We just got back from a 3-day stay in Phu Quoc in Kien Giang Province. Found in the Gulf of Thailand (South West of Saigon) and 36 minutes away only by plane, Phu Quoc is an island paradise and is still, for the most part — exudes a rustic and authentic rural living.
We took the Air Mekong flight at 7:30 am, so we had lots of time on our first day to explore the island. After resting a bit in Beach Club Resort, the resort helped arrange a ride for us courtesy of Sasco taxi cab (Innova) to visit Phu Quoc’s interesting places.
Phu Quoc is best explored on motorbike but our group includes my 2-year old son so we opted for the taxi cab. And it was a good choice too because it was really, really hot and humid when we left our resort at 10:30 AM and there were long, bumpy rides. Tourists on bikes were slowed down a bit because of the ongoing road projects. The rent of the cab for 8 hours is 750,000 VND (50,000 VND for every extra hour).
Our first stop was the Pearl Farm where they showed us how pearls were cultured and harvested. I got a couple of pearls as souvenirs.
The farm also have a souvenir shop showing rows and rows of beautiful pearl jewelry. I wasn’t expecting that so early on our trip so I just ended up getting pearl earrings for my moms for Mother’s Day. They accept plastic by the way so you can definitely splurge on a whole lot here. A fortune actually.
Coconut Tree Prison Museum
The prison isn’t really a popular attraction in Phu Quoc. It is still in the process of being converted into a museum. During the French colonial times, it housed around 40,000 Viet Cong prisoners.
Still have to research why it’s called a Coconut Prison when it’s surrounded by Mango trees though. 😀
Found on the Southern tip of Phu Quoc at the town of An Thoi is the most beautiful beach I’ve seen in Vietnam, Sao Beach! I’ve only been to other two beaches here in Vietnam, Mui Ne and Nha Trang — and I have to be honest — for me, Sao Beach takes the highest spot. With it’s white powder-like sand and clear crystal blue water, you can walk far into the sea and still feel safe. We swam with jelly fishes but I have to warn you that some do sting.
And the seafood!!! Oh wow! Delicious! But that will be a different story altogether! 🙂
By 4 pm, we left the beautiful Sao Beach and headed to Tranh Stream. We were sadly disappointed that the stream ran dry for the summer. 😦
It was incredibly dry that people were on the actual area were the stream was supposed to be and they were having picnics.
There is a hiking trail up in the mountain but we didn’t dare go up anymore because my son fell asleep. But it would have been nice though. Below is how the stream should have looked like if it was the rainy season.
Phu Quoc is popular for it’s pepper industry. In fact, the ground pepper I’m using in my own kitchen came from Phu Quoc. I’ve never seen a pepper plant so we were pretty psyched to see a whole farm.
We also bought bags of pepper which cost 50,000 VND less if you buy it from the airport.
This ends our first day in Phu Quoc and we were unable to visit the other must-see places like the Coi Nguon Museum, Cau Temple, and of course the Phu Quoc National Park.
For the remaining days of our stay, we decided to just stay put in Beach Club Resort by Long Beach in Duong Dong. And I think for a group of people who are always in the thick of things in the busyness of Saigon life and Manila, it was a great decision. It was just a treat to be lazy the whole day!
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