An island set in Vietnam like a diamond on a ring, Phu Quoc (pronounced “foo kwuck”) shines as a place of stunning nature and landscapes. When visiting Phu Quoc, Vietnam there are loads of activities to do that will keep you feeling engaged, for weeks if you want!
From riding cable cars to exploring unspoilt islands, find out all the amazing things to do in Phu Quoc Island.
READ ALSO: What’s the best time to visit Phu Quoc?
Take the Cable Car to Pineapple Island (Hon Thom)
In February 2018, the beauty of the An Thoi archipelago was opened to visitors of Phu Quoc with the opening of the Phu Quoc cable car that connects An Thoi town with Hon Thom Island and the Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.
Recorded in the Guinness World Book of Records as the world’s longest non-stop three-rope cable car ride (8km), the long ride gives visitors an arresting and panoramic view of the An Thoi archipelago with its amazing green islands, its clear cerulean blue waters, and its turquoise coral reefs.
It’s truly breathtaking. We visited on a gloomy day and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to see much, but the landscapes were still stunning. Those blue waters and coral reef! I can only imagine how beautiful it must be on a sunny day.
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Phu Quoc Cable Car to Hon Thom Island: Prices & Info
Although the Hon Thom Nature Park is still under construction, visitors can still enjoy the ride and then relax on the beautiful beach. Right by the beach there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant, and there are a few stands selling banh my and meat skewers right on the beach at very reasonable prices.
⇒ BOOK HERE your entrance ticket to the Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park, skip the queue, and pay less than at the counter!
Go Snorkeling at Fingernail Island, Dam Ngang Island, and May Rut Island
If you are the type of person that likes to swim with the fishes, then you will definitely want to sign up for a day of snorkeling as you island hop by boat across Finger Island, Dam Ngang, and May Rut Island.
Start out your day at the southern point of Phu Quoc and then board a boat that will take you to Finger Island. Dive into the clear turquoise clear waters and go all the way to the very end. The water is so clear that you will be able to see your boat up top.
Then head on to Dam Ngang Island and explore the its vibrant aqua life and coral reefs. Here you’ll have lunch and fresh fruit. Finally, go on to May Rut Island for another beautiful swim before heading out to the harbor where a driver takes you back to your hotel.
This full-day tour is probably the most popular in Phu Quoc, as in one single days you get to see a few of the most beautiful spots in the area. And the good news is, you might think it’s expensive, but it’s not! At the time of writing (May 2019), the all-inclusive tour costs $32.
⇒ BOOK HERE the 3 Islands Full-Day Snorkeling Tour.
Take a Cooking Class in Phu Quoc
By now, you may have noticed that the food in Vietnam is pretty good… why not to learn how to replicate it back home? This is a great choice for a rainy day too.
Learn to prepare your own meals at Troc’s Kitchen. Providing classes during the weekdays or on weekends (either in the morning or in the afternoon), Troc’s team teaches foodies to cook local dishes like Pho soup, Vietnamese traditional hotpot, and other delightful delicacies… and then obviously you get to eat them! At around $30 per person, the classes are affordable and a great way to spend a different half day.
⇒ BOOK HERE your Vietnamese Cooking Class in Phu Quoc.
Explore the Beaches of Phu Quoc
With so many beautiful isles set in Phu Quoc, visitors would be unfulfilled if they don’t find time to visit one of the many beautiful beaches that adorn it. I mean, what did you come to Phu Quoc for if you didn’t go to the beach?
Visit Bai Sao Beach and find out why it is considered the belle of the beaches, with its white powdery sands and bars to provide cocktails as you watch the waves. If you prefer to combine the beach with an impactful visit to Coconut Tree Prison and the Tranh Waterfall, check out this tour.
Spend the afternoon at Starfish Beach in Rach Vem (included in this tour), and watch the splendid starfish swim in the shallow waters that is their natural habitat.
In the evening, head on down to Rory’s Beach Bar at Long Beach and have fun late into the night with other explorers of Phu Quoc as you dance, drink, and watch the waves go back and forth.
