Searching for Paradise in Vietnam: Where is Phu Quoc?
Imagine looking out over the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, taking a stroll on the white sand beaches of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island, and relaxing in the colonial grandeur of La Veranda Boutique Beach Resort. When you travel to Phu Quoc, you may feel you have not only been transported to a far flung tropical island, but also back in time to a bygone era of colonial elegance.
The Convenience of Phu Quoc’s Location
The tranquil splendour of La Veranda, a gorgeous beach resort and spa in Phu Quoc, is closer than you may think. With an increased number of direct flights to Phu Quoc International Airport since it opened in 2012, the idyllic pearl islands of Vietnam are now within a two hour flight of major travel hubs Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, and just over three hours from Hanoi. With such popular cities now being in close proximity, Phu Quoc and La Veranda Beach Resort are easily accessible for visitors to Vietnam from all over the world.
Phu Quoc’s Weather and Seasons
Nestled in an eastern corner of the Gulf of Thailand and to the west of Vietnam’s mainland, the Phu Quoc archipelago is actually a group of 28 islands covering an area of almost 600km2. Being located in tropical South East Asia, the archipelago has two distinct seasons: a wet season that typically begins around May and a dry season that usually starts around November.
Due to the region’s location, Phu Quoc’s temperatures vary little throughout the year and are usually in the low to mid thirties degrees celsius. High season for tourists visiting Phu Quoc normally falls between November and February when temperatures are more comfortable, humidity is lower and the sun shines all day long.
No matter the season, Phu Quoc is always a peaceful location for a retreat from the rush of normal life, especially for those who are looking to target their holistic wellbeing. La Veranda Beach Resort Phu Quoc’s TĨNH Wellness Sanctuary is a beautiful addition to the boutique hotel MGallery Heritage Collection by Sofitel. Even during the rainy season, the French Indochine style spa and sanctuary provides the perfect location to get away from it all and indulge in yoga, massage and targeted body treatments with the sounds of the ocean waves (and occasional rain showers) as your relaxing background music.
Phu Quoc Island; the Pearl of Southeast Asia
Phu Quoc island, or Vietnam’s ‘Pearl Island’, is an increasingly popular arrival point for travellers looking for a beautiful beach holiday destination in Southeast Asia. The largest island in Vietnam, measuring approximately 50 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide, Phu Quoc is just 40 kilometres from the Vietnamese mainland town of Ha Tien. The mainland is easily accessible by ferries that service Phu Quoc throughout the day; however, it is Cambodia that sits closest to the island with just four kilometres separating the two.
Being located in a secluded area of the gulf, Phu Quoc provides visitors the opportunity to infuse each day with wonder by taking in the tranquil beauty of both breathtaking sunrises and stunning sunsets. Watching the sun creep over the horizon from the sumptuous beachside surroundings of La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, visitors will enjoy a peaceful yet gorgeous start to the day. In the evenings, with nothing but the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Thailand to the west of the island, locals and tourists are gifted with uninterrupted views as the sun drops back out of sight. Popular sunset viewing spots in Phu Quoc, such as Dinh Cau Rocks, are a short drive along the coast from La Veranda. However, the views can also be taken in splendidly from the breezy beach deck of La Veranda Resort’s Le Jardin or the wrap-around terrace of The Peppertree restaurant, Phu Quoc’s top fine dining establishment. Alternatively, watch the delightful Phu Quoc sunset with a refreshing drink in hand from the comfort of a vintage armchair in the relaxing atmosphere of La Veranda’s Le Bar.
Gourmet Dining on Phu Quoc Island
Less than an hour’s flight from Saigon, Phu Quoc provides a welcome change of pace to the hustle and bustle of life on Vietnam’s mainland. Upon arrival, memorable moments are easy to find as traditional Vietnamese culture still influences day to day life. Sleepy fishing villages can be found around the island and throughout the archipelago, many of which have been relying on the sea for their livelihood for as long as anyone can remember.
These picturesque villages are the home of a staple of Vietnamese culture - the pungent fish sauce that locals love to add to nearly every meal. Locally referred to as nước mắm, this distinct sauce is often used as a base in dipping sauces or as an ingredient in soups and stir fry dishes. Visitors to the island should try it at least once whilst on the island, as fish sauce from Phu Quoc has received the European Union PDO status, which puts it in the same bracket as products such as Kalamata olives from Greece and Edam cheese from the Netherlands!
The Peppertree restaurant at La Veranda Beach Resort Phu Quoc is the perfect place to try another epicurean local product - Phu Quoc pepper. The island is dotted with pepper farms and they are even grown in La Veranda Resort’s organic garden! The Peppertree restaurant adds this Phu Quoc delicacy to certain dishes to give just the right amount of savoury spice to their gourmet offerings.
Memorable Moments in a Tropical Paradise on Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc’s pristine sandy beaches, a result of the surrounding coral reefs, and crystal clear water satisfy every visitor’s fantasy of a secluded tropical getaway. A number of small islands to the southern tip of the region are almost untouched, and offer soft white sand beaches and clear blue waters to anyone who makes the trip. On the main island, white sands and calm shores make many beaches popular with visitors. La Veranda Boutique Beach Resort enjoys a stunning location on popular Long Beach beach (Ba Keo) on the west side of the island, as well as numerous other options within easy reach.
The main island is not only blessed with beautiful beaches but also lush rainforest. With more than half of the island being a protected national park, Phu Quoc is also home to an important UNESCO biosphere zone. Transfers to Phu Quoc’s national park from La Veranda Resort take around an hour and allow visitors to experience hiking through a tropical jungle, where they can hopefully spot some of the wildlife that lives there, including endangered species such as the Silver Langur and Leopard Cat.
Phu Quoc’s location has contributed to one more essential part of island heritage. The surrounding seas provide perfect conditions for oysters to produce their precious stones, and pearls here have gained a reputation for being very high quality. This industry is so integral to Phu Quoc’s heritage that the island is often referred to as ‘Dao Ngoc’ or ‘Pearl Island’.
Whether visitors come to La Veranda Boutique Beach Resort Phu Quoc from near or far, what awaits is timeless elegance, a luxurious paradise where attention to detail and the wonders of nature meet. Between the sparkling azure waters of the Gulf and the colonial grandeur of La Veranda’s outstanding facilities, there are plenty of opportunities for memorable moments to be made on this beautiful paradise island of Phu Quoc.
Image source: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc