Dine, play, and stay on the Pearl Island Phu Quoc

June 18, 2020 | 13:14
True to the local saying, “the island life is easy, but it’s hard to say goodbye”, Phu Quoc Island presents a wonderland for travellers looking for fresh cuisines to taste, new adventures to experience, and an unforgettable stay that people do not want to leave.
dine play and stay on the pearl island phu quoc
Dine, Play, and Stay on the Pearl Island Phu Quoc

Located 50km from the mainland of Vietnam and a mere 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc possesses a wild beauty that is marked by pristine white sands, golden sunshine, turquoise-blue water, and authentic local culture that is apparent in its people and cuisine alike, leaving a lasting impression on visitors.

Interestingly, travellers stopping at any restaurant on the island can immediately sense the signature flavours of Phu Quoc as the scent of the island’s famous fish sauce wafts through the air. This is the key ingredient that connects the culinary specialities of Phu Quoc together in a bold and unique way.

One of the must-try dishes using this sauce is the herring salad, comprising a combination of thinly sliced herring fish mixed with grated coconut and fermented, resulting in a slightly sour taste and an enticing aroma. The sauce used in this speciality is made from Phu Quoc's fish sauce mixed with lemon, sugar, chilli, garlic, and roasted peanuts, together making up the soul of the dish.

Spread on a thin piece of rice paper and cut in half with some added herbs, bananas, star fruit, and cucumber all wrapped neatly in a roll and dipped in the sauce creates an eclectic explosion of savoury flavours – best paired with a side of sim wine.

dine play and stay on the pearl island phu quoc
Herring salad, one of the must-try dishes on Phu Quoc

Whilst visiting Phu Quoc, one would be remiss not to indulge in the rustic noodle dish called Bun Quay, a local speciality of freshly cooked vermicelli on-the-spot, shrimp, fish, and finely ground squid cooked to perfection in a streaming broth and topped with seasoning and lots of shallots. The appeal of this noodle dish also lies in the divine sauce that diners are instructed to make from salt, sugar, chilli, Phu Quoc peppers, and calamansi. The result is an irresistibly fragrant bowl of noodles so spicy and delicious that diners cannot help but shed a few tears of joy – a special experience to witness with a famed history dating back more than 20 years on the island.

Of course, the seaside paradise of Phu Quoc also presents a variety of top-notch seafood including freshly caught grilled lobster, sea buckthorn porridge, and grilled oysters with onions, lime snails, and more. As the locals say, travellers get “the whole ocean to their mouths.”

Besides the largest island of Phu Quoc that makes up for 580sq.km of land, there are also 22 small islands nearby waiting to be explored. Each island possesses its own unique beauty and attractions including Bai Sao, Bai Truong, Hon May Rut, Hon Mong Tay, Hon Mot, and especially Hon Thom. Tours are available to visit the islands and visitors may go fishing or diving to see the coral reefs and live a day like a true fisherman.

Hon Thom with an area of 5.7sq.km attracts visitors thanks to its wild, romantic landscape. From the world’s longest cable car, the opening of Hon Thom Nature Park, and newly opened Aquatopia Water Park – the most modern water park in Southeast Asia – there is much to see in this vibrant part of Phu Quoc.

For animal lovers, the Phu Quoc Safari is located in Ganh Dau, spanning 380 hectares of animal sanctuary currently housing more than 2,000 animals and 140 extremely rare wildlife species wandering through the land. Popular with children, this miniature natural haven leaves a lasting impression and exciting memories to bring home.

For those seeking a taste of charming local culture, Ho Quoc Pagoda, Dinh Cau town, Duong Dong night market, pearl farm, pepper garden, or sim wine garden are all ideal places to visit.

After a long day of discovering mouthwatering cuisines and new adventures, a comfortable place to rest is next on the list.

Located on Bai Truong beach, InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort is considered an elegant symbol of Phu Quoc Island, with 459 thoughtfully appointed rooms adorned with elegant style, each with a private balcony welcoming the sea breeze and bringing a sense of familiarity to guests.

dine play and stay on the pearl island phu quoc
InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort

With four outdoor swimming pools including a separate family and kids’ pool, and the 250sq.m Planet Trekkers Children’s Club led by professional caretakers, children will find a fascinating wonderland to play in.

Meanwhile, guests may unwind at HARNN Heritage Spa, floating upon the resort’s tranquil lotus lagoon, where treatment rooms designed with rustic bamboo structures present natural therapies to help rejuvenate the body and mind.

At InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, the gastronomic journey has just begun with upscale dining experiences mirroring the local specialities of the island. Six unique dining venues at the resort bring a colourful culinary experience with dishes meticulously crafted to not only retain but also elevate the authentic local flavours.

Finally, after experiencing the sea and landscapes below, it is time to travel up to INK360, located on the 19th floor of the resort’s Sky Tower. As the highest sky bar on the island, INK360 features stunning designs inspired by a giant octopus otherwise known as the sea creature from the depths, the Kraken. Guests may sip on handcrafted cocktails while enjoying the sea breeze and watching the sunset.

The "You Fly We Pay" promotion applies to travellers flying from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City from now until the end of September and includes:

• Room rates from only VND4,700,000 per night

• Two-way ticket refunded

• Daily breakfast for two

• Airport transport service

• 25 per cent discount on food services (excluding alcoholic beverages) and laundry.

By Thanh Mai

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