Phu Quoc is a large tropical island off the coast of Cambodia, though is part of, and only accessible from Vietnam.
Phu Quoc is a very mountainous and densely forested Island of 1320 sq km; it is 48 km in length from south to north and has a population of approx. 103,000 people (2012). Situated in the Gulf of Thailand 45 km west of Ha Tien on the Vietnamese mainland and 15 km south of the coast of Cambodia, Phu Quoc is ringed with some beautiful beaches in Vietnam, and offers the best seafood in the country. Phu Quoc Island served as a base for French missionary Pigneau de Behaine from the 1760-80s, and at one time he provided shelter here for Prince Nguyen Anh (later Emperor Gia Long) when he was being hunted by the Tay Son Dynasty. During the Vietnam war there was little fighting here, but the Island was used by the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces as a prison for captured Viet Cong. Phu Quoc is not really a part of the Mekong delta and also doesn’t share the delta’s extraordinary ability to produce rice & fruit due to its soil quality and inaccessible terrain. It is, however, home to the best Fish sauce (nuoc mam) in the world, also reputedly known to produce high quality pepper and fantastic seafood. Another point of interest in Phu Quoc is the island’s native dog; this dog was originally a wild animal and was later trained as a hunting dog by local people. These days they are very domesticated and it’s unusual to go anywhere on the island without seeing one of these dogs! These animals have unusually sharp teeth (as they tear their food when they eat it rather than bite) and have claws that over the years have been conditioned for catching their prey and are razor sharp.
Phu Quoc is still what Phuket would be, if it hadn’t been overrun by development. Phu Quoc island and its beaches was voted to be “The Cleanest and Most Beautiful Beach of the World” by ABC News as from the end of February, 2008, however, this is over now. Phu Quoc has a severe domestic waste problem, every single beach is littered with plastic waste of originating from the island itself and from tourist boats. Only those beaches cleaned once or twice daily by hotel staff are clean. Extensive plans to develop Phu Quoc are being implemented, including high-rise residential areas, several new towns and suburbs, a socialist style holiday resort covering a large stretch of previous forest in the Northwest of the island, and complete rebuilding of Duong Dong’s city center. In April 2016, much of the northern part of the island was a construction site, with worker’s camp at numerous locations. The new international airport south of Dương Đông has replaced the small domestic Phu Quoc airport further up north. The main north-south road between Bai Thom and An Thoi is already being upgraded to a 2+2 lane highway, a new tared road from Duong Dong to Ganh Dau is ready. A golf area is planned as well as a casino in the north. A ferry connection to Sihanoukville (Cambodia) is still an illusion.
Phu Quoc Island has a tropical climate which has three seasons: High, Shoulder and Low Season.
High Season: During the period between November to March, where the daily maximum temperature is typically and on average about 31 C, and the daily minimum temperatures (before sunrise) about 23 C. The skies are generally sunny, with possibly some light high cloud in early morning that clears by mid-morning, and the humidity is at it lowest throughout the year.
Shoulder Season: During the period between April to June and late October, where the temperatures are a bit higher than during the high season, and the humidity around 80-85%. Crowds are less during this time and good chances of reasonable weather.
Low Season: During the period between July to September, which is dominated by the monsoons.