Your guide to the best of Phu Quoc Where to stay Great places to eat Secluded beaches Forest walks EDITION 1 ISBN 978-1-929774-38-8 OUR TEAM VISIT PQ This guide doesn’t write itself you know! Here’s the talented team who’ve pulled all the information together and created Phu Quoc’s number 1 travellers’ guide. Rohan Barker Publisher Australian-born Rohan has been living on Phu Quoc for 9 years and is the owner of Buddy Ice Cream and Info Center, as well the man behind the Phu Quoc tourist map. Married to Duong – a native Phu Quoc islander – with two gorgeous kids – Kaitlyn, 7, and Justin, 5, the family spend their free time relaxing at the beach and exploring the hidden corners of the island. Yanneth Albornoz Designer Specializing in illustration as well as logo and full branding design, Yanneth’s work has taken her around the world. In addition to working with clients on a global basis, Yanneth’s personal work has been published and exhibited in Germany, France, Dominican Republic and Brazil. In her spare time Yanneth is an active member of the burgeoning Saigon art scene and is a contributor to the Saigon Artbook collective. Welcome to Phu Quoc Come on in... the water’s lovely! Welcome to Phu Quoc – The Pearl Island. Whether you’re here to relax on sun-kissed beaches, explore remote corners of the island, or gorge on the mounds of fresh seafood, you’ll see discover the charms that make Phu Quoc a true southeast Asia gem. Daniel Le You’ll find the islanders are incredibly friendly and welcoming, the weather’s fantastic (wet season downpours aside), the views are stunning and the local food… well, you’ll soon discover for yourself why Vietnamese and Phu Quoc food is talked about the world over. The free visitors map and lots of helpful information can be found in many hotels, bars & restaurants around the island. We love nothing more than helping visitors with friendly advice and the best suggestions. There’s also the Info Centre at Buddy Ice Cream in the centre of Duong Dong – the main town on the island. Daniel hails from Di Linh district near Dalat, in the south central region of Vietnam. After finishing school Daniel spent 7 years in Ho Chi Minh City furthering his education until the travel bug bit him. Having travelled extensively around Vietnam Daniel now calls Phu Quoc home, where you’ll often find him swimming, reading or enjoying a game of Chinese chess. In this guide we’ll set out some of the basics for getting the most out of your time on the island. From the best beaches to the best value accommodation, and from pagodas to night markets – the full Phu Quoc A-Z is here. Philip Genochio Make sure you pick up our sister publication – the free Phu Quoc visitors’ map. This will help you get your bearings, show the key places on the island and give you some suggestions for things to do and places to go. So there is no excuse for not getting out there and seeing the best that Phu Quoc has to offer. Although you might find it hard to drag yourself away from the beautiful pristine beaches dotted around the coast. It’s the main reason people come after all! Sales Writer Philip’s been living in Saigon for almost 4 years and in that time has been a frequent visitor to Phu Quoc. With a background in the travel industry, Philip takes a keen interest in the island’s development as a tourist destination and loves meeting the islanders in restaurants to sample the delicious local food. Have a great time on our wonderful time on our island – and we hope to see you back again soon. Visit Phu Quoc is a free guide published by Ban Be Phu Quoc Co., Ltd. It is designed by Purple Asia (www.purpleasia.com). The authors make no guarantees as to accuracy of information and accept no liability for any inconvenience caused by any misprint or inaccuracy. Things are changing rapidly on the island and some details may have changed post-publication. For up-to-date information please visit www.visitphuquoc.info | [email protected] 3 CONTENTS Introduction to Phu Quoc Page 6 - 13 Activities and places Page 14 - 36 Directories News & useful information Page 52 - 56 Page 37 - 51 5 restaurants as well as shops and services for pretty much every eventuality. Historically, the local population of nearly 100,000 has been employed largely in the fishing industry. However, as the island’s popularity continues to soar, tourism has become the main source of employment for the islanders. AROUND THE ISLAND Orientation Find your way to everywhere from north to south This verdant Island is surrounded by a number of smaller islands mainly to the south and has some of most beautiful beaches in Vietnam as well as some of the best seafood. Phu Quoc – known as The Pearl Island – sits in the Gulf of Thailand and around 45km from the town of Ha Tien, on the Vietnam mainland. Measuring just under 50km from north to south, and 20km east to west, the island packs a lot in to a small space. Running along the west coast is the fabulous Long Beach, home to many resorts and villas – and the perfect spot to catch the wonderful Phu Quoc sunset. As the beach runs for almost half the length of the island, you shouldn’t struggle to find a quiet spot. Whilst the beach dominates the west coast, in the north the National Park and other rural areas are the key attraction. Hiking trails, waterfalls and wildlife await those with a sense of adventure. Phu Quoc is actually part of an archipelago, with over 20 smaller islands to the south. These make for a great day out with fishing and snorkeling trips being very popular excursions from the southern beaches. The island’s ‘capital’ is Duong Dong, located on the west coast about half way up the island. This is a typical Vietnamese town – bustling morning markets, quiet lunchtimes and busy again in early evening as the locals finish their day – with the added benefit of everything handily placed for the visitor. Duong Dong has a great selections of bars, cafes and Running along the west coast is the fabulous Long Beach, the perfect spot to catch the wonderful Phu Quoc sunset. If you’re moving around the island it’s useful to get your bearings. The airport is towards the southern end of Phu Quoc, about a 20 minute drive south of Duong Dong town. There’s essentially one main road running the length of the island which splits in the north to take you to the northwestern and northeastern corners. There are of course smaller roads and lanes, and more are being added all the time as the island infrastructure improves. These back roads, however, are often unsurfaced and may not be suitable for motorbikes or bicycles, particularly in the wet season. That’s the beauty of Phu Quoc – so much variety in such small space. Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the Phu Quoc Visitors Map! Available at many hotels, restaurants and bars as well as Buddy Ice Cream & Info Centre in Duong Dong town. Whatever road you take though, and however you take it, you’ll find plenty of quiet spots to explore – often with just a handful of villagers for company. EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT SASCO TAXI Sit back and let someone else do the driving. Taxi! Getting around the island can be a time-consuming affair, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the road network. Best then to sit back, relax, and let a local do the driving. Sasco is Phu Quoc’s official taxi company with English-speaking drivers who are native to the island. So you can be assured of not only a professional service but also local knowledge to get you where you need to go. With a range of vehicles to suit every need, including modern 7-seat Toyota Innovas – if you’ve spent any time in Vietnam you’ll have noticed how trusted and reliable these taxis are – Sasco can help with a variety of solutions. From airport pick ups and day tours to wedding cars, quick runs to Duong Dong and even long term rentals with a private driver, there’s very little Sasco can’t do. Independently minded travellers often use Sasco cars and drivers for private tours around the island. Explore Phu Quoc from the comfort of the back seat while a local shows you the hidden gems. Your hotel’s front desk should be able to arrange a taxi for you. Remember to allow enough time before ordering – we move at a slower pace on Phu Quoc! SASCO TAXI WHERE: 79 Nguyen Trung Truc Street, Duong Dong Town TEL: 07 73 76 76 76 EMAIL: [email protected] www.sascophuquoc.com 7 By Sea The main ferry operator is Superdong, who offer sailings from Rach Gia, in the far west of the Mekong Delta, and Ha Tien on the Vietnam/Cambodia border. There are more crossings from Rach Gia but the sailing time is longer owing to the greater distance. AROUND THE ISLAND Superdong operate various ferries with capacity ranging from 170 to 300 passengers. Getting there and away Ferries arrive at/leave from Bai Vong in the south of the island. Motorbike taxis and minibuses will always be on hand to take you on to your final destination. Finding your way to our Island Paradise Additional sailings operate from/to Ha Tien during peak months and holiday periods (Nov – Feb) At time of going to press adult tickets were 350,000vnd (Rach Gia) and 230,000vnd (Ha Tien) each way. You can reach Phu Quoc by sea or air. Obviously air is quicker but if you’re travelling through the Mekong Delta then it’s likely that hopping on a ferry at Rach Gia or Ha Tien is your best bet. By Air The new international airport means visitors are now able to fly directly to Phu Quoc on international flights. However, these only started at the end of 2014 and are limited to Singapore and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Most people fly to the island on domestic flights within Vietnam. International Flights Vietnam Airlines are now operating direct flights to Phu Quoc from Singapore and Siem Reap, Cambodia. At time of going to press, the schedules are: Singapore (flying time 2 hours) : Two flights a week – Thursday, Sunday Siem Reap (flying time 1 hour) : Three flights a week – Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday USEFUL INFO Vietnam Airlines: www.vietnamairlines.com T. (+84) 773 846 086 VietJet Air: www.vietjetair.com T. 1900 1866 (within Vietnam only) Jetstar: www.jetstar.com T. 19001550 From Rach Gia to Phu Quoc (and v.v.): depart arrive 08:00 10:20 09:00 11:20 12:40 15:00 13:00 15:20 From Ha Tien to Phu Quoc: Domestic Flights Currently three airlines operate domestic flights to Phu Quoc – Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Jetstar. Tickets are widely available at travel agencies all over Vietnam as well as online of course. You can reach Phu Quoc from these cities: Ho Chi Minh City (flying time 40 minutes) Vietnam Airlines – 4 flights a day VietJet – 3 flights a day Jetsar – 2 flights per day Hanoi (flying time 2 hours) Vietnam Airlines – 1 flight a day VietJet – 1 flight a day Can Tho (flying time – 30 minutes) Vietnam Airlines – 1 flight a day Rach Gia (flying time – 30 minutes) Vietnam Airlines – 2 flights