Phu Quoc - Long Beach - South from Duong Dong

Phu Quoc – Vietnam – Information




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Welcome to one of the biggest building sites in the world!

Phu Quoc island is very similar to Otres Beach, Cambodia. Not surprising given that Phu Quoc lies off of the Cambodian coast. Price-wise, they are also very similar.

{… this post is still under construction…}


I travelled from Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc on a personalised Mekong Delta Tour.


You arrive at the Ferry Port on the south east of the island. From there you can catch a taxi direct to your hotel (about VDN100k) or a minibus to the Duong Dong rivermouth (VDN30k) with a ticket purchased on the ferry.

Given that:

  • A taxi from the Ferry Port direct to your hotel is only about VDN100k; and
  • From the Minivan terminus you have to catch a taxi to your hotel for up to VDN45k anyway

I would suggest that you ask a few travellers whilst on the Ferry for anyone who wants to share a Taxi. The costs will be the same (or cheaper) and you will get directly to your hotels.


I bought a 1 month Viettel SIMcard in Saigon for VDN340k which gave me 3GB of 3G data (unlimited at 256kb once the 3GB is used up) and 30 minutes of talk time.

The Viettel service was available all over the island and I had no problems with communications.

Viettel has no English website. Buy a SIM card, add some more money (instructions are on the voucher) and get a data package. For 200k VND you get about 3.5 GB traffic per month. After you have loaded up your dong, SMS ‘MI 200’ to ‘191’.Then, SMS ‘3G ON’ to ‘161’.

The wifi service in the budget hotels can be sporadic and frustrating. Many times (every day) I found myself ‘falling back on’ my own Viettel communications to get access to the internet.

My laptop runs Windows 10 and this proved to be a bit of a problem in these budget resorts as their wifi routers are older technology. On many occasions I could not connect to their service. I solved the problem here. It is worth noting that my Samsung Smartphone had no such problems… this is a Windows problem.

It is, also, worth noting that (sometimes) this is not a problem at all… it is just that their router has reached its maximum number of connections… and if you wait a while you can actually connect OK.



There are loads of licensed taxis on Phu Quoc, coloured in light gold and green/white, and sporting a license paper in the front window.

They are completely safe to use, not too expensive, and they will rigorously obey their taxi meter.

In these taxis you should be able to travel 5km (from, say, Duong Dong to the budget area of Long Beach (to resorts like the Lien Hiep Thanh Resort or the Nhat Lan Resort) for NO MORE THAN VDN45k each way.


I rented a scooter for 3 weeks at VDN100k / day so that I could get Around The Island By Scooter.

If you are just going to stay in and around Duong Dong you can share a scooter on a short term rental that you should be able to get for VDN120 / day. I DO NOT recommend sharing if you are going to tour the island. The roads are too dangerous… for your own safety, you need one scooter each.

To legally drive a scooter in Vietnam you must have an International Driving License / Permit. You may get away with not having one out of peak season but, in peak season, the police start to get ‘active’ and start to stop foreigners on scooters. If you are stopped without an International License, the fine is US$150.


I had done my research whilst going Around The Island On Scooter.

I concluded that the only real area for GRANDPAckers to stay was in the 5km strip along Long Beach south of Duong Dong. It reminded me of Cenang Beach, Langkawi, Malaysia where (similarly) this was the only beach on the island suitable for GRANDPAckers to stay long term.

The rest of the island is either being built, up-market, unkempt, or not to GRANDPAcking standard.

On my 3rd day, I sat down to have breakfast, and used BOOKING.COM to create a shortlist of target hotels, guesthouses, and resorts.

