Phu Quoc with the name “beautiful country” can be reached by plane from Ho Chi Minh, or by ferry from Ha Tien or Rach Gia. The nearly 600 km≤ large island, with numerous offshore islands for outings, was at the turn of the centry the largest prisoner-of-war camp of Cochinchina, the old name for South Vietnam. During the Vietnam war 40,000 Vietcong fighters were imprisoned here.
The harbour entrance of An Thoi near the Doung Dong lighthouse is the most important transhipment port of the island and starting point for trips to the 15 offshore islands and coral reefs with a large number of species. With a huge tiny amount of luck, it’s possible to get a glimpse of the rare Dugong as the last living representative of the Steller’s Sea Cow.
Bai Sao – star beach is a treasure for seaside holidaymakers. This is on the side of the island facing towards the Cambodian territorial waters. Many sections of the fine, white sandy beach are military prohitied areas. That’s why it’s recommendable to take a guided tour for the first look around.
The nearly 90,000 inhabitants of Phu Quoc live off the cultivation of pepper and chili. The first plantations were laid in the jungle by the prisoners detained in custody. The Northeast of the island is covered by a 31,000 hectare large nature reserve with more than 530 different plants and animal species – pheasants, stags, deer, wild boars, wolves, pythons and white donkeys.
The fishermen of the island are in the middle of the richest fishing grounds of Vietnam and produce 10 million litres of the most famous fish sauce Nuoc Nam for the international market every year. Nighttime is the main fishing season for the fishermen with boats. On their special junks, with two sails, they catch 60,000 tonnes of fish each year.
Each family on Phu Quoc possesses a hunting and watchdog. The special thing about this type of dog of Thai Ridgeback origin is that they can’t survive anywhere else other than on the islands of the gulf of Thailand. Any attempt to keep them anywhere else was, for reasons not investigated until now, punished with the death of the vigilant and intelligent animals.