Riding the Phu Quoc Cable Car to Hon Thom will be the highlight of your trip to Phu Quoc, guaranteed. Check out all you need to know to plan your visit to Pineapple Island.
We truly enjoyed our time spent on Phu Quoc, it was one of our favorite places in Vietnam, and the cable car to Hon Thom Island was the highlight of our trip to Phu Quoc.
Since I published the post about the best things to do in Phu Quoc, I’ve been wanting to write a full post about the experience; I’ve finally found the time now that I’m based in Argentina for a few months and have an actual routine where I go to a coworking every day. It’s really difficult to keep moving from place to place and publishing content regularly on the blog, so I’m happy to slow down for a bit.
Enough ranting. The Phu Quoc Cable Car is an over-the-sea cable car route that connects Phu Quoc to Hon Thom Island, also known as Pineapple Island.
The cable car was officially opened in February 2018 along with the Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park. This cable car system was developed by Sun Group, a company responsible for many tourism developments in Vietnam, including the Ba Na Hills which has become super famous thanks to Instagram – I’m sure you’ve seen that photo of a bridge lifted by two hands.
Let me tell you all about riding the cable car and what to do in Pineapple Island, but first check out this timelapse of the cable car ride.
Phu Quoc Cable Car Practical Info
How long is the Phu Quoc Cable Car?
The Phu Quoc Cable Car to Pineapple Island is known as the world’s longest non-stop three-rope cable car ride and it’s won a Guinness World Record. But how long is it, exactly? The answer is: 8 kilometers, or 4.97 miles.
The cable car ride from Phu Quoc to Pineapple Island lasts 15 minutes,which is plenty of time to enjoy the views and take photos.
Phu Quoc Cable Car Opening Times
The Cable Car opens at 8 am with the last ride service available at 5:30PM. There’s a break in the cable car service from 12 till 1:30PM, so during this time you won’t be able to get to Hon Thom Island, or to go back to Phu Quoc.
How much is the cable car in Phu Quoc?
The official cost of the ticket for the cable car is 150,000 VND for adults and 100,000 VND for children, the equivalent of $6.47 and $4.31 at the time of writing.
⚠️You can’t buy tickets on the official website at the moment, but Klook is offering a discount on the official price so you can buy your ticket for less. ▶ BUY IT HERE
▶ You can also opt for a ticket that includes the cable car and entrance to SunWorld Han Thom Nature Park + buffet lunch. BOOK IT HERE
Otherwise you can buy your tickets at the official price at the ticket office located in the cable car station. Vietnamese nationals can ride the cable car for a cheaper price of 100,000 VND (adults) or 70,000 VND (children). The cost of the ticket covers the round-trip cable car ride and entrance to Hon Thom Island, Vietnam.
I personally think this price is a steal, and won’t last for long. I suspect the price will be a lot higher once the construction of the amusement park on Hon Thom Island is completed. Just as a comparison, the price for cable car+ entrance to Ba Na Hills which is another park of the Sun World group in Danang, costs $31.
How to Get to the Cable Car in Phu Quoc
The An Thoi cable car station is located in the southern side of Phu Quoc, just outside the town of An Thoi.
You have a few options to reach the cable car:
• free shuttle
• private taxi
• public bus
• motorbike rental.
▶ The company that runs the cable car offers a free shuttle service that runs from the center of Duong Dong to the cable car station. The bus makes a few stops on the way that can be more convenient if you are staying somewhere else than Duong Dong. We were staying at Novotel and we were lucky because one of the stops was right outside our hotel. The bus picks up passengers at Galaxy hotel, Lucky hotel, Long Beach Center, Sun Sea hotel, Eden resort, Novotel resort. It takes about 1 hour for the ride from Duong Dong.
When I visited in May 2019, the shuttle service was running at 8 am, 10 am and 1.30 pm, but I wasn’t able to find updated information about the shuttle schedule. Ask your hotel concierge and they will be able to help you out.
Update: the free shuttle is currently not operating as of December 2019 for maintenance. Check with your hotel if the shuttle is operating when you visit.
▶ If you prefer a more convenient service you can take a taxi. The Mai Linh company is a reliable one. Make sure to ask for the meter to be on, and ask your hotel reception how much should be a fair ride to the cable car from your location. On your way back, you won’t have trouble finding a taxi outside the cable car station to bring you back to your hotel.
I’ve been told by a reader that in 2019 Grab, the Asian equivalent of Uber, has started offering service in Phu Quoc. If the service is available, I strongly recommend using Grab over taxis. The service is safer, more convenient, and you always know how much you’ll be charged when ordering a ride.
▶ As of June 2109, a public bus has started operating from Duong Dong to the cable car station. The bus ticket supposedly costs 50,000 VND (about $2). Look for bus number 11, which should operate every 20 minutes. I still recommend asking your hotel reception for updated information as things can change. I have no idea if the bus runs all year long or just during the high season.
READ ALSO: What’s the Best Time To Visit Phu Quoc?
