From Hong Kong, budget airline VietJet Airlines flies there in under three hours and departs from gate...505 at HK International Airport. Pro tip: book any luggage and your seat reservation at time of booking because the VietJet website is designed to make you pay for additionals at check in.
There are many reasons for visiting Phú Quốc (Foo Kwok and I'm going to be using Phu Quoc in this post) but the best is that no visa is required before landing (check here and/or other websites if this is the same for you. When I visited Ho Chi Minh City in 1994, I needed two visas. Getting a visa before travel to a country is a complete pain in the neck so the fact Phu Quoc doesn't require one is a Godsend,
We stayed at Camia Resort & Spa in a one-bedroom beach front villa with the comfiest bed ever, and a semi-open bathroom. It's something else to shower with high walls and the sky above. Of course, we were worried about creepy crawlies 'visiting' but apart from a little frog on the first night, our fears were unfounded.
Away from the nightlife - twenty minutes walk along a dark road - Camia Resort & Spa is quite remote yet is ideal for kicking back and relaxing. If blobs of concrete on the beach is your thing, then Carmia is not for you. If you like low density resorts, greenery, flowers, sea views, cheerful staff and seclusion, then Carmia is for you.
There isn't a beach. But it doesn't matter because there is so much more. There is a fantastic infinity pool, seafood restaurant, and beautifully crafted villas,
The actual island is only 50km in length and there are many one-to-five star resorts yet there is a very real feeling that Phu Quoc will be the next Phuket. In many places are giant mixed developments in various stages of completion yet the infrastructure tends to be in need of an investment injection (narrow, lack of street lamps, pedestrian crossings etc.).
The best tourist attraction is the cable car owned by Sun World (they run / own the Danang resort with an impressive cable car but Phu Quoc trumps this by far). This 7,8km cable car is spectacular and apart from several panic attacks experienced, is an engineering marvel. Several towers at various heights inspired several 'Oh my God! Oh my God! We're too high up' moments, yet the views were utterly spectacular. A fishing village, clear blue waters, virgin jungle and oceans of...ahem...ocean views.
The destination is Pineapple Island where a water slide park is still under construction and what looks like a theme park - we didn't explore. There's a buggy to a nearby beach where (for a limited time I expect) the deck chairs, life vests and canoes are all free. There's a lovely sandy beach, restaurants, snack bars, showers and ultra clean toilets at the beach. Well worth paying a visit.
[Cost was VND 500,000 return for panic attacks and being able to marvel at the views,
Another must see is the Phu Quoc night market; an every night affair. Many stalls selling souvenirs, food, nuts, pepper but the main reason for visiting is the abundance of seafood on offer. A seafood orgy can cost below VND 1 million; an utter bargain in any currency.
Rolled ice cream rolls are a common dessert and there are many stalls where these are made before your eyes. It's a sight to see them being made.
Tasty clams and red snapper and cooked to perfection.
One place to visit just for the quirky factor is the old airport - shut seven years ago - where the old air traffic control tower and arrivals/departure building remains as does the runway. It's quite bizarre to drive down a road where planes took off and landed for many years. Just something cool to do. The first time I visited was at night and I was curious to find out what the dark space was all about.
I'd go back to Phu Quoc. The tickets we found were only HK$141 return before tax. The hotel was around HK$3,300 plus another HK$2,500 in additional expenses (food, drinks, hiring a car and driver). Going out for dinner and drinks is cheap. There's plenty to see and do.
There is clearly a drive to attract foreign tourists - we came across many Russian and German travellers - and there are many similarities with Phuket. Phu Quoc is better because it's under developed and pretty much off the radar of most travellers. There are exciting things ahead for Phu Quoc.