Paradise Found: Phu Quoc Island
On February 23, Scott and I reluctantly left Cambodia for Vietnam. Our first stop was Phu Quoc Island, located just 15km South of Cambodia’s Islands.
From the time we left our guesthouse in Phnom Penh to the time we arrived in Phu Quoc Island, it took exactly 10 hours. But it was worth it! For $40 a night we stayed at Paris Phu Quoc Resort and had a large room with our own patio and free breakfast. The hotel was located right on a stunning beach where you saw endless sky and water meet:
We only had two full days in Phu Quoc and had to make it count, so we went with our normal Island routine: 2 wheel exploring! I am very lucky to have Scott on this trip with me because he is a skilled motorcyclist and the roads here are not the best. Locals often warn tourists not to rent motorbikes because of the poor roads, but Scott is a pro and we were able to explore a lot more of the Island than the regular tourist.
I enjoy it too!
This time we rented one of the best motorcycles we have seen so far. This guy’s bike was pretty awesome though:
Phu Quoc Island doesn’t have the best roads. There really is only 1-2 paved roads and the other paths we drove down ranged from gravel to clay roads to even sand walking paths in the middle of a forest! I still can’t figure out how sand ends up in a forest. But Scott was able to safely get us through whatever obstacles came our way. Including this crazy one!
After going through a combination of the roads mentioned above, we reached a clay oceanside road. We cruised down miles and miles of untouched beach dotted by the occasional fishing shanty.
We drove to the Southeast part of the Island and ended up at Sao Beach. I know I have said this before but Sao Beach is probably the most beautiful beach I have seen. It reminded us a lot of Haad Rin Beach where the full moon party is held. A bay of pure white powder and turquoise waters nestled in a palm tree lined jungle. To top it off, it wasn’t very developed. Paradise again!
It was a little cloudy that day but we managed to get some decent photos:
Phu Quoc Island is known for a few things – beautiful pearls, hot peppers, the best fish sauce and the best Seafood. Our second day we did some more Island exploring and went on a night squid fishing trip with some fisherman!
We left the harbor just in time to witness a gorgeous sunset:
Here is a floating fishing village that we stopped at. We were able to buy fresh seafood to have it grilled for dinner.
After the sunset we started fishing.
I have only been fishing a few times and unfortunately have never caught anything. I must have cursed the entire boat because the only thing that was caught that evening was a palm-sized octopus!
Luckily the fisherman had a backup plan for us and we were still able to eat some delicious squid dishes (we just were not responsible for the catch!).
When we got home, we stopped at our hotel’s beachside restaurant and started talking to a nice Vietnamese woman that was sitting with her laptop at a table. It turns out that she was the owner of the place and was visiting from Paris! She and Scott started talking and somehow she challenged Scott to a ping pong match! So we went to Rec Room and they both warmed up. Within a few minutes of warmups we realized that this woman could seriously play. Turns out she was the former ping pong champion for Hanoi! Scott held his own but a real match never happened because her staff needed her so she had to step away. But she did challenge Scott to a real match soooo I guess we have to return to Phu Quoc some day!
People have said that Phu Quoc Island is how Phuket used to be before it was overrun by development. I can see what they mean because a lot of the Island is still untouched and the beaches possess the same qualities as Thai beaches (only with warmer water!)
Upon visiting those untouched beaches, we saw billboards showing construction plans for future megaplexes so I don’t see this Paradise staying the same for two long. So if Vietnam is on your list, definitely visit Phu Quoc Island sooner than later!