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Phu Quoc roads

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Seattle, WA
posts: 16
reviews: 47
Phu Quoc roads

Stayed 4 nights last week on Phu Quoc island and would like to make a few comments on the state of the roads.

I was staying during rainy season and was well prepared for muddy dirt roads. However, nothing I have read in any guidebook or forum post has stated the quality of these unpaved roadways. They are incredibly rutted and nearly impassable in places. Forget about renting a scooter, at least outside of the paved portions of Duong Dong town north or southeast; way, way too dangerous and slow going. We hired a car and driver for a south island tour and there is pavement which begins, I believe, down somewhere around the area of Bai Sao beach or thereabouts and continues north along the eastern side of the island, extending back into Duong Dong town. However, for anyone renting scooters or bicycles, be extremely careful as the asphalt is laid in a narrow one-lane strip in the center of a dirt roadway and because of this improved road condition, traffic is maniacal. During our tour, and while motoring along the paved stretches, our car was forced off the road several times by oncoming trucks and nearly hit more than once. I will admit we did not see the north side of the island other than during a brief one night stay at a resort near Ong Lang beach, so perhaps things are easier to get to farther out than I am imagining. However, the drive there and back from Duong Dong was also along incredibly rutted, potholed roads. Many stretches can only be traversed at very, very low rates of speed. I may be wrong, but something's backwards here. With all the development either underway or in the works, it seems obvious that the first thing that should be done is improve the roadways and other infrastructure before building monster resorts. The local population certainly suffers with nearly un-navigable roads, and it seems like an emphasis should be placed on improvement for them first and foremost, as well as the tourists they are hoping to draw in. Just my 2 cents. I expect to get some negative feedback, but the above is my own honest opinion. Thanks for reading.

Lincoln, United...
posts: 7,362
reviews: 32
1. Re: Phu Quoc roads

I won't give you negative feedback just for telling it as is!

Maybe I (we) should have mentioned before that a lot of the roads are little more than mud tracks. Ok when the sun shines but become very quickly difficult roads to drive along. As for tarmac... well whats that?

But then that is true for a lot of Viet Nam once you come off the 'A' roads. Phu Quoc doesn't really have any 'A' roads as such.

Of course the one burning question remains.... did you have a good time otherwise?

Seattle, WA
posts: 16
reviews: 47
2. Re: Phu Quoc roads

Hi 69bertie,

Thanks for your comments! We (husband and I) had a pretty good time on Phu Quoc Island; it certainly is a great destination for relaxing, especially at the end of a Vietnam vacation. Once we were settled (at Cassia Cottage which is a perfect, friendly little resort--anyone staying there please tell Lena we said hi), we found that walking via the beach was a great way to get around, and a lot more scenic to boot. I think choosing lodgings that are centrally located is a very smart way to go. Our first night on Phu Quoc was spent at Chen La Resort, way up north, and aside from the fact that their beautiful infinity pool was drained and not functional, which was pretty disappointing, we realized that being out in the hinterlands put us at a distinct disadvantage, not the least of which was the lack of any variety, foodwise. Couple that with difficult roadways, and we were at their mercy (couldn't get around on our own). Cassia Cottage, Sea Star, and many other little resorts along Long Beach are all easily accessible and within walking distance of other restaurants/bars, ATM machines, little grocery stores, shops, etc. That worked much better for us.

Here's a final anecdote on the roads and then I'll shut up: On our south island tour, the driver rolled down the passenger side front window and turned off the air conditioning, which was fine, but as a result I got repeatedly splashed in the face and upper body with mud. Considering I wasn't sitting anywhere close to the front passenger seat, and the van we were in was elevated about a foot off the ground, and that gives a slight indication of the ruts we were jouncing through...which was nothing compared to the very occasional fellow tourists we saw carefully picking their way around the potholes on their rented bicycles, all of whom were literally oozing with mud, head to toe...made my slightly surprising discomfort an absolute nonissue in comparison.

3. Re: Phu Quoc roads

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