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How quiet is Phu Quoc? Too quiet?

Posted by hallf_brick on 11/5/2011 at 06:17

We're thinking of heading to Phu Quoc for a few days in early July, it looks pretty amazing and we're definitely going to need some beach time on our trip.

I was just wanting to get a feel for exactly how quiet and un touristy it is. We're a small group of early-mid twenties and while we're not looking for a full on backpacker vibe, we're looking for somewhere that has decent markets, bars, food stalls, cheap accomodation, is easy to get around etc.

As an example, I went to Koh Lanta (Thailand) a year or two ago, which was getting the same sort of recommendations that Phu Quoc does. While it was definitely beautiful and quiet, there was also a lack of places to eat and drink, things were quite distant from each other, and it was nearly impossible to find a tuk tuk after 8pm.

I know there's a lot of "backpacker" hate on travelfish, and I just want to make clear we're not looking for a Khao San Road, drink drink drink thing. I just wanted to get an idea as to whether it's a total "relax on the beach" destination, or if there's a little hustle and bustle there too.

Has anyone been to both Koh Lanta and Phu Quoc and can compare?

#1 hallf_brick has been a member since 16/6/2009. Posts: 13

Posted by caseyprich on 11/5/2011 at 07:48

If you stay on Long Beach south of Dong Duoang Town there are plenty of bungalow operations making for a lot of places to bounce around. It's also a big island, so there are options to do it 'Ko Chang' style and rent a bike to explore if you get board and other beaches to go check out. The more north you stay on Long Beach the closer you are to Dong Duoang, which though sleepy has a hand full of non-bungalow food operations some local food stalls and a cafe with wi-fi.

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Posted by Nokka on 11/5/2011 at 15:08

I'm surprised you found Ko Lanta too quiet. Whilst it is true that the further south on the island you go, there are fewer places to stay and the quieter its gets - anywhere north of about half way up the island is pretty busy, I would say. At least it is in high season. The nearer you get to Saladan Town the busier it gets with huge numbers of places to eat and drink. In fact, my view would be its biggest danger is getting over-developed.

Phu Quoc is quieter than that. I was there over Christmas 2009, when it was busy-ish - but nothing compared to a busy Thai island. It does have some life around Long Beach, though, with quite a few beach restaurant type operations, plus one or two music bars. Whether these go on until 4 a.m. I doubt.

One advantage Phu Quoc has over Ko Lanta though is its main town. While Saladan on Lanta is a nice little place, it is now almost exclusively aimed at tourists. The town in Phu Quoc is much bigger and still very Vietnamese - plus its very close to Long Beach.

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Posted by JasonB on 11/5/2011 at 22:02

Posted from within Vietnam.

It's quite quitet at night. Not many bars there, but you can enjoy Dinh Cau night market. If you are looking for a nice place for night life, you may be dissapointed in Phu Quoc.

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Posted by shaydan_01 on 14/5/2011 at 10:03

Phu Quoc, whilst it doesn't have the most amazing beaches in south-east Asia and is pretty quiet in terms of nightlife, was seriously one of the highlights of my six month south-east Asia trip with my partner.

We spent days motorbiking through some of the most amazing and authentic scenery we've seen, stopping on absolutely deserted stretches of sand, eating lunch in tiny fishing villages where locals don't speak a word of English, passing literally no other westerners all day .... and after all of this you can head to the night market for dinner with the locals and other tourists or head to one of the restaurant/bar's along the beach to mingle and drink. Feeling totally free and lost in authentic Vietnamese island life by day and heading back to your western comforts by evening... what more could you want?

When we were here early 2010 word was that an international airport was to appear in the not so distant future. The term "Phuket of Vietnam" was mentioned a few times. Get here soon I say.

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Posted by shaydan_01 on 14/5/2011 at 10:03

Phu Quoc, whilst it doesn't have the most amazing beaches in south-east Asia and is pretty quiet in terms of nightlife, was seriously one of the highlights of my six month south-east Asia trip with my partner.

We spent days motorbiking through some of the most amazing and authentic scenery we've seen, stopping on absolutely deserted stretches of sand, eating lunch in tiny fishing villages where locals don't speak a word of English, passing literally no other westerners all day .... and after all of this you can head to the night market for dinner with the locals and other tourists or head to one of the restaurant/bar's along the beach to mingle and drink. Feeling totally free and lost in authentic Vietnamese island life by day and heading back to your western comforts by evening... what more could you want?

When we were here early 2010 word was that an international airport was to appear in the not so distant future. The term "Phuket of Vietnam" was mentioned a few times. Get here soon I say.

#6 shaydan_01 has been a member since 16/11/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 80
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Posted by hallf_brick on 16/5/2011 at 06:41

Thanks guys, very helpful.
It's looking like we might leave Phu Quoc off itinerary for now, as we don't have much time, and it sounds like the kind of place you'd want to hang around and just relax for a while.
Will definitely have to check it out sometime though, before it turns into Phuket.

#7 hallf_brick has been a member since 16/6/2009. Posts: 13


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