- Reviews: 88
Mango Bay Phu Quoc: SHEER BLISS AND PAMPERING HEAVEN
The moment you walk through the tropical plants to your bungalow at Mango Bay Resort on Phu Quoc island - Vietnam, with windows opening out into the shimmering sea beyond, you will feel like being handed your own little peace of paradise.
My article in Saigon Times Daily about my stay at this resort:
City slickers go back to nature
We arrive in Phu Quoc on a scorching summer’s day; the sunlight is the color of honey as we take in the breathtaking island.
The resort is deserted which is a real blessing. The resort covers 20 hectares, but construction occupy only five hectares, leaving vast area of grass home to billions of grasshoppers.
Under the soaring sunlight at noon, my little girl decided against her normal afternoon nap as she asked me: “Mom, go to catch grasshoppers.” So my daughter and I explored the grass land to play with the noisy insects.
I enjoyed one of life’s simple pleasures with agreements, contracts, workshops, events and disputes forgotten for now. My little girl also put out of her mind the narrow space of her kindergarten where teachers have to take care of around 40 children at the same time and are forced to ask them go to eat, sleep, play and study with military precision. Both of us enjoyed the spacious surroundings as grasshoppers reveled in their peaceful and abundant home.
There are no modern facilities at the resort such as a fridge, telephone or television but my daughter didn’t seem to care; she was in her element on the beach. We read books together; she did some drawings, colored comic books and made some sand castles.
We also explored the resort and saw many kinds of trees such as mango, jackfruit, almond, coconut, pine and some beautiful flowers. This was a great chance for my city-based daughter to learn about the countryside. She was very excited when she saw a worm, an ant, a spider, snake, squirrel or gecko lizard.
Under the sunset, we had a seat on the veranda floor and saw a flock of chickens having lunch. It was so quiet though. In the restaurant, there were no shouts of ‘do, do’, on the beach, there were no voices either.
The only thing you could see was young Swiss people reading, a French visitor taking photos and some couples walking along the beach.
Asian and Western tourists seemed to be infected by the stillness. I could only hear the sounds of waves crashing onto the shore, the wind blowing through groves and from some people whispering songs; busy insects on the grass and birds hovering in the sky.
In English: http://english.thesaigontimes.vn/home/travel/travelguide/17369/
In Vietnamese: http://www.thesaigontimes.vn/Home/dulich/nhatkyluhanh/55679/
- Reviews: 1
Minh Ngoc Guest House Phu Quoc Island: Minh Ngoc Guest House
Minh Ngoc Guest House offers 8 rooms, is located in the centre of the town. It is 1km from Phu Quoc's administrative centre, 10km from the airport and is inside Duong To ecological tourist area...
Distance: Beach: 300 m, Town center: 1 km, Duong Dong Market: 1km, International Airport: 10.4 km, Hospital: 3.1 km, Post Office: 2.2 km. Consists of 8 rooms, free wifi, cool space, quiet close to nature. Room Facilities 25m square area, closet, television, refrigerator, desks and chairs, ceiling fan, air conditioning.
- Reviews: 865
Lamer Resort: Bungalows
The resort is a bit walking from the main road, great peaceful place to stay, the beach is only 300 meter from the resort, is just too bad the receptionist can't speak English. Besides all that the resort is nice and clean we got what we pay
- Reviews: 478
Thanh Kieu Beach Resort…: NO FRILLS ACCOMODATION
This property is set beach side and offers up a number of really basic bungalows and is situated on the West coast of Phu Quoc only about a fifteen minute drive from the airport.
The location is pretty good and is about a twenty minute walk into Duong Dong. The beach here is really pretty and there are two fresh water showers where you can rinse off after a swim in the sea. I'm glad that there were showers because there were sea lice in the sea and it seemed to help alleviate the itch if rinsed off quickly after swimming. I'm not sure if this was a seasonal thing but it was certainly not very enjoyable to stay in the waterfor any length of time.
The bungalows were kept clean but really basic with some really uncomfortable chairs both indoors and out. A small patio set consisting of two chairs and a table are found on every porch of the bungalows, great to sit outdoors during evenings but you couldn’t for long because the chairs were so poorly designed. The water temperature of the shower is controlled with a small electric heater that worked so we had hot water showers.
