This section of Phu Quoc Island sports is worth a look if you’re looking to do more than sunbathing on the beach during your holiday. As more than half of the island is a UNESCO-listed national park, nature lovers can enjoy plenty of recreational activities such as jungle-trekking, bird-watching, camping, and even wildlife photography. For those looking to stay close to the beach, there are several diving and snorkelling sites around the north of Phu Quoc Island, where you can explore pristine coral systems during the high season. Island-hopping is also a popular activity here, with numerous tours operating from Long Beach and Duong Dong. Ideal for spicing up your vacation, read on for our comprehensive list of what to do on Phu Quoc Island.
Explore the Island on a Motorbike
Travelling around the island is one of most fun things you can do, but beware – many of the island’s roads are not paved. Sturdy shoes and long trousers are a prerequisite. Scooters are easily rented from most hotels. In Duong Dong town you can see (and smell!) the fish sauce factories. Nearby is Suoi Tranh waterfall which is about 4m high (sometimes from January to May water can be a little lacking). Checkout Bai Sao on the east coast, reputed to be the best beach on the island, think white sand and turquoise sea. Find a deserted spot on long beach to stop for a swim. In the northern part of the island the terrain gets more mountainous, and the roads a little more bumpy. Lots of isolated beaches are waiting to be found, along the way up to Dai Beach and beyond, many small fishing villages are passed.
The national park, created in 2001 by the Vietnamese government, covers more than half the island. Thick foliage covers the mountainous slopes that are home to langurs, macaques, loris’, otters, hornbills and fruit bats. The best way to visit the park is to book a tour with your hotel as most of the trails are not signposted very well. It’s not a good idea to visit the park when it’s been raining heavily as you will get very muddy.
Phu Quoc National Park is not strictly defined, however until the National park is made more accessible for the needs of tourism, the following options are available for visitors keen to explore what is on offer;
- Hire motorbike on your own and explore the northerly parts of the island. The best areas and most forested parts can be found on the road toward Ganh Dau. To get there, take the road from Duong Dong towards Bai Thom and turn off toward Ganh Dau, the National park becomes more apparent the closer you get to Ganh Dau Village.
- Walking Trails are limited, though for a great way to experience the national park there is a good walking trail 5kms before Ganh Dau, where the going is relatively easy and trail wide enough to take in the surrounding environment. The walk is a particularly pleasant way to escape the heat, as the vegetation provides cover from the heat of the sun. Take the same road mentioned previously towards Ganh Dau and 100m after the 5km Ganh Dau road marker on the left hand side you’ll find an opening in the national park with a clearly defined walking trail which continues for a couple of kilometers. Note, besides the 5km Ganh Dau marker, the actual trail is not sign posted.
- If you’d like to experience the National Park along with other sites, you might consider booking a tour through one of the many tour operators on the island, or enquire with your hotel.
There are some dive sites around the north of Phu Quoc but most dive trips head to the pristine reefs of both hard and soft corals that teem with colourful fish around An Thoi. Nice reasonably shallow dive sites are numerous but don’t expect to any manta rays or large pelagic fish. Dive centres can be found easily around the island. Snorkelling Phu Quoc’s crystal clear waters offer some of Vietnam’s best snorkelling. Reefs fringe many of the islands and islets that make up the archipelago and snorkelling tours run daily during high season and will show you underwater habitats full of life and colour. The An Thoi archipelago consists of 12 islands located due south of Phu Quoc with pristine scenenery and an abundance of colourful reef fish, daytrips here often include a spot of fishing.
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