Our group departed for Phu Quoc Island in the middle of December. With the optimum time to visit between December and March each year, this period is only just around the corner and the excitement to book a new trip here will soon be high.
This is also the dry season on Phu Quoc, when the weather is clear and ideal for sight-seeing and tourism. And indeed, as soon as I got off the plane, I sensed a totally differ-ent vibe from the city: the freshness and tranquillity of the sky here with every breeze. The wind from the ocean whips through the hair as if blowing away all the work tired-ness.
Phu Quoc, the biggest island in Vietnam and located in Kien Giang province ranked among the top 25 finest islands in the world by the World's Best Places survey in July. It is a site where nature bestows riches, with a diverse ecosystem: from ancient forests of melaleuca to coral reefs and seagrass beds. Visitors may not be able to comprehend and appreciate all of the natural beauty here if they are merely on a short vacation.
|Phu Quoc Island an orchestra of wonder|
Pristine nature of the north
After a day of rest, our group rented a motorcycle to return to the island's northern re-gion and begin the experience. We choose motorcycles since if you take a cab, you won't be able to fully enjoy the island's true essence: driving in the sun, the sea breeze, the forest areas along the roadside, and travelling on asphalt highways to muddy path-ways.
We arrived at Ganh Dau after travelling for approximately 90 minutes. From here, we rented a canoe and began heading further north, passing through Rach Vem in the Ham Rong region, and finally the fishing hamlet of Rach Tram. After a lengthy driving excur-sion of about 50km, the splashes of water from a canoe breaking the waves and being immersed in the cold breeze refreshed and enhanced everyone's delight.
The water here is amazing. Under the brilliant light, the water was jade green and trans-parent enough to glimpse the ocean floor. The more I journeyed, the clearer Phu Quoc's environment becomes: the untamed, pristine landscape with strangely curved tree branches mirrored on the water's surface. This location is a magnificent work of nature.
After approaching Rach Tram fishing village, the canoe entered the estuary in a gentle manner. Here, a completely strange new world showed up before my eyes: the placid water surface with each gentle wave, as gentle as the lake surface, reflecting the spar-kling sunlight to the bottom, surrounded by countless species of trees that appear to have existed for hundreds of years.
Visitors can probably hear a pin drop – there are no signs of other humans, and only our awe and amazement are left with the majestic nature. The scene before my eyes was so unique and more magnificent than I had ever dreamed. If you are already adventurous, missing this location would be a significant oversight.
The next day, our crew resumed its adventure to conquer Phu Quoc's landscape. The next stop is Gam Ghi island, a coral wonderland in Phu Quoc with an area of up to 480ha and more than 360 kinds of hard coral and dozens of species of soft coral coex-isting.
This time, we continued our motorcycle journey to An Thoi port. This island is the most distant component of the An Thoi archipelago, situated 35km south of the city of Dong Duong. It is a desolate, uninhabited island that completely isolates travellers from the city's bustle and activity.
To visit the island, we rented a boat and took a tour of four islands: May Rut Ngoai, May Rut Trong, Mong Tay, and Gam Ghi; nevertheless, Gam Ghi island is the most memorable. At 10 am when the boat arrived, the sun was already high and blazing. Not to mention the breathtaking scenery, simply hearing the waves break against the side of the ship and the wind makes my pulse race nonstop.
Just a few minutes earlier in An Thoi port, where restaurants, resorts, and busy urban areas were full of voices and laughter, the canoe carried us to a completely new world, a tranquil and calm zone filled with only the melody of creation singing.
Upon arrival to Gham Ghi island, a whole unique biological heaven is seen. If the scen-ery and atmosphere in the north of the island have a mystical and majestic beauty, the space here is vibrant and youthful, giving the impression of a 20-year-old teenager.
The water in Hon Gam Ghi has the distinctive emerald green hue of Phu Quoc's oceans. The ocean seems to be much more pristine than in the island's north. Under the shade of coconut leaves, the coastline winds along the glistening, smooth white sand. The gentle breeze of coconut palms, whispering day and night, performs a duet with ocean waves, admiring the glory of divine creation.
A distinctive feature of Gam Ghi island is its abundance of large boulders. Layers of bil-lowing waves take turns crashing onto the cliffs, and the white foam adds to the dra-matic and magnificent scene.
We saw shoals of swimming fish and coral reefs by just standing atop a boat and glanc-ing. Without hesitation, I put on my special coral sight glass, put on my life jacket, and promptly jumped into the calm water. I was stunned by the sun-glistening coral reefs that spread to the depths of the ocean in a variety of colours and were surrounded by vibrant fishes.
Not only is snorkelling a unique experience here but so is simply swimming. After scu-ba diving and appreciating the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, we totally rest, lie on the water, enjoy the push of the waves and the soothing of the ocean, and admire the pris-tine ecosystem. This is without a doubt an incredible experience.
The nature of Phu Quoc is something that will never disappoint me. The more I under-stand and the more I encounter, the more I am overcome by the mystical and lyrical beauty of undiscovered nature. Phu Quoc is unquestionably an essential location that must be on the map of all serious travellers.
By Quynh Trang
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