When people visit Vietnam, they often start in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, working their way up or down the country without visiting some of its lesser-known gems. Phu Quoc lies off Vietnam’s southern coast, so far over that it’s underneath Cambodia, meaning many don’t make the effort to visit. However, like many beautiful islands in this part of the world, it has sugar-soft beaches, jungles, luxury hotels and tonnes of activities.
Visitors can hike to waterfalls, check out local fishing villages, catch the sunset at a beach bar or go scuba diving with tropical fish; the opportunities are endless. Phu Quoc is also famous for producing pepper and local sim wine, so touring these farms and factories is fun, especially if you want a unique souvenir to take home from the island. Here are the best things to do in Phu Quoc.
- Phu Quoc, Vietnam
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Phu Quoc
- 1- Relax On Starfish Beach
- 2- Go Island Hopping
- 3- Visit Ham Ninh Fishing Village
- 4- Phu Quoc Cable Car
- 5- Shop At Duong Dong Night Market
- 6- Lounge Around At Rory’s Beach Club
- 7- Visit a Pepper Farm
- 8- Tour A Fish Sauce Factory
- 9- Trek To Suoi Tranh Waterfall
- 10- Visit The Phu Quoc Prison
- 11- Go Scuba Diving or Snorkelling
- 12- Coi Nguon Museum
- 13- Cool Off At Da Ban Stream
- 14- Taste Rice Wine At The Sim Wine Factory
- 15- Visit The Ho Quoc Pagoda
- 16- Explore Phu Quoc National Park
- 17- See The Animals At Vinpearl Safari Park
- 18- Go Fishing
- 19- Visit Rach Vem Floating Village
- 20- Escape To Phu Quoc Countryside Farm
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
20 Things To Do In Phu Quoc
1- Relax On Starfish Beach
Kick off your trip to Phu Quoc with a visit to one of its best beaches.
There are many on the island but Starfish Beach, as the name suggests, is the prettiest with not only soft white sand and clear waters.
Many colourful starfish scattered along the shoreline and in the surf give the beach its unique name.
The beach is at the northern end of Phu Quoc near Rach Vem Floating Village, so the two can easily be combined in a day trip.
You’ll find affordable sunbeds for rent, beach bars and some great seafood restaurants, making it the ideal spot to catch a sunset or enjoy dinner.
Recommended tour: Phu Quoc: Kayaking and Starfish Beach Tour
2- Go Island Hopping
Although Phu Quoc has more than enough to fill your days, you may want to make the most of being in this remote corner of Vietnam and go island hopping around the area.
Nearby islands include the strangely named but contrastingly beautiful Fingernail Island, the aforementioned Pineapple Island, Dam Ngang Island, May Rut and Turtle Island, which unsurprisingly has waters full of hawksbill turtles.
Most boat tours visit one or two of these islands and often include lunch for a very reasonable price.
Much like Phu Quoc, these islands offer snorkelling, diving, swimming and great local seafood restaurants and can easily be seen in a day or two.
- Phu Quoc: Speedboat Tour of 4 Islands with Snorkeling & BBQ
- Phu Quoc Trip 3: 3 Islands Full-Day Snorkeling Tour
3- Visit Ham Ninh Fishing Village
Not far from Suoi Trang Waterfall is the quaint little fishing village of Ham Ninh.
Vietnam has lots of fishing villages, but Ham Ninh is arguably the most picturesque and one of the oldest villages in Phu Quoc.
If you’re keen to get a glimpse into local life, this is the place to go, as tourists can also opt to go out with fishermen on their boats to watch them catch fish during the day.
The area is naturally overflowing with excellent restaurants serving seafood – spider crab is a local speciality, and the village sees spectacular sunsets in the evenings.
4- Phu Quoc Cable Car
Also known as Hon Thom Cable Car, you might be surprised to learn that this is the world’s longest three-cable aerial car system, taking 15 minutes between An Thoi on Phu Quoc and ending at Hon Thom Island.
Riding the cable car offers one of the best views you’ll find of Phu Quoc, taking in the Gulf of Thailand and the island’s many fishing villages and colourful boats.
It’s worth spending time at Hon Thom on the other side too.
Known as Pineapple Island, it has a nature reserve and a beautiful beach for more chilling out time.
Recommended tour: Phu Quoc: Cable Car Ride and 3 Islands Boat Tour with Lunch
5- Shop At Duong Dong Night Market
Night markets are the heart and soul of South East Asia so make sure not to miss this one on Phu Quoc.
Duong Dong is the island’s biggest market and during the day sells a classic selection of produce like fruit, vegetables, meat and spices.
Come 5 pm, the night market kicks off with hundreds of stalls selling delicious food, cold drinks, souvenirs and more.
Although it has become busier and slightly more expensive in recent years, the sheer concentration of restaurants here and the quality of food makes it worthwhile to have dinner or alternatively, simply wander through the market enjoying street food snacks until you’re full.
