Superdong ferry docked at Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Phu Quoc is a peaceful tropical island off the southern coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand.  It’s said to have some of the most pristine white sand beaches in the world.

With a vastly untouched natural environment, super laid back atmosphere and stunning snorkeling it’s no wonder that it has become a popular getaway for Vietnamese locals as well as travelers from all over.

There are two ways to reach Phu Quoc from the mainland.  You can either fly via an international airport or catch one of the several ferries that run daily.  

I chose to take the ferry across, being as it’s much cheaper and I love the views from the water.  In this blog, I will explain how to get to Phu Quoc Island via ferry.

Sunset on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

It’s true people, I took a SuperDong to Phu Quoc (Foo Cock) Island in Vietnam.  If this doesn’t make you giggle, well then you’re a lost cause.  To me, it’s hilarious and I bust up laughing every time. 

I finally left Koh Rong Sanloem island off the coast of Cambodia and went back to Kampot and stayed one night there. The next morning I loaded a bus to the Vietnam border.

CROSSING THE BORDER FROM CAMBODIA TO VIETNAM

Surprisingly, there were only 3 other people on the bus with me to Vietnam.  When we got to the border a local hopped on the bus and asked for our passports.  He disappeared into the building while we waited outside. 

I don’t know why they have someone else do this process for you, but I don’t ask questions.  It freaked out the other girl in the group that someone took her passport.  However, I try not to worry about things like this, it just causes unnecessary stress and no one needs that. 

I figure this is how they do things and it will all work out.  I’m not the first person to cross the border like this, so they have their ways and I can respect that.

Anyways, he did come back and we hopped back on the bus.  We crossed over to the Vietnam side, where we took all our stuff and headed inside. 

Here we filled out paperwork asking about our health.   Someone took my temperature and then made me pay them a dollar.  What a load of crock that is, but whatever. 

We then sat while the dude with our passports waited in line to get our visas stamped.  I found it very strange that they never saw my face.  That could have been anyone’s passport other than my own.  No pictures were taken, no fingerprints. 

Apparently, it’s a really relaxed border.

After we got our stamps, we got in a minivan that drove us to the dock where we boarded the SuperDong (I’m laughing again as I write that). 

RIDING THE SUPERDONG

I had purchased a ticket that included all my transportation.  Which was a pick up from my hostel in Kampot,  minivan to the port and the ferry ticket itself.  The convenience of not having to worry about securing a ticket was well worth the price of $19 USD.

For more info about the different ferries and schedules check out this site.

The Superdong ferry is a large size and quite nice inside.  Onboard the seats were comfortable and there was plenty of leg room.  Those are 2 things I am not accustomed to here in SE Asia. 

I thought the trip would take much longer than it did but it was a quick 2.5-hour ride.  But I wasn’t really paying attention. 

Once the ferry takes off you’re able to roam about.  If you want to take in the views, you can head out to their outdoor decks.  Since I had a window seat and could see the views from there, I chose to stay put in the AC.

There are no snacks or vendors offered on the boat so make sure to pack your own.  However, they do supply you with a small bottle of water and restrooms are available onboard.

When we got off the ferry we were rushed by approximately 100 Vietnamese taxi drivers fighting for our business, which is always stressful for me.  They will be yelling and waving you down before you even step off the boat. 

I asked the couple, who were on the bus across the border, if they would like to share a cab because we were going to the same part of the island.   They agreed and the cab to town took about 15 minutes and cost $15 USD, so about $5 USD each.

Superdong ferry to Phu Quoc Island docked in Vietnam
Inside Superdong ferry to Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

ARRIVING IN PHU QUOC ISLAND

First I checked into my hostel which was located in Duong Don near Long Beach.   Duong Don is definitely the most popular spot to stay on the island.

I stayed at 9 Station Hostel, which has been my favorite hostel to date.   Its large and spacious facilities offer a pool, laundry, motorbikes for rent and a large hangout area equipped with lounge chairs, a pool table, and foosball.

The room I stayed in only had 4 bunks with comfortable beds and curtains for privacy.  AC in the room worked almost too well and the shared bathrooms were always kept clean and stocked.

Breakfast with several different options, as well as tea and coffee were included in the price

Staff was helpful with tips and information and always had a smile.  I can’t suggest this property enough.  The place simply just blew my mind.

NOTE:  Looking for a place to stay in Phu Quoc?  Let me help you.

Pool at 9 Station Hostel on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Wall painting at 9 station Hostel in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

ATMS ON PHU QUOC ISLAND

The first thing on my agenda was to get some Vietnamese dong, which is the local currency.  I headed into the little city to find an ATM, which there are several.

To my complete surprise, every ATM would only allow me to take out $2,000,000 dong, which is about $87 USD.   The ATM charged me $1.25 USD and then my bank at home charged me about $8 USD for non Chase ATM’s and the exchange rate. 

So basically what I am saying here is that for 3 days worth of money I am charged almost ten dollars.  Which means more than $3 dollars a day in bank fees.   Not cool my friends, not cool. 

I took my money after testing withdrawal limits on 5 different ATMs and I was perturbed.  At this rate, I’ll be out of money in a few months.  I realize I’m going to have to research some banks that allow a higher withdrawal or I can just eat one meal a day instead of two.

NIGHT OUT IN PHU QUOC ISLAND

I was in serious need of some food.  My breakfast that morning had been lacking and I was starving after traveling all day.  So I found a local sidewalk restaurant where I got my first Vietnamese noodle soup and a beer of course.  

I didn’t feel like doing much because travel days always leave me exhausted.  Knowing they had a good night market, I headed down that way.

On my way, I was rewarded by the most beautiful cloudy sunset that I have ever seen.  So I stopped at the beach to take some photos.

Right before the market I found a cell phone shop and stopped to get myself a one-month unlimited data sim card for $6 USD. 

You read that right.  I’m shocked every time at how cheap it is.

Sunset at Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

PHU QUOC ISLAND NIGHT MARKET

The night markets, well any markets here, truly fascinate me.  You can swindle and haggle your way into cheap everything.  It’s almost overwhelming. 

As per usual, I wasn’t in much of a shopping mood but I can always eat.  So I got myself some coconut ice cream, which let me tell you, has changed my life.  It’s seriously the best thing in the world. 

I also got a “coconut candy”, which is the most amazing coconut dessert.  It has fresh coconut, condensed milk, chocolate syrup, and stringy coconut goodness slapped between two thin wafers.   Obviously, I brought my sweet tooth. 

The market had tons of seafood everywhere, as well as mystery meats and other things I couldn’t identify. 

They also have several vendors set up throughout the market offering peanuts of all kinds of flavors that they give you endless amounts of samples of.  

You don’t really need to eat before coming because you can have a meal of free nuts.  Who buys them when you can just walk around and have endless free samples? 

Think Costco on Sundays, but just peanuts.

Entrance to Phu Quoc night market in Vietnam
Fruit display at Phu Quoc Island night market in Vietnam

After the market, I walked back to the hostel, where I did some work on the blog and tried to make a plan for the following day. 

I was thinking the best way to explore the island is via motorbike.   Seeing as my hostel rented them at the front desk for a reasonable price, I decided it was time to get back to being a motorista.

With love,

Julie

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