If you’re thinking about where to go for your next exotic getaway, we have something that’ll tickle your fancy. Dubbed as one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets (probably not for long though!), this slice of paradise not too far away from home will be the perfect choice for you.
Phu Quoc (pronounced “foo kwok”) is an unassuming Vietnamese island sitting just off the coast of Cambodia. If you need more convincing reasons why this should be your next beach vacation, read on.
#1 It’s surrounded by uninhabited islands
28 islands make up the Phu Quoc district, most of them uninhabited while some are planned for developments as private resorts. There are many tour companies that offer trips to these untapped islands, which are only accessible by boat. So, go ahead and find out what a real, untouched island looks like. We’re certain you’ll be amazed!
#2 The sandy white beaches ARE TO DIE FOR
Because not many people are aware of this hidden gem, the beaches are still pristine, and you can have it all to yourself! The soft fine white sand fringed by coconut trees makes it look like it came right out of a post card. Can you imagine laying around for a few hours, followed by a dip in the warm ocean, and then a delicious and freshly-caught seafood dinner on the beach with your loved ones?
Our favourites are the Long Beach, Sao Beach, and the Starfish Beach, known for its rich population of red starfish found bathing in the sun just a few feet from the water’s edge.
#3 There’s an old war-time prison on the island!
For the history buffs out there, Phu Quoc Prison is where Northern Vietnamese soldiers were imprisoned during the Vietnam.
It’s now a museum where visitors can see torture instruments, photographs of former prisoners and exhibits with life-sized mannequins depicting graphic scenes about what life was like when the prison was still in operation. It’s a great way for tourists to learn more about Vietnam and a reminder of how brutal wars can be.
#4 Half of the island is a protected natural park!
Set within the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, approximately 50% of the island is a national park. The tropical rainforests feature waterfalls, coral reefs, wetlands and other parts of the surrounding natural landscape.
The island also has a mountain landscape with 99 peaks running along the 48km length of the island! We can already foresee some Instagram-worthy spots.
#5 It’s known for its fish sauce and organic pepper
Did you know that Phu Quoc is famous for its pepper and fish sauce production? If you know this region well enough, you know that their food always has a little dash of fish sauce in them! Back in 2013, it became the first Vietnamese product to be given the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin Status. There are around 85 fish sauce producers on the island.
The island also boasts the best organic pepper, producing around 1,1000 tonnes every year using traditional farming methods and sustainable agriculture technologies. Head to the fish sauce factories and pepper farms for a closer look at local life.
#6 Easy access to and from the island!
Phu Quoc is a mere two-hour flight away from Kuala Lumpur, thanks to Air Asia! They just launched a direct route to Phu Quoc, with four flights to the beautiful island four times a week starting 2 November. It’s AirAsia’s 5th route into Vietnam alongside Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hanoi, and Nha Trang.
In conjunction with its launch, AirAsia is offering a special introductory all-in-fares from Kuala Lumpur to Phu Quoc from RM90. All you have to do is make your reservations from 8 August to 19 August with the travel period being 2 November to 29 March next year.
So, sway away from your usual beach options, and head to Phu Quoc for a new experience altogether. Rest assured, you’ll have the time of your life. 😉