a week Fares (guideline only): From Ho Chi Minh City: from 1,000,000vnd one way From Hanoi: from 2,000,000vnd one way From Can Tho/Rach Gia: from 800,000vnd one way These airlines will offer connections across Vietnam via Ho Chi Minh City. depart arrive 07:30 08:50 08:00 09:20 13:15 14:35 From Phu Quoc to Ha Tien: depart arrive 08:30 09:50 09:45 11:00 13:00 14:20 Details correct at time of going to print. Please check with your travel organizer or the individual operators for up-to-date details when making your arrangements. USEFUL INFO Travel agents in Vietam will be able to assist with tickets and reservations, or you can call Superdong direct: Phu Quoc: (+84) 773 980 111 Rach Gia: (+84) 773 877 742 Ho Chi Minh City: (+84) 838 666 333 www.superdong.com.vn 9 Phu Quoc in numbers The facts and figures of your holiday island Population > 100,000 TRAVEL TIPS When to go The dry season typically is November to April when skies are blue, the sea is clear and diving at its best! Size >574 km2 Flying time from Ho Chi Minh City > 40 minutes M C Distance from mainland > 48 km Distance from Cambodia > 5 km Number of mountains > 99 Latitude > 10o01’ – 10o27 north With temperatures rarely dipping below 25oC (77oF), any time of year is a good time to visit beautiful Phu Quoc. However, there are some differences in the weather throughout the year, most noticeably between the wet and dry seasons. Dry season in Phu Quoc is typically November through to April, when the skies are blue, the sea on the west coast is very calm and diving is at its best. However, we often get high temperatures leading up to the wet season in March, April and in to May. Not surprisingly, dry season is when most people visit, so we recommend booking accommodation in advance, especially at weekends when a lot people fly over from Ho Chi Minh City. The period December to February is the busiest time of year, with western and local Vietnamese holidays, so we strongly suggest booking accommodation in advance if you’re planning on visiting Phu Quoc during this time. Longitude > 03o51’ – 104o50 east 2015 Public Holidays* Width > 19 km Length > 48 km January 1 February 16th to 23rd February 19th April 28th April 30th May 1st September 2nd st New Year’s Day Lunar New Year holiday Lunar New Year Day Hung Kings’ day Reunification Day Labour Day Independence Day The wet season usually starts towards the end of April/early May and continues to October, sometimes into November. Temperatures in the rainy season are much milder which makes Phu Quoc more comfortable for some people. However, the rain can be heavy – particularly towards the end of the season in September and October, when you can expect a heavy downpour once a day. At this time, the good weather in the morning is ideal for touring or relaxation on the beach. The northern interior, with its waterfalls and rich vegetation, is best visited in the wet season. The rivers are at their peak and the forests are a lush green – a stark difference from the dry season. The wet season also has an effect on the sea around the island. On the east coast, particularly Sao and Kem beaches, the sea is often calmer and clearer whilst the west coast can be quite rough, even dangerous for swimming at certain times. Of course, all this being said, the weather should never totally dictate when you visit Phu Quoc as there’s always something to do and see on the island. * Please note these are predicted 2015 dates and are subject to final confirmation by the government. 11 AROUND THE ISLAND Getting around Scooter Taxi, bicycle... Phu Quoc’s small size and relatively quiet roads make it ideal for exploring by motorbike. With a map and a tank of petrol you’ll be able to tour the country lanes and quiet beaches that the tour groups can’t get to. In and around the main town of Duong Dong, you can get around very easily on foot. Everything is close to hand with shops, restaurants and bars all within short strolling distance of each other. Most hotels and guesthouses will help organize a motorbike for you. Just give them enough time – usually just a few hours – and motorbikes can be delivered to where you are staying. If you’re looking to head further afield then bicycles are a great option. Away from the busier roads you’ll find you can ride at a leisurely pace and take in the quiet streets, back roads and beaches whilst getting some mild exercise. You can expect to pay between 120,000vnd and 200,000vnd per day, depending on season and style of scooter/motorbike. For longer distances, motorbikes are a convenient and highly affordable way to experience Phu Quoc. It’s a great experience to be independent and visit parts of the island most people rarely get to see. Please be a responsible rider and remember the following: • Make sure your travel insurance covers riding a motorbike • Check your insurance. If the bike is bigger than 50cc you may not be covered in case of an accident. You must be riding legally to be covered by insurance! • Helmets are to be worn at all times • Don’t drink and ride • Cover up! You catch the sun a lot quicker than you think on a bike • Avoid riding at night – street (and some vehicle) lighting is often inadequate • Be aware of other road users (including dogs!) turning out without warning • Always be alert! Where to rent a scooter If you’re in a small group, or would just like to sit back and let some else do the driving, then taxis can be rented by the day or half day. Most taxis are 7-seaters so are perfect for families want to get out and hit some remote beaches. Your hotel can help with reservations – we suggest booking at least a few hours in advance to be sure of getting a vehicle at the time you want. Safety comes first: Whether you’re cycling or riding a motorbike please be alert at all times. Don’t be fooled by the slower pace of life on Phu Quoc, vehicles can sometimes be travelling fast. ‘Right of Way’ is a very loose term in Vietnam - so look out for vehicles pulling out in front of you. • A Hà Main road out of Duong Dong near Jungle Bar • Cami Café & Restaurant Main road opposite Salinda Resort • Đuc Thanh Homestay Main road opposite Long Beach Resort • Green Travel At main road turn off to La Veranda Resort • Haven restaurant Main road near Castaways Resort. Tel: 0914 503 769 (Mr Nhat) • La Mer Resort On Long Beach near Mai House Resort • May Misa restaurant Main road on the way near town • Paris Shop: Small road to La Veranda Resort. Tel: 090 740 104 (Ms Thay) • Thanh Hai Hotel Small road to La Veranda Resort next to Le Bistrot 13 EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Face The Beaches A quick guide to the island’s main beaches. Long Beach You may well be staying on a stunning beach at your resort or hotel but, with hundreds of kilometers of coastline waiting to be explored, Phu Quoc’s crying out for some sand-based discovery! As the name suggests this is the longest beach and is on the west side of the island, this is where most of the Hotels and Resorts are located. If you explore you will find some parts totally deserted and to yourself, while in the main Tourist area it can be busy with plenty of eating and drinking options. Phu Quoc not only has some of the best beaches in Vietnam but is one of the only places that faces west for magnificent sunset views. Sao Beach Generally, the better beaches are to be found on the west and southeastern coasts. Some are a little harder to get to than other but all of them have something worth visiting, whether it’s perfect warm clear water for swimming and snorkeling, small local seafood or BBQ joints or just the simple pleasures of a deserted fine white sand beach. Another gem in the southeast corner of the island. Sao Beach is Phu Quoc’s most beautiful beach, and possibly the best beach in Vietnam. Here you can dine on exquisite fresh seafood by the fine white sands of the beach or take a dip in the clear turquoise waters. We’re not sure how long Sao Beach will remain unspoilt, so visit now while it’s untouched. Please take a look through our selections that will help make the most out of your beach stays whilst in Phu Quoc. Cua Can Beach west for that magnificent sunset An Thoi Islands 30 minutes by boat off the southern tip of Phu Quoc is the An Thoi archipelago of more than 20 islands which are brimming with scenic deserted beaches, colorful coral reefs and colonies of diverse fish species. Ask your hotel’s tour desk, or pop in to the Tourist Information Centre at Buddy Ice Cream in Duong Dong for details on getting to the islands. Located on the west coast approximately 10km north of Duong Dong town, and close to the village of Cua Can, lies this quiet deserted beach and beautiful river estuary. 15 EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT The Beaches Discover some of the less trodden beaches listed here, they will certainly make the journey well worth it. EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Sealife Whether Diving, snorkeling or just relaxing on the sea, there’s plenty of nature to be explored. With 125 species of fish, 132 species of mollusk and 62 different species of seaweed, in and around Phu Quoc is a great place to explore the interesting life under the sea. Ong Lang Beach Vung Bau Beach A beautiful long stretch of beach only 6km from town, protected by the currents and waves at one end by a rocky point this is a great beach to visit and is often deserted particularly during the week. Located on the northwest coast just past Cua Can village lies this beautiful half moon beach. A great choice for swimming or snorkeling. There are many small boats here, and you can ask the owners to take you out to nearby Turtle Island for a small fee. Ganh Dau Beach Kem Beach On the top northwest side of the island lies the sleepy area of Ganh Dau. Just before the village take a left where you’ll find a small beach with crystal clear waters to cool off in. Not too far away, 5km inland, is the wonderful forest nature walk. Combine the two for a great day out. Located in the southeast corner of Phu Quoc, close to Sao Beach, this is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. It’s not the easiest beach to get to but the effort is well worth it. Take the short trip by boat or walk along the beach at low tide from the southern end of Sao Beach or access from the main road. Remember : Leave valuables safely at your hotel and take good care to swim safely when visiting isolated beaches. If you’re travelling on your own it’s advisable to let someone at your hotel know where you’re going and its handy to always keep the hotels business card with you to easily find your way back! 17 Phu Quoc in numbers Take a look at our statistical snapshot of Phu Quoc to give you a great insight into what can be found and discovered in this wonderful place! EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Coi Nguon Museum There’s only one museum on Phu Quoc but it oozes culture and history at every turn. Phu Quoc’s history and natural heritage captured in one location. Worth a visit. With the array of glorious beaches, stunning scenery and sumptuous fresh seafood available to the Phu Quoc visitor, it’s easy to overlook the more cultural aspects of the island. It would be a shame though, having travelled all that way to this topical paradise, not to learn more about its history and people. 