Breakfasts were included in the price of accommodation however they were for sure again pretty basic, eggs cooked as you liked…omelets that sometimes arrived the way you asked for, or sometimes not and a baguette with butter and or jam was also served with every egg order.
You are able to choose two drink items from the small menu…a juice most often and coffee
The “dining” area of the property was adjacent to the reception area as were the computer terminals…about three of them complete with free internet. There’s a wifi system but no repeaters so if you wanted to use your own laptop or notebook you need to bring it up to this area of the property.
The grounds of the property were well kept with some interesting plants in bloom and lush green tropical plants and flowers.
This place turned out to be the most expensive hotel we stayed at during our four weeks touring Vietnam with likely the least quality of service so if I was ever to return to Phu Quoc I would likely give this place a miss and look for accommodation elsewhere. It’s too bad really because given the location of the place its got so much potential.
- Reviews: 10
Thai Tan Tien: Nicely Done Thai Tan Tien
Thai Tan Tien (TTT) is located on long beach the main hotel beach in Phu Quoc, however Long Beach is just that very long and TTT is near the end of the hotel drag, for this reason the beach (for the time being) is really quite; in Nov people traffic passing my deck chair averaged about 1 person every 30 mins. But if you want the main drag, and trust me you will want to go to the gorgeous beach front restaurants, it is only a romantic 10 minute jaunt away.
TTT is a family run business, the matriarch is Dum and she is personable, business minded and honest. which is everything you want as it ensures a clean room, fair prices and booked bookings. All the staff/family follow Dum's lead.
TTT's rooms are basic (see pics) but so is the price and to be honest you'll be spending time in the room your off the beach which makes no sense at all. The room I stayed in had an electric shower and a fridge. We made good use of the fridge for cooling drinks that we purchased at shops (for about 60% of the hotel price) and drinking them down on the beach front - Dum doesnt mind.
TTT is about 80m off the beach but don't let that deter you. The land and the pond between the bungalows are TTT and take about 42 secs to stroll through.
It's clean, cheap, well run and on a fabulous beach - what more do you need to know.
We had a great deck area (see pic)
- Reviews: 10
My Lan: My Lan on Bai Sao Beach Well Past Its Use By Date
My Lan is 20ish kilometres from the Airport. It lies in a glorious crescent bay cut straight from a “wish you were here” postcard.
This is where the charm stops and the disappointment starts. Unfortunately it’s the usual story that people have fouled paradise; they’ve soiled the sand, stained the view, and subtracted the service.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the coastline is caked in crap. I have stayed in seaside bungalows across the Pacific and Asia, and you do expect a degree of tidal junk, but this coast is less beach and more dump. Now to be fair My Lan does clean up its own 50 metres of beach front, but this isn’t enough, it isn’t enough by a long way. When you come to a beach for a retreat, you want your eyes and feet to ramble along the sand free from neon light tubes, paint cans, broken Bicardi bottles, etc, etc, etc, etc.
We were also annoyed with My Lan’s “Mini Zoo”. The enclosure in the photo held monkeys, a big snake and some other animals that live well outside my taxonomic knowledge. I’m no animal psychologist but these little dudes seemed depressed and I’d wager $50 against $10 that the monkey was mentally disturbed. In the short time I was there I saw the staff kick at the Monkey’s caging, apparently, just to stir up the little man.
My Lan was also very short on service, My Lan doesn’t hold itself up to be six star service, but it does pretend to be a guest house. In my stretch their I felt less like a guest and more like hard work; the staff failed to greet us on arrival, turn on our bungalow’s electricity and do anything about a rat that was installed in our room. This was not for want of staff for My Lan appeared to have plenty, but they were all industriously applying themselves to team bonding exercises such as gambling and agitating the wretched primate.
My final dig would be the dogs. Now I’m a dog, not a cat, person, and I’m used to seeing stray lazy mutts on islands. However My Lan could well be mistaken for a highly successful canine breeding centre. These dogs were not threatening in anyway in fact the pups were adorable, but by night, all sleepless night, they scrapped, barked, and scampered around the 1 metre perimeter of our bungalow.
In sum, My Lan fills your eyes with pity and your feet with tetanus. If you want to enjoy your stay go anywhere else on the island. My personal recommendation (for the same price) would be Thai Tan Tien.
