PHU’S WHO IN THE NEXT BALI

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET VIETNAM -

Ice cream-soft sand, cerulean wa­ter and tra­di­tional cul­ture are just the tip of the con­i­cal hat at Phu Quoc, the Viet­namese is­land in­tent on be­com­ing the next Bali. Mil­lions are be­ing poured into theme parks and re­sorts on the is­land which sits off the coast of Cam­bo­dia, and Aus­tralian trav­ellers are tak­ing no­tice. Re­cent Wo­tif fig­ures show de­mand for Phu Quoc ac­com­mo­da­tion has grown 45 per cent in the past three years and searches for flights to Phu Quoc In­ter­na­tional Air­port have grown by a huge 170 per cent.

While there are no di­rect in­ter­na­tional flights from Aus­tralia (yet), Viet­nam Air­lines of­fers 10-15 flights per day to the is­land from main­land hubs, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Ai­rA­sia will start fly­ing from KL next month.

“When peo­ple ar­rive on Phu Quoc they feel re­laxed,” says lo­cal guide Nguyen Manh Cuong – or David, as he calls him­self. “The wa­ter con­di­tion is very dif­fer­ent to north­ern Viet­nam be­cause it’s not af­fected by cur­rent com­ing from the river; it’s very clear. The chance to do wa­ter­sports is re­ally good.

“But the main idea for peo­ple com­ing here is not too much ac­tiv­ity, ac­tu­ally.”

CE­LESTE MITCHELL

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