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