Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island is located in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province, Mekong Delta region, off the coast of Cambodia, and is one of the best preserved tropical jungle islands in Southeast Asia. On the west coast of Phu Quoc lies the island’s largest urban centre, Duong Dong, which is the island’s main fishing port and home to 70% of the island’s population. Duong Dong offers a variety of restaurants, bars shops and accommodation.
Of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest at 50 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. Phu Quoc is divided into 3 main divisions: Phu Quoc Island, Hon Thom and An Thoi archipelago. The island has a total of 99 land peaks, the highest of which is Mount Chua at 603 metres. Phu Quoc is also the only place in Vietnam with an incredibly rich and beautiful underwater world. The underwater world offers hundreds of species of corals, fish and various molluscs. Unique turtles, dugongs and other aquatic mammals live in the waters surrounding the island.
Phu Quoc island offers a total of around 20 beaches. The best beaches are Khem Beach, Sao Beach and the most popular beach is arguably Long Beach. Khem Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Phu Quoc with its powder-white sands and sparkling waves.
Phu Quoc’s beaches are all nice but the island’s crown jewel is considered to be Sao Beach with its magnificent white sands and luxurious hotel resorts. Long Beach is the most popular beach on the west coast, with 20 km of undulating coastline, offering plenty of places to eat, accommodation and being the perfect place to watch the sunset.
One of the most beautiful islands in the region is arguably Hon Xuong, often referred to as Robinson Cruso Island. You won’t find any accommodation on Hon Xuong Island, but day boat trips and overnight camping are offered to this picturesque beach. Hon Thom Island is also called Pineapple Island, being the second largest island connected by the world’s longest 8 km cable car to Phu Quoc. Hon Thom offers an amusement park, a water park, beaches, snorkelling, diving and hunting in the An Thoi archipelago.
Phu Quoc is a year-round destination with an average annual temperature of 27°C, making it an excellent destination for climate refugees and heat seekers. The climate is the same as always in southern Vietnam, with glorious sunny days and cool sea breezes from November to March and the hottest months starting in April, followed by autumn rains later in the year.
Phu Quoc Island History
The history of Phu Quoc island and archaeological finds have shown that Phu Quoc was inhabited at least 2,500 years ago and these findings are on display at the Coi Nhuon Museum in Long Beach. Historical documents dating from 1615 give the island the name Koh Tral, which was then an island of the Khmer Empire.
It is not known how many Khmer lived on Koh Tral at that time, but it is certain that the island was conquered by the Khmer. In 1680, one of the previous Khmer kings gave the southern part of the island to the Chinese, who set up 7 trading centres which were soon filled with Chinese and Portuguese traders. In 1862 Phu Quoc was occupied by the French, along with other parts of Vietnam, until 1963.
Phu Quoc Island Visa Requirments
Before travelling, there is definitely the question of whether I need a visa for Phu Quoc? Phu Quoc has a different visa regime from mainland Vietnam. When flying to Phu Quoc island, travellers do not need a visa as they can stay visa-free on the island for up to 30 days. However, please note that the visa waiver for Phu Quoc does not give the right to visit the mainland. To qualify for a 30-day visa-free stay on Phu Quoc, the following requirements must be met:
* Two way flight tickets.
* Passport must be valid for at least 6 months.
* Should have no previous visa violation in Vietnam, no deportation decision and must not be on Interpol list.
* Leaving the island by ferry, internal flight to land is prohibited and is a visa violation.
If the above requirements are met, a stamp will be affixed to your passport at passport control on arrival in Phu Quoc, allowing you to stay visa-free for up to 30 days. The 30-day stay cannot be extended.
PS. If you arriving to Phu Quoc via Saigon airport, and take an internal flight to Phu Quoc, then you will need a visa.
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