First couple of days in Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc Travel Blog

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Long Beach

We were up at a ridiculous 3.30am to get our taxi to the airport for our flight out of Ho Chi Minh City airport. The drive to the airport at that time of day was a rare pleasure, with traffic free roads which the driver took full advantage of, going through every single red light at full pelt with just a beep of the horn as he approached them. Not for those of a nervous disposition. The flight itself was short and sweeet and no sooner were we in the air than we were landing! The view of the island from the plane was beautiful and the promised tropical paradise we had hoped for was before our eyes at last.

Being ever cautious and hating the prospect of trudging around with our backpacks on looking for accomodation, we had booked our first two nights in Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City.

Long Beach
A part of the deal was free pick up from the airport which is handy as the accomodation in Phu Quoc is very spread out and the main beach resorts cover at least 3 or four kilometres of Long Beach away from Duong Dong. Our hotel was called Kim Hoa which looks great on paper but the rooms are not good and the service is slow and sullen on a good day and totally non existent on a bad one.  The swimming pool is right between two dining areas so theres no chance of anyone drowning as you have dozens of people gawking at you while stuffing down their very mediocre food. All a bit of a waste of a really nice strip of property but there you go it certainly served its purpose.

The beach though is a different story. We had read some mixed reviews of Long Beach so were careful not to expect too much but it is beautiful.

Our footprints in the sand of Long Beach
Anyone who finds it otherwise is either spending too much time on beaches and taking them for granted or has unreasonably high standards. The beach is about 50 feet wide and has very pale golden sand sloping gently to the water which then drops away to between 4 to six feet deep for about 50 feet out from the shore (depending on the tide obviously). Perfect for swimming execpt that at the top end of the beach whenever the tides is going out there is either high salt concentrations or some micronism in the water which produces a sharp needle like stinging sensation. It happens much less the further down the beach you go and when the tide is coming in, which is another reason not to stay at Kim Hoa.

We took a stroll along the beach and went into several resorts to investigate moving on after our first two days.

Sunset on Long Beach
Prices range from GBP12.50 per night VND 400,000 to GBP35.00 and upwards. That said there are a bunch of budget places which are just as nice as the fancy resorts for anywhere from VND200,000 to VND320,000 further down the beach. We found a room for USD$12 at a place called Nhat Lan but unfortunately it was available immediately and as we'd paid for our second night and the guy we were speaking to refused to reserve it for us because it is high season and he knew he'd get a dozen more enquiries we had to let it go. They have an excellant restaurant though and one of the few places along the beach with veggie food at reasonable prices.

Eating there gave us the opportuinty of beautiful starlight strolls back along the beach to Kim Hoa. One thing to be aware of there are lots of sand fleas or ticks which at night will devour your feet (at least they did ours) so be aware that laying on the sand or beach beds or even sitting in the many deck chairs is likely to leave you well and truly bitten.

Our second day we hired a moped as we wanted to check out the south of the island and a beach we heard was the best on the island called Bai Sao. The trip was about 30km and on the way we decided to drive down the entire length of long beach. Once you about 6km out of Doung Dong there is nothing but a few locals houses and empty beaches. Very beautiful indeed. The road on the other hand is very bumpy, unpaved and covers you with a film of red dust (best not to wear white clothes!!). Once we got to Bai Sao (about 1hr) it lived up to it's billing. Pure white sands and currently only one place to stay called My Lan which allows them to charge US$15 for a wooden shack which should really only be half of that as they're not the best beach huts (More of that in the next blog). The beach was pretty much deserted and there are only two places to eat which to be honest are lacking in much in the way of veggie options which giving that before tourism, fishing and making fish sauce are the primary industry on the island isn't too surprising. We decided that we'd give it a try though and made arrangements to be picked up the next day.

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Long Beach
Long Beach
Long Beach
Long Beach
Our footprints in the sand of Long…
Our footprints in the sand of Lon…
Sunset on Long Beach
Sunset on Long Beach
Phu Quoc
photo by: Yasuo