Phu Quy, also known as Thu island, Khoai Xu island, is a small island located about 120 km southeast of Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan. In addition to the main island around Phu Quy island are Hon Da Cao, Hon Do, Hon Tranh, and Hon Hai. The area of Phu Quy island is just over 18km2, but there are enough beautiful scenes, landscapes, and experiences for visitors to explore for a few days.
What season is beautiful in Phu Quy?
The climate on the island is fresh and cool all year round. The right time to explore Phu Quy island is from about December to June next year because the storm season usually falls from September to November. Spring summer sea is calm, with clear blue, light wind, and easy to reach out small islands. However, sometimes there will be rough seas, you should check the weather forecast in advance.
How to move to Phu Quy Island
As Binh Thuan province’s most remote island district, Phu Quy island has a wild and beautiful scenery, but tourism has not developed. Currently, the only way to get to the island is by boat from Phan Thiet city, a distance of more than 110 km.
The ships going to Phu Quy are Superdong-PQI, Superdong-PQII, Phu Quy Express, and Phu Quy Island. Typically, the boat departs from Phan Thiet from about 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Depending on the day, there will be an earlier trip at 5:30 or 15:00.
Travel time is 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the type of train, including beds and seats, fan rooms, and air-conditioned rooms. A high-speed train for 2.5 hours costs 350,000 VND per person.
There is no taxi on the island, and you can rent a motorbike right at the hotel to move. The roads on the island are pretty spacious, there is the main road, so it is easy to go. You can also start a conversation with a local to ask for directions if you feel “stuck.”
Phu Quy Island is still unspoiled, so there is no hotel or resort, but you can easily find motels and homestays. You can refer to some budget hotels such as La Min, Hai Long, Hoang Phu, Phuong Quyen, An Binh, Huong Duong, or Nam An, An Phu motels. Some homestays like Phu Lien, Co Sang, Villa Blue Sea, LyTi Sea, and La Isla Bonita. The average price is 300,000 – 500,000 VND per night for two people.
Things to do
Usually, it takes 4-5 days to explore all the island districts. If you do not want to take a boat to the surrounding minor islands, you can choose a 3-day 2-night cruise, including two days of travel and a day of fun, exploring all the big islands.
Trieu Duong Bay
Following the big road around the island, Trieu Duong Bay’s first destination is a small beach with blue water and calm on the long stretch of fine sand. In the afternoon, many local people swim in the sea. Next, the sovereignty flagpole is where almost every visitor to the island also checks-in.
This bay is a semicircular beach, hugging the mountain with natural blue watercolor. Visitors need to park their motorbikes on the road, then walk along the trail down the mountainside to reach the beach. Doi Dua beach in Ngu Phung and District Committee Park beach are other attractive beaches.
About 650m from Small Beach, Ganh Hang is a large cliff standing close to the sea; sea water overflows to form “Khe Sung Sung” and “Infinity pool,” naturally attracting many swimming tourists. You should bring sturdy climbing shoes to ensure safety. When taking photos, note that you should not go near the edge of the “infinity pool” to avoid being pulled into the sea by the waves and go with a local.
Cao Cat Peak, located in the north of Phu Quy Island, is one of the highest mountains on the island, 106 m high above sea level. There are cliffs of a particular shape, with horizontal grooves due to weathering, like the Grand Canyon, USA. On the way to Cao Cat peak you can visit Linh Son pagoda.
Fish Temple Ong Van An Thanh
In 1941, the body of a whale washed up on Phu Quy island, and people discovered and solemnly buried it. When alive, this whale can be over 20m long, and you can see the skeleton when you come to Van An Thanh. Coming here, you will hear about the phenomenon of whales helping boats when they encounter storms at sea.
Phu Quy Lighthouse
The lighthouse is located on Cam Mountain, 100 meters above sea level. From here, you can zoom out to see the poetic landscape.
The road to the lighthouse is at the end of the way to Linh Buu Pagoda. You can ride a motorbike up to the foot of the mountain. This place is open for free. Visitors can deposit a small amount to support the housekeeping and cleaning.
