January 16, 2018 at 1:19 AM

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy the beaches.
      Tom

  21. Grace McAuley says:
    January 8, 2018 at 7:31 AM

    Hello!
    First off, great post! I have almost all the information I need. But I was just wondering about the tides on the southern beaches. Recently I have been to the Thai islands in the Gulf of Thailand and the waves were just too big to swim in at the beaches we stayed on and I want to know if the sea of southern beaches of Phu Quoc are more or less calm for swimming?

    Thank you,
    Grace

    1. Tom says:
      January 8, 2018 at 8:36 AM

      Hi Grace,

      At this time of year, all of the beaches on the north and west coasts of Phu Quoc Island should be very calm and perfect for swimming, especially in the mornings. The eastern and southern beaches are usually a bit choppier at this time of year, but still suitable for swimming.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  22. FATIMA SIDDIQUI says:
    November 7, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    Hey Tom:

    My name is Fatima and i am travelling from Pakistan with my family. Last month we been to Thailand and it was a wonderful trip. Next Year, we are planning to hit Vietnam and Phu Quoc especially but we dont really know where to stay and which beaches to see/stay during our visit? Plus based on your recommendations, we will plan our stay in terms of no of days in phu quoc. So kindly let us know how many days are enough to be in phu quoc with locations wise beaches?

    Thanks;

    Fatima (Pakistan)

    1. Tom says:
      November 7, 2017 at 11:53 AM

      Hi Fatima,

      How long you spend on Phu Quoc depends on how much you want to do and see. Anywhere between 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend on the island. If, for example, you spend 7 days on Phu Quoc then you could stay at one part of the island for 3 days and then change to another part of the island for the next 4 days.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  23. Derek Woodhead says:
    October 2, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    Hi Tom,
    Many thanks.

    As mentioned, 6 of us are staying in Phu Quoc 10 nights from 26th Oct to Nov 5th Nov.

    We are thinking of booking ahead a hotel for the first 4 nights to give us a chance to explore the isle ; and then to find a place we like and book it there ; ( we’ll book our hotels via your website).

    Do you think there is a risk that there may not be much availability of hotels rooms if we leave booking until we are there ?
    (we will need 3 double rooms)

    Many thanks,
    Derek

    1. Tom says:
      October 2, 2017 at 11:05 AM

      Hi Derek,

      In October, the tail end of the low season, you should be fine booking once you get there. If your dates fall on a weekend then there’s a possibility that rooms might get booked up. But I think you have the right plan: book your first few nights in advance and feel the island out for a place to stay for the next few nights.

      Tom

  24. Julietta says:
    September 29, 2017 at 4:21 PM

    Hi Tom!
    I really enjoy your notes, very helpful 🙂
    We are travelling to Phu Quoc in the beginning of November. It looks like the eastern beaches are more beautiful and peaceful to from your pictures. I wonder if that is true? The most appealing (in terms of beautiful water) to me seams Sao Beach. Is there enough places to eat/drink if we stay at one of the few hotels there (e.g. My Lan Guest House).
    Like you we enjoy journeys out of beaten track, but don’t want to be isolated after all 🙂
    And one more question is there a way to get to Sao Beach if we stay somewhere else and don’t get a bike?
    Thank you for the answer and all your effort 🙂
    Cheers!

    1. Tom says:
      September 30, 2017 at 12:12 AM

      Hi Julietta,

      Sao does have nice water, but it can get crowded during the day – however, if you’re staying on the beach then you will have plenty of time when it is quiet. If you’re not staying on Sao you can easily get a taxi to take you there. There are enough places to eat for a few days.

      Ganh Dau, Ong Lang and Bau beaches are also beautiful and relatively quiet beaches to consider staying on. Ganh Dau in particular is very isolated and beautiful. Wherever you are on Phu Quoc you can always get a taxi to take you other places.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  25. mike zimmerman says:
    September 3, 2017 at 3:50 AM

    Hi Tom,

    This post is really helpful, thank you!

    We are headed to Pho Quoc in January 2018 with 3 kids and hoping to find a nice mid-range place with pool, some facilities and a nice stretch of beach nearby, and not in a completely bustling area. We were looking at at Ong Lang based on your description, but neither Shells or Coco Palms have availability. The Novotel seems to have a great pool and is on a beach but not sure about the area (Cua Lap).

    Any other suggestions?

    thank you!

    1. Tom says:
      September 3, 2017 at 10:57 AM

      Hi Mike,

      I’m surprised to hear there’s no availability at those resorts – but January is the high season.

      Ong Lang is definitely a good choice – the Novotel is fine but it’s a string of newly built mega-resorts so not such as great area.