It was the 31st of October 2015 and these were the only places with rooms to a GRANDPAcking budget and standard. Try this yourself with Agoda:

My target price was a maximum of VDN500k / NZ$36 / US$24 / €22 / £15 per day. I had shortlisted places offering higher prices than that as I expected to be able to negotiate them down to within my target figure for my long-term stay. What I found was a “Peak Season’ problem. Peak Season starts on 1st November and all accommodation prices increase by 150-200%. What you could get for US$25 on 31st October was US$40 on 1st November. This made my search a bit more interesting… and challenged my ‘negotiation skills’. I jumped on my rental scooter and zig-zagged up and down the 5kms of Long Beach in and out of every side street. This is what I was able to achieve on a promise of an 18 night stay (I will highlight any variations from GRANDPAcking standards):

Gold Beach Hotel: US$25 including breakfast, aircon, and cable tv. The hotel room was on the 4th floor. The hotel had a small pool. It was on the coast road with no beach access.

Hiep Thanh Resort: US$20 without breakfast and US$25 with breakfast in an ‘only just made the standard’ terrace room away from the beach.

Hoa Nhat Lan Bungalows: A nice, clean, modern bungalow with patio and hammock looking out over gardens. US$18 with aircon. No beach access. But, one of the best options.

Lien Hiep Thanh Resort: The place that I was already in. US$20 for a terrace room. US$34 for a bungalow. Beach access.

Mai Spa Resort: US$40 for a garden view terrace room with aircon and breakfast.

Nhat Lan Resort: US$24 bungalow with cable tv and aircon with beach access.

Phuong Binh House: An ‘only just made standard’ terrace room US$30 down to US$25 for 18 nights. Beach access.

Son Vinh Guesthouse: On the coast road. US$20 for a nice, modern, terrace room. Including free laundry and breakfast (2 Fried Eggs, Baguette, and Black Coffee). One of the best but nowhere for a solo traveller like me to meet people.

Thanh Hai Guesthouse: US$15 for a bungalow. Average. No beach access.

Being able to get around like this and do a proper investigation is another perfect example of how renting a scooter can pay for itself.


I was in Phu Quoc for another 18 nights, so wanted beach access and somewhere where I could meet people (so the resort needed a bar or restaurant).


A good ‘target area’ for GRANDPAckers is the small group of side streets in and around the Coral Bay Resort. This is the main ‘budget accommodation’ area on the tourist strip.

In these streets you will find several options in the GRANDPAcking range… all within walking distance of each other. This makes it easy to find one that you like and negotiate a good price.

This area also has its own community of restaurants and bars as well as scooter rentals… all of which are better prices than further north nearer Duong Dong.

The end of some of these little tracks are not paved so they can flood after heavy rains. You may find yourself walking through ankle-high puddles on the way home. Alternatively, you can get to the beach and walk to your resort from there.

When I was there from late October 2015, the rains came daily. However, by mid November, these rains had eased to once every 3 days.

When I was in Phu Quoc on the cusp of Peak Season (late October to early November) it rained for at least 1 hour every afternoon / evening.

Lien Hiep Thanh Resort:

I used BOOKING.COM to book 4 nights in advance before arriving on the island.

I booked it for VDN356k / night.

They now wanted a ‘discounted rate’ of VDN400k / night for me to extend my stay in Peak Season (in the same room).

The resort is pleasant and well maintained with a daily maid service which includes 2 small bottles of water every day.

The restaurant prices were ‘OK’ but not fantastic. The restaurant food was ‘average’. A big Saigon Green was VDN25k.

Fried Eggs & Baguette was VDN30k and a small Black Coffee VDN15k.

Nhat Lan Resort:

I chose this resort for my next 18 nights.

It had what I was looking for and offered the best bungalow price for a resort with beach access and a restaurant. It was 2 resorts further south from the Lien Hiep Thanh (about 30 metres walk).

It is a small resort with a terrace of 4 rooms, 6 small bungalows, and 16 larger bungalows. I chose one of the smaller (and cheaper) bungalows.

The resort is pleasant and well maintained with a daily maid service which includes 2 small bottles of water every day.

I checked into my bungalow at noon. I noticed a few mosquitoes flying about. I ALWAYS travel with a big can of bug spray… so, when I popped out to find an ATM that afternoon, I closed all of the windows and sprayed the room. With these sprays you spray and leave the room for AT LEAST 15 minutes. When I came back later that afternoon there were about 100 dead mosquitoes on the floor. I didn’t get bitten once that night. Thank god for my bug spray!