2,500 UNESCO-inspected and certified artifacts, some dating from the 15th Century, that highlight Phu Quoc’s rich and varied history. Take a wander outside, through the gardens, and you’ll discover traditional stilt houses and displays giving an insight to the rural working life for families on the island in days gone by. Animal lovers will be happy to explore the grounds a little further to visit the sea eagle sanctuary. This small reserve has been established to help project this endangered species and help reintroduce the birds back in to their natural habitat. Thankfully the Coi Nguon Museum provides an abundance of artifacts and information to give the visitor an ideal opportunity to learn more about the island, its culture and history. Located half way between the international airport and the island’s main town, Duong Dong, the museum was established in 2009 by Huynh Phuoc Hue who amassed his collection over a 15-year period. The museum’s collections are thoughtfully exhibited over 4 floors, with a rooftop terrace providing sweeping views of Duong Dong, the forests and the coastline. Additionally, there are walkways and gardens in the museum grounds for further exploration. Amongst the items on display you’ll find a stimulating collection of traditional paintings, artwork – including driftwood pieces and folk art – and photography. There’s antique pottery and ceramics amongst over National Park area > 56,200 ha Highest point > Mount Chua - 603m Average rainfall (wet season) > 287 mm per month Number of islands > 24 Average rainfall (dry season) > 100 mm per month Mammal species > 43 Bird species > 84 Sealife > 125 species of fish 132 species of mollusk 62 species of seaweed Religions > 3 Buddhist, Cao Dai and Catholic Average high temp. > 31.4°C Main produce > Fish sauce, pepper, seafood Average low temp. > 23.3°C Plant species > 929 including six endangered species: Silvered Langur, Slow Loris, Pygmy Loris, Crabeating Macaque, Stump-tailed Macaque and the Small-clawed Otter. So if you’re in need of a culture fix, or just want to get out of the sun for a few hours, head over to Coi Nguon Museum and learn all you need to know about your holiday island. VISIT COI NGUON MUSEUM WHERE: 149 Tran Hung Dao Street, Quarter 7, Duong Dong Town, Phu Quoc Island. OPENING HOURS: from 7 am to 10 pm TEL: 077 398 0206 EMAIL: [email protected] www.coinguonphuquoc.com 19 “ ... the locals are very friendly and welcoming, but what I like most is their ability to carry just about anything on their motorbikes”. MEET THE EXPAT Regis Remy From Silicon Valley to island paradise meet one of the more jovial characters on the island! The foreigners living and working on Phu Quoc make a great contribution to the island, creating jobs and providing services but with the knowledge of a local! How long have you lived on Phu Quoc? Amazingly, I’ve been here 12 years now. It’s flown by! Where are you from originally? I’m from the north of France, quite close to the border with Belgium. What do you do here? We own and operate Bo Resort – a small friendly place on Ong Lang Bay. What’s Phu Quoc’s best-kept secret? It is not a secret but maybe a place that is not known enough is Pho Bien in front of the light-house next to Dinh Cau temple in town at the entrance of the harbor. Arguably the best view in Duong Dong, you can view from 3 sides and if the weather is clear you can see far off into the distance. Your favourite cheap eats? Saigon Pho on 30 Thang 4 street for its Pho or Viet Xua on Hung Vuong street, (next to the big bridge) for its calamari and shrimp noodle soup called in Vietnamese “Hu Tieu Tom Muc” Best place for smart dinner? In town “Em Oi” restaurant at 40 Tran Hung Dao where everything has been made with great flavours really impressive Vietnamese and western cuisine. Out of town Chen Sea Resort is perhaps the best spot on the island for romantic dinners and celebrations. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet the GM, Olivier who’s a real character with great stories to share. EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Best bar or the one you most frequent? In the evening I like Coco Bar, it’s on Tran Hung Dao near the entrance to La Veranda resort. During the day I often head to Buddy’s on Bach Dang, not only for a drink but also for their all-day breakfast. Nature look Phu Quoc is a densely forested island What’s your top 3 Phu Quoc ‘must-do’ for visitors? • The Northern part of Bai Sao is much quieter than the rest of the beach and “Không Sao” restaurant there is great - especially with their Miami style decor! • Tranh Stream waterfall is a nice gentle trek along the small river, and you can swim at the foot of the waterfall lovely cool fresh water pool. • Ganh Dau village, in the north west of the Island, is worth a visit for the market and an amazing ‘platform’ on the sea. It’s 30 meters from the shore and from there you can take spectacular pictures of the beach and coastline. Just in terms of flora, the National Park is an ideal natural environment for plant species with approx. 13,000 ha of lowland evergreen forest equivalent to 40% of the total area of the park. with a total of 99 mountain peaks What do you like best about the islanders? Of course the locals are very friendly and welcoming, but what I like most is their ability to carry just about anything on their motorbikes. It sometimes looks like a circus routine – even after 12 years on the island I never failed to be amazed. Your favourite time of year...? That would be right after the wet seasson in November and December. The island’s bursting with colours with flowers, trees and plants coming to life, and the temperature is not too hot – just right. On page 33 we meet a native islander for a true locals’ insight to life on Phu Quoc. 21 EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT TRAVEL TIPS Eating & drinking The Embassy Phu Quoc coffee gets a makeover with a Swedish twist. Phu Quoc has always had a range of good small bars and cafes for cold beers and light bites, and there’s a fresh new addition in shape of The Embassy. Long term Phu Quoc expats, Erik and Hanna – the people behind the popular Mondo Restaurant & Lounge - have teamed up with business partners from Sweden and Australia to create a sophisticated and elegant spot for drinks and food that retains the great service which they are known for. Come to get your coffee fix and light breakfast in their air conditioned bar-lounge, where they serve Italian Illy coffee using a traditional Italian espresso machine. Like everything here the coffee’s made with a passion that will have you coming back for more. For your evening satisfaction they offer a diverse and interesting selection of wines, thirst-quenching cold beers and some great signature cocktails that will keep you going well in to the night. On the food front, don’t miss out on their cheese plate, anti pasto platter and scrumptious desserts and ice cream. THE EMBASSY OPENING HOURS: 8am to 1am TEL: (+84) 968 067 940 EMAIL: [email protected] www.niamondo.com Culinary experiences you will never forget. Phu Quoc really is a foodie’s paradise. Not only is the best of Vietnamese and international cuisine available but every morning local fisherman bring ashore the freshest and tastiest seafood and fish to be found in southeast Asia. International chefs are attracted to the island’s abundance of fresh ingredients and, at resorts and Itaca Lounge Spanish head chef Mateu Batista uses his 25 years of experience to conjure up superb tapas and dishes that tease the palate with a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian flavours. The restaurant is set amidst an elegant Mediterranean -inspired décor where simplicity is the key to give an uncluttered peaceful space to relax in. The bar staff playfully muddle, shake and stir your 754 Restaurant La Veranda Bamboo Cottages Le Bistro Berezka Mango Bay Buddy Ice Cream May Restaurant Cassia Cottage Mercure Resort Coco Bar Oasis Drunken Monkey Palm Tree EMOI Restaurant & Lounge Peppers Pizza & Grill German B Pizza Oi Happy Buddha Club Rory’s Beach Bar Itaca Salinda Resort Traditional Vietnamese Ganh Dau Vietnamese and Local Seafood Ganh Dau International 6 Bach Dang, Duong Dong A taste of Mediterranean sophistication in South East Asia. Of the new breed of upscale eateries, Itaca Lounge stands out with its winning combination of high quality cuisine, cocktail lounge and music venue. RECOMMENDED CUISINE FROM www.visitphuquoc.info Russian and International 74 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Phu Quoc is growing into a truly international destination and with that comes a greater level of sophistication and elegance, not just in the resorts and hotels but in the nightlife as well. Here are our suggestions, representing a range of styles and budgets across the island: Creative Vietnamese Ba Keo Beach favourite cocktails – to be sipped by the pool as you take in the fresh Phu Quoc night air. If cocktails aren’t your thing then Itaca has a wine list beyond compare with an appealing selection of both old and new world varietals. With late night DJs and live music added to the mix, Itaca is the place to head to for a touch of Phu Quoc elegance. ITACA LOUNGE OPENING HOURS: Daily 4pm to 1am TEL: (+84) 773 992 022 EMAIL: [email protected] www.itacalounge.com restaurants around the island, are taking Phu Quoc cuisine to new levels. However, to get a true taste of what’s on offer be sure to try some street food. In particular, the night market is a must for an amazing dining experience. The island’s not short of drinking options either. Whether it’s a sports bar ice-cold happy hour beers or sipping on sophisticated cocktails and sundowners at the day’s end, you’ll find a watering hole for every occasion here on Phu Quoc. Vietnamese and International 118 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Drinks & Snacks Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Vietnamese and Local Seafood 40 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong International 92 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Drinks & Snacks 92 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Mediterranean and Asian fusion 125 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Innovative Pacific Rim Long Beach French and International 118/2 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Vietnamese and International Ong Lang Beach Vietnamese and Local Seafood Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Vietnamese and International Long Beach, Duong To International 118/5 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Vietnames