In the past, tourists spent a lot traveling from HCMC to Phu Quy Island off mainland Binh Thuan Province on the south-central coast. Now they need around VND1 million (US$45) each for a perfect two-day weekend trip to this exotic island.
A budget weekend trip to Phu Quy Island
Tourists should travel by bus from HCMC to Binh Thuan’s Phan Thiet City, then take a boat ride to the island, around 120 kilometers from the mainland. There are two boat trips a day, with one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. It takes a normal boat six hours to reach the island but traveling time will be shortened to four hours if a high-speed boat service is used.
The cost of a round trip on sleep buses between Phan Thiet and HCMC’s Mien Dong Coach Station is VND240,000. While waiting for the first boat ride of the day, which departs at 8 a.m., tourists can take a walk around the fisheries port to see activities early in the morning of fishermen and vendors.
Tourists are advised to carry along some food and beverages to the island as it is a little bit difficult to find sellers of food and drinks there.
What to do
It takes tourists a day to explore the island by hiring a motorcycle for VND50,000 per day. Among the tourist attractions are Linh Son Pagoda, which is home to many natural rocks, the fishpond and the lighthouse.
Those wishing to stay overnight on Phu Quy should ask for a homestay service at local families. Islanders are very friendly. With a mere VND50,000, tourists can have a decent place to spend the night.
Fresh seafood is obviously the top choice for tourists on Phu Quy. Tourists can buy seafood from local people and have a barbeque party by the beach.
For entertainment on the island, tourists can spend VND500,000 on a tour of diving, catching sea urchin, fishing and staying at islanders’ houses for three days and two nights. April and May are the best months for traveling to Phu Quy Island as the sea is calm.