Guidebook A blissful paradise


A blissful paradise

“It’s been described as the jewel in Vietnam’s crown,” says Metro UK.  Phu Quoc Island on the west coast of Vietnam and is “rapidly cementing itself as one of South East Asia’s hottest holiday destinations” for its “easy access, incredible coastline and laid back atmosphere.” There’s a “halo of sand” encompassing this “green and forested isle,” writes Vietnam Coracle, but visit before big resorts, casinos and other facilities interferes with the island’s “tranquility and honest natural beauty” -- although in many cases “it’s already too late.”    

“Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam,” writes Traveller. “It sits in the Gulf of Thailand, minding its own business,” and until recently “this consisted of making a world-beating nuoc mam fish sauce, cultivating black and white pepper and a nature reserve occupying most of the northern part of the island.” The island is currently in a “state of mass development,” says Man vs Globe, “with a network of new roads weaving their way around its length and breadth and hotels being built at a breakneck speed.”    

It hasn't always been the “blissful paradise retreat that exists today,” explains Mr Linh’s Adventures. Until the 1750s, the island was “relatively undisturbed with a small population of local people who made their living mostly from the sea.” Then the French occupied the island and established the rubber and coconut plantations. It was returned to Vietnam in 1949, and in 1975 the Khmer Rouge took control of the island, only to be defeated again by Vietnam during the Vietnam-Cambodia War.

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