Browse the Markets of Phu Quoc
For those who enjoy exotic bouts of retail therapy, Phu Quoc’s markets are a good choice. During the day, you can explore the largest of Phu Quoc’s markets, Duong Dong Market, with its many sellers stocking fresh produce, seafood, and souvenirs.
If you enjoy shopping and browsing for your meals late into the evenings, the Dinh Cau Night Market offers an opportunity for that. It hosts more than 100 stalls filled with sellers of not just produce and souvenirs, but mini eateries that sell street snacks, freshly cooked meals, and affordable beverages as well.
Fish is usually fresh, but I recommend sticking to the eateries that are full with customers (and a higher turnover) to ensure the freshness of the fish. You really don’t want to get sick and spend your days inside the hotel room when you’re in such a beautiful place!
Visit the Dinh Cau Rock Temple, Cao Dai Temple, and Su Muon Pagoda
It’s hard to come this close to nature and not experience the divine.
Explore the Dinh Cau Temple and pay homage to Thien Hau – the sea goddess of Phu Quoc whom the fishermen pray to for bounty at sea. Climb the 29 steps necessary to reach her shrine, and then enjoy the beautiful sunset view after you are done in the temple.
Visit the Cao Dai Temple and marvel at the vibrancy and beauty of the architecture. Phu Quoc is considered the birthplace of Caoidaism, a religion that Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, and Taoism. Very interesting!
You can also learn about the history of Phu Quoc while soaking up the scenery and architecture of the oldest Buddhist temple in Phu Quoc – the Su Muon Pagoda.
Enjoy a Boat Trip at Sunset
On any sunny day in the perfect paradise of Phu Quoc, the colors that come alive with the sunset are something to behold in awe.
Take a sunset boat trip with some of the local fishermen and enjoy the view of the sun setting into the far sea of Phu Quoc while the fishermen crack jokes and net the evening’s catch of fish. The fishermen can also teach you to fish and catch slippery squid, then you can eat a delicious meal prepared with the evening’s catch. The squids aren’t guaranteed, but the fun is, and at $15, the tour is very affordable.
⇒ CHECK OUT HERE the Phu Quoc Sunset and Night Squid Fishing with Dinner tour.
Chase Waterfalls at Suoi Tranh Waterfall
Chasing waterfalls is always a great idea, and standing under the Suoi Tranh Waterfall and enjoying the clear, clean water as it rains down on you is definitely an experience to look forward to.
A four-meter tall waterfall that is set between Duong Dong Town and Long Beach, Suoi Tranh is the most popular of Phu Quoc’s waterfalls. It features luxuriant greenery and perfect pools, and is a great place to have a picnic while the water cascades down beside you.
You can reach the waterfall by motorbike or taxi, or join a tour to the South of the island which include this waterfall.
Wander Around the Phu Quoc National Park
Encompassing more than half of the northern part of the island, the National Park is Phu Quoc’s pride and joy, and part of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, which was instituted by UNESCO in 2010.
Visitors can feast their eyes on animals rarely seen as the park is home to 28 species of mammals, over a hundred different bird species, and more than 60 reptile and amphibian species. As it is a registered reserve, a large portion of the park is inaccessible to the public. However, visitors can go hiking through the Khu Rung Nguyen Sinh Forest Reserve with a professional guide, take pictures among the beautiful, tall trees, and watch the birds.
I haven’t personally visited the park as I didn’t have enough time. Unfortunately, since my visit I’ve heard multiple people saying the park isn’t worth a visit as it’s not taken care of and there are mountains of garbage everywhere. If you want to go, do your own research and most importantly ask locals (not your hotel or a tour agency that will want to sell you a tour) about the condition of the place.
Take Time To Reflect at the Phu Quoc Prison
Wherever atrocities have been committed, it is necessary for those who inhabit the area (and the visitors as well) to never forget.
The Phu Quoc Prison, also called Coconut Tree Prison, was a site upon which thousands of people were unjustly imprisoned and killed, first by the French colonialists who sought to break the spirits of the Vietnamese, then by the Saigon government as a war prison.
