Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Phu Quoc: Great Vietnamese getaway from Singapore

I see a lot of Vietnam tours around which usually travels long distances between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hue and even Cambodia. Although it worth to see all these cities, they are very tiring. Some friends ask me what would be the best relaxing, 1 week holiday route in Vietnam. I advise this the plan: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and without staying there fly to Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City.  Stay there 3-4 days, then fly back to Ho Chi Minh City and spend a few days here for sightseeing and shopping. And fly back.

This mountainous and densely forested island is the largest island of Vietnam and is a great tropical holiday paradise. Phuket must have been like this island before its natural beauty was destroyed by tourism and related developments. Phu Quoc has some of most beautiful beaches in Vietnam and offers the best seafood in the country. Phu Quoc is becoming well known so it is best to go there in the next few years before it becomes one of those many tropic resort islands. The peek season is from November to March.

Phu Quoc Island - Source : Discover Phu Quoc
The best way to arrive Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City is taking the Vietnam Airlines turbo prop ATR72 aircraft to the island. This is currently the only commercial airline that fly's to the island and it takes around 50 minutes. You can also arrive Rach Gia or Ha Tien from Ho Chi Minh City by bus and then take a boat but this means a 500 km journey by bus and boat!

This island is for relaxing in the beach bungalows, eating great seafood and diving into sea or forest for adventure. Since it is quite and peaceful, it is not a so great getaway for night life. I advise people based on their shopping decision. If you want to shop in Ho Chi Minh City, you can go to Phu Quoc first and then stay in Ho Chi Minh City. But this also may means rest first and get a little bit tired later. If you are OK to carry the things you bought or do not shop a lot then you can stay in Ho Chi Minh City for 1-2 days to do the following:

1 - Saigon Sightseeing
2 - Mekong Delta Tour
3 - Chu Chu Tunnels Tour

And then you can fly to Phu Quoc. You can also spend all your days in Phu Quoc, but if you have not been in Saigon before, I suggest strongly to spend some time in the city.

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