Thai A

Fishing enthusiasts love Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island

Often dubbed “Gem Island”, Phu Quoc meets visitors’ visions of a fantasy tropical island. White sand beaches rim the island. A road running from north to south transverses a forest of old-growth trees. Breathtaking hotels and resorts lie beneath shady coconut trees. Visitors can enjoy so many water sports they don’t want to leave.

Different beaches in Vietnam are known for different water sports. Sam Son Beach (Thanh Hoa) is famous for squid-fishing aboard coracles at night. Nha Trang Beach is famous for snorkeling tours through its offshore coral reefs and velvet anemone beds. On Con Dao, visitors enjoy tours to watch sea turtles lay their eggs at night.

Phu Quoc draws those who enjoy fishing. While the fish aren’t big, there are many large schools and diverse species. The fish are greedy and easy to catch, making a fishing trip great fun for all ages.

Many tour operators on Phu Quoc offer solid and convenient boats that can fit 20 to 30 guests. They are equipped with telecommunication devices and safety equipment such as lifebuoys, sirens and lamps. Most astonishingly, the sailors know how to cook. Within 30 minutes of boarding visitors are served a lunch full of delicious dishes. These are just side dishes because the main course depends on the guests’ prowess at fishing.

Fishing tools are simple, consisting of hooks and steel wire. While beginners typically fish from stationary boats, more advanced sport fishers prefer deep-sea fishing from moving vessels. As the boat plows through the waves, they cast lines for bigger species like mackerel, barracuda, sweetlips, etc. The deeper the water, the greater the chance of catching bigger fish. Nothing matches the excitement of pulling up a fish as thick as a man’s calf.

While popular fishing spots dot the island, the best known ones lie near May Rut Islet, Ram Islet and Thom Islet. Here, the schools of fish are dense. Serranidae fish are a fast-growing species popular with sport fishermen. 

Visitors eager to hire a boat to go fishing should head to Duong Dong or An Thoi Harbor. The trips last all day long. It takes just minutes to leave the harbor and reach a nearby fishing spot, preferably near little offshore islands. The surrounding views keep visitors enthralled.

The trophy is processed on the spot. Smaller fish are grilled over charcoal while bigger ones are used for savoury dishes or dried under the sun and taken home.

Meals enjoyed onboard leave fond memories for every visitor. In fairly deep water, visitors  can don masks and snorkels after lunch and enjoy a refreshing dip in a colorful and mysterious natural aquarium. When sunlight dapples the sea’s surface, the undersea landscape sparkles, appearing even more beautiful. Schools of tiny fish wriggle around the coral reefs and through crooked rocks wrapped in undulating moss.

The Gem Island of Phu Quoc is treading a fine line between luxury tourism developments and pristine nature.