Relax and Rejuvenate on Vietnam’s Idyllic Phu Quoc Island

Words Regenerative Travel
Date

 

An hours flight from the urban cacophony of Ho Chi Minh City lies the paradise of Phu Quoc Island, an idyllic Vietnamese inlay located in the Gulf of Thailand. Unlike the charming, yet commercialized village of Hoi An, or the overwhelming bustle of motorcycles in Saigon, Phu Quoc is a low-key fishing island surrounded by shimmering turquoise waters. Although the north of the island remains a dense, tropical jungle, with much of it having been designated as a national park in 2001, the southern part of the island is home to an opposite dimension of a flourishing port and lively night market.

 

There is an endearing attraction about a destination that requires time and effort to reach the feeling of disconnect and restoration, especially upon arrival. Dusty and parched from airport transit and a bumpy drive along unpaved roads, I was greeted with a cool towel and an icy-fresh, ginger lemonade at Mango Bay Eco Resort, which occupies its own stretch of Ong Lang Beach on the island. Gazing out at the water, a wave of calm and tranquility washed over me, gently taking with it all of the anxieties and pursuits built into an urban existence.

 

The next morning, I pushed aside the mosquito nettings that surrounded the canopy before opening all the doors and windows along the front and sides of my two-story eco-bungalow; every corner of the space filled with tropical light and air. Heading over to the small desk set up with tea and writing accoutrements, I began my day in this nook, in silence; journaling, reflecting, and meditating.

 

What struck me most about Mango Bay is its dedication to preserving the natural setting it occupies. The walkways between bungalows are unpaved; just enough grass is cleared for one person at a time. Electricity shuts off at night, leaving a glow of lanterns planted along the main path. Every detail of the place maintains a symbiotic relationship with its natural surroundings, including a snail who decided to make a home in my outdoor bathroom for the first evening.

 

On the very loose agenda that afternoon was snorkeling at An Thoi, an archipelago of 15 islands just off the southern coast of Phu Quoc. It was the type of day you reminisce about months later; the kind of day spent in a sun-baked haze revolving between sunning, diving off boats, swimming in pristine water thats neither too hot nor too cold, and drying off, punctuated

by sips of cold beer and sunscreen reapplication. Throughout the day, we were anchored at various snorkeling spots around An Thoi and Sao Beach, home to powder white sand and azure water.

 

On the way back to Mango Bay, we stopped at Dinh Cao Night Market and perused the lively seafood stalls, ordering freshly grilled shrimp and scallops seasoned by the smoky grill and a liberal sprinkle of lime and salt. Washing it down with a chilled glass of local beer, we wandered down to the beach and observed locals taking in the sunset. Brimming with gratitude and feeling a deep appreciation for the glow of a life well-lived was the perfect way to wind down this respite.

 

The following day, after a nourishing breakfast spread eaten over placid water views, it was time to catch my flight home. While heading away from my interlude on this sublime paradise, I vowed to continue to seek small sanctuaries of calm and quiet in the middle of city life.

 

Eat + Drink

Dinh Cau Night Market

Where: Võ ThSáu, Khu 1, tt. Dương Đông, Tp. Phú Quc, tnh Kiên

Giang, Vietnam

Why: Vibrant and authentic atmosphere frequented by a mix of locals and visitors looking to taste the freshest catches of the day

Learn More: https://www.phuquocislandguide.com/dinh-cau-night-market-guide/

 

Mango Bay Eco Resort

Where: Ca Dương, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam

Why: Wellness focused offerings with a twist on local cuisine

Learn more: http://mangobayphuquoc.com/

 

Stay

Mango Bay Eco Resort

Where: Ca Dương, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam

Why: Unplug, restore, and rejuvenate among palm trees in your own

private bungalow steps from the beach

Learn more: http://mangobayphuquoc.com/

 

Play

  • Snorkeling at An Thoi Islands
  • Night squid fishing
  • Swimming + sunning at secluded Sao Beach

 

Natasha is a Commercial + Editorial Travel Photographer (link to www.bynatasha.net) based in Los Angeles. For more of her travelogues, check out her blog, Destination Envy (link to www.destinationenvy.net) or follow her adventures on Instagram @talktonatasha

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Email Address

*By signing up for this newsletter I consent to receive the weekly newsletter from Regenerative Travel including travel guides and inspiration.

Discover our Regenerative Travel™ hotels

Keythorpe Hall, Uppingham Road, Tugby, Leicestershire
Europe
Luxury Amenities
Marrakech, Morocco
Africa
Design Forward
Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia
Asia
Beachfront
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Central America
Beachfront
Nosara, Costa Rica
Central America
Beachfront
Palm Beach, Aruba
Caribbean
Design Forward
New Delhi, India
Asia
Cruise
Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru
South America
Ecolodge
Skåbuvegen, Norway
Europe
Ecolodge
Gujarat, India
Asia
Design Forward
Denali National Park, USA
North America
Ecolodge
Imlil, Morocco
Africa
Ecolodge
New York, USA
North America
Design Forward
South Sinai, Egypt
Africa
Ecolodge
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Africa
Luxury Amenities
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Africa
Ecolodge
Kabupaten Sumba Barat, Indonesia
Asia
Ecolodge
Santorini, Greece
Europe
Luxury Amenities
Central-Western Serengeti, Tanzania
Africa
Tented
Pemba Island, Zanzibar
Africa
Beachfront
Soufriere, Saint Lucia
Caribbean
Polished
Washington DC, USA
North America
Design Forward
Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe
Africa
Polished
Negril, Jamaica
Caribbean
Beachfront
Negril, Jamaica
Caribbean
Beachfront
Cape Town, South Africa
Africa
Luxury Amenities
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Africa
Tented
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Caribbean
Polished
Pokhara, Nepal
Asia
Ecolodge
Isla Tierra Bomba, Colombia
South America
Beachfront
Sao Teotonio, Portugal
Europe
Farm
Hopkins, Belize
Central America
Beachfront
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Central America
Ecolodge
Langkawi, Malaysia
Asia
Polished
Fogo Island, Canada
North America
Design Forward
Alaska, USA
North America
Ecolodge
Juluchuca, Mexico
North America
Beachfront