Phu Quoc’s Colors
Lounging around the beaches of Phu Quoc is as relaxing as anyone could ask for. A largely undeveloped island of Vietnam, the most noise we heard was the wind whistling through the trees, and the aqua-clear waters gently splashing against the beach. Sleeping in, lounging in beach chairs, swimming, eating, and repeating was great. But after three days of this wonderfully slow pace, we were antsy to explore more of Phu Quoc.
We hired a local guide, and took to the red dirt roads.
Besides its natural beauty, Phu Quoc is famous for two things: fish sauce and black pepper. Our guide, Tintin, yes like the famous reporter from the fictional stories by Hergé, took us first to a fish sauce factory. It was a bit anticlimactic because we only got to see a ginormous barrel of salty fish sauce while Tintin explained how it’s made. I was hoping for a full-scale tour through each stage of the process. After our amazing tour of a silk farm in Cambodia, our expectations were let down. We didn’t let this damper our mood, we still had more exploring to do!
Black pepper is best grown in tropical environments where it thrives. I love black pepper, so I was excited to make a stop and learn a little more about this spice I enjoy putting on almost everything.
I’m going to make an obvious statement: Islands are surrounded by water. Phu Quoc is no different! What does this mean for the local diet? Lots of fish, and thus fishing as a common way of life. What is a tour of an island if not to see a fishing village?
We had heard rumors of the beauty of Sao Beach on the east side of the island before landing in Phu Quoc. The west side is where most of the lodging is, and it’s the best side to see the sunset (obviously). But the east side of the island’s lack of development means Sao Beach is a largely untouched paradise other than some thatched umbrellas and a few places to grab a cold drink.
After relaxing for a few hours on Sao Beach, we made our way to the colorful environment of Duong Dong Town. This was the best place to really get a feel for local life on Phu Quoc.
Doors are metaphors for both beginnings and ends. After a few more days of relaxing on Phu Quoc’s gorgeous beaches, we had to accept the end our vacation. It was a great trip, one that we’ll look back on for years. From our explorations of the temples of Angkor in Cambodia (you can read more about that starting here), to the pristine beaches and colorful culture in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, it’s been an amazing journey. To all who’ve been following along, thank you and I hope you enjoyed!