and Thai 118 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Pizzeria 89 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Pizzeria 98b Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Vietnamese and International Long Beach Vietnamese and International Long Beach 23 Eating & drinking Sun Sand Seafood Continued Sweet Home Alabama The Pirate Cave Swiss Food Viet The Shells Resort The Beach House Thinh Phat Drinks & Snacks 88/1 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Do International 81, 30/4 Street, Duong Dong Italian and Local Seafood Sao Beach The Embassy Drinks & Snacks 118 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong The real Phu Quoc experience Vietnamese and International Ong Lang Beach Traditional Vietnamese 30/4 Street, Duong Dong International Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong Seafood restaurants Veggie restaurants Experience the best & freshest in Vietnam! Fantastic vegetarian food to be had! Night Market Hai Nam Restaurant Vo Thi Sau, Duong Dong Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Thanh Dieu rice shop Nhà Hàng Chay Nemo Khanh Ly rice shop Ra Khoi Restaurant Hao Tam Chay Oc 343 Phuong Binh House Ganesh Indian Restaurant Tinh Tam Chay 97 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong 81 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong Kim Cuong Restaurant Long Beach (near La Veranda) Quán Ăn Chay Com Chay Hien Duc Hieu Family Restaurant Ham Ninh Village 131 30/4 Street, Duong Dong 343 30/4 Street, Duong Dong Ham Ninh Village Long Beach (near Phuong Binh house) Tran Hung Dao Street, Duong Dong Bien Xanh Restaurant 5 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong 35 Nguyen Trai, Duong Dong 10 Ly Tu Trong, Duong Dong Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong 76 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong 181 Nguyen Trung Truc, Duong Dong Song Le Restaurant Ham Ninh Village 25 EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Buddy Ice Cream & Info Café The fount of all Phu Quoc knowledge and home to the best ice cream on the island. Whether you’re a first-time visitor to the island, or have been coming back for years Buddy is the place to head to for the low-down on all things Phu Quoc – and delicious ice creams, snacks and drinks. Recommended in the Lonely Planet, and operating since 2005, Buddy Ice Cream & Info Cafe has helped thousands of travellers with the best advice on the whats, wheres and whens of Phu Quoc. Buddy is a firm favorite for its range of great burgers, fish n’ chips and seafood platters, so feel free to stay a while and make your Phu Quoc plans while tucking into some great food. The friendly staff can help with any questions and information you need on where to stay and things to do, as well as serve a tempting range of sweet treats such as cakes and the best selection of ice cream on the island. What’s more, there are free Phu Quoc maps at Buddy, as well as free internet to surf the web for more info. So, there you have it. All the info you need on Phu Quoc and a great café at the same time – what’s not to like? EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT BUDDY ICE CREAM AND INFO CAFÉ WHERE: 6 Bach Dang Street (opposite the Marina), Duong Dong Town. OPENING HOURS: Daily 8am - 10pm TEL: +(84) 773 994 181 EMAIL: [email protected] www.visitphuquoc.info Island magic Out on the sea or in the rugged interior, there is something for everyone Indulge your senses and your spiritual side around the island - fascinating pagodas, pristine beaches, wonderful seafood and untouched forests... Magical! 27 29 TRAVEL TIPS Things to do There’s more to Phu Quoc than topping up the tan by the pool or on the beach. Here’s our recommendation for getting out and about to get the most of your stay on the island. 1 Sunset on Long Beach Take a position anywhere in the late afternoon along this beautiful stretch of beach, sit back with a cold drink and get ready to take in the best sunset in Vietnam 2 Beachside dining at Sao Beach Often rated the best beach in Vietnam, this place still boasts a fairly basic existence and is an essential trip when visiting the island. The perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood, swim in the warm waters or for just laze the day away 3 Diving or Snorkeling the reefs Though the best time of the year is generally from November to April, anytime when the sun is out and the sea is calm is a great time to hit the water to enjoy the spectacular marine life in warm waters 4 Visit a Fish Sauce factory You just really need to follow your nose to discover this particularly pungent product that makes this Island world famous, most factories can be found in and around Duong Dong Town Experiencing a Pepper farm The pepper from Phu Quoc is amongst the world’s finest so a visit to the farms on the island is recommended. Stock up on some fresh black or white pepper and impress your friends back home with your new exotic flavors 6 Duong Dong town market In the center of town beside the river is the main market for Duong Dung - a great place to experience the typical daily life of the locals. Best visited in the early morning when it’s teeming with life and there’s an explosion of color from the array of seafood just in from the boat, along with fresh fruit, vegetables and other produce and wares 7 Ride around the northeast A rewarding day tour awaits experienced riders with a sense of adventure, especially in the dry season. Follow the road from Thom beach to Ham Ninh to take in sea views on one side and stunning mountain scenery on the other 8 Cool off in the mountain waterfalls The two main places to visit are Suoi Da Ban (a few km’s north of Duong Dong) and Suoi Tranh (on the way to Ham Ninh from Duong Dong). Although the best time of the year for bathing is generally from May to September, you can enjoy a picnic or a stroll through the forest anytime with reasonable weather 9 Souvenirs and sizzling seafood at Dinh Cau Night Market Every night Vo Thi Sau street, in the main town, comes alive with activity as visitors and locals alike are drawn to the many attractions of the night market. Closed to traffic, you can amble safely along browsing souvenirs and handicrafts, or take a seat at one of the sidewalk eateries and feast on deliciously fresh grilled seafood and meats. Forest walk in the National Park Nature lovers should head to the National Park in the north. One easily accessible forest walk is about 5km east of Ganh Dau village. Look for a national park sign on the right hand side of the road and you’ll find a path entrance to the forest. Although the path runs for a few kilometres, just a 1km walk will be enough to enjoy the beautiful virgin forest. Keep your eye out for the many birds and animals that live in the forest. You may even see a monkey Everything listed here is shown on our Phu Quoc Guide map, or you can ask at your hotel for more details. Alternatively, the staff at the Info Centre at Buddy Ice Cream (6 Bach Dang St, Duong Dung) will be happy to help. For the most up to date info,visit www.visitphuquoc.info 31 Get active Take the taste of Want to explore Phu Quc while burning Phu Quoc home some energy? Check out these rental options; with you If you love Vietnamese food – and who doesn’t? – then learn how to create dishes yourself with the help of a some cooking lessons. Here is 3 great cooking courses that we recommend; BICYCLES Quan Bicycle Rental located on the main road into town and opposite Saigon Phu Quoc Resort here you can rent quality bikes @ 30k/1 hour, 60k/3hours or 120k/day. Contact Mr. Quân: 0909337132 Pagodas and Temples Phu Quoc is dotted with beautiful, peaceful pagodas and temples that are open to visitors. Here’s a small selection that are worth a visit; Sunrise at Su Muong Pagoda Whilst sunrise is the best time to visit, anytime really is a good time to take in this gorgeous old mountain pagoda. Be sure to visit all three parts of the pagoda – the temple itself; the shrine at the rear, sitting under an amazing 150-year old banyan tree; and, at the very back of the pagoda, take the iron steps up to a lookout for a spectacular view of the valley below. Its located at the 4km marker just south of town on the right hand side Cao Dai Temple Phu Quoc Located at Nguyen Trai St in town is the birthplace for the Cao Dai religion and a visit to their temple is highly recommended. This beautiful new temple was built in 2008 and is well worth a visit to enjoy the spectacular architecture, paintings and tranquillity it offers. Be sure to go upstairs to explore the temple fully and get a great shot across the river from high above KAYAKS & HOBBYCATS For Kayaks check for places along Long Beach at or near Saigon Phu Quoc Resort, La Veranda and Rory’s bar. Mango Bay in Ong Lang also have a good selection of Kayaks and for a good range Chen Sea resort in Ong Lang also have rentals The best range and place all year round to rent Jetski’s is on Sao Beach at the front of My Lan restaurant Located at Ganh Dau the Nguyen Trung Truc Temple was built by local people to memorize heros who have served for country and nation Dinh Cau Temple About 200m from the night market, Dinh Cau is on a rocky cliff at the start of the Duong Dong river and a great place to take in the sunset Sung Hung Co Tu Pagoda The oldest pagoda on Phu Quoc. Located on Tran Hung Dao Street, near the night market in Duong Dong town Mango Bay Resort Ho Quoc Pagoda Choose which dishes to learn. Classes available daily upon request. Contact reception or call (+84) 773 981 693 for bookings The biggest pagoda on Phu Quoc. Located in Suoi Lon Hamlet, Duong To commune, about 25km from Duong Dong town and is a spectacular drive along the coastal road to the temple La Veranda Resort Dinh Ba Temple Classes available every Tuesday and Thursday. Contact reception or call (+84) 773 982 988 for bookings JETSKIS Nguyen Trung Truc Temple Saigon Phu Quoc Resort Classes available on request. Contact reception or call (+84) 773 846 999 for bookings Located at Ong Lang Beach (nearby Chensea resort), about 6km from Duong Dong town When visiting pagodas remember these are places of worship and visitors should be respectful at all times. Small donations for the upkeep of the pagodas are welcomed – look for the collection boxes near the entrance. 33 TRAVEL TIPS Explore the North West Discover Phu Quoc with self guided tours Allow about 5 hours A leisurely few hours exploring villages, the northern beaches and the green spaces of the island. Phu Quoc’s small size and network of country roads and lanes makes it perfect for exploring, either by bicycle or motorbike. 3 4 2 1 Starting out at Duong Đông, head north about 10km towards Cua Can (1). Here you can take the road that hugs the coast up to Vung Bau (2) in the far northwest corner of Phu Quoc. From Vung Bau, take a right back towards the main road then turn left to continue to Ganh Dau (3) at the top of the island. 1 2 3 If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty you’ll find lots of beach and roadside spots for grilled seafood, cold beers and other meals and drinks along the way. We’ve a couple of suggestions here for you but really you can head wherever you like on the island. Search out deserted beaches, quiet hamlets and villages, rural trails or maybe stop off and have a coffee with the smiling locals. From Ganh Dau continue along the road for a further 5km to the forest walk (4) on the edge of the National Park. Stretch your legs here with a short nature stroll along the trail. Now continue the same way through the forest until you reach the main road, take a right for an easy 15 min run back to Duong Dong town. Discover the South East From Ham Ninh head south on Nguyen Van Cu to An Thoi, at the very southern end of the island. There’s a few beach options here, including Sao and Kem beaches (4). Here you’ll be able to pull up a chair or lounger on the sand, and sit back and relax with a fresh coconut water or an iced coffee. 4 Head back towards Duong Dong on the Long beach road, along here are a few Pearl farms (5) that make for an interesting stop. You’ll pass the airport on your right, and Duong Đông is about a further 5km on. Before getting back to town try and leave time to visit Coi Nguon Museum; it’s packed with interesting displays on the history and culture of the island. (See page 18 for more details.) Allow up to 6 hours Explore the beaches in the south – and check out some Phu Quoc classics along the way. From Duong Đông, head south past the hospital on 30/4 Street. After 3 km and on both sides of the road you’ll see some interesting pepper farms (1) to visit. They are open to visitors for tours and purchases of the world-famous Phu Quoc pepper. Phu Quoc’s small size and network of country roads and lanes makes it perfect for exploring, either by bicycle or motorbike. Now continue the same way through the forest until you reach the main road, take a right for an easy 15 min run back to Duong Dong town. A further kilometer on, also on the right hand side of the road is Su Muon pagoda (2), which is well worth spending some time at. From here continue to Ham Ninh (3) fishing village on the east coast of the island. If you’re here between May and November, then a stop at Tranh stream on the way to Ham Ninh is recommended. 35 MEET THE LOCAL Tran Ngoc Nga “ A local boy who has seen a lot of changes to the island where he grew up. The locals on Phu Quoc can give a great insight to their island paradise from their own perspective, after all they grew up here so who better to get some inside tips and low down advice from? Where do you live? I live in Duong Dong Town How long have you lived on Phu Quoc? All my life! Where’s the best street food? Anywhere on Tran Hung Dao or Vo Thi Sau streets. Your favourite place on the island? That would be Tranh Stream. It’s a beautiful natural setting and a great place to cool off. What visitors do you like to meet? (ie what nationality?) French and Japanese. The French because of the historical connections between our countries, and the Japanese for their culture. How has PQ changed in recent years? In just the last two years Phu Quoc has developed rapidly. Whilst this is great for tourism, it also brings local people a better infrastructure such as a reliable power supply and an improved road network. What’s your top 3 PQ ‘must-do’ for visitors? I really like Tranh Stream (on the way to Ham Ninh) which has a very cool natural environment and a is great place to take the kids. Of course being the island’s number one product you can’t miss seeing a fish sauce factory in action. There are plenty around Phu Quoc – just follow your nose! Take a visit to pepper farm which is also one of the main produces here and see how it grows. It’s so good don’t forget to take some back home with you. I have lived in Phu Quoc All my life!” Can you tell us something from the history of Phu Quoc? Emperor Gia Long, often referred to simply as Nguyen Ánh, was the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam. In 1780, Nguyen Ánh proclaimed himself Nguyen vuong (Nguyen king) then in 1781 he sent forces to prop up the Cambodian regime against the Siamese army. Shortly eafter, Nguyen Ánh had Nhon brutally murdered because Nhon’s fame and military success was overshadowing him. The Tây Son rebels broke out in celebration upon hearing of Nhon’s execution, as Nhon was the Nguyen officer that they feared the most. Nhon’s supporters rebelled thus weakening the Nguyen army and within a few months the Tây Son rebels had recaptured Saigon. Nguyen Ánh was forced to flee to Ha Tien and then to the island of Phú Quoc while some of his forces continued to resist in his absence. What country would you like to visit? France. I hear the food’s amazing – and I love wine! How would you like to see Phu Quoc develop? To become a modern tourist destination with infrastructure and services similar to that of Singapore, which is almost the same size as our island. BUSINESS DIRECTORY Accommodation Whatever your budget Phu Quoc offers a fantastic range of accommodation. From beachside bungalows to five star resorts, from quaint guesthouses to spacious villas, we’ve got them all! LONG BEACH BEACH CLUB Small but beautiful beachfront bungalow resort situated on Long Beach also offering a beachside restaurant with fresh seafood, friendly service and stunning sunsets! With staff that are always pleased to serve you, take a ride through the rain forest, dive or snorkel around the reefs or simply relax and do nothing on the beach! http://www.beachclubvietnam.com OR (+84) 77 980 998 CASSIA COTTAGE With 18 large rooms in plantation-style Beach houses and brick Garden cottages, Cassia Cottage Hotel and Inn is the resort youve dreamed of, their bed & breakfast style will make your stay on Phu Quoc. Dine in the garden or on the sand but be sure to try the Spice House restaurant for some delicious and very creative vietnamese cuisine. www.cassiacottage.com OR (+84) 773 848 395 COI NGUON MUSEUM RESORT Coi Nguon Museum Resort has standard very clean rooms all with sea views and at reasonable prices. It also has an interesting museum attached to it for those who would like to know more about the Islands history and some old local artifacts, there is quite a good collection here and be sure to go to the top for some great views! www.coinguonphuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 980 206 CORAL BAY RESORT Well-positioned along Long Beach, Coral Bay Resort is the ideal point for a relaxing visit, this 3-star hotel can be easily accessed from the airport (10 mins) and offers easy access to town. With 19 tastefully furnished bedrooms offering modern comforts such as , A/C, balcony, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, room safe and bicycle rental. Offering fantastic Facilities, including water sports (non-motorized), massage, solarium, diving and many more all to help you unwind! www.coralbayphuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 993 399 FAMIANA BEACH RESORT Located on Long Beach Famiana Village Beach Resort is set in beautiful tropical gardens comprising tastefully decorated rooms & bungalows with a the comforts of home. They also have a a lovely swimming pool to relax in, great Outdoor restaurant, Gym, Spa, childrens play area and meeting room facilities. www.famianavillage.com OR (+84) 773 992 212 LA VERANDA RESORT & SPA This luxurious 4 star resort boasts a style reminiscent of a French seaside mansion and is tet in tropical gardens on a beautiful stretch of long beach. The beach luxury resort and boutique hotel and spa boasts large terraces with sweeping views ideal for honeymoons, spa vacations or family holidays. In addition to 70 rooms with private balconies there is also two restaurants, a lounge bar, swimming pool, water sports and day spa, all in front of the beach and set on beautiful grounds. www.laverandaresorts.com OR (+84) 773 982 988 37 MAI SPA RESORT Located just 10 mins walk from town and in the heart of Long Beach Mai Spa offers beautiful grounds and accommodation including a 3 bedroom villa as well as professional massage and spa treatments. www.maispa.com.vn OR (+84) 936 367 840 MERCURE RESORT & SPA Located just 5 min away from the airport, Mercure Phu Quoc is surrounded by tropical gardens and is set on a pristine stretch of long beach. The resort features 73 spacious villas, 2 bars with a fabulous restaurant serving Vietnamese & International cuisine. Whether you want to laze in their beautiful swimming pool overlooking the sea, enjoy the Spa with Sauna / Jacuzzi facilities or have a hit on one of their 2 tennis courts, its all here! www.mercure.com | Email: [email protected] OR (+84) 77 3 972 999 MOON RESORT Beachside resort very close to town with 10 rooms and 30 bungalows (16 Bungalows with A/C and 14 Standard Bungalows with Fan) all at a reasonable price, they also have a great little bar right on the beach to take in the sunsets! Moon resort is located 5 km from Phu Quoc international airport and 1km from Duong Dong town & Night markets. www.moonresort.vn OR (+84) 773 982 988 ORANGE RESORT & SPA Located just outside town and spread over 9000 m2 on one of the most beautiful stretches of Long Beach, Orange Resort is a new 3 star luxury beachfront resort facing to the west. The Resort consists of 50 bungalows with swimming pool, all fully equipped with facilities of a high standard, they also have a restaurant, beach bar and spa. www.orangeresort.vn OR (+84) 773 846 319 | 981 122 PARIS BEACH RESORT Ideally located on a beautiful stretch of Long Beach laze the days away around their outdoor swimming pool overlooking the beach! Reasonably priced bungalow that offer great comfort with air conditioning, minibar, cable TV, free WiFi. With value for money and an impeccable service, helpful and friendly staff Paris Beach Resort will be proud to offer you the most pleasant stay in paradise. www.phuquocparisbeach.com/en OR (+84) 773 994 548 PHUONG BINH HOUSE Managed by a wonderful local family and built by architectural beauty with rustic simplicity there are 24 bungalows located right on a quiet end of Long Beach at very reasonable rates. They also have a great restaurant serving fresh seafood daily right on the sand where they are always ready to serve you with enthusiasm. (+84) 169 448 1538 SALINDA PREMIUM RESORT & SPA Located 10 minutes from the airport on the way to town this is the newset 5 star Resort to hit the island with its stunning architecture and design, beautiful rooms and a fantastic array of both local & international foods. A collection of 122 deluxe rooms, villas and spacious presidential suites, offering the ultimate Phu Quoc beach holiday. Experience dazzling sunsets from a private oversized balcony with sparkling ocean views. www.salindaresort.com OR (+84) 839 293 097 SEASTAR RESORT This resort is on one of the nicest stretches of Long Beach with natural