Phou Quoc Island Travel Guide

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Beaches of Phou Quoc

Beaches of Phou Quoc

Darrin James

Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and a destination in transition. It   is located in the Gulf of Thailand about 120 km from Rach Gia in southern Vietnam. The island is shaped like a water drop and is 46 km from north to south. Its southern end is about 3 km wide and its northern end about 28 km.

Phu Quoc is famous in Vietnam for its excellent black pepper (something you will likely see more of in the United States in coming years) and its nuoc mam (fish sauce). The island also has pearl factories.

The island has some history as well. While the French placed the island under Vietnamese administration, the government of Cambodia has claimed it as well. And, after the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975, they actually invaded the island briefly in an attempt to claim it for Cambodia. Nguyen Trung Truc, who led anti-French guerilla activities from 1861 to 1868, retreated to this island to escape the French. (He was eventually captured and executed by a French firing squad in October 1868.)   I also believe that the South Vietnamese government used the island as a prison camp to house Viet Cong prisoners.

In recent years, Phu Quoc is becoming known as a tourist destination. The island has fine beaches and forested mountains that are being developed into new resorts. It is recommended as a getaway location: quiet, peaceful, simple. If you seek a busy nightlife, don’t come here (at least for the next few years). If you want rest and relaxation, this is a place to consider.

In addition to its development as a tourist destination, the Vietnamese government is channeling large investments into the island to foster business development.  In theory, the idea is to develop the island as a new Singapore. Current plans for the island include upgrading the airport in Phu Quoc, constructing a transportation port at the southern port town of An Thoi, and building a 3,000 hectare business center in the village of Duong To. A special visa policy for foreign tourists is also under consideration for the island. In other words, if you want to visit the island while it is still au naturel , you better hurry.

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June 27, 2005 new by crazyazn23 (1 point)

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