Stranded tourists leave Phu Quoc as ferry service resumes

By Staff reporters   July 14, 2022 | 02:45 am PT
Stranded tourists leave Phu Quoc as ferry service resumes
Tourists wait to board a ferry to get to the mainland from Phu Quoc Island in south Vietnam, July 14, 2022. Photo by Duong Dong
Thousands of tourists stuck on Phu Quoc Island for days due to rough seas started returning to the mainland Thursday as the weather calms down, allowing ferry services to resume.

Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, director of Vina Phu Quoc Tourism Co., Ltd., told VnExpress International that his company's 42 Cambodian tourists got on a ferry to return home Thursday morning.

They were among over 2,100 foreign tourists who have prolonged their stay in Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, as ferry services to the mainland were suspended from Monday morning due to rough seas and strong winds.

Huy said all Cambodian tourists felt regret as their trip to Phu Quoc remained incomplete due to bad weather.

They hope to return to visit the island in the near future.

A representative of Phu Quoc Today travel agency said two groups of tourists with around 80 people were bought to the mainland Thursday while the rest must wait until tomorrow as there are not enough ferries to meet the demand.

Ferry stations carrying tourists from Phu Quoc to the mainland were overloaded Thursday morning.

Nguyen Ngoc Thoi, director of Thanh Thoi Company, said boat services are constantly going back and forth to transport passengers from the mainland to Phu Quoc and vice versa.

Thoi said that currently, services from Rach Gia to Phu Quoc begins from 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. while the Ha Tien-Phu Quoc route operates from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tourism services including cable cars also returned to normal Thursday.

Phi Minh Trang, owner of a homestay near the sea, breathed a sigh of relief when the weather calms down.

"Big waves and strong winds damaged some of my rooms. Today when the sky was clear, I had them fixed," Trang said.

Amid the summer peak season, more than 40,000 tourists, including over 2,100 foreigners have been stuck on the island as heavy rains and rough seas as a result of an intertropical convergence zone and a low-pressure area have suspended ferry services and limited flights since Sunday.

Phu Quoc received 1.4 million tourists in the first half of this year, or over 70 percent of its full-year target.

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