      There are many good accommodation choices on Ong Lang to choose from. Also bear in mind that because the sea is so calm and clear and the beach so sandy that it’s not really necessary to have a pool, even with kids. I’ve made a custom search for you of resorts on Ong Lang in January – take a look at the options at here – you can change the dates at the top to suit you.

      I hope this helps you find a place for your holiday,

      Tom

  26. Pip says:
    August 19, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for such a wonderful resource on Vietnam! My partner and I are travelling in October this year and for the final part of our holiday we’re looking to have some chill out beach time. We are contemplating Phu Quoc (in the final week of October). I know this is the tail end of the wet season and was wondering if you’d recommend it at this time? Or if there would be better options for that time of year?

    About the same time last year we went to Cat Ba Island and were very blessed with the weather. Hoping to try someplace new, that isn’t too difficult to get to (I’m probably a bit of a scaredy-cat when it comes to operating a motorbike on my own!).

    Thanks again,
    Pip

    1. Tom says:
      August 20, 2017 at 6:09 AM

      Hi Pip,

      Yes, I think Phu Quoc would still be OK at that time of year – and the accommodations would be cheaper too because of the low season. However, you would still get some rain and the sea probably won’t be as glassy flat as the high season months.

      You could also consider Mui Ne – easy to get to, lots of beach, lots of accommodation, and good weather.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Pip says:
        August 21, 2017 at 9:37 AM

        Thank you so much!

  27. Pati Serra says:
    March 21, 2017 at 2:10 PM

    Hello again Tom,

    Really appreciate all your tips.

    This thursday I am going to Phu Quoc with my boyfriend.

    It is necessary to book the accomodations in advance?
    Our idea is expending 10-20 usd per night

    Once again, thank u very much 🙂

    1. Tom says:
      March 21, 2017 at 4:14 PM

      Hi Pati,

      Phu Quoc generally gets a little bit busier over the weekend so it’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, but not absolutely necessary.

      I hope you enjoy your stay,

      Tom

  28. Lynda Maloney says:
    February 28, 2017 at 5:11 PM

    Dear Tom,

    My daughter (27) myself (66) and my sister (62) are visiting Phu Quoc in a few days time. We’re hoping to spend a couple of weeks there. I’m glad I came across your website. I’ve bookmarked it and will refer to it often in the days to come.

    Thank-you,
    Lynda

    1. Tom says:
      March 1, 2017 at 12:23 AM

      Hi Lynda,

      Thanks. Great to hear you like my site. I’m actually on Phu Quoc right now with my parents too 🙂

      I hope you enjoy your stay on the island,

      Tom

  29. Neville says:
    February 10, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    Hi Tom I’m on Phu Quoch island now arrived 7th Feb I was here last year tet to early Feb and the change is unbelievable inside a year the island is a big construction site more or less wherever you go . It’s sad how they are ruining a lovely island don’t think I will be able to use Vung Bau beach way things are moving up that coast.

    1. Tom says:
      February 11, 2017 at 12:17 AM

      Hi Neville,

      Yes, the island has changed a lot recently. I talked specifically about Vung Bau Beach recently in this article.

      You could go to the north of the island to try to get away from the construction.

      I hope you find a bit of peace and quiet 🙂

      Tom

  30. Karan Narula says:
    December 21, 2016 at 6:59 AM

    Hi Tom:

    I am visiting Phu Quoc in Feb 2017 with my wife for honeymoon. Can you suggest the top most beach to stay and enjoy our stay? Also if you could give us an idea how & where to go around the island in 3 days. Any information is much appreciated.

    Regards
    Karan

    1. Tom says:
      December 22, 2016 at 12:01 AM

      Hi Karan,

      Congratulations on your honeymoon!

      Have a look and read through the beaches in my guide on this page and see which one you like the sound of the most. Personally, I like Ong Lan Beach for relaxation (there are lots of good places to stay here, including Mango Bay), or Ganh Dau Beach for isolation if you stay at Peppercorn Resort. Long Beach is also good, as long as you stay in a nice accommodation, like Thanh Kieu Resort.

