About Duong to
The Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc in the Gulf of Thailand is known for two things: white-sand beaches with aquamarine water, and the cultivation of fish sauce. It has waterfalls to walk to, shrines to gaze at and smaller isles to hop between as well. More than half of Phú Quốc is a national park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so wherever you wander you won't be far from pristine tropical nature.
Phú Quốc hostels range from sleek industrial-style spaces to beach bungalows with views of the sea. You'll also find homely spots that organise trips around the island, as well as places just metres from the bustling night market in Dương Đông town – a must-visit for its local vibe and fresh seafood. Keep an eye out for a Phú Quốc hostel with private rooms for longer snoozes, air con to keep you cool and freshwater swimming pools for leisurely dips.
Long Beach is the island's most popular thanks to its calm, lagoon-like water. It has excellent eating options as well – don't miss the main highway running a few blocks out from the beach for a superb selection of international restaurants, ranging from authentic Vietnamese to sophisticated French cuisine. For serene stretches of coastline with more of a deserted feel, head to the powdery white sand of Bai Sao beach on the southern end of the island or Ông Lang to the northwest.
Beaches are, of course, the main draw on this teardrop-shaped island: rent a motorbike and you can tick one off your list every day. Bai Sao is the most famous, with gentle waves to float in and swings dotted along the sand. Ông Lang is also popular for its crystal-clear, calm water. Prefer something more active? Try a 4-hour hike to Mount Heaven through lush green forest, or a snorkelling boat trip to see coral reefs.
If you're not flying into Phú Quốc from one of the mainland airports, you'll arrive by boat from the ports at Ha Tien or Rach Gia. Once you're on the island, you'll find bikes and motorbikes for rent – just make sure to bring an international driving licence. There are also taxis, both traditional cabs and xe om (motorbike taxis), around the major resorts, and plenty of drivers are on hand to pick up passengers at the airport and ports.