We stayed three days in Phu Quoc Island, which is located very close to Cambodia. Admittedly, it was somewhat disappointing as the island presented itself as a large construction site owing to the ongoing tourism boom and is pretty dirty all over. Unless you book yourself into a nice resort (and stay there), plan to do water sports all the time or are attending the annual music festival EPIZODE this is not a must visit place.
Island tour – inland due to bad weather
Having slept most of our first afternoon, we had booked a boat & snorkeling trip for day two. Rain forced a cancellation and we opted for a land tour instead.
There were several stops including a pepper farm, a wild honey farm, a fish sauce factory 🤢and a factory of local wine (more like liqueur). The lunch stop near Sao beach was ok, but no-one really in swimming mood 🤷♂️. Not all that interesting to be honest.
However, there were also a few cool places:
- Pearl farm: This Japanese owned factory cultures pearls and also produces some amazing artwork from huge shells. Read more about pearl farming here. It was this ‘artificial’ pearl industry that brought down natural pearl fishing such as in Bahrain (Stopover in Bahrain). Laura didnt mind and got herself a little present 😉
- Ho Quoc Buddhist temple: Even though it was pouring down, we enjoyed the time in this magnificent temple. I bet the views on a good day are stunning.
- Phu Quoc jail: No longer operational, but dead cruel when it was. You really didn’t want to fall out of line here.
Checking out the island on 🛵
Call it a test ride for our bike tour later on! We got ourselves on a scooter and headed North. After quite a bumpy ride on a dirt road, we arrived at the village of Rach Vem.
They are fishermen and you can sample the fresh catch on the floating restaurants. Not super budget friendly, but tasty and quite picturesque. You can also spot starfish in the shallow waters.
From there we continued towards Ham Ninh stopping at an idyllic beach bar on the way for a fresh juice, some balancing practice and a game of volleyball. Massages were in order!
For dinner, we visited the night market. Super busy with other tourists and full of strange food options like snakes. I passed completely while Laura enjoyed a chocolate, banana & strawberry crepe.
We looked elsewhere and ended up in another, pretty busy street restaurant. My crispy noodles as well as Laura’s dish were again mediocre at best and so it was not bad that our time here was up.