[ ] Phu Quoc
2020.01.19 - 2020.01.24
KODAK COLORPLUS 200, KODAK ULTRAMAX 400
When I first visited Phu Quoc island in 2013, everything was near perfect.
Cheep accommodation, delicious food, affordable rental scooter, the beach was pristine and walkable, not many people, and the tourism industry seemed like it was 4 hotels calling it in once a year.
Fast forward 7 years and here I am checking in again.
I was not prepared for what my beloved Phu Quoc had turned into.
I don't expect things stay the same over time and actually usually embrace change. But WTF.
Massive hotels that look more like LV casinos with flashing lights litter the "main drag". Beach front accommodations raised their prices to push budget travelers up hill and away from the beach. The chill vibes of 2013 Phu Quoc no more. Not to mention a significant noise pollution problems throughout the island.
I've experienced this throughout my travels in Asia, as destinations realize their potential for tourism dollars and basically sell their soul for a few quick ones. It's about making bad decisions 90% of the time when it comes to tourism and how it effects every aspect of a city. Unfortunately this short game mentality only hurts the local culture and sometimes damages the tourism industry for good. My guess is government makes decisions which gives them big profit while also allowing the local tourism industry to boom, which business owners do not complain about as new money is coming in.
I stayed at a huge (approximately 500+ dorm bed) frat-boy-vibe hostel for one night until I couldn't take it anymore and moved to a villa outside of the city.
With that being said, I still love you Phu Quoc. You just gone changed.
I believe I made the best of the situation. Rented a scooter to get away from the tourists and spent most of my time in markets and riding around the outer stretches of the island, basically going places white people don't. In return I found some new favorite spots that will hopefully still be around the next time I visit.
And without a doubt, the best part of Vietnam and Phu Quoc in general is the readily available Ca Phe Sua (local milk coffee) and delicious foods on almost every block.
Everyone has their own Phu Quoc.
May I suggest you never return to it and keep it as a memory.
Hi there I'm Jordon.
Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to enable comments on this site but i would love to hear from you by email at jordoncheung [attttt] gmail [dot] com ✌🏽