      For trips around the island, most people like to visit Sao Beach, although it can get quite crowded these days. The waterfalls are popular too, and the pepper farms, fish sauce factories and boat trips too.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

  31. Nat Jane says:
    October 31, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you so much for your articles! We were considering a handful of places to visit to celebrate our 20th anniversary in May 2017, and after coming across your site we were sold on Vietnam.
    We are travelling from North to South (wanted to be in Halong Bay for a specific date early May), and ticking off several of your motorbike road trips along the way.
    We were hoping to spend the last 5-6 days in Phu Quoc, but are a little worried about the weather at the end of May.
    Is there a better part of the island to be at this time? We plan on hiring motorbikes to explore the whole island but want a base somewhere we can relax with a nice place to swim, but not too windy or secluded.
    We did look at Con Dao island, but as beautiful as it looks it seems just a bit too laid back for what we were after.
    Do you think we should consider spending the time somewhere like Mui Ne instead?
    Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Regards,
    Nat

    1. Tom says:
      October 31, 2016 at 4:07 AM

      Hi Nat,

      Great to hear that you’ve chosen Vietnam to celebrate your anniversary!

      May should be fine on Phu Quoc – it will be hot and increasingly humid because May is a transitional month, you may even get some rain too. But I was on Phu Quoc late April to early May and it was good.

      In general, April-May is a good time to be travelling the length of the country.

      I think you should be looking at Long Beach and Ong Lang Beach if you want to relax, swim but not too secluded.

      I’ve reviewed a couple of good places to stay on Phu Quoc here.

      If you book your accommodation through my site I’d be very grateful.

      Any other questions, just let me know.

      I hope this helps,

      Tom

      1. Nat Jane says:
        November 1, 2016 at 7:57 AM

        Thanks so much for your insight Tom.
        We will check out your reviews and will most definitely book through your site.
        Regards,
        Nat

  32. Lindsay says:
    September 28, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    Hi Tom, we have a group of 4 friends headed to Phu Quoc in November. I was wondering which resort/beach you would recommend between the Shells and the Vinpearl?

    1. Tom says:
      September 29, 2016 at 12:25 AM

      Hi Lindsay,

      There are lots of good resorts in that area. Mango Bay, Bo Resort, Coco Palm Resort and Bamboo Cottages are all good.

      If you’d like to support Vietnam Coracle, please consider booking your hotels through the Agoda links on my site. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, which helps me keep this site up and running. (You can find more information about it here)

      Thanks,

      Tom

  33. Schang says:
    June 22, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    Great detailed informative post about the beaches. Planning to go to Phu quoc early next month (July) I know it’s rainy season but do you think I could catch some sunny days or mornings? How bad is the rain early July? Do you think it’s not work going at all? Thanks!

    1. Tom says:
      June 23, 2016 at 4:33 AM

      Hi Schang,

      Yes, it is the low season, but you should still see some sunshine too 🙂 One of the good things about going to Phu Quoc at that time of year is that you should find some good discounts on hotels and resorts! 🙂

      I hope the weather holds out for you.

      Tom

  34. Mez says:
    June 16, 2016 at 5:51 AM

    Hi Tom, I’m so glad i’ve found your blog before my trip to Vietnam so I can follow some of your advice and guides.
    I’ve planned a trip to Phu Quoc for the beginning of July staying on Ganh Dau beach but I am now unsure about the weather during this time on the island. Do you have any idea of what the weather may be like at the beginning of July as we are looking for a calm sea and sun but I have now read that it is the start of monsoon season but i just wanted to know if we will be affected by it during this time.
    If so do you have any other beach recommendations in Vietnam during this time? We love idyllic beaches and are looking for time to just shut off. We are also visiting Hoi An after.
    Thank you so much for any help!

    1. Tom says:
      June 16, 2016 at 12:21 PM

      Hi Mez,

      Yes, that is a good question.

      July is, indeed, the rainy season. But that doesn’t mean it rains all the time (unless you are very unlucky). However, it is the low season during that time on Phu Quoc, and the weather is the reason for this. On the other hand, the low season prices are extremely good value. It’s a good idea to contact whichever resort you’re thinking of staying in on Ganh Dau and asking their opinion of the weather. You should also make sure that the resort is open in July, as many places close during the low season.

      If you decide against Phu Quoc, you could try Con Dao. The rains reach there too, but I’ve been a couple of times in July/August and had wonderful weather and calm seas. Take a look at my Con Dao Archive here.

      Other beaches to consider are Nha Trang and Quy Nhon – the latter is great, you could stay somewhere like the Avani Resort there, for example.

      But, if you’re going to Hoi An anyway, check out An Bang beach, just 10 minutes from the town.

      You could also have a look at my guide to the Best Beaches in the South for some more ideas.

      May I ask that, if you’ve found my site useful and you ever use Agoda to book your hotels (in Vietnam or anywhere in the world), you could support the work I do by starting your Agoda search from my site (or simply click this link to the Agoda search page). If you ever end up making a booking then I receive a small commission, which is much appreciated and goes a long way to keeping my blog up and running.