Recommended tour: Phu Quoc Street Food Tour – Eat & Drink with Locals
6- Lounge Around At Rory’s Beach Club
If you ask anyone on Phu Quoc where to enjoy some food and a beer on the beach, they’ll likely say Rory’s.
Located on the eastern side of Phu Quoc, their new premises doesn’t catch the same stunning sunsets but don’t worry, you can still relax on the sand, go swimming in the saltwater lagoon or grab a cocktail and hang out with friends.
They also serve some of the best food on the island, including their popular fish and chips, and you’ll find a lot of tourists and backpackers here, so it’s a good place to make new friends.
At night, the Aussie owners often hold beach parties, which you can stick around for if that’s your vibe.
Recommended tour: Phu Quoc: Scuba Diving Experience for All Levels
7- Visit a Pepper Farm
It may sound odd, but touring a pepper farm is one of the must-do activities while on Phu Quoc as Phu Quoc’s pepper is some of the finest in Vietnam.
Many farms on the island harvest white, black and red pepper.
Due to the growing season, you can generally visit the farms between February and July, when some of the farms will take you around to show off the pepper trees and the manufacturing process.
Although it might be a surprising souvenir, you can also pick up bags of peppercorns to take home with you – you’ll be reminded of Vietnam every time you season your food!
- Phu Quoc: Pearl Farm, Coconut Prison, and Bai Sao Beach Tour
- Phu Quoc: Local Farm Tour and Traditional Cooking Class
8- Tour A Fish Sauce Factory
Phu Quoc has another unusual offering that might interest you – fish sauce!
Most of the island’s economy relies on the huge amount of fish sauce they produce, and some factories in Phu Quoc offer tours to visitors.
The sauce is made from salt, water, pepper and anchovies and tastes delicious in all manner of Asian dishes.
Inside the factory you can learn exactly how the sauce is made before it’s fermented and sent off around the world.
Two of the best factories are Phung Hung and Hung Thanh, the latter of which is located right next to a bustling market where you can pick up some sauce for yourself.
9- Trek To Suoi Tranh Waterfall
One of the most popular attractions in Phu Quoc and a definite choice for those who like active adventures, Suoi Tranh Waterfall requires a hike to reach but is more than worth the journey.
The waterfall is near the Ham Ninh Mountains at the island’s centre and takes around 20 minutes to reach, passing through lush forests, streams and rivers along the way.
It’s a great place to cool off in the heat of the day, but it’s better to arrive earlier to avoid the crowds, and the rainy season is when the water flows the most.
10- Visit The Phu Quoc Prison
For a dose of history amid the beaches and relaxation, make sure to visit Phu Quoc Prison.
This historical site, built by the French in 1949, shows a sobering side to Vietnamese history as thousands of Vietnamese soldiers were imprisoned here during the Vietnam War.
With a small entrance fee, visitors can explore the prison and museum, which has exhibits about the terrible things that happened here and the plight that the Vietnamese people faced from invading soldiers.
The prison is located in the south of Phu Quoc and is easily reached by taxi or scooter.
Afterwards, lighten the mood at the nearby Bai Sao or Bai Khem beaches.
Recommended tour: Southern Tour & Sao Beach
11- Go Scuba Diving or Snorkelling
Phu Quoc is certainly a very underrated destination for both snorkelling and scuba diving.
Although the waters here aren’t protected and the local’s reliance on fishing is having an impact on marine life, the island’s waters and those of the nearby islands are still teeming with stunning underwater life.
Snorkelling tours are common and popular, and you can see lots of colourful coral and tropical fish.
Diving centres are less common but still exist – dive sites are generally easy at up to 12 m depth and divers can see fun species like turtles, pufferfish, octopus and stingrays.
Note that the diving season only runs between October and May due to water conditions being very calm.
12- Coi Nguon Museum
For a more local insight into Phu Quoc’s culture and history, consider visiting the Coi Nguon Museum just south of Duong Dong.
The museum displays the private collection of a former tour guide on the island, Huynh Phuoc Hue, who managed to accumulate hundreds of artefacts over 15 years, including more than 2000 antiques from the 12th to 15th centuries, almost one hundred paintings, ceramics, currency, artwork and cuttings of flora and fauna from the island.
For a small (20,000 VND) entrance fee, this is a fascinating place to check out if you’re in the south of Phu Quoc.
- Phu Quoc: Sunworld Hon Thom Nature Park Entry Ticket
- Phu Quoc: VinWonders Entry Ticket with Optional Safari
13- Cool Off At Da Ban Stream
When the heat gets too much, Da Ban Stream is the perfect place to cool off.
A little like Suoi Tranh Waterfall, it consists of natural falls and springs where you can swim during the day.
It’s located in the northeast of the island and the best time to visit is between May and November when rainfall has been at its heaviest, meaning the pools are full and the waterfall flows properly.
The pools are created naturally by the many large, flat rocks scattered close to each other, which also happen to be a useful place to sit and dry off after your swim or enjoy a picnic.
14- Taste Rice Wine At The Sim Wine Factory
As tempting as Vietnam’s extraordinarily cheap beer and cocktails can be, Phu Quoc produces a slightly different offering.
