Phu Quoc Beaches
Phu Quoc Beaches are the main, perhaps it is the only reason people visit the island. In direct competition with nearby destination, the islands in Thailand, which have been on tourist brochures for decades, Phu Quoc beaches are not well known much just yet! This is a list of almost all of Phu Quoc beaches, from the largest to the small size so to call “the hidden gems”. Why almost? Because there is always something new to discover and now, how to do that or try to get there is where your journey begins.
ONG LANG BEACH
A string of small beaches rather than one long one, Ong Lang may not have that postcard-perfect look you may expect, whose ingredients are a crystal clear calm water lapping an ultra-white powdery sand. On the other hand, the sand is thick and yellowish, peppered with clusters of black rocks and the occasional mangrove tree. There are more humble casuarina trees than photogenic coconut palms. On top of that, you may have the occasional cow staring at you with mild interest. Perhaps Ong Lang is a “less gentle” kind of beach, but it has its own rustic charm, even though it’s backed by a dozen resorts. Go to Ong Lang beach to look for a piece of sand under a tree, all for yourself.
This beach is a long stretch of powdery, cream-colored sand, backed by a stretch of grass under old trees and newly planted palms. Beside this, you’ll find almost everything you can think of, all in one place. A large hotel including a casino, a shopping street, an amusement park, a zoo and even a ferry wheel, all under the name Vinpearl, synonymous with large Chinese group tours and family-oriented fun. Go to Dai beach if you, or your wife and kids, miss hotel buffets, shopping malls and entertainment.
VUNG BAU BEACH
Unlike Dai, Vung Bau hasn’t been developed yet, even though is an inviting long and wide stretch of yellowish sand backed by lush vegetation and old trees. In some parts of this beach you’ll have the feeling you’ve discovered an unspoiled island, probably the same feeling early visitors of Phu Quoc had in the 90’s. Vung Bau has also a small islet in front of it, known as Fingernail Island. This is a good place for snorkeling and fishing. Even though it is within reach for a good swimmer, renting a kayak would be a much better option. Go to Vung Bau beach if you want to be alone.
Post any picture of this postcard-perfect beach on Facebook and Instagram and you’ll be instantly envied by everybody. Beaches like this are normal in the Maldives but not in Vietnam. Ultra-white powdery sand, coconut palms reaching the shoreline and a crystal-clear still water where small fish, starfish and crabs can be spotted. What else can you ask for? This is Phu Quoc most stunning beach. Go there to take pictures of the ultimate, perfect tropical paradise.
Another postcard perfect beach, much larger than Sao and it is also one of Phu Quoc’s beaches with white sand. Khem is very pristine and clean, due to the fact that until 2014 it belonged to an army restricted area. It has been developing slowly with low-impact resorts which contribute to keep it clean. Even though it may be crowded on weekends, it’s too beautiful to be considered over-developed. Another unique feature of Khem is the sea: it has a unique emerald color, not found anywhere else. Go there for good seafood and to socialize at the beach bars.
GANH DAU BEACH
This is a truly beautiful, white sand beach fringed by coconut palms. Naturally sheltered and shaded, with a very calm, shallow water, Ganh Dau is the stereotype of the tropical beach. Developed but not a lot, with empty stretches of sand if you wish to be totally alone, it has also a nice restaurant and discreet, fine bungalows. This is how nature and development should gently blend. Go there to stay.
CAY SAO BEACH
Undeveloped, known only by local fishermen, shaded by coconut palms and empty. Very empty. Cay Sao is one of Phu Quoc’s hidden gems. Hidden until somebody will develop it. Problem is, it’s a bit hard to find. Go there to feel proud, as you have found a place nobody knows about yet. And hurry up.
