Tour a Fish Sauce Factory
Many people who travel to Vietnam arrive having never heard of fish sauce. At Phu Quoc, you have the opportunity to learn about Vietnamese cuisine’s most important condiment. The distillery at Nuoc Mam Hung Thanh is the largest fish sauce factory on the island. You will find it just a short walk from Duong Dong.
The giant wooden vats produce a smell that you won’t forget! Take a guide with you if you don’t speak Vietnamese to learn all you can about this tasty (but smelly) sauce.
Visit Phu Quoc’s famous Pepper Tree Farms
For those who are curious about the island’s economy and want to learn more beyond fish sauce factories, visiting one of Phu Quoc’s 30+ pepper plantations is a wonderful and enlightening day trip.
It is rumored that Phu Quoc produces the best pepper in the world, though Cambodian Kampot might strongly disagree with this statement. At a plantation, you can smell and taste the freshly grown pepper for yourself and be the judge! There are many plantations on the island, so finding one near your hotel or resort should be no trouble at all.
Dive and Discover Coral Reefs
There are endless opportunities here to snorkel or scuba dive. Off the southern end of Dai Beach is Turtle Island, a small but ideal place for both snorkeling and diving. The waters here are relatively shallow and display a range of coral and tropical fish all living on the ocean floor.
If you want to journey to the southern tip of the island, the An Thoi Islands are just a 45-minute boat ride away. This gorgeous chain of islands sits in blue-water paradise and should not be missed.
This area is perfect for sight-seeing, fishing, swimming and snorkeling. It also caters to the more serious certified divers. It is easy to arrange a trip with one of Phu Quoc’s many dive shops. Note that in the rainy season boats usually do not go out to An Thoi Islands.
Get Lost in the Jungle
Phu Quoc has many opportunities for those who want a break from the sun and sand. The island is home to an enormous national park that is covered in dense, green jungle. There are areas that are easily walkable for a great day hike. You won’t find any routes that are too challenging, so it’s a great outdoor activity to bring the kids along!
10 minutes from Duong Dong is Tranh Waterfall. The trail to the falls is cobblestoned and easy to navigate. The falls are not huge, but they are very serene and you can get a cool dip in. Pack a picnic and head out early, as this waterfall get crowded in the afternoons with locals and tourists alike. The road to these falls will also take you to Coconut Tree Prison and Sao Beach.
Learn Vietnamese History
Book a tour to visit the Coconut Tree Prison and learn a bit more about Vietnam’s history and the French and American wars.
This prison was originally run by the French during their colonization of Vietnam. Here tens of thousands of Vietnamese were held captive and tortured. The prison was taken over and run by Americans during the war between the U.S. and Vietnam. While the prison presents some unpleasant visuals and saddening facts, it is worth a visit if you are curious about Vietnamese history. You can visit the prison without a guide, but if you want to learn as much as possible, a guide would be recommended.
These are a few of the nearly endless opportunities for exploration that Phu Quoc offers. There are also theme and water parks, golfing, spa treatments, fishing, and temples to visit, so be sure to do some exploring on your own too, and make the most of your trip!