The resort has a nice beach front but there are a lot of mosquitoes around at dawn and dusk. You need to protect yourself at those times of day.

The restaurant prices were ‘OK’ but not fantastic. The restaurant food was ‘average’. Fried Eggs & Baguette was VDN35k and a large Black Coffee VDN15k. An “OK’ Chicken & Ginger with rice was VDN80k. A big Saigon Green was VDN18k.

I was a bit ‘disappointed’ with the resort. The cleaning ladies were very friendly and I had many a laugh with them… but the guys down at the beachfront restaurant were a different story. They were ‘indifferent’ and I did not find them very friendly. Many a time they did not even respond to me saying ‘Good Morning’ to them. Maybe it was just me they didn’t like.

In fairness, there may have been a good reason for this… I usually work on my blog for 4-5 hours every morning and I had chosen Nhat Lan because I wanted to sit down in the beachfront restaurant and have that nice atmosphere during those hours. However, the internet connection was so bad that I could not work… so, for breakfast I went to the nearby Bao Quy Restaurant (they have an excellent internet connection). During the day (and for lunch) I am always out and about investigating. In the evenings I am doing the same and ended up at the Palm Tree Restaurant a lot for dinner. I wasn’t, actually, at my resort very much. The guys back at Nhat Lan may have thought that I was the one being unfriendly and shunning them. Funny how people can misinterpret things.

Anyway, I found the food in the Nhat Lan restaurant very average and the service poor too. On 2 occasions I sat at a table on the beach to have a last beer before retiring to bed. I sat for over 10 minutes each time trying to catch a waiter’s eye to order a beer… without success. Both times, I got up and left to go somewhere else.

Long Beach Restaurant:

On the second occasion I walked south along the beach for 50 metres to another resort ( I think that it is called the ‘Ngan Sao Resort 2’). They have a restaurant at the front called Long Beach Restaurant. Here, it was a completely different story…

There were only 4 people sitting around one of the tables. The German owner with her Vietnamese husband and a German lady with her 23 year old daughter.

They welcomed me in and I joined their table. We talked and laughed for about 2 hours. I had a big Saigon Green, and bought a few rounds for the table (a couple of house white wines and at least 6 Gin & Tonics – I think… things started to get a bit ‘murky’… I know we all drank at least half a bottle of gin).

When I wanted to leave and asked to pay, the lady owner only wanted VDN120k! I gave her VDN150k, thanked her, and left with a smile.

VERY FRIENDLY, and a lovely evening. Thank you ladies!

I believe that you can rent a Bungalow here for VDN750k / night. Alas, at that price, it would be out-of-GRANDPAcker-range (unless you can do a really good deal on a room at the back).


The tourist area is riddled with westernised restaurants selling meals at inflated prices. You will be hard-pushed to get anything decent for less than VDN60k.

You need to ‘eat local’ in local cafes to get down to VDN40-50k.

The Palm Tree Restaurant:

HOWEVER, I found the Palm Tree Restaurant only 100 metres from my resort down the same side road.

The meals are the normal tourist prices. The cheapest is about VDN85k. The best dishes are about VDN150-200 or VDN350k (for a set meal for 2). For VDN120-150k you can get a good quality meal.

Between 6pm and 8pm they have a Happy Hour. YOU MUST DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO GET HOLD OF ONE OF THEIR HAPPY HOUR VOUCHERS. Until 31st October 2016, you get free drinks with your meal in Happy can choose from:

  • Banana, Mango, or Pineapple Daiqiris (local spirits?)
  • Black Russian, Caipiroska, or Mojito Cocktails (local spirits?)
  • Saigon Green, Saigon Red, Tiger, or Heineken

If you think about it, this is fantastic value for money. If, say, you drink 3 bottles of beer with your dinner, this would normally cost you VDN75-90k in such restaurants. At Palm Tree, their cocktails are usually VDN75k each and their Heinekens are usually VDN25k each.

Deduct what you would normally pay for your drinks from the price of the food on the menu, then a really nice VDN120k dinner (of, say, grilled prawns) is only costing you VDN30-40k.