      I hope this helps you make a decision of where to go,

      Tom

      1. Mez says:
        June 17, 2016 at 8:28 AM

        Hi Tom thank you so much for your detailed response and advice!
        We have booked to stay at the Peppercorn beach resort in Phu Quoc which seems perfect for what we are looking for so i’ll contact them and ask them about weather. Hoping the weather will be mainly sunny as it looks close to perfect!
        For sure in the future my girlfriend and I will definitely use your site to book our hotels via Agoda as we both love to travel.
        Thank you for also recommending Con Dao – that was also one of our top choices so if Phu Quoc doesn’t work out we will probably look at that next and will book our accommodation through your website.
        Thanks a tonne for all the help!
        Mez

        1. Tom says:
          June 17, 2016 at 9:04 AM

          Thanks, Mez, I really appreciate it! 🙂

          I hope the weather is good enough for you to visit Peppercorn on Phu Quoc – it’s a great little getaway.

          Good luck,

          Tom

  35. Maitane says:
    March 21, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Hi Tom,
    I live in Viet Nam but I have never been to Phu Cuoc. I was a bit discouraged by the articles about littering and experiences of friends about the development of the island, but my parents are visiting in May and I have decided to give it a try. I would love to explore it by bike and get to the most deserted beaches, but taking into account that my parents are in their 60s, which beach would you recommend us that it is not too crowded or full of litter but easy to access ?
    Thanks

    PD: your blog was a great guide to explore Ha Giang, so thanks again

    1. Tom says:
      March 21, 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Hi Maitane,

      Yes, Phu Quoc is experiencing a surge in development, and it is very obvious when you are there. But some of that development has made some beaches and parts of the island much easier to access than before – which, for most people, is a good thing.

      Litter is a problem on the beaches which haven’t been developed, because many Vietnamese tourists and locals picnic on them and then leave their trash behind (I’ve written more about that here). But some of the trash is also just normal flotsam and jetsam, washed up on the shore from the Gulf of Thailand.

      I don’t think Phu Quoc’s beaches are ruined by any means, but you need to pick the right spot to enjoyed them at their best.

      My parents and I stay at Thanh Kieu Beach Resort. It is on Long Beach so it is close to all the restaurants. The gardens and beach are fantastic and my parents love it – you can read my review here.

      Another good alternative is to stay on Ong Lang Beach – the beach is good and there’s a handful of nice places to stay, including Mango Bay and Coconut Palm Resort (see above for details). It’s an easy 10 minute taxi ride into Duong Dong Town and Long Beach.

      Or you could stay on Ganh Dau Beach way up in the remote north – the beach is great and Peppercorn Resort is excellent (again, see above for details).

      I hope this helps you make your decision.

      Tom

  36. Areta says:
    January 17, 2016 at 2:18 AM

    Great! We found the bang mi opposite the one you suggested in town, absolutely beautiful! I’m still to hunt down the grilled beef lady. The southern part of the island was interesting, the road from An Thoi back to long beach was an adventure for my children 🙂 we are doing the north today so will check in if I find anything if interest. Thank you! Areta

  37. Areta says:
    January 15, 2016 at 1:51 AM

    Hi Tom
    Thank you so much for your advice and articles, I referred to your Ssigon guide on many occasions. We are now on Phu Quoc and are about to go out on a motorbike for the day. I thought I had sorted a little itinerary for us, thank god I double checked yours!
    Thanks again
    Kind regards
    Areta

    1. Tom says:
      January 15, 2016 at 2:35 AM

      Hi Areta,

      That’s great. I hope your Phu Quoc road trip goes well. I’ll be there in a few days myself, so let me know if you find anything new or interesting 🙂

      Tom

  38. Job Ahmed says:
    November 19, 2015 at 11:10 PM

    Hi, Tom, thanks so much for your useful information about Phu Quoc Island, I will visit it in december this year and I have heard that the best and most beautiful beach in Phu Quoc is Sao Beach, even though I love beautiful beaches, I love places with good nightlife, I know that Phu Quoc is not precisely for that, anyway I would like to know if you recommend me a place with nice bars or a Discotheques in case they exist. Once again, thanks so much for your help. Greetings from Mexico.

    1. Tom says:
      November 20, 2015 at 3:16 AM

      Hi,

      Yes, Sao is a nice beach. It can get busy during the day time, especially on weekends. There’s no nightlife on Sao Beach, but it’s a good place to meet other travellers during the day for food and drink.

