Da Ban Stream in Phu Quoc

Suoi Da Ban - Da Ban Stream

Among the three most famous streams of Phu Quoc Island, Da Ban Stream is closest to Duong Dong. It’s not really easy to find for tourists, but that hardly matter. Find out why below...

Trashes on Waterfall

Unless you want to write an article about trash, litter and pollution in Vietnam, you have absolutely no reason to waste your precious holiday time visiting this heap in the middle of nowhere. As you can see in our photos, this place is more of a warning sign than a point of interest.

More Trash and Garbage

If you are searching for a beautiful stream to visit, better check out the other two:

Painting Stream (Suoi Tranh)

Fairy Stream (Suoi Tien)

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Ong Lang Beach

Since during the dry season the wind mainly comes from the east, the western beaches are clean and nice. Ong Lang Beach is one of the prime locations on Phu Quoc Island and harbors a plethora of quiet and peaceful beach resorts.

Ong Lang Beach is not one continuous stripe of sand, but rather a series of smaller beaches. Many resorts have chosen this area to build their facilities, halfway between Duong Dong and Ganh Dau. The beaches have yellow sand and are usually taken care of by the staff of the resorts. The waterfront is lined with poplar trees, coconut palms and the one or another rose myrtle bush.

Ong Lang Beach Phu Quoc

The water is nice and usually calm, there are some jellyfish in the sea during the start of main season on Phu Quoc. The slope is continuous and rather flat.

At Ong Lang Beach you can go snorkelling, rent a kayak or get a boat to the offshore islands for scuba diving and other interesting activities. With the kayak you can, if you have the endurance for that kind of thing, go up Cua Can River into the national park. If the weather is calm you can visit Hon Mong Tay, the Fingernail Island.

If you have time, visit one of the nearby pepper farms or undertake a kart race with your friends at the nearby go-kart arena. Generally, if you like to spend your holidays in peace and tranquility and are not dependant on the nightlife possibilities of Duong Dong Town, pick a resort at Ong Lang Beach. It’s nice and calm.

Ong Lang Beach Phu Quoc

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Rach Vem Beach

Rach Vem Beach, or in Vietnamese Bãi Rạch Vẹm, belongs to the commune of Ganh Dau.

This rural beach on Phu Quoc Island is in a beautiful setting, but similar to Rach Tram Beach, Rach Vem is a working fishing village and not really a place for beachbumming. The village however is picturesque and the people are really friendly and you might find some remote beaches if you follow the coastline.

Nearby there is the Phong Lan guesthouse, but the rest of the area is fairly undeveloped, so bring water and food if you want to spend time on the remote beaches near Rach Vem village, where the life has not changed much during the last years.

Many houses are built on stilts, especially the shelters out on the water. The area is something like a parking lot for fishing boats, while the sea is dotted with traps for various types of sea creatures. That makes a nice spot for taking pictures.

The inhabitants are of Khmer ethnicity and their daily life includes breeding chickens and ducks that run around between the huts, together with stray dogs. Expect the children to follow you around, because tourists are quite rare in this area.

As everywhere on Phu Quoc Island, if you are able to speak Vietnamese or Khmer, you can have a nice chat with the locals. But don’t bring up the war between Vietnam and Cambodia and the terror regime of the Khmer Rouge. It is still a highly sensitive topic.

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Rach Tram Beach

Rach Tram Beach, or in Vietnamese Bãi Rạch Tràm lies to the north of Phu Quoc Island near the fishing village Rach Tram.

Like Rach Vem Beach (Bãi Rạch Vẹm), Rach Tram Beach is one of the less-visited beaches on Phu Quoc Island and nearly totally undisturbed by the increasing tourism. A meandering dirt road passes by a calm fishing village. The location is sheltered by the nearby Du Bac Cape and the beach is lovely in front of the jungle background.

The beach is a place to work for local fishermen, as the debris points out, from picturesque hulls to the dirt of daily labor. Nobody cleans up the area, so maybe it’s not the very best location for beachbumming. However, it makes a nice place for photography. You might also spot the fishermen’s families when they are drying parts of the catch in Phu Quoc’s strong sunlight and calm breeze.

The jungle that covers the hills to the East almost reaches the Gulf of Thailand at Rach Tram Beach. At the moment, there are no accommodations either at Bãi Rạch Tràm or Bãi Rạch Vẹm, but in the currently fast developing tourism scene of the island, that might change soon.

