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CNN lists best things to do on Phu Quoc

Released at: 11:47, 11/07/2019

CNN lists best things to do on Phu Quoc

A man scuba dives off the coast of Phu Quoc. Photo: CNN Travel

There is so much more to the island than its stunning beaches according to CNN Travel.

by Le Diem

The CNN Travel website has recommended a “travel menu” to try while on Phu Quoc Island, off the coast of the Mekong Delta’s Kien Giang province.

The first impression the island made on CNN Travel was its diving, both snorkeling and scuba diving, thanks to its diverse marine life, most of which is centered around the Phu Quoc Marine Park in the south or the Ganh Dau Coral Gardens just off the northwestern tip. Along with crab, squid, and hundreds of coral reef fish, visitors may also be lucky enough to spot the endangered hawksbill or green turtles.

Other sporty activities on the island include kayaking on the Cua Can River, which is great for beginners because of its calm currents and also features jungle surrounds and white sandbanks glistening under the sun, while an atmospheric lunch can be had in a small fishing village with wooden bridges and stilt houses.

Suoi Tranh Waterfall. (Photo: CNN Travel)

Trekking in the UNESCO-recognized Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve is another interesting way to discover the island, as 70 per cent is covered by untouched forests and mountains. Phu Quoc National Park, meanwhile, is home to easy walking trails as well as trees that look like they sprouted in the Jurassic era and more than 200 wild animal species and rare birds, such as the great hornbill. One of the best treks begins right after Suoi Tranh Waterfall in the south-central part of the island.

Though tourism has taken off, Phu Quoc Island is still a highly agricultural society, producing a variety of worthwhile souvenirs from pepper and honey to pearls. It provides nice visits for those who are interested in farming life, especially to explore the production of the island’s famed fish sauce.

It might be a little touristy, but it’s hard to argue with the stellar views aboard the Phu Quoc Cable Car, according to CNN Travel. Opened just last year, it is the longest non-stop three-cable cable car in the world, stretching roughly 8km in length. The ride begins from Phu Quoc Island at a quirky Roman-themed station, then soars above the islands and coral reefs below. After about 15 minutes, you can hop off at Hon Thom Island (aka “Pineapple Island”), south of Phu Quoc, to explore the lush Hon Thom Nature Park and lounge on the beach.

Sunset at Chuon Chuon Bistro & Sky Bar. (Photo: CNN Travel)

As the sun goes down, Phu Quoc becomes even more amazing with warm sorbet shades. Located on a hill, Chuon Chuon Bistro & Sky Bar, the highest restaurant on the island, is the most well-known place for contemplating refreshing sundowners as well as sweeping views of the jungle, ocean, and sky.

When the sun has already disappeared, the one and only Dinh Cau Night Market, in the west coast town of Duong Dong (Phu Quoc’s largest urban center), should not be missed. A stomping ground for food obsessives, there are dozens of food stalls, aromatic grills, and outdoor tables as well as excellent gourmet souvenirs like black pepper, coffee, tea leaves, peanuts, chocolate, and more.

Ham Ninh fishing village. (Photo: CNN Travel)

Food discovery on the island is also a great experience and Ham Ninh fishing village is recommended for its combination of an outdoor restaurant and seafood market, promising an affordable, convivial night out. Located on the east coast, the village is set inland from the ocean along a canal where stilt houses, colorful boats, and floating restaurants hover over the water. Visitors can find so many types of seafood here, such as famous crabs, clams, oysters, sea urchin, and cobia fish (also known as black kingfish) - a tender, flaky white fish with black scales. There are various ways of cooking, such as grilled, steamed, hot pot style, or fried with local pepper, garlic, and a mountain of Vietnamese herbs.

If you don’t want to waste even a minute while on the island, squid fishing is an unforgettable way to spend a night out. Tours leave from various points on the island but they all share a similar itinerary. You can watch how fishermen turn on a bright light hung out over the water to attract squid. Called jigging, this attracts the squid to the surface so they can be caught in a net. After a few are caught, the fishermen cook up a BBQ dinner right on the boat for you to enjoy under the stars.

Phu Quoc Island has seen rapid development and an ever-increasing number of direct flights, CNN Travel noted. It welcomed 2.2 million visitors in the first half of this year, including nearly 400,000 foreigners, up 35.9 per cent and 35.5 per cent, respectively, against the same period last year.

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