Temple of Princess Table Painting
The Cham people built the temple at the end of the 15th century. Legend has it that the Champa princess refused to be forced to marry, so the king dropped her into exile in a boat. The boat drifted to the island, and she decided to stay and establish a career, helping people fight foreign invaders. When she died, she was allowed to set up a temple to worship and worship the anniversary of her death every year, calling herself Ba Chua Xu or Ba Chua Dao.
Master Nai’s Palace
The tomb is dedicated to a Chinese physician who has contributed significantly to saving the people since the island was pristine. He is worshiped as the protector of the island. According to legend, Master Sai Nai was a Chinese merchant knowledgeable about medicines to cure diseases. During a business trip to Vietnam, his boat was pushed to Phu Quy island by a storm. He was intrigued by the island’s beauty, so he decided to stick with it for life.
After his death, he was buried by the people and built the tomb in 1665. The islanders all come to the palace to pray when in trouble or to have a good fish and shrimp season at sea. The ceremony of Worshiping the Master is held on the 4th day of the 4th lunar month with many traditional rituals.
Phu Quy wind power field
There are only a few fan columns here, and you should take the trouble to find different angles to take better pictures.
Long Hai Fish Market
The Long Hai fish market atmosphere is busy in the morning, and fishing boats continuously dock. You will see countless rare seafood. Some snails are more significant than a hand and heavy. The seafood price at Long Hai fish market is relatively low, and the quality is top.
Duong Village Aquarium
People grafted stones to build a high wall to create a natural seafood pond. A unique feature is that the round holes are evenly arranged so that seawater can enter, but fish and shrimp cannot escape.
Visit the island
Visit Hon Den, Hon Egg, Hon Giua, Hon Do, and Hon Tranh. Only about 10 minutes by canoe, you can walk under the trees and learn about the life of anglers on the island, with the traditional profession of diving and catching lobsters.
Hon Tranh and Hon Den are considered beautiful and safe by the locals. Guests are transported by canoe, fishing, diving to see corals, stopping to take pictures of “virtual living,” and going to a raft house for lunch. In particular, the fish you catch will be processed by the guide into live dishes to eat on the spot. The tour price is 250,000 VND per person, excluding lunch costs. You can ask the hotel to contact the local guide and book a canoe.
In addition, you can go to Hon Hai and learn about the origin of the famous shark fishing boats in Phu Quy.
Dive and see coral
You can also rent a snorkeling boat to see the coral. Beneath the clear blue water is colorful coral reefs with many swimming fish schools that will excite you.
What to eat
Dining on the island is very cheap, and the must-try dishes are king crab and moon crab at the raft villages. If you want to buy, you need to book in advance. You can ask the hotel owner to help you. A specialty of Phu Quy is hot beef, with some reference addresses being Hoa Thuong, Ngoc Tinh, Thanh Binh, and Thu Vien.
If you do not eat at the restaurant, you can dine at the rafts such as Dai Nam, Anh Sang, Hai Thien, Hai Phat, and Ba Sinh to enjoy fresh seafood.
Cruise ships in and out of the island run on a fixed schedule each month, so visitors should book in advance because tickets sell out very quickly. You can track more train schedules at the information page of the Binh Thuan Department of Transport in the announcement section.
On average, there are only 1-2 departures per day. If you are late, you will have to wait for the next train the next day.
According to longtime boat drivers, from Phan Thiet port to Phu Quy island is considered the most challenging sea route in the country. The section of the road has horizontal waves and many swirls, making it impossible for boats to go downstream but have to cross the waves to go. Therefore, the ship often shakes, making even healthy people prone to seasickness, especially on rough sea days.
Because the sea is difficult to travel, the ship’s staff will provide plastic bags in case of seasickness before departure. People with a history of motion sickness should take medicine and prepare many plastic bags.
The wind on the island is extreme, so wear neat clothes and keep your personal belongings firmly when going out.
If you want to camp overnight, ask the guesthouse owner for a permit in advance to complete the residency formalities.
The island allows foreigners to visit the island, but the number is limited, so the licensing procedure is quite long.
Bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet: 150,000 – 250,000 VND per person one way.
Boat ticket to the island: 250,000 VND per person one way.
Rent a motorbike on the island: 100,000 – 120,000 VND per day. Just filling up the tank once is enough to travel around the island.
Cost of staying at homestay, hotel: 100,000 – 300,000 VND per room per night.
Meals: 500,000 VND for three days.