As a person coming from a mountainous area, I always have strong desires to visit and explore the coastal areas. After having visited some coastal cities alongside the Mediterranean, I decided to take a trip to an Asian country to see the differences between Western and Eastern beaches.
And Phu Quoc Island – which is considered “the Pearl of Vietnam” was chosen to be my next destination. I am going to write my Phu Quoc Travel Reviews to introduce some interesting places in the island that not many tourists pay attention to.
Phu Quoc Beaches make people love at first sight (Source: Internet)
Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest island to the southernmost of Vietnam. With stunning beaches, wild forests and distinctive culture, the island has recently attracted a large number of tourists coming to explore its sheer beauty.
Most of travelers come to Phu Quoc to see the soft sandbar and blue sea water of Vietnamese beaches or to discover the typical tropical rainforests. However, not many of them acknowledge about the beauty of Phu Quoc specialties – pearl and fish sauce. After visiting some beaches such as Long Beach, Rach Vem Beach, and Sao Beach in 2 days, I head my way to local villages to experience the daily life of people there.
Traditional fish sauce factory
Fish sauce factory is an interesting place to visit in Phu Quoc (Source: Internet)
Once I entered a Vietnamese Restaurant in my hometown, I ordered “Bun Cha” and was absolutely impressed by Vietnamese fish sauce. I liked it so much that I came to the supermarket and bought home a bottle of fish sauce! But then my Vietnamese friends told me that it was not the best, and advised me to try Phu Quoc fish sauce. It’s amazing, actually. Hence, when I planned my Phu Quoc trip, I asked my Vietnamese friends for some Phu Quoc Travel reviews and decided to spend time visiting the fish sauce factory to find out how the locals could make such that good sauce.
I came to Duong Dong town, where there are plenty of fish sauce factories. Most of them are open for tourists, so I easily entered one. I was amazed by huge wooden vats which locals use to store the sauce. The vats are about twice as tall as me!
Huge vats used to store fish sauce (Source: Internet)
I also learned about the process of making fish sauce. There are so many kinds of fish sauce that I could not remember all. The most impressive to me is the anchovy fish sauce. The owner of the factory let me try the premium anchovy sauce, the mysterious spice that makes Vietnamese Cuisine more unique.
The factory tour was impressive, but it was quite hard for me to stay there for a long time. Perhaps it is because I still didn’t get used to the strong smell of fish sauce. So if you want to get there, remember to bring along a mask.
I have heard about Phu Quoc Pearl for many times, so I decided to visit the pearl farm to buy some. As what I expected, pearl farm is definitely a must-see destination in Phu Quoc.
Pearl is a famous product of Phu Quoc (Source: Internet)
Phu Quoc Island is home to many pearl farms. Among them, Ngoc Hien Pearl Farm is the most recommended. Though it was founded by foreigners, the farm is a great place to learn about the history of pearl farming in the island.
From the fish sauce factory in Duong Dong, I took “xe om” (a motorbike taxi) to get there. It took only 10 minutes and cost me $2.5.
Learn how to extract pearls (Source: Internet)
In Ngoc Hien Farm, I was shown how to extract pearl from oysters. It sounds easy, but actually it is not. I failed once as the knife hit the pearl and created a scratch on it. I extracted 3 pearls and was allowed to bring them home. Of course, I had to pay an amount of money for these. Pearls are valued by their size, shape, luster and the presence of blemishes. The ones I got were not so big, but these looks great. 2 ivory white pearls cost me $5/pearl while just only a pale pearl cost me $52. At first I found the price quite expensive, but when I visited the exhibition room, I realized it was still reasonable. There are black pearls which are above $1000.
With 3 pearls I bought, I am using them as a decoration in my living room. If you want, you can ask the worker there to make it into rings, earrings, or other types of jewelry.
Price depends on the size, shape, and color of the pearl (Source: Internet)
It took me one day to explore the two places. It was interesting; however, some things still didn’t live up to my expectation, especially the language. As Phu Quoc is a popular tourist destination, I supposed that people in tourist areas can communicate well in English. Of course, there were staff who can speak English, yet they can just speak a little.
Above are some Phu Quoc Travel Reviews that I wrote after paying a visit to the island. Not only the beaches but the fish sauce factories and pearl farms are worth visiting. Believe me, these places will leave you in awe!