▶ You can also hire a motorbike, but even if Phu Quoc isn’t the same than Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Hoi An, it’s still Vietnam. This means that there are tons of motorbikes on the streets, and rules aren’t much of a thing here. I suggest you to only rent a motorbike if you’re experienced and know that you can handle it, otherwise you risk getting into an accident.
The Phu Quoc Cable Car Station: An Experience in Itself
The Phu Quoc Cable Car Station, where you take the cable car to Pineapple Island, is an interesting attraction in itself. The moment you step into the station, everything feels and looks distinctly Italian… or better, fake Italian. The station building has been modeled after Rome and you find fountains, fake ruins, and photo sets with the Colosseum.
Also, when the cable car ride starts, the first set of colored buildings you can see are made to look like the ones in Cinque Terre. It’s as tacky as possible, but exhilarating (especially for me as I’m Italian!). Stop and take a couple of pictures just because why not?
Riding the Cable Car to Hon Thom Island
The cable car ride is a truly amazing experience, as you will get a 360-degree view of the various landscape formations in the An Thoi archipelago. You can see from up there green lush islands, turquoise waters, fishing boats, and the numerous islands that form this archipelago.
After years of traveling full-time, it’s not easy for me to get wowed, but this was truly stunning. We visited on a gloomy day and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to see much, but the landscapes were still breathtaking. Those blue waters and coral reef! I can only imagine how beautiful it must be on a sunny day.
Being able to be so high up from land and enjoying the views for 15 minutes is a one-of-a-kind experience. Make sure to take photos! Your phone will be totally fine, in fact all the pictures in this post were taken with my iPhone X.
The cable car has 70 cars in total, and each car can fit up to 20 people or so. However when we rode it, we were 8 people per car so everyone had a seat. It would feel pretty crowded with 20 people in it!
The cable car is suspended using a three-rope cable car technology called 3S gondola, the safest and most modern cable car technology in the world. Each car is built with glass walls so you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the sea and the islands throughout your ride.
The ride can go as fast as 8.5 meters per second, which corresponds to 30 km per hour. It’s pretty fast!
For safety reasons, the cable car stops working in case of bad weather. It happened to us in Ba Na Hills and oh well, what can you do. We waited inside a cafe for two hours till the rain stopped and we were able to get back on the cable car.
Is the Phu Quoc Cable Car Ride Scary?
In short, no, the cable car ride itself in my opinion is not scary. The company that built the cable car is a world-renowned company, so the ride is safe.
Even Fran, who’s terrorized by heights, didn’t have any issues with the ride. However, some people might feel a little scared. First of all the cable car is quite high (the highest point is 174 meters), and the ride isn’t as smooth as other cable car rides I’ve taken. When the cable car passes the pillars, it suddenly accelerates and then goes down, and it feels a bit like you’re on a roller coaster- but nothing extreme.
Also, the car might stop mid-air for a few seconds. This is normal and there’s nothing to worry about, however the car can swing a little while stopped. But again, it’s nothing terrifying. Most people will be totally fine on the ride. If you’ve ever taken a cable car, it’s probably the same exact thing.
Things to do on Hon Thom Island (Pineapple Island)
By now you might be wondering what is there to see at Hon Thom Island, or Pineapple Island in Phu Quoc. Well, not much for now. Most people come for the cable car ride, and that alone is totally worth the cost in my opinion.
SunGroup is still building what will be an amusement park on the island. I didn’t really understand what the theme is supposed to be as it’s a mix of Hawaiian/tropical on the beach, but there are tribal decorations around the cable car station.
When you arrive to Pineapple Island, follow the signs for the free shuttle to the beach as it’s not walking distance. There’s a shuttle every 10 minutes or so, so don’t worry if it gets full.
The beach is very nice, and you can use the sun beds, hammocks and umbrellas for free.
There are also a couple of swings that are very popular for Instagram pictures, but apart from that there’s not much else for now. Fran and I mostly relaxed with a book on an hammock, had lunch and then headed back after a couple of hours.
A big water park is scheduled to open on Pineapple Island later this month (December 2019). From the pictures the park published, it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun! I’ll update this post as soon as I have new information.
When it comes to eateries, you have the choice between a couple of restaurants and a few street food stands. You can buy a ticket for the buffet restaurant directly on the island, or you can buy it in advance as part of your ticket to save a little. The buffet restaurant is open from 11 am to 2.30 pm.
I don’t remember the exact details, but we paid a pretty standard price for a banh mi, just slightly higher because after all you are inside an amusement park.
You Have Little Time in Phu Quoc? Check Out This Tour
If you’re only in Phu Quoc for a couple of days, you should try and make the most of your time by combining some of the best attractions of the island.
➤ The Cable Car Ride and Three Island Snorkeling Tour tour packs a lot in one day. You’ll first go on the cable car ride to Hon Thom to enjoy the views, then you’ll head via speedboat to Kho Island, May Rut Island, and Buom Island. These islands are known for their colorful coral reefs and crystalline waters that create the perfect conditions for snorkeling. The tour also includes lunch and transfers. BOOK IT HERE