- Reviews: 6
Sasco Blue Lagoon Hotel: Sasco Blue Lagoon Hotel
Friendly staff, but pretty inefficient at dealing with basic admin issues and hotel management showed no interest in dealing with queries or matters of concern. Only there for a few nights so we stuck it out, but was aware of a few guests checking out and moving elsewhere.
Located right on a nice stretch of beach, but bungalow rooms were small and very basic.
- Reviews: 3
Bo Resort: A very lovely place
A unique resort run by a very lovely Vietnamese woman and her very cool French husband. The food is superb, the cabins splendid in their simplicity and design, the gardens are heavenly, the beach clean and calm, the guests friendly and sophisticated.
- Reviews: 215
Blue Lagoon Resort: The best in Phu Quoc
We stayed at the Blue Lagoon and were very impressed with the quality of the accommodation...lovely spacious rooms just a few meters from the beach.
We had a sea view room which was just behind the beach front units but had a lovely sea view - they are in groups of 4 with 2 upstairs and 2 down.
- Reviews: 1471
Mango Bay resort.: Peace and quiet.
The resort is some way away from Duong Dong, but is completely self contained. We stayed in the rammed earth bungalows : one large bedroom with 2 fans, a shower and toilet area behind in the open air, although closed in from the outside. A veranda with chairs, table and "chaise longue", completed the unit. In our room we had a large 4 poster bed with mosquito net draped all around. Did not see a mozzie the 5 days we spent there !! The only problem we had was at night, the lamps did not give off enough light to read comfortably by. A very minor problem.
All the staff, especially the restaurant staff were very helpful. The management can also help with excursions. English is pretty well understood by everyone with the manager being French, and as it turned out played tennis in my town of St. Malo, is of use to all Francophones. The resort has it's own 4x4 and can be hired with a driver for short trips.
There is no pool but as the resort sits right on the beach, a swim is not far away. The food in the restaurant was very good with a good choice, although the only bad thing I had to say during the 5 days was the breakfast included in the room price, was very light and does need to be supplemented.
All in all a wonderful stay.
- Reviews: 306
Many to choose from...
There's a lot of development going on in Phu Quoc and therefore the accomodation options are changing rapidly. The island still feels very undeveloped and i think it will be a good few years before it begins to feel anything like a tourist resort.
There's a fair bit of building work going on along long beach but it shouldn't affect your stay. Do shop around though for places to stay. Don't just go for the popular choice as there's lots of great looking bungalows in the smaller resorts or attached to restaurants that are probably much better value for money.
- Reviews: 306
Before we went to phu Quoc, the only resort other than the Saigon-Phu Quoc that I could find much information about was the Tropicana. When you search the web it seems to be the only place worth staying in. The main draw was that it had a swimming pool and lovely gardens so we escaped the thousand Stars and moved.
The tropicana is a nice place to stay, the pool is good and the beach is clean. However I felt that it was quite overpriced ($28 for a bungalow) and although fine, they weren't that amazing (and not very insect-proof either!)
If a pool is important to you then it's probably worth staying here however I'm sure you could use the pool if you are staying elsewhere. Don't go for the cheaper fan rooms unless you are very heat resistant. We managed two nights in one of these sweat-boxes before we gave in!
The tropicana is in a good location, about halfway along the beach. There were many other resorts though nearby that looked as though they had better and proably less expensive bungalows so don't commit yourself for your whole time on Phu Quoc. I thought the Kim Hoa resort looked pretty good.
- Reviews: 306
The thousand stars resort (Ngan Sao)
We pre-booked the Thousand Stars resort through a tour company before we arrived. It looked good on the website and we were (wrongly!) told that the tropicana resort was fully booked.
The thousand stars is a strange place and I've got quite mixed feelings about it. We had a lovely room there after upgraded from the dodgy room that the agency had booked for us!
This resort seems to be used more by Vietnamese people at weekends and there's not many other tourists. In some ways this is great as we had the beach to ourselves however I continually felt that we shouldn't really be there and there is a slightly bizarre atmosphere due to the hoards of staff sitting around staring! The resort is at the end of the beach and to go anywhere else for eating involves a very dark walk over some rocks and rubbish! After a few days of getting our money's worth we relocated to the Tropicana... see next tip.....
The restaurant is very good although somewhat lacking in atmosphere. The many dogs are friendly - more interactive than the staff!! Worth a visit to see the bizzarre plaster statues and figures - very strange! The cows that walked past every morning and evening were a sight worth seeing.
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