New story: What is a good hotel on Phu Quoc Island?

With warm turquoise waves and coconut palm lined beaches, Vietnam’s Phu Quoc is easily one of the most idyllic islands in Southeast Asia. While it isn’t advisable to show up in peak season without having booked a room, getting around the island is tricky, and dragging your luggage around muddy roads would be an awful start to your vacation. So how do you avoid booking a mildewed room at an unfriendly resort? To help you out, we’ve complied a list of our favourite hotels and guesthouses on Phu Quoc Island.

Da Nang photo essay added

We’ve just added a new feature story of sorts — this one a collection of ten photos taken in Da Nang and its immediate surrounds. Think of it as a “photo short story” rather than a photo essay. This coincides with our newly updated Da Nang coverage which is all online except for the maps (which will be updated shortly). You can read (or rather look at) the Da Nang photo piece here and you can read our updated coverage of Da Nang and China Beach here.

Enjoy!

Saigon Travelfish Guide goes live

Researched through the middle of 2008, packing 21 pages, over 30,000 words of travel intelligence, more up-to-date than any traditional guidebook, over 100 recommendations for beds, bars and attractions… yes, that’s right, the new Travelfish Guide for Saigon is available NOW! It’s big and packed with info, and, for the independent traveller, easily the best source of information out there …

All this for US$4.95 — less than the price of a decent foot massage… Read all about the best PDF guide to Saigon here.

A blogger looking for a review copy? Get in touch with Stuart at stuartmcdonald@travelfish.org or Samantha at sambrown@travelfish.org

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

I got up this sunny Saturday morning to the following question on the Travelfish forum for Vietnam:

Phu Quoc – what is it REALLY like?
We are planning to go to Phu Quoc for 6 days at the end of a 17 day holiday this Christmas. I’ve read in several places how beautiful and unspoiled etc it is but have just read a report on Trip Advisor saying it’s dirty and polluted and not all it’s cracked up to be. Has anyone actually been there who could give me another opinion? Thanks

It’s a common style of question — but one there is never a definitive answer to.

When I went to Phu Quoc a couple of years back, I wrote it up as being one of the most impressive islands I’ve been to in the region — and I’ve been to most! Simultaneously others were writing up opinions on Ko Phi Phi as being of the universal wonders of Southeast Asia — an opinion I’d strongly disagree with.

Sure things change — good places go bad, bad paces improve — but the only way you’ll ever know for sure is to go there yourself.

Travel is about more than swanning from one glorious destination to another, and if you arrive expecting your trip to be just that, you’re in for a surprise.

Without seeing the Tripadvisor thread the poster mentioned it’s difficult to make a comment — but Phu Quoc is a big island with dozens of kilometres of totally undeveloped beach on it — if you’re looking for deserted beaches, you’ll struggle to do better — just don’t expect them to be swept clean daily.

How do I get from Ko Chang to Phu Quoc Island?

With the 2007 opening of the Prek Chak / Xa Xia border crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam it’s now possible to travel from Ko Chang in Thailand all the way along the Cambodian coastline and into Vietnam. For beach and boat lovers, this is a great trip as from Ko Chang you’re able to visit Ko S’dach, Sihanoukville, Ko Russei, Kampot, Kep, Ko Tonsay, Ha Tien and Rach Gia, before finishing off on the glorious Phu Quoc Island. Here’s a step by step guide taking you through the entire trip, commencing in Trat and finishing on Phu Quoc.