A unique drink found in Phu Quoc, the local sim wine is made from rice wine, sugar and rose myrtle fruit, which is only found in Vietnam.
Visiting the Sim Wine factory is both a fun and educational activity.
You can see the rose myrtle bushes growing that produce the fruit, tour the distillery, learn about the brewing process and of course, do some wine tasting.
You can also buy bottles to take home as a souvenir, although the bittersweet flavour isn’t to everyone’s taste.
15- Visit The Ho Quoc Pagoda
Hopefully, you aren’t templed-out by the rest of Vietnam because Phu Quoc doesn’t have that many besides Ho Quoc, which is the largest Buddhist temple on the island.
The massive complex covers 100 hectares (247 acres) of land, and the buildings are a stunning example of Buddhist architecture, featuring intricate carvings and statues.
Although it looks ancient, the pagoda was only built in 2012, although it has already had some local residents move in – the daring monkeys and birds!
It’s on the eastern side of Phu Quoc and can easily be seen in an hour or two; plus it has epic views over the ocean.
16- Explore Phu Quoc National Park
For anyone looking for an untouched paradise, natural beauty, beaches and jungle in one place, Phu Quoc National Park is simply unmissable.
Wandering through here feels a little like Jurassic Park, where you’ll hike through misty forests, spot wildlife hiding in the trees and cross swinging wooden bridges over fast-flowing emerald-green rivers.
As the park is on the coastline, you can head offshore for incredible marine life and coral reefs.
Sporty types can hike up to Chua Mountain, considered the highest point on Phu Quoc which offers panoramic views over the park and island, or trek to unexplored waterfalls and rock pools.
Make sure to dress appropriately and bring snacks – there aren’t any restaurants here, and the nearest lunch spot is in Rach Vem Village.
17- See The Animals At Vinpearl Safari Park
This attraction is fun for everyone but great if you’re travelling with kids.
Vinpearl owns some of Vietnam’s major hotels, resorts and attractions including their safari park on Phu Quoc.
Some may be worried about how animal-friendly the park is, but in this park, you’ll be the one enclosed instead of the animals!
This is the only completely open zoo in the country and you’ll get to sit inside a safari bus while animals like giraffes, elephants, lions and tigers roam around outside.
The zoo covers 380 hectares (939 acres), meaning they have plenty of space, and there are hundreds of species to see here.
There are also a variety of daily shows and close encounters to enjoy if you want to get a little closer to some of the animals. Skip the line and book your entry ticket here.
18- Go Fishing
Although we mentioned above that you can go out on boats with local fishermen to watch them fish, there’s another way to get to grips with this essential part of Phu Quoc life.
Many tours on the island offer visitors the chance to go out on a fishing boat with a local guide, who’ll explain to you the local fishing methods and the importance of fishing in Phu Quoc.
You’ll also have the chance to fish for yourself, catching things like crab or squid which they’ll then take back to be cooked for your dinner.
You can’t get much fresher food and the experience is a fun way of getting to know the island.
Recommended tour: Small-group deep-sea fishing in Phu Quoc
19- Visit Rach Vem Floating Village
Very close to Starfish Beach and experiencing the same influx of sea stars, Rach Vem is a floating village on Phu Quoc where hundreds of wooden houses on stilts lie just offshore, connected by wooden bridges and surrounded by colourful fishing boats.
There are abundant seafood restaurants and stalls here, so make sure to try some of the many local delicacies that have been caught fresh that same day.
If you visit in starfish season, you’ll also get to admire the unique sight of thousands of red starfish floating in the surf and the beach stretches forever, perfect for sunbathing or sipping on a cold drink on the sand.
20- Escape To Phu Quoc Countryside Farm
Visiting Phu Quoc Countryside Farm is a unique thing to do on the island and is ideal for getting away from the noise and activity in the centre.
Although the farm is predominantly known for producing pepper – so you can make this your pepper farm visit if you’re short on time, it also offers tonnes more to see and do.
Growing a variety of fresh local produce, tourists who visit can pick their own ingredients and take part in cooking classes, making up to four dishes.
Alternatively, you can opt for just the cooking class or even stop by the shop which sells a variety of peppers and pepper products like pepper tea and confusingly, pepper salt.
They also have two adorable pigs who live on the farm and help grow the produce, and if you can’t get enough, you can also volunteer longer-term planting and harvesting on the farm.
For more things to do in Vietnam, read:
- 20 Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City
- 15 Things To Do In Hanoi
- 15 Things To Do In Hoi An
- Things To Do In Hue
- Vung Tau Travel Guide
- Vietnam River Cruise
- Hanoi vs Ho Chi Minh City
- 20 Beaches In Vietnam
- 20 Vietnam Cities
- Where To Stay In Hanoi
- Where To Stay In Ho Chi Minh City
- Where To Stay In Hoi An
- 20 Things To Do In Phu Quoc
- 20 Things To Do In Nha Trang
- 20 Islands In Vietnam