If you look at a map, it seems like Phú Quốc should be part of Cambodia, not Vietnam. I could see it from Cambodia’s Bokor highlands. It is Vietnam’s up and coming island of resorts, and I was curious about it. I decided to visit it, even if it is not exactly on the way to Hanoi.
Phú Quốc can be reached from Hà Tiên by fast and slow ferries. I made the mistake of going via fast ferry. These small boats have limited room for motorbikes, so I had to negotiate with the porters to put the bike onboard. But it was a fast, comfortable ride of only about an hour.
Once the ferry deposited us, I fought my way past all the taxis choking the pier. I decided to check out Sao Beach in the South of the island. There is a resort there that is not too expensive.
Phú Quốc is a fairly large island. I rode about a half hour on the new four land divided highway to the turnoff to the dirt road. Then it was slow going to the beach. I learned that the dirt roads here are worse than in Cambodia, because they are not maintained. They are bumpy and wavy, with lots of holes filled with water. And this is the dry season!
I made it to the beach, and it was nice indeed. But the resort wanted $40 a night. That’s actually not much considering the nice location. However, as a long term traveler, I prefer to find places under $10, with $15 as my absolute maximum price.
I had a coffee on the beach, then headed to the main town of Dương Đông. As soon as I entered the area with resorts, I saw a sign for bungalows on a hill. It was nice, and only $15 for a beautiful bungalow, so I took it.
The whole place feels like it’s under construction. Earth moving equipment is everywhere, land is being cleared, and strip malls and resorts are being constructed. In a few years it will be totally different here.
Then I hit the beach. It was hard to find the public access because of all the resorts. But I eventually found Long Beach. It is long indeed, and I walked for a while in the heat before sitting down in a shady chair at a resort. I sat there for about four hours, relaxing, swimming, and reading the news. I can do that for a half a day before getting bored.