shade from Malabar almond and palm trees with bungalows right on the beach! They also have a great restaurant serving vietnamese cuisine, their entrance is located just on the way out of town on the right side. www.seastarresort.com OR (+84) 77 3 982 161 BUSINESS DIRECTORY Accommodation Whatever your budget Phu Quoc offers a fantastic range of accommodation. From beachside bungalows to five star resorts, from quaint guesthouses to spacious villas, we’ve got them all! DUONG DONG B&B GUESTHOUSE Foreign managed, very clean & friendly Backpackers Guesthouse with dormitory rooms, private rooms with Fan or A/C all at very reasonable prices. B&B is located just off the main road out of town opposite to the entrance of Long Beach resort and can speak english, vietnamese & dutch languages. [email protected] OR (+84) 165 594 3727 CASTAWAY RESORT Is a vibrant, friendly and relaxing getaway destination for travelers looking for a beautiful, yet affordable place to stay while visiting Phu Quoc Island. Recently built in 2014 they have a good range of spacious Villa’s and are located on the main road (near the La Veranda turnoff) and about a 10 min walk to Long Beach. www.castawaysphuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 993 399 HONG BIN BUNGALOW Set on a hillside Hong Bin Bungalow specialise in creating a truly relaxing hideaway where you can hang out in a hammock, cool off in the pool, take in some sun and at the end of the day watch the sunset from your own private balcony. A ten-minute drive from the airport and only a few minutes walk to Duong Dong town & nearby beaches, relax at the resort or discover the many activities the island has to offer. www.hongbinbungalow.com OR (+84) 773 993 336 MUSHROOMS BACKPACKERS Built in 2013 this popular, friendly & clean backpackers is foreign managed and has a great positive vibe! If you are looking for reasonably priced budget rooms checkout Jono, he is a very helpful english fellow and runs the show at Mush’rooms. Backpackers offers both private and dormitory rooms with free Wi-Fi. About 500 metres from Long Beach public beach, the property has a spacious outdoor area and an on-site bar. www.booking.com/hotel/vn/mushrooms.en.html OR (+84) 937 942 017 PHU QUOC VILLAGE Offering a small very cute house located right in the middle of Duong Dong town, here you can relax with the full amenities for living including separate bedroom, kitchen & living areas. A particular attractive for families or small groups who just want to stay together, feel right at home when you stay at Phu Quoc Village! www.phuquocvillage.com OR (+84) 773 846 666 SEA BREEZE HOTEL Sea Breeze or in Vietnamese (Gio Bien) is a very clean and well managed Hotel with very reasonable rates directly facing the sea and on the edge of Duong Dong town, just a few few minutes walk to the city centre and attractions. www.seabreezephuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 994 920 39 BUSINESS DIRECTORY Accommodation Whatever your budget Phu Quoc offers a fantastic range of accommodation. From beachside bungalows to five star resorts, from quaint guesthouses to spacious villas, we’ve got them all! OTHER AREAS VUNG BAU > BAMBOO COTTAGES Located on a pristine, secluded stretch of Vung Bau Bay this purposely built environmentally friendly 17-room familyrun getaway is a great place to well....get away from it all! Spacious cottages with stunning sea views, all rooms are beautifully decorated and equiped with solar hot water. Their kitchen serves authentic homemade Vietnamese dishes made with fresh seafood, organic vegetables & immense pride. www.bamboophuquoc.com OR (+84) 772 810 345 ONG LANG > BO RESORT Bo “eco-resort” is located on a hilly sector of the north west coast, at the one end of a beautiful & lonely bay, where else in the world can you stay on a 4 km private beach? Dine at their fantastic restaurant down on the beach serving delicious home-made Vietnamese food or simply just laze on the beach! Bo resort follows an eco-lodge concept: there are no televisions, no telephone or air con however all rooms are equipped with a fan to catch that sea breeze and solar hot water. www.boresort.com OR (+84) 773 986 142 ONG LANG > FREEDOMLAND RESORT Set in lush vegetation Freedomland is a popular Resort, a Countryside House Gallery with a Bar & fantastic home cooked food all inlcuded in the room tariff! Located just 12 minutes walk to the beautiful “Ong Lang Beach” where you can laze the days away! www.freedomlandphuquoc.com OR (+84) 122 658 6802 DA BAN > HUONG TOAN RESORT This cute little resort is located in the middle of Phu Quoc Island and on the way to Duong Dong lake (island water supply) and Da Bang Stream a beautiful flowing waterfall in the rain season! All rooms are tastefully decorated, reasonably priced and the property is in a nice quiet rural area, they also have a Spa attached offering relaxing massages at your will! www.htresortphuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 701 055 | 773 701 056 ONG LANG > MANGO BAY RESORT A long standing insitution in Phu Quoc located near Ong Lang beach, Mango Bay is an unusually low density resort of 40 bungalows spread along one kilometer of beach and amid 10 hectares of largely endemic forest and gardens. Serving delicious Vietnamese and International foods in both their main restaurant and Beach Bar at one end of the resort even if you are not staying here this is a great place to visit, take in the sea views and enjoy some great food. www.mangobayphuquoc.com OR (+84) 773 848 773 GANH DAU > PEPPERCORN BEACH Leave the world behind in our family run resort on the tranquil northern shores of Phu Quoc island. Offering a truly unqiue experience just a few steps from a quiet and almost deserted beach with breath-taking island views. www.peppercornbeach.com OR (+84) 773 989 567 41 VUNG BAU > VUNG BAU RESORT Located about 25 kilometers from Duong Dong town (to the north west) Vung Bau Resort offers 12 bungalows equipped with basic conveniences as well as peace and privacy set in a stunning part of the Island. Offering a beautiful and charming landscape with very enthusiastic friendly staff who are always waiting to welcome you! www.vungbauresort.com OR (+84) 907 379 494 ONG LANG > THE SHELLS RESORT & SPA Located right on beautiful Ong Lang beach this the first 5 star property in Phu Quoc combines the concepts of surprise, happiness, relaxation and value for money! Equipped with top-class facilities and elegantly designed to provide a perfect getaway with 5-star dining at Flow Restaurant offering the best quality seafood and fish. Laze around in their amazing pool or just relax on the beach privacy beckons at The Shells! www.theshells.com.vn OR (+84) 939 989 591 CUA CAN > UT PHUONG RESORT & SPA Cute family run resort on the edge of the national park for people who wish to stay in natural environment and off the beaten track a little! Besides a fresh water pool they offer yoga lessons and Thai massage courses taught by certified teachers in their own studio. Trying to be as ecological friendly as possible by not using chemicals in the pool and in the restaurant use as many possible ingredients from their own or other local farms as well as trying to reduce waste production. www.yogamassage-phuquoc.com OR (+84) 907 348 449 BUSINESS DIRECTORY Eat & Drink You won’t go hungry on Phu Quoc! The freshest and tastiest seafood in Vietnam! DUONG DONG BEREZKA RESTAURANT Berezka restaurant does Russian and Internation foods located at 74 Tran Hung Dao St on the main road into Duong Dong they also offer a great daily fresh seafood BBQ. Be sure to check lots of information they have about the island and what to do, Antons Tours also located here offers many kinds of options catering for everybody with Vietnamese, Russian and english speaking staff. www.tptravel.asia or (+84) 949 795 186 | (+84) 986 486 324 BUDDY ICE CREAM INFO & CAFE Helping visitors since 2005 here you can enjoy great Ice Cream, Italian Coffee and all the Home Made Foods, Juices & Shakes Buddy has become known for! Great Sunsets and view of the Marina! FREE WiFi, Maps & Tourist information, Book Exchange and more. 6 Bach Dang St (opposite the Marina and near the night market) www.visitphuquoc.info/aboutus OR (+84) 773 994 181 COCO BAR Welcome all world travelers and invites you to discover its amazing cocktails, excellent food and friendly staff. their home-made Rum collection is one of the best around, i bet you wont stop at one. 118 Tran Hung Dao St OR (+84) 937 875 384 DRUNKEN MONKEY Located right on the edge of town at 82 Tran Hung Dao St this is a great place to go for LIVE sport and music. They also have a Pool & Fusbol table and serve all kinds of bar snacks (inlcuding great home made pizza) with Ice cold beer, great cocktails and yes they are open til very late. (+84) 909 259 605 43 BUSINESS DIRECTORY Eat & Drink > DUONG DONG EMOI RESTAURANT BAR & LOUNGE RESTAURANT - BAR - HOTEL and music lounge located on the main road right on the edge of town serving Vietnamese cuisine, they have a fantastic Dinner with special seafood menu and its a great place for Sunset drinks. Emoi also have Luxury rooms with full amenities at very reasonable rates. www.thesafari.com.vn OR (+84) 773 999 797 GANESH INDIAN RESTAURANT Offering a very wide-range of Indian cuisine, their extensive menu ranges from North India and take pride that their chef has learnt and perfected to prepare the taste through their fine cuisine! Using the genuine Indian clay oven (Tandoor) in order to maintain the authentic taste of Naan (Wheat bread) and staying true to the traditions of Indian hospitality and beliefs that guest deserve the best treatment. www.ganeshphuquoc.com OR (+84) 77 3 994 917 GERMAN B BAKERY Located at 92 Tran Hung Dao St (right next door to the Happy Buddha Club) the very friendly owner Denis offers frikadelle or bratwurst and great breakfasts, be sure to try the Kelloggs cornflakes with the tasty honey fruit salad, they have Free WIFI and lots of cheap cocktails all available till late. 92 Tran Hung Dao St HAPPY BUDDHA CLUB Located right next door to German B at 92 Tran Hung Dao, this Happy Club has great cocktails with friendly service and will take you through the night ripping the tunes to the max! Electric ballrom Saturday nights, Hippies yeah disco night and dont forget the Friday oldie rock pop mix all featuring worldwide DJs & artists. 