Today, the prison is a museum. Set up with mannequins in positions that reflect the terrible conditions prisoners were forced to exist in, and of the guards who kept them there. Visitors to the prison can learn about this dark side of Phu Quoc’s past and share in the memory to make sure it does not repeat itself.
You can reach the prison independently, or check out this tour which includes a visit to the prison + some of the highlights in the South of Phu Quoc.
Visit the Ham Ninh Fishing Village
Fishermen and seafood already make up a major part of the Phu Quoc experience, but visiting the charming Ham Ninh Fishing Village takes it to a totally different level.
Visitors who want to see what a day in the life of an aqua-agricultural worker looks like can spend their time watching the fishermen work, and people looking for souvenirs and a unique experience at the same time can engage locals to go diving for pearls and other jewels of the water. In the evenings, floating restaurants are open on the water, and dining in these spots is affordable and enjoyable.
Get a Massage in Phu Quoc
If you would like your body to experience the same calm you can literally feel in the air of Phu Quoc, then settling down to a body melting massage in any of the many massage parlors is a great idea. Being a well-practiced Asian tradition, the options available are endless.
Visitors can try out parlors like Luna Thai Spa or Lotus Spa for a full body massage with meals on the side or settle down for a full and luxurious In Balance Signature Treatment from In Balance Spa by Novotel (read below for a review).
Take a Cruise from Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh through the Mekong Delta
Never short of opportunities to see the working lives of the local people while enjoying the breath-taking scenery, tourists can take a cruise from Phu Quoc to Saigon through the Mekong Delta and do just that.
Picked up concierge-style in the morning, cruisers board the Mekong Eyes – wooden cruise boats – and set sail after lunch. Between cruising and then exploring the villages by foot, tourists are able to meet the locals, take memorable pictures, and enjoy freshly prepared dinners out on the water for two whole days. I recommedn the 2-days and a 3-days cruise.
The area of the Mekong Delta is mostly famous for its colorful floating markets (which you’ll obviously visit on this all-inclusive cruise), but in my opinion is mostly special because here you can see the real Vietnam. While floating on the river, you’ll see the daily life of the locals passing in front of you, with children who’ll shout “hello” from the banks.
I truly enjoyed this region, and this is a great way to continue your trip to Ho Chi Minh and see the Mekong Delta at the same time. It’s not for all budgets, but isn’t it better than flying to Saigon and then having to drive 2 to 4 hours south to reach the Mekong Delta?
Swim at Da Ban Spring
Located east of Duong Dong, Da Ban Spring is another waterfall that is worth visiting, especially if you’re looking to visit the Phu Quoc off the beaten path.
Da Ban means “Stone Tables Spring”, and in fact the terrain is covered by large flat stones. The streams converge in a sort of pool, where people love to bathe. Visitors can submerge themselves in the stream, or climb up the stone slabs of the spring to catch the beautiful songs of the birds mixed in melodiously with the gurgling of the stream.
Escape the Crowds at Ganh Dau Cape
If the rest of Phu Quoc seems crowded, visitors looking for more solitude can make their way to Ganh Dau Cape, with its isolated and quiet beaches, small villages surrounded with red soil, and beautiful quiet waters to swim in. From here, on a nice day you can even see the border with Cambodia.
Most tourists in Phu Quoc head to the Southern side of the island, but the Northern part, more wild and quieter, has nothing to envy to it, and Ganh Dau Cape is the perfect example. Ganh Dau Beach is lined by coconut trees, with wonderful views of the mountains in the background, and is stunning.
You can reach Ganh Dau Cape by motorbike, but be warned that it’s a long way (32km), other wise you can take a boat, or join a tour.
Where To Stay in Phu Quoc
Book your accommodation by using the map below ⬇
My Recommendation: Novotel Phu Quoc Resort
Phu Quoc is one of those places where it’s definitely worth it to splurge a little and stay at a nice beachfront resort. After all, if you’ve come to Phu Quoc is to enjoy the sun and the beach, and some affordable luxury can’t but better the experience!
