Phu Quoc is Vietnam's largest island, although geographically it is located closer to southern Cambodia. This tropical island offers huge swathes of sandy beaches and a plethora of marine life beneath the waves. Over half the island is a protected national park, home to a variety of wildlife including a number of endangered species.
The island of Phu Quoc lies within the Gulf of Thailand, offering balmy seas that are calm for much of the year. There are a number of enticing beaches, featuring huge stretches of powdery sand and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Phu Quoc has a laid-back vibe, and whilst there is a lot of planned construction, the island still currently feels under-developed in terms of tourism. There are no large supermarkets or shopping malls, but in the areas with clusters of hotels, there are fun local bars and some amazingly good value restaurants.
Phu Quoc is part of the An Thoi Archipelago, also referred to as the Phu Quoc Marine Park. Diving trips are usually available from October through to April, with most dive sites located around the An Thoi islands off the southern tip of Phu Quoc. The waters around the islands are normally quite shallow, and there are some corals reefs in good condition which can be explored. Due to the shallow water, divers will usually only see smaller marine life, but there are still plenty of species, including bamboo sharks, cuttlefish, scorpion fish and blue spotted rays.
Inland, Phu Quoc has jungle-clad mountains. The national park sits on the north of the island and forms part of the Kiên Giang Conservation Area, which is a UNESCO Biosphere. Much of the national park is not accessible for tourists, and is only used by scientists for biological research. However there are sections of the park that are open for visitors, with a number of both easy and challenging treks. There are also opportunities for wildlife spotting, with a good chance of catching site of the more common species such as the long-tailed macaque, giant black squirrel and hornbills. The park is also home to a number of endangered species, including the silver langur, flying fox and yellow-throated martin, although sightings of these animals are considerably more rare.