Phú Quốc

Phú Quốc (Vietnamese: [fǔ kǔə̯k]) is the largest island in Vietnam. Phú Quốc and nearby islands, along with the distant Thổ Chu Islands, are part of Kiên Giang Province as Phú Quốc District, the island has a total area of 574 square kilometres (222 sq mi) and a permanent population of approximately 103,000.[1] Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the district of Phú Quốc includes the island proper and 21 smaller islets. Dương Đông town is located on the west coast, and is also the administrative and largest town on the island. The other township is An Thới on the southern tip of the island.

Phú Quốc District

Huyện đảo Phú Quốc
Phú Quốc Island District
Phú Quốc
Phú Quốc
Phú Quốc District is located in Vietnam
Phú Quốc District
Phú Quốc District
Phú Quốc
Coordinates: VN 10°14′N 103°57′E / 10.233°N 103.950°E / 10.233; 103.950Coordinates: VN 10°14′N 103°57′E / 10.233°N 103.950°E / 10.233; 103.950
ProvinceKiên Giang
 • Total593.05 km2 (228.98 sq mi)
 • Total107,000
 • Density180/km2 (470/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Calling code855
Bãi Sao beach on Phú Quốc island

The economy is centred on fishing, agriculture and a fast-growing tourism sector. Phú Quốc has achieved fast economic growth due to its current tourism boom. Many infrastructure projects have been carried out, including several five-star hotels and resorts. Phú Quốc International Airport is the hub connecting Phú Quốc with mainland Vietnam and other international destinations.

From March 2014, Vietnam allowed all foreign tourists to visit Phú Quốc visa-free for a period of up to 30 days.[2][3] By 2017, the government of Vietnam planned to set up a Special Administrative Region which covered Phú Quốc Island and peripheral islets and upgrade it to a provincial city with special administration.

The island was historically known as 'Koh Tral/Koh Trol' (khmer : កោះត្រល់) when it was once a Cambodia territory.


Phú Quốc lies south of the Cambodian coast, west of Kampot, and 40 km (25 mi) west of Hà Tiên, the nearest coastal town in Vietnam. Roughly triangular in shape the island is 50 kilometres (31 mi) long from north to south and 25 kilometres (16 mi) from east to west at its widest. It is also located 17 nautical miles from Krong Kampot, 62 nautical miles (115 km; 71 mi) from Rạch Giá and nearly 290 nautical miles (540 km; 330 mi) from Laem Chabang, Thailand. A mountainous ridge known as "99 Peaks" runs the length of Phú Quốc, with Chúa Mountain being the tallest at 603 metres (1,978 ft).

Phú Quốc Island is mainly composed of sedimentary rocks from the Mesozoic and Cenozoic age, including heterogeneous conglomerate composition, layering thick, quartz pebbles, silica, limestone, rhyolite and felsite. The Mesozoic rocks are classified in Phú Quốc Formation (K pq). The Cenozoic sediments are classified in formations of Long Toàn (middle - upper Pleistocene), Long Mỹ (upper Pleistocene), Hậu Giang (lower - middle Holocene), upper Holocene sediments, and undivided Quaternary (Q).[4]

Administrative unitsEdit

  • Phú Quốc is divided into 3 metropolitan areas:
  1. Downtown Dương Đông
  2. North Cửa Cạn
  3. South An Thới
  • Wards and communes of Phú Quốc:
  1. Bãi Thơm
  2. Cửa Dương
  3. Dương Tơ
  4. Gành Dầu
  5. Hàm Ninh
  6. Hòn Thơm
  7. Thổ Châu


Fishing has historically been the dominant industry in Phú Quốc
A traditional fish sauce factory in Phú Quốc

Phú Quốc is famous for its two traditional products: fish sauce and black pepper. The rich fishing grounds offshore provides the anchovy catch from which the prized sauce is made. As widely agreed among the Vietnamese people, the best fish sauce comes from Phú Quốc. The island name is very coveted and abused in the fish sauce industry that local producers have been fighting for the protection of its appellation of origin.[5] Pepper is cultivated everywhere on the island, especially at Gành Dầu and Cửa Dương communes.[6] The pearl farming activity began more than 20 years ago when Australian and Japanese experts arrived to develop the industry with advanced technology. Some Vietnamese pearl farms were established at that time including Quốc An.[7]

Tourism plays an important role in the economy, with the beaches being the main attraction. Phú Quốc was served by Phú Quốc Airport with air links to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Hanoi (Noi Bai International Airport), Rạch Giá (Rạch Giá Airport) and Can Tho (Can Tho International Airport). Phú Quốc Airport was closed and replaced by the new Phú Quốc International Airport from December 2, 2012.[8] Phú Quốc is also linked with Rạch Giá and Hà Tiên by fast ferry hydrofoils.[citation needed]

Air Mekong used to have its headquarters in An Thới.[9][10]

Many domestic and international projects related to tourism have been carried out, including the latest direct flights from Bangkok to Phú Quốc by Bangkok Airways, which could make Phú Quốc a new tourist hub in Southeast Asia.

With the combination of Vinpearl Phú Quốc Resorts and the opening of the new Vinmec Phú Quốc International Hospital in June 2015, Phú Quốc will add an additional source of revenue to the local economy in terms of medical services, medical tourism, and medical education.[11]


In the area of Dương Đông town market

Phú Quốc or Koh Tral / Koh Trol កោះត្រល់ was a simple native fishing khmer village until Western geopolitics began to impact it.

The French missionary Pigneau de Behaine used the island as a base during the 1760s and 1780s to shelter Nguyễn Ánh, who was hunted by the Tây Sơn army.[12]

An 1856 record mentions the island: "... King Ang Duong (of Cambodia) apprise Mr. de Montigny, French envoy in visit to Bangkok, through the intermediary of Bishop Miche, his intention to yield Phu Quoc to France."[13] Such a proposition aimed to create a military alliance with France to avoid the threat of Vietnam on Cambodia. The proposal did not receive an answer from the French.[14]

While the war between Vietnam and France was about to begin, Ang Duong sent another letter, dated November 25, 1856, to Napoleon III to warn him on Cambodian claims on the lower Cochinchina region: the Cambodian king listed provinces and islands, including Koh Tral or Koh Trol កោះត្រល់ (Phú Quốc), as being parts of Vietnam for several years or decades (in the case of Saigon some 200 years). Ang Duong asked the French emperor to not annex any part of these territories because, as he wrote, despite this relatively long Vietnamese rule, they remained Cambodian lands. In 1867, Phú Quốc's Vietnamese authorities pledged allegiance to French troops just conquering Hà Tiên.

1930 map of French Indochina showing Koh de Phu quoc under the territory of the French protectorate of Cambodia

In 1939, the Governor-general of French Indochina, Jules Brévié, drew a line to delimit the administrative boundaries for islands in the Gulf of Thailand: those north of the line were placed under Cambodia protectorate; those south of the line were managed by the colony of Cochinchina. Brévié made the point that the decision merely addressed administrative tasks, and that no sovereignty decision had been made.[15] As a result, Phú Quốc remained under Cochinchina administration. Later, Cochinchina's sovereignty was handed over to the State of Vietnam and remained so after France left.

After Mainland China fell under the control of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, General Huang Chieh moved 33,000+ Republic of China Army soldiers mostly from Hunan Province to Vietnam and they were interned on Phú Quốc. Later, the army moved to Taiwan in June 1953.[16]

From 1953 to 1975, the island housed South Vietnam's largest prisoner camp (40,000 in 1973), known as Phú Quốc Prison.[17]

On May 1, 1975, a squad of Khmer Rouge soldiers raided and took Phú Quốc, but Vietnam soon recaptured it. This was to be the first of a series of incursions and counter-incursions that would escalate to the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in 1979. Cambodia dropped its claims to Phú Quốc in 1976.[18] But the bone of contention involving the island between the governments of the two countries continued, as both have a historical claim to it and the surrounding waters. A July 1982 agreement between Vietnam and The People's Republic of Kampuchea ostensibly settled the dispute, but since Vietnam's withdrawal from Cambodia, the agreement has not been recognized and the island is still the object of irredentist sentiments.[19] The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party still claims the island as Cambodian territory.[citation needed]


The island's monsoonal sub-equatorial climate is characterized by distinct rainy (April to November) and dry seasons (December to March). As is common in regions with this climate type, there is some rain even in the dry season. The annual rainfall is high, averaging 3,029 mm (9.938 ft). In the northern mountains up to 4,000 mm (13 ft) has been recorded. April and May are the hottest months, with temperatures reaching 35 °C (95 °F).

Climate data for Duong Dong Airport, Phu Quoc
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.1
Average high °C (°F) 30.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.6
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
Record low °C (°F) 16.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 34
Average precipitation days 5.3 3.9 5.7 11.5 19.5 21.8 22.5 24.4 22.5 21.6 13.3 6.2 178.3
Average relative humidity (%) 76.3 77.6 77.6 80.5 83.8 85.8 86.6 87.1 88.0 86.9 79.6 73.9 82.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 251 230 255 246 196 146 151 134 139 168 208 242 2,364
Source: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology[20]


Phú Quốc has both a terrestrial national park and a marine protection.

Phú Quốc National Park was established in 2001 as an upgrade of a former conservation zone. The park covers 336.57 km2 (129.95 sq mi) of the northern part of the island.[21][22]

Phú Quốc Marine Protected Area, or just Phú Quốc MPA, was established in 2007 at the northern and southern end of the island and covers 187 km2 (72 sq mi) of marine area. The sea around Phú Quốc is one of the richest fishing grounds in all of Vietnam, and the aim of the protected area is to secure coral reef zones, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests, all key spawning and nursery grounds for aquatic species, including blue swimming crabs. Among the aquatic animals in the protected area are green turtle, leather back turtles, dolphin and dugong.[23][24]

Plastic waste is a growing problem in Phú Quốc, and the local community has organised clean-up efforts.[25]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kien Giang Government
  2. ^ "Visa no longer needed to enter Phu Quoc by sea". Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
  3. ^ "Phu Quoc giving free 30-day visas - News VietNamNet".
  4. ^ "Biển đảo Việt Nam - Tài nguyên vị thế và những kỳ quan địa chất, sinh thái tiêu biểu (Vietnamese sea and islands – position resources, and typical geological and ecological wonders)".
  5. ^ Wan, Julie (21 April 2010). "The best of Vietnamese fish sauce comes from Phu Quoc". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Pepper cultivation area halved on Phu Quoc - Pepper cultivation area halved on Phu Quoc - News from Saigon Times". The Saigon Times. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  7. ^ Tran, Ngoc. "Pearl farming on Phu Quoc Island - Pearl farming on Phu Quoc Island - News from Saigon Times". The Saigon Times. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Vietnam Airlines capitalises on new Phu Quoc airport". Voice of Vietnam. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  9. ^ "About Us." Air Mekong. Retrieved on December 21, 2010. "Headquarters: Hamlet 3, Village 7, An Thoi Town, Phu Quoc Island, Kiên Giang Province, Vietnam..."
  10. ^ "Website usage terms and conditions Archived 2011-09-03 at the Wayback Machine." Air Mekong. Retrieved on December 21, 2010
  11. ^ "Phu Quoc Island Vietnam Official Travel Guide - 2017 - 2018".
  12. ^ Nick Ray, Wendy Yanagihara. Vietnam. Retrieved 2015-10-09. p.445
  13. ^ "Le Second Empire en Indo-Chine (Siam-Cambodge-Annam): l'ouverture de Siam au commerce et la convention du Cambodge”, Charles Meyniard, 1891, Bibliothèque générale de géographie
  14. ^ "La Politique coloniale de la France au début du second Empire (Indo-Chine, 1852-1858)", Henri Cordier, 1911, Ed. E.J. Brill
  15. ^ Polomka, Peter. Ocean Politics in Southeast Asia. Retrieved 2015-10-09. p.20
  16. ^ 2009年03月31日, 抗日名将黄杰与最后一支离开大陆的国民党部队, 凤凰资讯. There is currently a small island in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's Chengcing Lake that was constructed in November 1955 and named Phu Quoc Island in memory of the Nationalist Chinese loyal soldiers who was detained from 1949-1953.
  17. ^ Ngo Cong Duc, deputy of the Vinh Binh province, quoted in "Le régime de Nguyen Van Thieu à travers l'épreuve", Etude Vietnamienne, 1974, pp. 99–131
  18. ^ Hanns Jürgen Buchholz. Law of the Sea Zones in the Pacific Ocean. Retrieved 2015-10-09. p.41
  19. ^ Amer, Ramses. 2002. Claims and Conflict Situations in "War or Peace in the South China Sea?" edited by Timo Kivimaki. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), Copenhagen, Denmark
  20. ^ "Vietnam Building Code Natural Physical & Climatic Data for Construction" (PDF) (in Vietnamese). Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  21. ^ National parks
  22. ^ Phu Quoc National Park
  23. ^ Phu Quoc in Viet Nam
  24. ^ Vietnam Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness Evaluation (2015)
  25. ^ Community cleanup efforts and local government commitment underway to tackle the mounting plastic waste issue on Phu Quoc Island

External linksEdit