Phu Quoc island is still undeveloped for the time being and even during the high session there are still plenty of remote and empty beaches. Of course it may take a little work trying to find these beaches, so pack a lunch and towel, hit the road and venture out and see what you find. We’re not giving away any secret locations, though you’re best opportunities for empty sun drenched beaches under those coconut trees will be found around the northern and northeastern part of the island.
Mount Chua at 603 meters is the highest mountain on Phu Quoc and forms part of the Ham Ninh sandstone chain of mountains that stretch for 30km along the eastern edge of Phu Quoc. There are plans in future to build a walking trail up to a lookout at the top of the Mount Chua. The views over the national park and the island should be excellent.
Local myrtle wine
Another specialty of the island is the Rose Myrtle Fruit Wine, which is actually quite drinkable compared to the other local wine that contains a wild mixture of herbs and sometimes snakes resembling the taste of kerosene. The Myrtle wine is a slightly sweet tasting wine similar to alcoholic blackcurrant juice that has a violet colour and smells of the sim fruit or tomentose rose myrtle fruit from which is made. The sim fruit grows wild on the island, and due to rising demand and prices many farmers are now growing the tomentose rose myrtle fruit to contribute to the wine production.
You can visit the production or this wine on some of the organized tours or try finding the Son Phat Company in Duong To Commune in the southern part of Phu Quoc where the wines inventor Trinh Cong Phat produces Myrtle Wine under the Vuon Tao Phu Quoc label producing Ruou Sim Rung (tomentose rose myrtle alcohol) and Mat Sim Rung (tomentose rose myrtle honey) or pick up a bottle at local stores, it’s worth a try and at around 100,000 dong (US$6) it’s far cheaper than most of the imported wines. The wine is also good for digestion, though we’re still testing this theory.
If your keen to see the Pearl farms of Phu Quoc you’re best bet would be start at the pearl farm shop run by an New Zealand based company in Duong To Village about 9kms south of Duong Dong along the dirt road that follows Long Beach. See their web site for more information, www.treasuresfromthedeep.com.
Here you will find some remarkable pearls and some information about the history of pearl farming on the island. You might find the prices are also quiet remarkable too, judge for yourself.