I went to the Palm Tree several times. Here is a gallery of the sort of food on offer:


It’s a ‘no brainer’. For about the same price as lesser restaurants (and local restaurants), why wouldn’t you eat and drink at the Palm Tree and have a much nicer meal? Where else can you leave a restaurant so replete for under US$7.

However, without the ‘free drinks’ voucher, the Palm Tree would be a different proposition… it would be just another ‘tourist priced’ westernised restaurant.

One night, four of us shared their ‘Set Menu for 4’. It was disappointing… I wouldn’t recommend it.

On the plus side, I thought that these starters were good:

  • Scallops
  • Deep Fried Spring Rolls
  • Papaya Salad
  • Banh Xea (pancake)
  • Bo La Lot (spicy minced beef wrapped in wild belet leaf)

There are many nice main dishes. I can recommend:

  • Any Prawn dish
  • 5 Spice Pork Ribs
  • Any Curry

The Palm Tree has good wifi for those who want to surf the net.

Local Restaurants:

As I work every morning I need a good internet connection – which they do not have at the restaurant where I was staying at Nhat Lan.

So, I found myself almost every morning at the the Bao Quy. It is a cheap, local restaurant where you can get Fried Eggs & Baguette for VDN25k and Pancakes (and other breakfasts) for VDN30k. A big black coffee is VDN15k.

The Day Market / On The Streets:

This is where you ‘eat like a local’.

Down at the Duong Dong Day Market you can eat sitting on low stools with the locals for as little as VDN20k for something like a Pork Stew with Steamed Rice.

On the Streets you can find open air local stalls with meals like a Pork Noodle Soup for about VDN20-25k.

Try one of their stuffed pancakes for VDN15k: you get a pancake stuffed with soft noodles, strips of pork, sprouts and other goodies along with a bowl of lettuce, mint, and basil. You eat eat like a Yuk Sung… you take a lettuce leaf and fill it with some of the pancake, then roll it up like a spring roll and dip it in sweet chilli sauce. Delicious (and very healthy!).

Filled Baguette Rolls can be had in many places for VDN10k. The Baguette breakfasts that you get in local restaurants for VDN25-30k are little more than a warm Egg Baguette.

The Night Market:

The Night Market starts at about 4:30pm each day. You can find it at the Duong Dong end of on Tran Hung Dao road opposite the small roundabout.

This is a TOURIST market and prices are set accordingly.

You can get big Saigon Greens for as little as VDN16k but VDN18-20k is more normal. These prices are set to entice you into the restaurant to have a meal. The meals are relatively expensive for Vietnam. You pay 200% of the price that you can pay elsewhere. Noodle Soups are about VDN70k. Vegetarian meals about VDN70k. Simple meals with meat or fish about VDN90k. Stir fry dishes about VDN110k.

Something more fancy can cost even more with Snapper charged at VDN260k / Kg. It isn’t really a GRANDPAcker location but is worth the odd visit if you want to splash out and spoil yourselves with some LIVING expenses.

Night Riverside Restaurants:

Head down Tran Hung Dao to Duong Dong and turn left onto Ba Muroi Thiang Tu road to the river. When you reach the small roundabout before the bridge, go straight over the roundabout on Bach Dang and follow the road around to the right.

You will find a new set of westernised restaurants on the riverside. This new area is trying to compete with the night market but, as with that night market, they are westernised prices… but may be worth a visit if you want to spend some of those LIVING expenses.

Typical Westernised Restaurant Prices:

Away from the beach front you should be paying VDN70k (+ or – VDN10k) for an ‘average’ meal. This can easy rise to VND150k for something a bit more ‘decent’.

Opposite Lachia Hostel is said to be the best Indian Restaurant on the island. I had a chicken curry with plain naan there. The food was good but at VDN135k without a beer, it was over-priced.


There are many places to choose from.


On the beachfront you will pay a premium (of course). The cheapest places are the Nhat Lan Resort and the Long Beach Restaurant at the very south of the Tourist Strip. Here you can get a large Saigon Green for VDN18k and VDN15k respectively.

