PHU’S WHO IN THE NEXT BALI
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.”