      The nightlife on Phu Quoc is just south of Duong Dong Town, on Long Beach. There are several good beach bars that stay open late with drinks, music etc. Rory’s Bar is popular. When you’re there you’ll meet other travellers and be able to ‘follow the party’. But you are right that Phu Quoc is not (yet) a place with lively nightlife.

      Tom

  39. Abby H says:
    September 16, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    Hi Tom-

    Awesome website you have here. I just moved to Vietnam and am working south of Saigon in Tra Vinh for the next year or so. I am planning a trip to Phu Quoc with some friends and they want to rent motorbikes. Since they are just passing through Vietnam, none of them will have official VN licenses. How big of an issue can this be? I’m currently working on getting my license from home recognized here, but they will most definitely be without them… Thanks so much and again, fabulous stuff here!

    1. Tom says:
      September 16, 2015 at 7:46 AM

      Hi Abby,

      Thanks. In reality most foreigners driving motorbikes in Vietnam do not have domestic licenses. Normally, if you get stopped by the police you will have to pay a fine (200,000vnd is standard). Be polite, friendly, smiley and on the vast majority of occasions the police will take the money and let you go on your way. This is especially true is popular tourist areas such as Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. If you are renting bikes then be sure to keep a contact number of the rental company – if you encounter problems with the police you can call the rental company and they should be able to offer some help.

      Good luck,

      Tom

  40. Jenny Landry says:
    March 12, 2015 at 4:14 AM

    Nice list of beaches! We just came back from Phu Quoc and wanted to say thank you for this as we would not have found Sao Beach otherwise.

    1. Tom says:
      March 12, 2015 at 4:53 AM

      Hi Jenny,
      Thanks. I like what you’ve done with your guide.
      Tom

  41. karen says:
    February 8, 2015 at 2:46 AM

    Dear Tom,
    Your guide has been a treat during our 3 months in Vietnam. We followed your northern loop; visited suggested waterfalls in Dalat and are rounding off our time on Phu Quoc. So, it with sadness I must tell you that your favourite Dai Beach has been wrecked. As you reported the bulldozers are well established and a shanty town of plastic awnings fringes the shore for the workers with huge craters in the sand where it’s been excavated presumably for building. We approached form the north and passed all this devastation until we were turned back by security just as we arrived near Dai Beach. We then retraced our tracks back to the main road and found another road further south leading back to the coastal route just beyond the Vinpearl Land entertainment complex which brought us out next to the peninsular of Vung Bau beach. We did then venture northwards again but not entirely to within sight of the Dai beach area. The coastal road south back from Vung Bau is still pleasant and hopefully will remain so for a very long time.
    You do not mention the coastal route to the north east from Bai Thom towards Ham Ninh…is the worth exploring?
    Best wishes and thanks again for your insights.
    Karen

    1. Tom says:
      February 8, 2015 at 8:03 AM

      Hi Karen,

      Yes, that is very sad indeed 🙁 I was on Phu Quoc a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t have time to make it to Dai Beach. I suppose it’s inevitable really. But we are lucky to see it (the rest of the island, at least) before it becomes Vietnam’s Phuket. Thanks very much for the detailed update.

      I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had a great trip around Vietnam and that my guides have been useful to you. The northeast of the Island (in and around Thom Beach) is the most remote, and therefore the most untouched, part of Phu Quoc. Although the beaches aren’t quite as pretty as Dai and Vung Bau it’s still worth a trip if you have time because it’s very sleepy and undeveloped. Best to avoid going all the way from Thom to Ham Ninh because that road is a dust bowl.

      Enjoy the last days of your trip.

      Tom

  42. Mat says:
    December 11, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    This is a wonderful article, it so deserves to be number one in Google for “phu quoc beaches”. The results above don’t have anywhere near the same amount of detail.

    Anyway I just wanted to say thanks for all the info. I shall be visiting soon for some videography and will be using your motorbike guide and map to help me choose locations.

    Plus there is plenty of great i formation for the rest of my party to use. I think this will be our travel guide for the 9 days.

    1. Tom says:
      December 12, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      Thanks, Mat.
      Phu Quoc is great and driving there by motorbike just makes it even better 🙂
      I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
      Tom

  43. bob pfister says:
    July 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Hi Tom,
    This is an awesome article, I love the video, photos, and music. My daughter and son visited the island earlier this year and loved it. I will find out where they stayed. She teaches in HCMC and I think is planning another trip.
    Watching this video makes me long to visit VN again soon.

    1. Tom says:
      July 11, 2014 at 1:58 AM

      Thanks, Bob.
      Yes, it’s a great place, full of good beaches and not over-developed yet, like most of the Thai islands. I hope you get a chance to visit Vietnam again soon.
      Tom