Otherwise you are paying VDN20-25k for the same as you go north towards Duong Dong.

At Rory’s (down the south end next to Lien Hiep Thanh Resort), prices start from VDN30k for a draft beer or small bottle of something like Saigon Red. It is one of the most expensive options on the south end of the beach but it has the best ‘atmosphere’ with live music every night and a ‘pleasant vibe’.

Coast Road South Of Duong Dong:

Again, you have many options.

In places like the Lachia Hostel and in the local cafes you pay about VDN15k for a large Saigon Green.

If you want to party and hear good rock music (and play pool), the Rock Bar is worth a visit… here you will pay VDN30k for a small Saigon Red (but they only charged me VDN25k because I played pool all night with the lady owner).

GRANDPAcker Area (Cheapest):

All of the, following, places lack ‘atmosphere’. If you are looking to ‘party’ go elsewhere. These places are where you go as a couple or with friends to have a cheap beer and a talk.

Bao Quy: A little local cafe tucked around the back of the Phuong Binh Resort. Saigon Green VDN10k. Saigon Red and 333 VDN12k. Tiger VDN15k.

Seafood Restaurant: On Tran Hung Dao opposite the Paradise Resort. Saigon Green VDN8k. Saigon Red VDN10k. Tiger VDN15k. But their food is a bit ‘pricy’.

Long Beach Restaurant: Found at the rocks just south of Rory’s. Saigon Green VDN10k. House Wines VDN20k. Gin & Tonic VDN20k.

GRANDPAcker Area (Other):

If you want to go a bit more ‘up market’ to get some nicer music and a bit more ‘atmosphere’ try:

Coco Bar: Happy Hour 18:00-20:00 with Saigon Green VDN15k and ‘home made rum’ cocktails half price. Has a pool table.


In the small stores around the resorts you can by 750ml bottles of local rum for VDN35k, local whiskey or gin for VDN75-75k, and more international brands for VDN120-150k. No doubt, you will find these cheaper away from the Tourist Area.


Around-The-Island Scooter Trip:

Around The Island there isn’t really much of interest.

The waterfalls are just a few kms inland from Duong Dong and are worth a visit.

A trip down to An Thoi (on the ‘real’ road) is also a nice day out… especially if you want to organise a fishing boat trip around the southern islands.

Other places around the island:


You can also organise a Night Fishing Boat Trip. Many leave from the north of Long Beach… or they come and pick you up from your hotel on a scooter. A 5 hour Night Fishing Trip costs about VDN200k. But be prepared to get VERY WET if it rains.

A Massage:

Along the beachfront you will find masseurs. Typical prices are VDN100k for a body massage… but this can be as much as VDN260k for a full 1 hour.

NEGOTIATE HARD. You should be able to get a 1 hour body massage for under VDN100k.

A Haircut:

Go to one of the back streets in Duong Dong (especially around the north end of the Day Market). For VND40k you can get a meticulous haircut and shave.


Around The Island there are a couple of nice beaches.

Sao Beach & Vung Bau Beach:

Sao Beach and Vung Bau Beach are both worth a visit. Sao Beach was not good when I was there but, once November is over, I hear that it ‘cleans up’ nicely.

However, the roads to these 2 beaches are poor and this may not suit some GRANDPAckers.

Ong Lang Beach & Cua Can Beach:

Just north of Duong Dong you will find Ong Lang Beach and Cua Can Beach. These are, also, worth a visit and the roads to both are good quality – which makes them easy and safe to get to.

Head up the main road north of Duong Dong for 20-30 minutes on scooter to find the first road (Duong Dinh Ba) down to Ong Lang Beach. There is no Resort sign posted at the turn off, so keep your eyes open (or use GPS).

Here you will find a quiet beach with a couple of local cafes and local ‘backpacker quality’ guesthouses. There weren’t many people there… mainly local Vietnamese.

Head back to the main road and go further north (for, about 5 minutes) and take the next turn sign posted Coco Palms Resort. This is, again, a good road suitable for GRANDPAckers.