Novotel Phu Quoc Resort for us was the perfect choice. This 5-star resort south of Long Beach offers the relaxation we were looking for, plus it’s located in a very strategic position. Located just a few miles from the airport, the resort is close to some beautiful beaches, unspoiled islands in the south, and the cable car with its incredible views. It’s also not far from Duong Dong town.
What’s even better, Novotel Phu Quoc Resort offers free shuttles to both the airport and Duong Dong a few times a day.
We were greeted at check-in with cold tea and refreshing towelettes, and then shown to our room… wow! We noticed that we were greeted with a personalized cake, cookies and a hand-written card and we fell in love right away.
See, luxury and design are obviously things we appreciate…but the personal touch is what really makes a difference for us. The devil is in the detail they say, and I agree!
It must be a thing of Accor Hotels, because also in Inle Lake in Myanmar they gave us the cutest gift at Sofitel!
We stayed in a Superior Room, which is spacious and includes everything you need, including facilities for making coffee, a luxurious shower, and a balcony that overlooks the pool. There are also colorful kimonos for the guests to use.
If you can splurge more, the resort features some beautiful beachfront bungalows and villas with private pools that look incredible!
The resort is a beachfront property on Truong Beach, a very nice beach with soft golden sand and palm trees… the stereotype of the perfect tropical beach.
The private beach includes beach umbrellas and beds, a beach volleyball court and some swings for the perfect Instagram picture.. plus incredible sunset views if you are lucky with the weather! Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were there, but this didn’t stop us from enjoying the resort and all the amenities.
Novotel Phu Quoc features two pools. One is an infinity pool that we could see from our balcony, which overlooks the whole property and the sea. It has hammocks that are perfect to relax or read a book.
The other one is right by the beach, next to the Ocean Bar, and is more animated and usually busier.
Every morning a huge buffet-style breakfast is served at the Food Exchange Restaurant. You’ll find anything from fresh fruit and bakery to Asian dishes, pancakes, and cooked-to-order eggs. We definitely never went hungry!
We also ate our meals multiple times at the Food Exchange Restaurant during our stay. The pizza and the sandwiches are really good!
One night during our stay, we had a very romantic dinner at Phu Quoc Seafood Restaurant, another one of the 3 restaurants inside Novotel’s premises. Here the menu is more sophisticated, and is mainly a seafood restaurant as you can imagine, but the menu also features meat choices.
We started our meal with a glass of wine and a California roll as starter, and then decided to go for the Signature dish, a plate with the most popular fish dishes.
Cheese oysters, two whole crabs, shrimps and more types of seafood were included in this seafood platter that we truly enjoyed (except the part of the crab opening, but fortunately a waitress came to our rescue and helped us out!). It was very romantic with a candle-lit setting, a great choice for couples.
One of the things I love to do on a beach holiday is getting pampered, so we headed to the In Balance Spa to try out their signature treatment, the 90-minute Bamboo Detox Full Body. It’s a very relaxing massage made with bamboo stalks, that improves the circulation, lymphatic drainage, and massages the deep tissue.
It was blissful! I loved how the masseuses alternated the warm bamboo stalks with their hands and an aromatic oil that we chose before starting the treatment. I entered a deep state of relaxation, also thanks to the fact that our masseuses were very professional and never chatted with each other, and the music in the background was relaxing.
We were extremely satisfied with the service at Novotel Phu Quoc Resort. Everything from the always helpful staff, to the good food and the beautiful design of the hotel was 5 star, and I definitely recommend this resort for a great holiday in couple or with the family.
Rates start at just under $100 per night for a Superior Room in low season, and $230 for a Deluxe Bungalow with private pool and garden view.
⇒ CHECK OUT rates and availability for Novotel Phu Quoc Resort HERE.
Visiting Phu Quoc is definitely an experience of a lifetime. Many tourists skip it when visiting Vietnam, and it’s such a shame! Here you can find some of the best beaches in Vietnam and more. I hope this guide will help you decide to come visiting Phu Quoc… enjoy!
Disclaimer: We were guests of Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, however all opinions are exclusively our own. I’m extremely opinionated, so I will tell you if something isn’t right!