Rach Tram Village

Rach Tram Village, which gives the strip of beach its name, is only 800 meters wide and 2,500 meters long and provides a great cultural experience. However, you need some language skills in either the Vietnamese language or in Khmer if you want to chat with the locals.

Coming to that topic, it is advisable not to mention here, or anywhere else on Phu Quoc, Pol Pot’s terror regime or the war between Cambodia and Vietnam. This is still a very sensitive topic, especially on Phu Quoc.

The village is divided by the Rach Tram Stream that flows in the lake of the same name, one of the four lakes found on Phu Quoc Island. Some of the local fishermen might take you out to the sea with them to experience a fishing trip.

Image credits:

The images used in the listing are taken by rotorhead85, also known as Dan who travels the world and takes pictures. I like his quote on his profile:

“Home is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

Header image: Beach crab by Frank

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Painting Stream in Phu Quoc (Suoi Tranh)

The Painting Stream is one of the more beautiful and professionally managed recreational areas on Phu Quoc Island.

On the main street between Duong Dong and Ham Ninh village on Phu Quoc Island, approximately 10 km away from Duong Dong, you can’t miss the entrance of Suoi Tranh, the Painting Stream. The dark sign that announces the recreational area of one of Phu Quoc Island’s most famous streams is big but withered and nearly unreadable. Just take a look at this photo and you will recognize it.

Entrance of Painting Stream - Phu Quoc

Suoi Tranh, Tranh Springs, Tranh Stream or Painting Stream are the names the destination is known under. The small river is about 15 km long and origins at Ham Ninh mountain.

The entrance fee is VND 5,000 per person and VND 2,000 for motorbike parking.

Upon entering the area, the first things that meet the eye are artfully molded concrete sculptures. A lovely park with many flowers provides a home for these statues, which depict a pond of hippos, a barrow that is home to a family of pangolins, and even the famous “Journey to the West”, featuring Đường Tam Tạng, the famous monk who traveled to India with his three companions to study Buddhism.

Statue in Painting Spring

Where the path towards the actual stream begins, there is a restaurant that was not open for business during our visit. However, some vendors sell water, soft drinks and the usual items that can be acquired at every tourist place in Vietnam.

If you need a bigger bottle of water to provide the necessary hydration on the tour, rather buy it at the shop outside on the street opposite, a couple hundred meters in the direction of Ham Ninh. The prices there are more reasonable and the shopkeepers are friendlier.

The path towards the stream leads on and turns into a slightly slippery path through the forest, paved with stones from the stream. The ascent takes about 30 minutes through the calm forested area, and even if it’s not steep or laborious, the humidity that is trapped in the valley makes you transpire and look forward to a bath under the waterfall.

The path ends at this very waterfall, which is about four meters high and ends in a natural pond, approximately 1-1.5 m deep. Depending on the time of the day, you will find tourists and locals alike enjoying their bath in the clear water with great joy.

Relaxing under Waterfall

The surroundings are not 100% free of trash, but the management takes care to keep it as clean as possible.

Streams and waterfalls on Phu Quoc Island for your individual itinerary:

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Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island

Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island is, as the name already suggests, long. Over 19 kilometers of powdery sand along the west coast offer the perfect location for most of the best beach resorts on Phu Quoc Island.

Although Long Beach is the most frequented beach on the island, the stretches between the resorts are relatively quiet and depending where you are, you can get a massage right there on the spot. Another thing Long Beach, or Bai Truong in Vietnamese, is famous for, are the colorful sunsets.

In the high season of tourism on Phu Quoc Island beach vendors sell their wares and services to tourists. Cold drinks, fresh coconuts, food and even massage service gets offered on Long Beach.

Long Beach is approximately 10 minutes away from Phu Quoc International Airport and features golden sand, swaying coconut palms and clear water. At least during dry season.

During rainy season the wind blows from the west and a glance at the sea water shows that all the millions of plastic bags that get wasted in the countries around the Gulf of Thailand every day teamed up with tons of other trash to take revenge on their makers.

Yes, Long Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Vietnam and no, you do not want to swim there during wet season.

Technically, Long Beach is divided into two sections: Northern Long Beach and Southern Long Beach. The northern section is about five kilometers long and the epicenter of tourism and located between Eden Resort and Trang An Phu Quoc Hotel, where the rocky coast meets the sandy beach.

The southern section stretches all the way down to An Thoi and is mostly abandoned. If you are searching for privacy, that’s where you find it. There is not much around, a few cows, a fishing village, building sites for new beach resorts and the inevitable flood of trash.

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