Down the road, take the left turn to Coco Palms. Here you will find a few resorts and another nice beach. More resorts are being constructed. Coco Palms, itself, is out of GRANDPAcker range at US$100 / night. I suspect that the new resorts will be similarly priced. Again, this is a secluded, quiet beach but (this time) you will find more tourists.

Head back up the road and take the right fork in the road heading towards the Family Inn. Opposite the Family Inn you will find a dirt road. Go down this road for about 300 metres. The road gets worse and worse as you go, so you will need to ‘park up’ your scooter once you reach your limit.

From there, you can walk the remaining 100-200 metres to the south end of Cua Can Beach.

Again, this is another lovely beach with about 6 sunshades & a few more ‘loungers’ – and no facilities. This is where ‘people in the know’ go… a real ‘get away from it all’ place with its own ‘little community’ of foreigners.

Long Beach:

Long Beach, itself is ‘average’. The water can be full of debris and there are many small jellyfish.


Getting money out of ATMs in Phu Quoc is a bit of a problem. Many of the ATMs are limited to a maximum of 40 x VDN50,000 notes.

To keep the Cost of Travel Money down, I STRONGLY ADVISE that you get the maximum (usually VDN8m) out of ATMs in big cities (like Saigon) BEFORE you arrive.

I used my scooter to travel around every ATM that I could find in Duong Dong.

Here is a summary of what I find out:

  • About 1 in 4 ATMs are ‘out of service’
  • BIDV: Dispenses a max of VDN3m and charges 3% with a minimum fee of VDN50k
  • SACOMBANK: Max VDN2m. Fee VDN30k.
  • VIETINBANK: Max VDN2m. Fee VDN30k.
  • DONGA: Max VDN1m. Fee VDN50k.
  • AGRIBANK: Max VDN2m. Fee VDN22k.

If you do the sums (coupled with your own Foreign ATM Fee from your home bank), you will probably find that it is best to take out the max VDN2m from Agribank.

Typical prices are:

Waterfront Resorts: Cheapest meal VDN60-80k. Decent meal VDN90-100k. Large Saigon Green VDN20-25. Fruit Juice VDN25-30k. Large Water VDN20-25k.

Westernised Restaurants (away from beach): Decent meal VDN70-90k. Large Saigon Green VDN15-20k. Large Water VDN15-20k.

Food Stalls: Baguette roll VDN10-15k. Noodle Soups VDN20-25k. Large Water VDN12-15k.

Local Shops / Markets: 20 local cigarettes VDN10-20k. Local cigarettes bought by the pack of 200 as low as VDN70k / carton. Large Water VDN10k (sometimes VDN12k cold from the chiller). 1Kg Mangoes VDN15k. Bunch of Bananas VDN15-20k.

Laundry: Machine washed and folded: Resorts VND30k / Kg; Street VND20k / Kg.



Flights out of Phu Quoc seem to be a higher price than getting to Phu Quoc.

If you plan to fly out book early to get the best prices and use the right Search Engine. I went to my usual CHEAPFLIGHTS.COM to book a flight from Phu Quoc to Nha Trang. The best price I could get here (and on checking several other search engines) was US$116 one way via Saigon.

In the end, I booked my flight to Nha Trang using CHEAPVIETNAMFLIGHT.COM for only US$83.

The taxi from a Long Beach Hotel / Duong Dong to the airport should cost about VND150k. I negotiated a Moto for VND50k (the driver sat with my suitcase between his legs at the front of the scooter).

A Mekong Delta Tour:

If you have the time, why not take a Mekong Delta Tour from Phu Quoc back to Saigon?

Travel Agents, like John’s Tours, offer 2 or 3 or 4 day tours back to Saigon through the Mekong Delta. Given the cost of flights, such a tour is DEFINITELY worth a look


Peak Season starts on 1st November and ends in March / April; during Peak Season, accommodation prices can double. My advice is to get there late October whilst you can still negotiate a good price for your accommodation…. and, just before the weather comes good.

Even in November, you can expect it to rain almost every day for at least 1 hour. The rain usually comes late afternoon or in the evening, it sometimes rains all night. When the rain comes, IT COMES HARD!

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