Coconut Prison heartache, dream Beaches, friendly People, Fabulous prices, delicious Seafood, Markets and more. This is our Phu Quoc, Vietnam experience!
From Ho Chi Minh, we had planned to go to Hue, Vietnam, but it was pouring rain as far as the weather app could see (2 weeks)?, so we looked for sun and found we had to book a trip to the sun island of Phu Quoc!
Skyscanner quickly located 2 Tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc on Jestar Airlines via Vueling for 1,555.000 dong or USD$66 ($33 ea.). As seems to be the theme, we had a 1/2 hour delay.
Upon arrival, we walked out the door and headed to the parking lot across the road. As there is no Uber on the island yet, we spoke with a taxi driver and paid the 150,000 dong from the airport to our hotel, Gia Thanh Phu Quoc Guest House. Read my independent review here.
The restaurant adjacently joining the guest house is called Acerola Bar and Restaurant and this is where we had breakfast – every morning. We bought a jackfruit at the market and they prepared us a wonderful smoothie- we left a generous tip for their kindness. Can’t say enough good about this family!
Dinner found us at a little restaurant just off the main street and a short walk to the beach called Thu Phuong. Read about what we ate, how much it cost and how it tasted here: Thu Phuong Restaurant Review. A romantic walk along the beach helped with digestion!
The next day, after a breakfast of beef noodle soup and an iced coffee to the sound of Vietnamese music, we walked down to the corner street and rented a moped for 122.000 per day, and filled in 60.000 dong of petro.
Our first stop was the Mui (Peninsula) Dinh Cau Buddhist Temple, located on a small cliff on the beach adjacent to a fishing village. We climbed the few stairs to the top, took some pictures and were on our way!
45 minutes later found us at Bãi tắm Sao / Sao Beach, also known as Paradiso beach. This is an unfortunate stretch of a beautiful, long, white sand beach which is strewn with garbage and many people. Too bad they do not clean this up!
Lunch found us on the beach at a restaurant called Nha Hang My Lan – Not memorable, not great food, but a fabulous view.
Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) 60.000 dong / €2.25 / USD$2.65, Mi Xao Rau (Noodles w/ vegetables) 80.000 dong / €3 / USD$3.50, Coke 20.000 dong / €0.75 / USD$0.90, Beer 25.000 dong / €0.94 / USD$1.10 Total: 185.000 dong / €7 / USD$8
A glorious, relaxed drive back through mountains followed the beach lunch. In the evening we went to the Phu Quoc Night Market for Dinner. After walking the market twice to see the offerings and prices, we settled on Quan An Mien Trung Restaurant. The very friendly owner is from Da Nang, speaks English a little and understands a lot!
Day 3 found us checking out Long Beach, about a 5 minute drive from our hotel. Trip Advisor had great reviews for RoRy’s Bar, so eventually we headed there to chill. It is a beautiful and popular location, but…
For Lunch we went to the Fabulous Bun Cha Ha Noi. This would become our favourite go to when it was open!
My husband hit the Barbershop Duy for a 50.000 dong much needed shave.
After dinner, we went back to Rory’s Beach Bar for drinks on the beach. Fabulous atmosphere, bonfire, lots of people and a good DJ.
On Day 4, when looking for a local dinner spot, we discovered the restaurant Quán Ốc Bình Dân and this is where we ate every night after! Simply put, the food flavours are a music explosion on the tongue!!!!
By Day 5 we had so fallen in love with Vietnam, we were frantically looking for an option to extend a visa, only to discover it can not be renewed easily ( German husband had only 15 days). If we would have pushed it, you need 3 days and $75. So we were sad to decide we would leave Vietnam after our Phu Quoc stay – very disappointed as Hue, Da Nang, Halong Bay were high on the top of our Vietnam list of where to go.
Drive to Kem Beach & Emerald Bay was on our 6th day in the morning. We had a backpack packed with drinks to take to the beach. We found our way in through the jungle on a dirt path and a big, almost private beach opened up. Only some fishermen shared the stretch of sand, trees and gorgeous water. We headed to a private spot and enjoyed the seclusion and scenery stretching through the bay.
After the beach, we stopped at a roadside restaurant called Bia Ruou Phu Quoc / Bia Tuoi Phu Quoc Craft Beer. It is located close to Coconut Prison and Emerald Bay so it was a perfect stop while waiting for the prison to open.
After our delicious lunch, we went to the Coconut Prison; the entrance fee of 20,000 dong was worth every penny. The perspective does not change the the horror of what took place in this prison. There are plaques throughout describing what is happening.
The next day found us at the huge Day Market in the streets by the fishing harbour. It was an interesting walk and we bought a Jackfruit (mit Thai) for 40.000 & a pear like bag of fruit called Rose Apple 25.000.
Our 8th day found us at Suoi Tranh Waterfalls. The Entrance fee was 10.000 dong per person plus a parking fee of 2000 for our moto. It is really nice gardens, a restaurant, colorful sculptures of animals and people throughout. We did the 1/2 hour hike over stones and rocks up to the waterfall. Not a lot of water this time of year, but it is a nice hike and pretty.
Back in town we found a restaurant called Quan Ra Koi. It was packed with locals so we decided it must be good; we walked in and found ourselves a seat. Based on all the shocked and smiling stares, I do not think they are used to foreigners! Read about our experience here.
Day 10 we went to get our Passport photos for our visa on arrival in Laos. Pho Bien, down by the Dinh Cau temple did our pictures for us. 200.000 for 10 photos – overpriced, but necessary. Our guest house said he ripped us off. The rest of the day was spent visiting our favourite spots and saying our goodbyes.
On the Last day, we had lunch at Acerola Bar Restaurant – read about prices and my review – before regrettably heading out.
Our Taxi to the Airport was 110.000 dong. We were very sad to leave Vietnam and have vowed we will return!
Next stop: Vientiane, Laos via Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok
Flight Jetstar Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh: 1,876.000 for 2 €77.49 or €38.75
1 hour delay
Flight Air Asia Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok: 3,024.000 for 2 €124.90
Flight Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos: $50 pp
Note: 2 weeks is NOT long enough in Vietnam- all nationalities with "free" visa, apply for minimum 1 month visa Note: It seems most locals speak NO English, not even in tourist places - everything works with pointing, calculators and smiles
Flight from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc: €32.23 per person
Lodging: €21.50 per night (€215 for our 10 nights)
Moped: €5 per day or €45 for the stay
Petro / Gasoline: €6.25
Entry Fees: €2.56
Food, Drink & Snacks: €211.19
Our Total Cost for 2 persons, 10 days in Phu Quoc, excluding flight: €490.75
Phu Quoc island on an extreme budget? Yes! For example:
– Stay at Langchia Hostel for $7 per night (includes breakfast & swimming pool)
– Buy fruits and veggies at the market
– Buy Noodles in the store & make your own noodles with a kettle and big bowl (borrowed or bought) – throw on market herbs and spice for great flavor
– Buy all beverages at the market (side street)
– Take towel and own food / beverages to beach
Maybe $10 per day???
Tip: book flights at least 4 days out for best prices!
Next Stop: Vientiane, Laos
Another great place:
Langchia Hostel & Bar:
– Chicken & Chips 80.000 dong / €3 / USD$3.50
– Fried Seafood, Salad & Steamed Rice 85.000 dong / €3.20 / USD$3.75
– Coke 20.000 dong / €0.75 / USD$0.90
– Saigon Beer 20.000 dong / €0.75 / USD$0.90
– Happy Hour: 250.000 dong / €9.35 / USD$11.00 for 3 Singapore Slings & 2 Saigon
Links of possible interest:
→ Phu Quoc Island Photos
…..⇒ Extreme Budget Tips – $10/day Phu Quoc
.….⇒ Stay: Gia Thanh Guest House
…..⇒ Eat: AceroLa Bar and Restaurant
…..⇒ Eat: Bia Ruou Restaurant & Micro brewery
…..⇒ Eat: Bun Cha Ha Noi / Bún Chả Hà Nội
…..⇒ Eat / Bar: Langchia Hostel & Bar
…..⇒ Eat: Quan An Mien Trung (at the night Market)
…..⇒ Eat: Quan Oc Binh Dan Restaurant
…..⇒ Eat: Quan Ra Koi / Quán Ra Khơi
…..⇒ Eat / Bar: Rory’s Beach Bar
…..⇒ Eat: Thu Phuong Restaurant
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Location: Asia > Southeast Asia > Vietnam > tỉnh Kiên Giang > Phu Quoc