Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the beautiful, picturesque Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc is only an-hour flight away from the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh though if you decide to get from Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh by a combination of a ferry and a bus, it will take you no less than 14 hours.
The distance from Phu Quoc island back to Ho Chi Minh City is 378km and there are various options available to you – the fastest and quickest being to fly from Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) (also sometimes referred to as Duong Dang Airport) to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
If time isn't as important to you as budget then the other option would be to get a ferry back to the mainland and then hop on an overnight bus to Ho Chi Minh.
Flights from Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh
There are three airlines that offer daily hour-long flights to Ho Chi Minh from Phu Quoc Island – Vietnam Airlines, JetStar Pacific and VietJet.
VietJet offer the cheapest service with flights starting from just under USD40 one-way. The VietJet flights from Phu Quoc International Airport leave daily at 11.45am, 4.50pm and 7.50pm.
JetStar Pacific are your next option in terms of cost with three flights a day starting at around USD75 – even less if you grab their promotional tickets – the flights depart Phu Quoc at 1.10pm, 7.30pm and 8.45pm daily.
Vietnam Airlines are the last of the three airlines in our list that are currently offering flights from Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh – they have 6 flights a day. Fares are a little more expensive starting at USD100+ for the earlier flight. Flights depart throughout the day at 7.50am, 10.15am, 12.15pm, 2.30pm, 2.35pm and 4.20pm so there are plenty of options for you but they do get more expensive the later you fly.
Note The flight times and prices above are correct at the time of writing but should only be used as a guide. You should also be sure to leave plenty of time to check-in for your flight and be sure that you have enough cash on you to cover your taxi or bus fare when you need to transfer from the airport to your final destination in Ho Chi Minh - between USD10 and USD20 should cover it if you are heading to District 1.
From Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh by ferry and bus via Rach Gia
The quickest ferry service from Phu Quoc to the mainland is the Superdong fast boat service that departs from Bai Vong Fast Boat Pier. The service departs at 8am and 1pm daily with additional services during the high season from December to April at 8.45am and 12.40pm.
The crossing to Rach Gia costs USD15 per person and takes around 2.5 hours. Be aware that this service is subject to good weather conditions on your day of travel. Also, if you have a motorbike with you then there will be an additional charge of USD11 per bike to take it on-board.
Once you get to Rach Gia you can get a sleeper bus from Kien Giang Bus Station to Mien Tay Bus Terminal in Ho Chi Minh. Phuong Trang (Futa Bus) operates many departures between 1.10am and 00.00am every day. The journey time is around 7 hours and tickets cost USD7 per person.
From Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh by ferry and bus via Ha Tien
There are a number of ferry services that go from Phu Quoc to the Ha Tien Ferry Port every day, subject to good weather conditions, as well.
The connections from ports in the south of Phuc Quoc to Ha Tien include the fast boat service operated by Superdong which leaves from Bai Vong Fast Boat Pier at 8.00am and 1pm daily with additional services in the high season from December through to April at 9.45am and 2.30pm. The cost is USD10 per person plus an additional USD8 is you have a motorbike that you want to take with you.
The journey time to Ha Tien is about 1.5 hours in good weather.
You can also get back to Ha Tien Port from the Vinh Dam Port in the south of the island using the car ferry service, which takes a little longer (about 3.5 hours) but is also cheaper at USD8 per person and USD4 per motorbike. If you have a car then that will set you back USD31. The car ferry departs from Vinh Dam Car Ferry Port daily at 8.30am, 1pm, 3pm and 4.30pm.
You also have the option of catching the car ferry from the port in the north of Phu Quoc – Da Chong Car Ferry Port. Departures from Da Chong are scheduled at 5am, 11am and 5.30pm daily and the journey to Ha Tien takes around 2.5 hours, subject to good weather. Costs to use the car ferry from Da Chong Port are the same as from Vinh Dam Port in the south – USD8 per person, USD4 per motorbike and USD31 if you have a car.
The car ferries are reasonably comfortable and there is plenty of space to move around on the outside deck and get some air too or you can relax inside on the reclining chairs, if you prefer that. There is also a cafe/bar on-board where you can grab drinks and light snacks.
The car ferries are large and can accommodate up to 400 passengers, 200 motorbikes, 20 cars and a few buses/trucks too. Another point that might be useful to know is that, while there is not generally a need to book car ferry tickets in advance, it is always a good idea to do so especially during the high season from December to April as the ferry services do get very busy then.
On arrival in Ha Tien, you will need to get a bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The most popular service is the sleeper bus service operated by Phuong Trang (Futa Bus) who, at the time of writing, had 8 departures daily – 5 in the morning between 7.45 and 12.30pm (more or less hourly) and 3 more in the late afternoon/evening at 6.30pm, 8.30pm and 10.30pm. To cover the 314km from Ha Tien to Ho Chi Minh will take about 8 hours and tickets are about USD7 per person.
There are two main bus routes between Ha Tien and Ho Chi Minh namely, Ha Tien to Rach Gia to Long Xuyen to Vinh Long to Mien Tay Bus Terminal in Ho Chi Minh. The other one goes from Ha Tien to Chau Doc and then directly on to Mien Tay Bus Terminal in Ho Chi Minh.
Onward travel from Phu Quoc
If you're looking for ideas on places to explore after your trip to Phu Quoc then look no further than the world famous Mekong Delta. With cities like Vinh Long and Can Tho right on your doorstep it would be a shame not to explore this natural wonder. Wouldn't it?
Another very popular destination after visiting Phu Quoc is to head over the border into Cambodia. Some people just can't get enough of beautiful beaches and if that's you then why not head for Sihanoukville with its paradise-like white sand beaches and clear blue waters?
Alternatively, if you would like to travel a little bit further then, from Ho Chi Minh City, all of South East Asia beckons you; Bangkok is only 1.5 hours away or you could get to Kuala Lumpur in just 2 hours.