92 Tran Hung Dao St ITACA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE Beautiful stylish restaurant located just out of town on the main road this place delivers a new class of dining to the island! Spanish head chef Mateu Batista uses his 25 years of experience to conjure up superb tapas and dishes that tease the palate with a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian flavours. The restaurant is set amidst an elegant Mediterranean -inspired décor where simplicity is the key to give an uncluttered peaceful space to relax in. [email protected] OR for reservations (+84) 773 992 022 LE BISTROT RESTAURANT Located at 118 Tran Hung Dao (on the road to La Verand) this long running French establishment has a great menu offering both French and international foods including Australian beef and home-made lasagna. For those looking for a social scene, this place is a natural magnet with good music until late and free pool! And if you get tired of pho for breakfast every day you can enjoy their tasty muesli and cereals! (+84) 073 982 200 MAY RESTAURANT If you’re looking for a reliably good restaurant to eat while you’re staying in Phu Quoc then you need to visit Hai and Mi at May restaurant, located both on the way into Duong Dong town on the edge of the sea or on the main road opposite Salinda Resort. Offering all kinds of Seafood and Vietnamese dishes including Spring Rolls, soups, chicken and beef prepared in many different ways. (+84) 937 08 18 68 45 BUSINESS DIRECTORY Eat & Drink > DUONG DONG OASIS CAFE Located just off the main road on the way to La Veranda this popular restaurant/bar run by english Steph and his Vietnamese wife Yum, it is a great place to stop by for gurranteed Cold beer, classic English Rock music, wifi, sport and sound travel advice. If you are looking for comfort food you can find it at Oasis, banana pancakes or the classic English pub food, lasagna and chicken Cordon Bleu. Yum makes sure that there is also plenty of Vietnamese food to complement all the other European fare. (+84) 909 259 605 PALM TREE RESTAURANT Serving authentic Vietnames & Thai cuisine this is a great place to stop buy and get a great feed at a reasonable price, Palm Tree is located off the main road just 25m from the entrance to La Veranda Resort. They are open daily and have Happy Hours from 6 to 8 pm. 25m from La Veranda Resort entrance PEPPERS PIZZA & GRILL Specialises as a Pizzeria style restaurant but also offer Vietnamese & Internation cuisine, located on the main road into Duong Dong town at 89 Tran Hung Dao St or call Norbert on 077 3 848 773 for your reservations and deliveries. You gotta meet the owner Norbert, try his Hunter Snitzel, personally reccommended! (+84) 77 3 848 773 PIZZA OI A foreign owned and newly established Pizza take away and delivery service offering tasty home made pizza with fresh ingredients daily! Stop by for a Pepperoni or try their cheese pizza which is always popular! Pizza Oi are located on the main road into Duong Dong near the turn off to Sea Star resort. (+84) 77 3 99 24 00 SWEET HOME ALABAMA BAR Neigborhood Pub that is open until late with ice cold beers, cocktails, good music, billiards and sports TV. They are located just south of town near the entrance to the newly built Orange resort, you can contact Rob on 0913 163 961 for more information, especially on great stuff to do whilst on the Island. (+84) 913 163 961 THE PIRATE CAVE NIGHTCLUB Island’s newest night bar / club has everything for a great night: friendly staff, cold beers, home-made rums, spirits, air conditioned and big sounds pumping out from 11PM. There is 20% discount Happy hours from 6PM to 10PM, Sports TV and they are open daily 6PM until late. 118 Tran Hung Dao. [email protected] OR 0123 891 7700 (+84) 123 891 7700 (Claudio). THINH PHAT RESTAURANT Authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a beautiful garden setting on the side of a mountain. they offer fresh seafood daily and are located at 30/4 st road past the hospital in Duong Dong. (+84) 773 989 899 or 939 077 666 47 EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT BUSINESS DIRECTORY The Beach House Tour services Dine on beautiful Sao Beach with some comfort food from home Although unmistakably Vietnamese, one of Phu Quoc ‘s great charms is its ability to bring people together from all over the world. And perhaps nowhere more so than at The Beach House, a beachside spot run by the wonderfully friendly husband and wife team of Norbert and Tam. Norbert’s from Germany so knows a thing or two about sausages and beer; and Tam’s Vietnamese so you can be sure that the local food will be fresh and delicious. Nobert and Tam also run the long-established Pepper’s Pizza in Duong Dung town, so the pizzas at The Beach House are top class, and the range of beer extends well beyond just German brews. All ice cold, of course. Come We pack a lot in to a small space in Phu Quoc so it can be difficult to know what to do – or how to do it. However, speak to these guys and you’ll be out and about in no time. night time and the good vibes continue with some excellent musical choices to while away the hours. Stay for a few days in the beachside bungalows and you’ll soon realise why this little corner of Phu Quoc is seen as the perfect one-stop holiday shop. With the gorgeous Bai Sao beach on your doorstep, great seafood and BBQ, and cold beers never more than a few steps away, do you need to go anywhere else? THE BEACH HOUSE Open from 8am daily WHERE: Sao Beach (next to My Lan) TEL: +(+84) 903 217 065 LONG BEACH FLIPPER DIVING Scuba diving professionals catering for whatever your scuba diving experience or level is, whether you are interested in a Discover Scuba Diving or Diving course. www.flipperdiving.com/Vietnam OR call Willy (+84) 939 402 872 JERRY JUNGLE TOURS Offers the traveler personal tour options on Phu Quoc Island, including Boat Adventures, Motorbike tours visiting home style pepper farms, secluded beaches, casual forest walks, fishing villages, beautiful beachfront restaurants and many more interesting sights. Call Jerry (+84) 938 226 021 OR [email protected] JOHNS TOURS These guys have many huts located on Long Beach or at some resort receptions such as Seastar, Hiep Thanh and can take care of all your holiday touring arrangements. They also have offices at 4 & 143 Trung Hung Dao Streets and can also offer transport connections to Cambodia, Mekong Delta, book online for a 10% discount. www.johnsislandtours.com OR (+84) 919 107 086 | 982 107 086 PHU QUOC CREATION Located right on the edge of town at 30 Trung Hung Dao these guys offer quality Sovenirs, Handicrafts, Swimwear, Sarongs and Clothing of all sizes! Drop in and check it out their latest seasonal stock! [email protected] RAINBOW DIVERS Starting in the mid 90s opening the 1st PADI divecentre in Vietnam, this outfit is synonymous with professional training and high diving standards and have been around the traps here for a long time. Their main office is located opposite the night market entrance at 11 Trung Hund Dao Street. www.divevietnam.com OR 0913 400 964 ROBINSON PEARL Located at 54 Trung Hung Dao Street on the main road in town they have a great gallery and cafe offering a large range of pearl jewellery, paintings and souvenirs. www.robinsonpearl.com OR (+84) 906 339 097 THE GREEN BOUTIQUE Located on the main road on the way into town, this recently established shop sells all kinds of natural skin & beauty care products, Ut the owner also makes her own range of natural soaps well worth the spend...drop in and check it out! www.thegreen-boutique.com OR call Ms. Ut (+84) 903 830 234 49 BUSINESS DIRECTORY EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Tourist Services > LONG BEACH Rainbow Divers SASCO TAXI Sasco is Phu Quoc’s official taxi company with English-speaking drivers who are native to the island. So you can be assured of not only a professional service but also knowledge locals to get you where you need to go. With a range of vehicles to suit every need, including modern 7-seat Toyota Innovas, Sasco taxi can help with a variety of solutions from airport pick ups and day tours to wedding cars and even long term rentals with a private driver, there’s very little Sasco can’t do. (+84) 773 76 76 76 Phu Quoc’s leading dive company is giving back in more ways than one. For a truly memorable Phu Quoc experience it’s hard to beat diving in the marine parks off the coast of the island, which are amongst the best dive sites in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is blessed to have Rainbow Divers, one of South East Asia’s premier operators, running PADI courses and dives on the island for nearly 20 years. Since 1996, they’ve built up a worldwide reputation based on their professionalism and knowledge of the island’s waters. Their dive team has amassed over 15,000 dives and they have the local know-how to seek out bamboo sharks, tropical fish and other aquatic life. Rainbow Divers lead the way in diving skill and knowledge but also in sustainable environmental practices. As a major supporter of Project Aware, Rainbow Divers play a vital role in protecting water resources and marine life around Phu Quoc. Through surveying reefs and undertaking monthly ‘Dive Against Debris’ ocean clean-up events, Rainbow Divers are ensuring that Phu Quoc remains a superb dive destination for years to come. RAINBOW DIVERS WHERE: 11 Tran Hung Dao, Duong Dong TEL: (+84) 913 400 964 EMAIL: [email protected] www.divevietnam.com LONG BEACH PEARL Pearls are one of those special treasures from mother nature. Unlike diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds, pearls are created from a living organism. A special kind of oyster secretes nacre and surrounds a foreign object that has gotten into the oyster shell, then a pearl is formed. Take advantage of their free pickup or stop by their beatiful showroom yourself, located on the main road out of town just up the hill from Cui Nguon Museum (they also have location in Nha Trang & Mui Ne) BUSINESS DIRECTORY Tourist Services > OTHER AREAS EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Mango Bay Resort & Spa ONG LANG > BOBSTAR RACING New foreign managed Go Cart racing track comprising of 320 meters with zippy fast new carts to choose from, this place is run by a group of Swedish brothers who worked hard to create this great little circuit! (+84) 939 391 459 OR 0904 325 602 (Chris) A firm favourite for all who visit If there is a trusted name on the island it’s definitely Mango Bay, a rustic and beautiful resort inspired by the dream we all have of living on the beach. A group of friends each built their own vision of a paradise “hut on the beach” over 15 years ago and gradually as more and more friends and family discovered what a wonderful place it is, the cluster of private homes became a small resort. Nowadays there are 40 bungalows set on the 20 hectares of indigenous natural forest and garden here, which gives today’s guests a real feeling of space and seclusion, a place to get away from it all. Whilst the general vibe is simple and rustic, there’s no excuse not to have a cocktail before dinner, right? Great cocktails arrive in minutes, carefully shaken, muddled or stirred by Mr ‘TinTin’, a legend behind the bar. Mango Bay offers a delectable culinary experience as well, with the freshest seafood and fresh ingredients whipped up into fusion delights by the experienced kitchen brigade. After all that effort it’s time to head to the wellness center for some well earned rest overlooking the sea, nurtured and