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Phu Quoc – Vietnam’s unseen paradise

October 4, 2017 Travel Feature No Comments Email Email

Powdery white sands, lush jungles and mysterious mountains are among some of the many attractions that await intrepid travellers to Phu Quoc, a far-flung emerald island off the southern tip of Vietnam and the latest fantastic destination served by Bangkok Airways, Thailand’s Boutique Airline.

Vietnam’s largest island, sleepy Phu Quoc, remains pristine and undisturbed for explorers seeking adventure, relaxation and natural experiences. Indeed, most of the island is taken up by national parks and protected marine areas. Situated 50 km from the Vietnamese mainland, the island basks in clear turquoise waters with a fringe of coral gardens, making it a paradise for sunseekers and lovers of watersports.

Where is it? The 574 sq. km. island is located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is roughly triangular in shape, 50 km in length from north to south and about 25 km from east to west at its widest. A chain of mountains called the “99 Peaks” runs the length of Phu Quoc.

What to do? Phu Quoc is the perfect place for anyone in love with the outdoors. Go for a swim, go kayaking or diving, take a fishing trip or go for a hike through the jungle-clad mountains. Other attractions for visitors include fascinating temples and pagodas, an old prison, waterfalls, quaint fishing villages and a night market that’s perfect for shopaholics. Then after all the activities, wind down with a massage or meditation session, or just lie down in the sun.

Which beach? Visitors are spoiled for choice at Phu Quoc with a string of sun-bleached beaches to choose from. Long Beach or Truong Beach is the main strand on the west coast, where most of the resorts are situated. At 5 miles long, the beach has sections that are humming with activity while others are totally deserted. At the top of the island is secluded Ganh Dau Beach, an image of paradise that also has some great seafood places. The east side of the island has some of the most beautiful spots, such as palm-lined Bai Vong Beach and Sao Beach, but these are somewhat isolated and getting there can be tricky. Many more beaches can be found along the west coast – Cua Can, Bai Dai and Vung Bau to name a few, each with its own charms and romance to attract explorers.

What to eat? Fishing has long been the island’s primary livelihood so it’s no surprise to learn that Phu Quoc has some of the best seafood to be found anywhere. Add to that the Vietnamese obsession for fine cuisine and the plethora of restaurants of many styles across the island and it’s easy to see that Phu Quoc is the perfect destination for gourmets and gourmands.

Where to stay? Most accommodation on Phu Quoc is new and able to cater to all categories of visitor, from budget travellers to jetsetters. The majority of hotels are concentrated along the western coast of the island near the main town of Duong Dong and along Long Beach. Booking ahead is recommended during the peak season and at busy times such as Chinese New Year.

When to go? Phu Quoc is a year-round destination with an average annual temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius. The peak period for travel is from November to March, when the skies are endlessly blue and clear, and rainy days are a rarity. The low season is from July through September during the monsoon when it can get quite wet. This is a good time to hunt for holiday bargains.

Bangkok-Phu Quoc: Bangkok Airways’ newest route

Starting from October 29, 2017, Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phu Quoc, Vietnam four times weekly on ATR 72-600 aircraft. PG 991 departs Bangkok at 11.30 every Tues, Thur, Fri and Sun, arriving in Phu Quoc at 13.10. The return flight PG 992 leaves Phu Quoc at 13.50, arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 15.35.

Bangkok – Phu Quoc                                             Phu Quoc – Bangkok

Flight Dep. Arr. Day Flight Dep. Arr. Day
PG 991 11:30 13:10 Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun PG 992 13:50 15.35 Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun

All Bangkok Airways’ passengers are privileged to use the colourful and contemporary Boutique Lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport with refreshments, free Wi-Fi Spot Internet usage and a play corner for children.

Passengers with Premier FlyerBonus cards may also use the airline’s stylish Blue Ribbon Club, with additional services such as a private library that can be used as a small meeting room, relaxing massage chairs and private shower rooms. Holders of Premier FlyerBonus cards enjoy a number of other exclusive privileges, including rapid check-in services at the Blue Ribbon check-in counter, 30-kg luggage allowance, and priority luggage handling.

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