I set foot on Phu Quoc without expectations and was just looking for a good time drinking beers at the inaugural Phu Quoc Beer Festival.
My friends and I arrived late evening – excited but hungry after a transit from HCMC. Even in our fatigued state, we noticed our clean and efficient the Phu Quoc airport was.
It helped that the immigration took less than 15 minutes and we got our luggages almost immediately after. There were a few shops selling refreshments so I grabbed a quick drink while waiting for my shuttle to Novotel Phu Quoc.
The shuttle arrived punctually and in 15 minutes I stood in the lobby of Novotel Phu Quoc waiting to check in.
The spacious open lobby greeted me with a fresh sea breeze and warm promise of a wonderful beach vacation.
My room was the Superior Standard – King bed, a balcony (yay!), separate sections for shower and toilet (double yay!) plus a seating area to relax in after a fun day out.
And of course the WIFI works.
Some rooms include a seating area, terrace or balcony. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is available as well as standard toilet amenities, complimentary coffee, hair dryer, safe box, torchlight, weighting scale, resort carrier bag and an empty mini bar.
There were more than sufficient power points in the room for the digital-nomad so no worries at all if you have a drone, camera, laptop, 2 phones and battery banks that require charging all at once.
This is the hotel robe – quite special from the usual isn’t it? 🙂
The bath room was spacious with high powered rain-shower and separate spaces for vanity area, toilet and shower.
And that was just the room. The resort is wonderful all around and if you are staying in one of the solo bungalows/villas, it comes with a terrace overlooking the lush greenery garden and the pond. You will enjoy the privileges of having 2-3 rooms in a double storey lot. Those are obviously suitable for families and bigger groups though I won’t mind a private pool in a large villa even if I’m alone!
BELOW: The bungalow. Image credit to Novotel Phu Quoc Resort FB.
AROUND THE RESORT
I’ve said this on my FB when my friends and readers asked about Phu Quoc – securing a good resort is important.
Major parts of Phu Quoc island is under development so there are limited activities available besides the obvious beach sports. I’ve shared some images below (at a later section called – Around Phu Quoc Island) so you can get an idea of the current landscape of Phu Quoc.
Nonetheless, a good reputable resort with great facilities takes the headache of “what to do” out of your itinerary.
Now, Novotel Phu Quoc Resort is situated in Dương Tô (beach), 11 km from Duong Dong (town).
Duong To beach is ideal for adult travellers interested in beach activities while staying in a family-friendly resort like Novotel Phu Quoc Resort provide additional advantages like complimentary activities for children within its Kids’ Club, kids’ pool plus seaside activities.
The resort has two pools – one near the beach (as pictured below, courtesy of Novotel FB) and another nearer to the rooms, lobby and restaurant.
Both are large but the one near the beach is more popular.
BELOW: The less congested pool nearer to the lobby. I prefer this one since it is deserted 80% of the time so I get the whole place to myself! 😀
There is also an area where hammocks were hung. These were popular with the guests for obvious reasons!
Such tranquility. Just perfect for a relaxes beach holiday isn’t it?
The hotel grounds incorporates many zen features – fish, lily ponds and water landscaping like below.
Besides swimming, there is a gym and you can also play tennis and table tennis at the hotel.
The beach is clean, the sand is fine and the waters, although it wasn’t crystal clear (best seasons are January onwards for that) it was unpolluted and the waves were gentle.
Food at the resort is limited though one can expect a decent breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. There were ala-carte choices but I was out and about exploring Phu Quoc town so I only had breakfast in the hotel.
Around Phu Quoc Island
So we have come to this section where I’ll share my 4D3N experience on Phu Quoc island.
Now the Phu Quoc markets – both the morning and night markets cater to locals and vacationers.
It offers a convenient spot to immerse oneself in the local culture, to taste local food, to shop for souvenirs, to people watch and to well, spend some money!
Don’t miss the action on how ice cream rolls are made – there is a stall selling this every 10 metres!
Well, the fish sauce and peppers are famous. Likewise the nuts and the pearls.
These flavoured nuts were superb. A recommended buy! 🙂
In addition to the night market, one can enjoy the quiet night with a pint or more at the local restaurants and pubs. The night scene is still pretty mild for now.
BELOW: You will see many of such outlets for food and drinks.
The day time is best reserved for cafe-hopping. Yes, there are some cafes around town. You will find the cafes here possessing of old charm with many build from wood. The pastries offerings aren’t great though you can be assured of kick-ass Vietnamese coffee.
Phu Quoc’s untouched natural environment, the relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling sites plus yes, cheap food and beers is rapidly morphing from a sleepy island to a hot beach escape for Western expats and sun-seeking tourists.
Do you know that the majority of Phu Quoc Island is dedicated to the National Park and protected marine environment?
Looks for tours that offer treks to this virgin forest if you are a nature lover.
Dive the reefs, kayak in the bays, explore the island on a motorbike or just lounge on the beach – it is your choice really. 🙂 I recommend a massage and a seafood dinner too!
More about Phu Quoc:
Phu Quoc was on the tourist radar for the past 4 years but development was rapidly for only the past 2 years.
With the rumoured direct Air Asia KL – Phu Quoc flight in 2018, I can only imagine the influx of Malaysians to this little tropical island.
Right now Phu Quoc is popular with local Vietnamese, Koreans, Japanese, Russians and of course, mainland China.
Getting around Phu Quoc isn’t much of a problem since most resorts provide hours/periodical shuttle services to the town but mainly to Phu Quoc night market and Vin Pearl for the theme park.
Look out for these taxi companies – Saigon Phu Quoc Taxi, Vinasun and Mai Linh.
Tours are available and my friend Gary recommended John’s Tours. From what I know, Phu Quoc is famous for peppers and fish sauce so you can expect a visit to these factories. Cau Temple, the National Park, Pearl Farm, Coconut Prison are among the other local attractions.
There’s a number of tours on offer that visit the islands in the archipelago along with either fishing and snorkelling. Some tours may also include a visit to Sao Beach.
Other than that, you are better off cocooned in a wonderful resort like Novotel and enjoy your idyllic days at the beach or around the pool.
WHERE IS PHU QUOC?
To fly in Phu Quoc
Option 1: From Malaysia:
KL – HCMC Vietnam (Malindo Air)
HCMC Vietnam – Phu Quoc (VietJet)
Total: (Booked 1-2 weeks in advance) RM 600 – RM800 RETURN.
Bangkok Airways has launched four-times-weekly flights from Bangkok to Phu Quoc – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Getting to Novotel Phu Quoc Resort from the Phu Quoc International Airport
- FREE shuttle available
- The resort is a short 10 minutes from the Phu Quoc Airport. A 40 min flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Only 2 hours from Hanoi.
To book your rooms at Novotel Phu Quoc Resort, click on the link below: http://www.novotelphuquoc.com
or email – [email protected] for your room reservations