Phu Quoc emerges as new global tourist destination

By Phong Van   May 7, 2023 | 08:00 pm PT
Charming nature, iconic buildings and unique and classy travel experiences are reasons why Phu Quoc island is a place not to be missed by tourists worldwide.

From being an obscure island, Phu Quoc has risen rapidly on the world tourist map, garnering attention from the travel community worldwide and steadily surpassing other well-known destinations to become one of the world's best places to visit.


A diver admires the coral reefs. Photo by Sun Group

In 2021 Phu Quoc was listed among the world's 100 greatest islands by the U.S.'s Time magazine.

In November 2022 it won the World Travel Award for "The World's Leading Nature Island Destination" by surpassing six other world-famous islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Isle of Skye in Scotland, Lofoten in Norway, Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, and Zanzibar in Tanzania.

In the 2022 Readers' Choice Award given by U.S. tourism magazine Condé Nast Traveler, Phu Quoc ranked sixth out of the 10 most favorite resort islands in Asia.

It made it into a list of the world's 25 best islands drawn up by Travel + Leisure magazine in October 2022.

The island gets its allure from its pristine nature made up of mountains and hills, 28 islands and islets, and 14 diverse beaches covering 150 km of coastline, many of them among the most beautiful on the planet.

Phu Quoc has a mild climate with year-round sunshine, making it ideal for travel and relaxation at any time of the year.

Hon Thom island from aerial view. Photo by Minh Tu

Hon Thom island seen from above. Photo by Sun Group

Activities in Hon Thom

Travelers can explore some unique natural locations such as Rach Vem beach, Dai beach, Phu Quoc national park, Ham Ninh fishing village, and many small islets such as Hon Thom, Hon Dam, Hon Mong Tay, and Hon May Rut.

The south of the island has its own distinct landscape with creamy white sand dunes and clear blue seas.

The Hon Thom island cluster has Phu Quoc's largest coral reef conservation area of 9,720 hectares.

Hon Thom is home to many charming beaches, including Bai Khem, one of the 50 most beautiful beaches on the planet, Flight Network determined in 2018, and Bai Sao, one of the 10 most pristine beaches in the world, according to CN Traveler.

Unique construction

Unique tourist works appear to make the island more prominent, including the Hon Thom cable car, the world's longest mountain-crossing three-wire cable car that takes visitors from the center of An Thoi town to Hon Thom island.

Cáp treo 3 dây dài nhất thế giới tới đảo Hòn Thơm. Ảnh: Minh Tú

Hon Thom cable car, the world's longest three-wire cable car. Photo by Minh Tu

Sunset Town is inspired by the Italian Mediterranean town, but has smaller doorways than the original to reduce sunlight, sloped roofs to drain rainwater and more gardens.

Sunset Town is likened to a "giant art museum" since it has the Sun Signature Gallery, an event and festival center inspired by a modern art museum; the 75-meter-tall Clock Tower resembling the bell tower of St. Mark's Campanile in Italy; the Sun God fountain created by sculpting geniuses from the Italian Frill family; and the Central Village with six-star hotels La Festa Phu Quoc and Curio by Hilton at the foot of the clock tower.

Sunset town in Phu Quoc.

Sunset Town in Phu Quoc. Photo by Sun Group

The Kiss Bridge on the sea has two branches, each 400 m long, like two soft silk strips reaching out to sea. Its two ends are about 30cm apart, creating a small gap that soaks up the sunlight.

Besides the unique architecture, this bridge also carries the message of love, the connection between humans and the universe.

Australian broadsheet The Sydney Morning Herald said Sunset Town in Phu Quoc seems to bring tourists back to Italy.

Cầu Hôn - công trình lãng mạn bậc nhất Phú Quốc

The Kiss Bridge. Photo by Sun Group

Graham Cooke, chairman and founder of the World Travel Awards, said: "You can see so many outstanding works worldwide, in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and even Europe. I think Sunset Town deserves to compete in the "Premier League" of iconic projects.

"Phu Quoc is an amazing emerging destination in Asia. I suppose this will become a global tourist center."

Phu Quoc is a travelers’ favorite not only for its beautiful nature but also its luxury resort experience. Its tourism infrastructure has been upgraded, and encompasses entertainment, relaxation to real estate, especially high-end resorts in its south.

Show diễn đa phương tiện Kiss The Stars. Ảnh: Minh Tú

Kiss The Stars, a multimedia show on the sea surface. Photo by Minh Tu

Resorts and entertainment complexes have contributed to Phu Quoc's position on the international tourism map, notably Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park, which offers a series of leading entertainment services in Asia, Kiss The Stars, Asia's largest show of multimedia technology on the water, a luxury hotel network including JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, New World Phu Quoc Resort, and Premier Village Phu Quoc Resort.

In 2019 Sun Group's JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay resort was feted by the international media when it hosted a seven-day wedding party for an Indian billionaire couple, groom Rushang Shahand bride Kaabia Grewal.

In 2022 the World Travel Awards hailed JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay as the "World's Leading Luxury Wedding Resort" for a fourth consecutive year.

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort

JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort. Photo by Sun Group

Sun Group has tied up with global giants in hospitality management such as Marriott International, Accor Hotels and Rosewood Hotel Group to build luxury resorts that have brought home prestigious awards for several years in a row, including "Asia's Leading Family Beach Resort" for the New World Phu Quoc Resort and Asia's Leading Hotel Residences for Premier Residences Phu Quoc Emerald Bay.

Between 2016 and 2019, the year before Covid-19 began, Phu Quoc received nearly five million tourists.

In 2020, despite domestic and international tourism slumping due to the pandemic, the number of visitors topped 3.5 million, surpassing some leading Asian destinations such as Phuket (Thailand) and the Maldives.

In 2022 Phu Quoc welcomed nearly 5.1 million visitors, an increase of 134% from 2021.

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