Phu Quoc Island, a sparkling slice of island paradise in the sheltered waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Many visitors to Phu Quoc choose to simply relax and enjoy the stunning beaches, great food and pace of island life but if you decide to explore the island you’ll find there is much to see, do and learn.
>> An Thoi town
Located on the South West of Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island is the biggest island of Vietnam. A key strategic point between Indochina and the rest of SE Asia, Phu Quoc’s provenance has been controversial for centuries. An edict issued under the 1939 French administration placed the island officially under Vietnamese ownership and control, and it remains so today.
Soldiers of the infamous Khmer rouge briefly invaded and took control of the island in 1979 as part of a series of border incursions, and the ensuing counter attacks resulted in the invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam, thus ending the genocidal regime of Pol Pot.
Settlements have been recorded on the island for hundreds of years, but the conflicts in Indochina have occasionally boosted the population with large numbers of soldiers and, for a short time, up to 40,000 prisoners of war in Vietnam’s largest wartime prison.
Now, after more than 30 years of peace and stability, Phu Quoc has returned to farming and fishing while welcoming limited numbers of tourists seeking to take advantage of the glorious tropical climate, the un- touched beaches and the natural environment.
Of course, an island society depends largely on the bounty of the ocean for sustenance, and Phu Quoc is no different but locally grown pepper is every bit as famous as the fragrant fish sauce which is deemed the finest in the world.