Phu Quy is a small island, but the scenery is beautiful. Home to beautiful beaches, coral reefs and other natural wonders, this small paradise of just 18 square kilometers is also home to many historical and cultural sites that showcase the heart of Vietnam.
when to visit
Phu Quy, also known as Thu Island or Khoai Xu Island, is located about 120 kilometers southeast of the central coastal city of Phan Thiet in Binh Thuan Province. The climate on the island is cool all year round.
The best time to explore Phu Quay is from December to June, as the storm season is usually September to November. In spring and summer, the sea is calm and the wind is light, tourists can easily travel to the island. However, travelers are advised to check the weather forecast in advance in case of rough seas.
what to explore
Trieu Duong Bay is located off the main road around the island. This is a small beach with long, wide stretches of soft white sand kissed by clear blue waters. Locals come here to swim in the afternoon.
Bai Nho Beach is a crescent-shaped beach with a stunning backdrop of mountains. Visitors only need to park their motorcycles on the side of the road and follow the path downhill to reach the beach. Some other lovely beaches on Phu Quay include Doi Dua Beach in Go Phong Commune and the beach near District Committee Park.
About 650 meters from Bai Nho Beach, Ganh Hang is a large cliff rising above the sea. As the waves crash against the rocks, “Khe Sung Suong” is formed – an inlet that also contains a natural “infinity pool” popular with tourists.
Visitors should bring a pair of sturdy hiking shoes for safety. When taking pictures, tourists should not approach the edge of the “infinity pool” to avoid being swept into the sea by the waves.
Cao Mao Mountain is located on the north side of Fugui Island. It is one of the highest mountains on the island with an altitude of 106 meters. Cao Cat features horizontal cliffs weathered like the Grand Canyon. On the way to Cao Cat mountain, you can visit the Linh Son pagoda.
Wen’an Qing Temple
In 1941, locals discovered and solemnly buried a whale carcass that had washed ashore on Phu Quay Island. It is said that the whale was more than 20 kilometers long when alive. Tourists can visit the whale skeleton in Van An Thanh. Locals believe the whales protect ships during storms.
Beacon of prosperity
The lighthouse is located on Mount Cam, 100 meters above sea level. This is one of the best places to enjoy the poetic and picturesque atmosphere of Fugui.
At the end of the road leading to Lingbu Pagoda, visitors can find their way to the lighthouse. The facility is free to the public, but visitors can make a small donation to support the housekeeping and cleaning team.
Ban Tranh Princess Temple
The Ban Tranh Princess Temple was built by the Cham people in the late 15th century. Legend has it that Princess Champa refused to be forced to marry, so the king exiled her to sea in a boat. The boat drifted to Fugui Island, and she decided to stay and help the locals fend off foreign invaders. After her death, a shrine was built and rituals are still performed every year to mark the anniversary of her death. She was then known as Ba Chua Xu or Ba Chua Dao, Princess of the Island.
Tomb of Master Sinai
The tomb is dedicated to a Chinese doctor who dedicated his life to helping the people of the modern-day island when it was first settled. He is revered as the patron saint of the island. According to folklore, Master Sai Nai was a Chinese businessman who was proficient in medicine. During a business trip to Vietnam, his boat was pushed to Phu Quey Island by a storm. He was attracted to stay because of the beautiful scenery of the island. Then he spent the rest of his life in Fugui Island.
After his death in 1665, he was buried in this mausoleum, which is often visited by islanders for good luck and good harvests. The Sai Nai ceremony is held every year on the fourth day of the fourth lunar month.
wind power plant
Phu Quy is home to one of three wind power plants in Binh Thuan province. The turbine towers of the Phu Quy wind farm are 60 meters high and the blades are 37 meters long.
Long Hai Fish Market
In the early morning, the endless flow of fishing boats docks, making the Longhai fish market very lively. There are countless rare and precious seafood here, such as heavy snails that are bigger than the palm of your hand. Inexpensive and unbeatable in quality.
Langyang Fish Pond
The Lang Duong Fish Pond was built by the local people of Phu Quy for fishing. But then it was abandoned in favor of an attraction for tourists who stop to relax, soak their feet in the cool calm water, or take some unique photos.
