Phu Quoc is home to some of Vietnam’s best beaches. While Vietnam’s largest island covers 1,320 square kilometres, it’s the white sandy ring lacing it that lures the crowds. Phu Quoc is at a crossroads, with extensive plans in the works to develop the coastline — this is one of the few places where you can watch a sunset over the ocean in mostly east-facing Vietnam.
Phu Quoc’s main Long Beach (or Bai Truong) runs 20 kilometres along the southwest. The northern section of this western-facing beach is home to the bulk of the island’s tourist infrastructure. Rows upon rows of palm trees share the expanse of sand with dozens of guesthouses and restaurants. Head a bit more south on a dirt road and large building sites for luxury hotels such as the Grand Mercure and Intercontinental emerge.
This is also where you find some of the island’s pearl farms and further down the dirt road you’ll get a whiff of the island’s other industry: fish sauce. Anchovies are caught off the coast and left to dry in the heat on large wicker mats. While the smell can be strong, take a look around at one of the factories to see what goes into the country’s ubiquitous condiment.