There's really not a lot in Rach Gia itself that draws visitors -- if you're in Rach Gia, you're most likely heading offshore to Phu Quoc Island, or westward to Hon Chong and Ha Tien. However, if you miss the last boat to Phu Quoc, you may find yourself needing an overnight stay. That's not a terrible situation -- the town has a couple of minor points of interest, a few good hotels, and a handful of tasty places to get your rice. Additionally, it has a laidback, community atmosphere -- prepare to be chased by giggling children eager to practise the one or two English phrases they know.
With that said, if you're in town, your main concern will likely be how to get to Phu Quoc. The cheapest option is to take a ferry. In the high season, several companies have ferries leaving throughout the day. In wet season, the timetables can be haphazard due to bad weather and the boats often do not run. Because of this people often fly -- either from Saigon or Rach Gia.
Even though there are multiple daily flights, they fill up quickly, so if you arrive in Rach Gia and the weather is foul, book yourself on a flight quicksmart -- the flight is only 100,000 VND more than the boat.Likewise, leaving Phu Quoc by boat can be a little difficult in the wet , but flights almost always run, so if you're tight on time and have wedged Phu Quoc into the last few days of a Vietnam trip, consider flying back to Saigon to be sure of not missing onwards connections.
Though Rach Gia is a fairly large and sprawling town, most hotels, restaurants and sights are located within a concentrated area on an island in the middle of the Cai Lon River. Rach Gia Park sits roughly in the middle of the island, its northern border pressed against the riverside. Most hotels and restaurants are clustered between the west of the park and Tran Phu St. Tran Phu continues over the river, where it leads to Rach Gia's central bus station.
A small bridge leads from Rach Gia Park across the river. Just on the other side, you'll find the local police station, and a VietCom bank with an ATM and exchange service. The pier for speedboats to Phu Quoc is also located on this side of the river, around 400m east of the bank.
Text and/or map last updated on 21st August, 2009.
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