Truong means “long” in Vietnamese and this is Phu Quoc’s longest beach, extending for 20 km on the western coast of the island. Flanked by coconut palms all along its length, this straight beach is divided in two by the Song Trang river. The northern part is where the major development is to be found, also because it is where the tourism industry originally started. Together with old and new hotels, restaurants, beach resorts, guest houses, bars and restaurants there is also the original back-packers area called Long Beach Village. It is definitely not the most glorious of Phu Quoc beaches, but nice enough to be enjoyed as a lazy tourist, with everything you need nearby. The southern side of the small river is where South Truong beach begins. The farther south you go, the higher the chances you’ll find a stretch of sand all for yourself. Meaning a piece of beach not yet taken by small, exclusive, up-market resorts, of course. You have about 15 Km to explore. Good luck.
VONG BEACH BEACH
Vong Beach wins the price for the ugliest of Phu Quoc beaches, even though it’s not Mother Nature’s fault. Before man managed to spoil it, this was a narrow stretch of sand lined with casuarina trees and backed by thick vegetation, extending to the nearby rugged hills of Phu Quoc National Park. Potentially not too bad from a naturalistic point of view. Unfortunately, this unlucky beach has been developed for industrial rather than for touristic purposes. The main ferry terminal is here and the flow of passengers from the mainland pass through Vong beach. The village of Ham Ninh and its seafood restaurants is also located here, and the overall feeling of this place is more of a port than a beach. Ironically, it is the first beach people arriving by boat from the mainland can see, not a great first impression though. Moreover, the construction of new ferry piers has left the area littered and unkept. It may not be an inviting place for a swim, also because oil spillages are often spotted near the jetty, together with hundreds of jellyfish. Go there to feel sad about Mother Nature being raped. Or to eat seafood at Ham Ninh village.
RACH TRAM & RACH VEM BEACH
These two beaches are a somehow difficult to reach as they are in the far north part of the island and not yet linked by a paved road. Therefore, they are much less visited than other Phu Quoc beaches. Backed by steep hills dense with jungle, these shores retain a feeling of true wilderness, as lush tropical vegetation extend immediately behind the beach, which here is just a narrow stretch of yellowish, deep sand littered by pieces of wood, leaves, seaweed and whatever flotsam is deposited at every high tide. A few small and frankly squalid-looking fishing villages are located on these beaches. Unfortunately, like in many similar places in Cambodia and Thailand, fishermen villages on the beach mean lots of garbage scattered around the beach. The tourism industry seems to have missed these beaches, as there are no resorts yet. Go there to see how the local fishermen live.
A beach that belongs to Phu Quoc National Forest, Thom is quiet, silent, and very little populated. Exactly as you’d expect a beach in a national park to be: empty, almost all for yourself in its rough beauty, and with only a few bamboo bungalows and a restaurant to cater for the few castaways. It is a placid, sleepy place, where the only sounds are birds and cicadas. The unique touch of Thom is its shallow shore: at low tide the beach becomes enormous and stretches out at sea, to the point you can walk to the tiny Mot islet nearby. At high tide, some parts of the beach simply disappear. In conclusion, this is a very unique beach, with a flavor of its own. Go there to enjoy the nature and forget you are in Phu Quoc.
CUA CAN BEACH
This beach belongs to the homonymous village on stilts located on the western coast of Phu Quoc. On one side there is a small river meeting the sea, creating a picturesque sand bar. The village, the bridge over the river and the nice looking white sand make Cua Can a photogenic beach. Developed by a few, small-impact resorts, it’s a fine place and you can rent a kayak to explore the lush nature around the Cua Can river. Go there to take pictures.
BEACH GANH GIO
This small, lovely-looking beach belongs to the Shells Resort and it’s therefore considered a private beach. And it’s not the only one. Phu Quoc has more than a few small beaches accessible only through the resorts or by arriving on boat. These so-called private beaches are not supposedly open to non-residents, therefore they are not mentioned in this list. All beaches of this kind are usually very clean and pretty, as they are small and very well maintained by the management. Go there if you have a nice budget and a nice partner to share the beach with.