rejuvenated, ready for that next bout of relaxing! From 5th May to 31st October, stay with us for 3 nights and only pay for 2! CUA CAN > JUNGLE YOGA & MASSAGE The first Yoga & Massage studio on the island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam who also teach and train Yoga & traditional Thai Massage for all levels, are fully certified and can teach and train all levels, we like to teach & train small groups in an informal and fun environment. From the absolute beginner to the advanced, they are certified to train people to become traditional Thai massage teachers but also can teach you how to give your partner a Thai massage! www.yogamassage-phuquoc.com OR (+84) 907 348 449 QUOCAN PEARL NG MANGO BAY RESORT & SPA WHERE: Ong Lang Beach, Phu Quoc Island TEL: (+84) 773 981 693 EMAIL: [email protected] www.mangobayphuquoc.com C TRAI Q U C AN DUONG TO > QUOC AN PEARLS Situated on an isolated part of Long Beach about 12km to the south of Duong Dong you will find a huge selection of Pearls both farmed on the Island and imported, this place is well worth a visit even if to just pass thru, they also have cold drinks. www.ngoctraiphuquoc.com.vn OR (+84) 773 983 777 - 0918 320 576 - 0918 678 505 51 Cruise Terminal A new seaport is planned for Phu Duong. Built offshore at Duong Dong town, the pier will be connected to the shore by a kilometer-long bridge. The seaport is expected to have a capacity of up to 6,000 passengers, which will likely see Phu Quoc added to more southeast Asia cruise itineraries. news & updates Visa-Free Stays International Driving Licence It’s expected that in 2015 Vietnam will start to accept international driving licenses for visitors looking to rent cars or motorbikes. Exact details are not available at time of going to press but, if this change does happen, it should make hiring motorbikes a lot easier. A recent development has seen the introduction of a 30-day visa free stay rule come into effect for Phu Quoc. Whilst normal visa restrictions apply for the mainland, if you’re coming to Vietnam to only visit Phu Quoc – and staying less than 30 days – then you don’t need a visa*. Travellers who enter Vietnam via the international gateways of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and fly directly on to Phu Quoc, can transit the airports and will not require visas as long as they stay in the transit lounges. However, if you are stopping over in these cities then a visa will be required as normal. *Applies to the majority of nationalities arriving by Air. Visitors should check with their travel agents/tour companies for more details. Second Tier City This might not seem the most exciting of news but it has a big bearing on the future of Phu Quoc. The development of improved infrastructure on the island - such as the international airport, improved road network and a growing number of world-class resorts – has led the national government to promote Phu Quoc to ‘second city’ status. The significance of this for tourism – and visitors – is an increase in support from the government to help Phu Quoc achieve its aim of becoming a key southeast Asia holiday destination for international travellers. Flight News More Luxury Resorts Amongst recent resort developments on Phu Quoc Vinpearl Resort Phu Quoc is the stand-out. Located in the far northwestern corner of the island, it boasts 750 rooms, suites and villas in addition to a 27-hole golf course, water park and even its own amusement park. Guests will also be able to try their hand on a range of water-based activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, sailing and kayaking. Vinpearl will no doubt grab many headlines but other luxury resorts will follow to further cement Phu Quoc’s position as Vietnam’s no.1 beach destination. For more news on what’s happening on Phu Quoc head to visitphuquoc.info EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT Phu Quoc’s international airport opened in 2013 and whilst that initially brought an increase in flights domestically, we’re now starting to see international flights coming to the island. Towards the end of 2014, Vietnam Airlines started operating direct services from Singapore and Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Phu Quoc. The Singapore flights are twice weekly, whilst the Siem Reap flights operate three times a week. For more details visit www.vietnamairlines.com or speak to your travel agent. We fully expect more international flights to operate to the island. At the time of going to press we were hearing that flights from Japan are a possibility. It’s also probable that you’ll be able to fly directly to Phu Quoc in the not-too-distant future from major South East Asia hubs such as Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Language Academy Phu Quoc Helping the islanders to improve their communication with visitors As more and more visitors discover the charms of Phu Quoc, so the need for the locals to speak better English grows. With this in mind, Language Academy Phu Quoc was established in 2013 by an English expat school teacher. The center provides islanders with a wide range of English courses in a stimulating and fun environment. Committed to helping improve the future of their students through carefully planned learning programs, LAPQ cater for students of all a ges, from pre-school through to adults. LAPQ offer a range of programs to suit all levels, all focusing on the four key skills of language – speaking, listening, reading and writing – and are taught by qualified and experienced western and Vietnamese teachers. So whether you’re looking to give your child a head start, or are an adult looking to improve your own language skills, their courses will help you to achieve fantastic results. LANGUAGE ACADEMY PHU QUOC WHERE: 54 Hung Vuong, Duong Dong, Phu Quoc OPENING HOURS: Daily 8am - 10pm TEL: (+84) 907 511 366 | 773 992 323 EMAIL: [email protected] Those of you enjoying extended holidays or staying long term on the island may be interested to know that LAPQ also offers introductory Vietnamese lessons. 53 USEFUL INFO EDITOR’S SPOTLIGHT La Veranda “Elegance, Harmony and Paradise...” Whilst Phu Quoc has long been a hot destination for in-the-know backpackers, the island has seen a big increase in stylish and elegant hotels and resorts in recent years. Perhaps top of the list in this category is La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, which in just five short years has become one of the island’s most popular resorts and a firm favorite with the many repeat visitors to the island. It’s not difficult to see why. Designed in a French colonial style, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the boutique resort sits directly on a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach on the west coast and commands spectacular views over the Gulf of Thailand. The 70 rooms and villas are just a few steps away from the beach and the beautiful cobalt blue swimming pool. The refined living spaces feature dark wood, mosaic titles, exposed feature brick work, classic ceiling fans and high ceilings to create a distinctive style oozing with comfort and indulgence. The resort’s expert spa therapists pamper guests with luxurious natural treatments, Asian-style therapies and restorative massages using locally produced products that will leave you feeling totally revitalized and completely refreshed. For further invigoration there are also Vichy showers. They will even offer spa treatments in the comfort of your room. Now how’s that for pampering? Banks and ATMs There are lots of banks in Duong Dong, with Vietcombank and Sacombank being the best for ‘over the counter’ transactions. The banks will accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express, and you will need to use your passport for ID. At the end of a long hard day doing very little it’s only natural that you would want to unwind over dinner and drinks. La Veranda has a culinary offering for all palettes, from fine dining in the Pepper Tree restaurant to a more casual offering at the beachside BBQ. If you’re looking for something truly special, how about a private candle-lit dinner on the beach? Just imagine… a beautifully warm evening, stars glistening in the night sky, the gentle lapping of the ocean waves, and your meal served to your table set upon the white sands beneath your feet. ATMs can be found easily around the main town, especially close to the Night Market (Vo Thi Sau street) and the marina area. There’s also an ATM in the lobby at Saigon Phu Quoc resort and at the turn off for La Veranda resort. The ATMs will take all internationally recognized cards. For money transfers there is a Western Union service at the Kien Long Bank at 139 30/4 street & Agribank at the corner of Tran Hung Dao and 30/4 street. Phu Quoc may be changing at a fast pace but the slow life amongst the colonial splendor of La Veranda will be around for many years to come. VISIT LA VERANDA RESORT & SPA WHERE: 1Ward 7, Duong Dong Beach, Tran Hung Dao Street, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam TEL: (+84) 773 982 988 FAX: (+84) 773 982 998 EMAIL: [email protected] www.laverandaresorts.com www.mgallery.com/6479 Post & Telecommunications Services The main post office on 30/4 Street Duong Dong town will sell stamps and be able to send postcards, letters and packages domestically within Vietnam and anywhere internationally. Phone cards and pre-paid SIMs are available at many shops around Duong Dong, and if you’re staying for an extended period in Vietnam you may want to consider buying a SIM card. You will need to register using your passport as ID but ‘pay as you go’ top-up fees are very low and can include data packages (around $5 for 30 days mobile data). The two most popular carriers are Mobifone and Viettel – both offer full coverage all over Vietnam. Emergency Services Health For a local GP contact Dr Tuan at 14 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St in Duong Dong town or call (+84) 913 189 508 Pharmacies can be found just about everywhere in town and can provide most general medications, apointments, etc, over the counter without a prescription. Police (+84) 773 846 051 Hospital (+84) 773 846 074 We would recommend that, if possible, you ask for assistance at your hotel or resort in the first instance. They will be able help with translations and/or any information the emergency services may ask for. 55 USEFUL INFO Vietnamese Phrases Hello! I’m from ... nt Chào anh (to man) Chào ch (to woman) My name is... Tôi tên là... How much is this? Cái này giá bao nhiêu? Where are you from? Do you speak English? What’s your name? How are you? Thank you Pleased to meet you Long time no see Thank you very much Good morning Cheers/Good health! Please write it down Good afternoon I don’t understand Please speak more slowly Good evening Excuse me / Sorry Good night Goodbye Xin chào How do you say (...) in Vietnamese?
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