Phu Quoc, Vietnam - Stein Travel
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Phu Quoc

Located in the Gulf of Siam, Phu Quoc is Vietnam's largest island, and is fast becoming a heavyweight tourist destination. The densely-forested, mountainous island is ringed by some of the most beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the whole of southeast Asia - in fact, in February 2008, ABC News declared that Phu Quoc possessed 'the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in the world'. Accessible by sea or air, Phu Quoc is the ideal place to spend a week or two, relaxing on the beach, sampling some of the famous seafood, shopping for pearls in the fishing village of Ham Ninh, or heading off to Phu Quoc National Park to hike and swim in a tranquil mountain pool. The island is famous for its fish sauce ( nuoc mam) - an essential ingredient of all southeast Asian cooking, and a wonderful gift for friends and family back home. For those looking to be active on the island, Rainbow Divers offer excellent opportunities for snorkelling and scuba-diving; and it is highly recommended that you rent a scooter or moped for your time on Phu Quoc, as it has to be the coolest, easiest way to zip around the place. The best time to visit the island is in the dry season, which lasts from December to May. Make sure you see Phu Quoc while it is still so underdeveloped and paradisal - Phuket used to be the same way, apparently.

Information & Facts


The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese. Some Chinese, English and French are spoken. Tour guides can also speak Russian and Japanese. Numerous ethnic languages are also spoken in parts.


The official currency is the Dông (VND). There are no smaller denominations. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change, hotels and on the black market. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are becoming more widely acceptable, particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but it is best not to rely on them elsewhere. It is recommended that visitors bring travellers cheques in US Dollars, which can be cashed at major banks in the main cities and tourist areas. US currency acts as unofficial tender and is useful as a back-up when banks won't cash travellers cheques outside the main cities, but notes must be relatively new and unmarked. Dông can be withdrawn from ATMs, which are becoming more widespread.


Local time in Vietnam is GMT +7.

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