It takes only 10 minutes by canoe from Phu Quy to visit the local small islands of Hon Den, Hon Trung, Hon Giua, Hon Do and Hon Tranh, where life and scenery are more pristine.
Hon Tranh and Hon Den islands are both beautiful and safe. You can kayak or join a tour where you can fish, view coral, take photos and/or have lunch on a raft house. The fish you catch can then be transferred to raw fish dishes. Tour prices are approximately VND 250,000 (US$10.60) per person, excluding lunch. Travelers can ask the hotel to contact a local guide for more information.
On Hon Hai Island, you can learn about the origin of Phu Quy Island’s famous shark fishing boats.
Diving and Coral Tours
If tourists like underwater activities, they can rent a snorkeling boat for coral sightseeing. Below the clear blue waters are colorful coral reefs and an amazing variety of fish.
what to eat
Phu Quy is famous for its fast seafood. May is the peak season for seafood on the island. “Tourists can easily buy high-quality shrimp, crab, fish and snails at cheap prices,” said Sang, a tourism official in Fugui county.
If you’re a seafood lover, you can dine on the raft with overwater restaurants such as Dai Nam, Anh Sang, Hai Thien, Hai Phat and Ba Sinh.
The rich lobster here is also very rich. When alive, the shell color is slightly red, and the locals call it the red lobster to distinguish it from the blue lobster. The easiest way to enjoy this food is to steam it, as the crust turns a beautiful deep red color.
King crab and moon crab are two seafood specialties of Phu Quy Island. For first-timers, king crabs can be intimidating in appearance. However, the taste quickly turns shy eaters into crab lovers.
Moon crabs have dark red circles on their shells and live in crevices in coral rocks. The crab meat is rich in sweetness and unique flavor, making diners fall in love with it at the first bite.
Another specialty of Phu Quy is hot beef. “Hot” is used to describe how quickly organic beef is available and sold throughout the day. You can find this unique dish at places like Hoa Thuong, Ngoc Tinh, Thanh Binh and Thu Vien restaurants.
where to live
Tourism in Phu Quay is still new; there are no luxury resorts here. But there are plenty of comfortable accommodations here. La Min Hotel, Hai Long Hotel, Hoang Phu Hotel, Phuong Quyen Hotel, An Binh Hotel and Huong Duong Hotel are good places to stay, as are motels like Nam An and An Phu.
In addition, there are some lovely homestays such as Phu Lien, Co Sang, Villa Blue Sea, LyTi Sea and La Isla Bonita. The average price per night for two is VND 300,000 – VND 500,000 ($12.71 – $21.18).
how to get there
As the most remote island region in Binh Thuan Province, Phu Quy Island has a wild charm and has not been affected by commercial tourism. The only way to reach the island is by boat from the town of Phan Thiet, about 110 kilometers from Phu Quoc.
From Ho Chi Minh City, you can buy bus tickets to Phan Thiet for VND150,000-VND250,000 (US$6.36 – US$10.60) per person one way.
Upon arrival in Phan Thiet, you can buy a one-way boat ticket to Phu Quy Island for VND 250,000 per person. It takes 2.5 hours by high-speed boat and costs VND 350,000 per person. Seats and beds, fan rooms and air-conditioned rooms will be provided on these ships.
Boat services to Phu Quy include Superdong and Phu Quy Express. Boats usually depart from Phan Thiet around 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Depending on the day’s conditions, there may be an earlier departure at 5:30am or a latest departure at 3pm.
It’s worth noting that visitors should book in advance, as tickets sell out quickly. You can track more boat schedules in the Announcements section of the Binh Thuan Transport Bureau information page.
Visitors with a history of motion sickness should bring their medication and plastic bags, as traveling by sea can be exhausting.
There are no taxis on the island, but you can hire motorbikes from your hotel. Renting a motorbike on the island costs approximately VND 100,000 – VND 120,000 (USD 4.24 – 5.08) per day.
Photography: Linh Sea, Tinh Phu Quy