An Expat Guide To Living In Phu Quoc, Vietnam

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Phu Quoc is a paradise for beach lovers with pristine beaches, chilled bars, and dreamy resorts. Whether you intend to live in Phu Quoc for a short time or want to call this island home, there are several things to consider before moving.

Our complete guide to living in Phu Quoc island includes the following section:

  • Cost of living
  • Best areas to stay
  • How to find accommodation
  • Where to rent bikes & tips
  • Best coffee shops to work
  • Where to meet new people
  • Shopping guide
  • Life in Phu Quoc: traffic, weather, hospital, education & job

living in Phu Quoc Vietnam

 

Cost of living in Phu Quoc

The cost of living in Phu Quoc is higher than in other areas in Vietnam as it mainly focuses on tourism. However, if you have a stable job or savings and know how to spend it properly, you can live in Phu Quoc comfortably.

If you’re eating out in restaurants, expect to pay about $5 ~ $10 per dish. Street food is much cheaper, at $1.5 ~ $2 per dish.

Here is a summary cost for one person:

Accommodation rental (one bedroom, TV cable & internet):$300
Electricity:$50
Gas & water:$5
Prepaid cell phone plan:$5
Groceries:$200
Transportation (motorbike rental and gasoline):$100
Entertainment (eating out, drinking):$300
Monthly total: $960

 

Where to stay in Phu Quoc? – The best areas

The three best areas to live in Phu Quoc are Duong Dong, Ong Lang, and Duong To. Each of them has pros and cons, so consider them carefully before booking your accommodation. 

Duong Dong area

Duong Dong is the center of Phu Quoc island, so it’s suitable for those who want to be close to the bustling areas. The town is also a good base for eating and having fun as it’s the most vibrant place on the island. 

While Duong Dong is great for a short vacation, it may bother you if you don’t like the crowd. The center of Duong Dong is very busy on the weekend, with many big buses full of tourists. Also, the rental prices are higher as well. 

Duong To area

Duong To is located in the south of Duong Dong. It’s convenient for business travelers as the area is close to the airport. Also, famous sites such as Sao beach are Ho Quoc pagoda are within a short drive. 

There are several hotels and bungalows between Duong Dong and Duong To, and the price is affordable. 

Ong Lang – Cua Can area

Ong Lang and Cua Can area is in the North of the island and has one of the most pristine beachesOng Lang beach.

The distance from Ong Lang to Duong Dong center is about 5 km, from Cua Can is about 13 km. To travel between places, you should take a motorbike or taxi.

Because this area is quite far from the center of Duong Dong Town, nights here are more peaceful. However, it can be quite boring, and you don’t have many choices for restaurants and nightlife.

Ong lang beach Phu Quoc Vietnam
Ong Lang beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

On the other hand, the room prices in Ong Lang and Cua Can area are relatively low. If you want to find a quiet place with a reasonable budget, this area is not a bad choice.

Note: Many Russian tourists stay in this area, so the shops and restaurants have Russian menus and can speak Russian.

 

How to find apartments in Phu Quoc?

If you’re going to work for a company in Phu Quoc, you can ask your local colleagues or your company to arrange your stay.

Otherwise, don’t worry because finding accommodation in Phu Quoc is very easy. 

We usually book our apartments on Airbnb and love it. There are usually discounts if you stay for a month or more. Also, Airbnb’s policy allows you to cancel if there’s a problem with the listing or host.

Another option is to spend the first few days renting a hotel room in Phu Quoc, then ask the locals or drive around town to check the rooms for rent.

Alternatively, you can post on Expat groups on Facebook for your requirement, and some resort staff will contact you. 

Warning: Don’t stay in Sun Viet apartment. 

 

Where to rent bikes in Phu Quoc

If you plan to stay in Phu Quoc, it’s best to rent a motorbike so you can get around easily.  You don’t need a license when renting a bike, but some places may ask for a deposit or your ID card. 

A daily rate for bike rental in Phu Quoc is $5 ~ $6 (semi-automatic) and $7 ~ $10 (automatic), while a monthly rate is $80 ~ $100 (depending on your negotiation skill). If you rent longer, you should negotiate for more discounts.

If you stay in Phu Quoc for more than six months, I recommend buying a second-hand bike and then resell it when you leave the island. A second-hand bike costs about $150 ~ $400, depending on its condition. 

We called a few bike rental places to get the best rate and rent our bike at Anh Trung Shop (next to KingKong Mart). You can call +84 96 397 1168.

 

Best coffee shops to work in Phu Quoc

While there is no co-working space in Phu Quoc, you can find some laptop-friendly coffee shops to get things done. 

Tarapaca Cafe and Anba coffee are my favorite places to work. Both have comfortable seating areas, good wifi speed, good coffee at affordable prices. 

apple crumble
Apple crumble is our favorite choice in Tarapaca Cafe!

 

Where to meet people

Phu Quoc island is quite small, so you’ll see many familiar faces after a short period of living here. 

I’ve compiled the list of the best bars to visit in Phu Quoc so you can take a look. Amongst them, Cheeky Traveller is where most local expats gather.

We’ve been there every week and always have a blast. The live music bands are great, and their prices are lower than other bars.

The Cheeky Traveller Bar Phu Quoc Vietnam

 

Shopping in Phu Quoc: Where to buy food & necessaries

Phu Quoc Island has several local grocery stores and a few supermarkets, most of which are located around Duong Dong Market and Long Beach. 

We usually shop at KingKong Mart. The supermarket has everything you need at fair prices. You can find a large selection of frozen meat, kitchen equipment, food supplements, clothes, gifts, etc.

We also buy fresh meat and vegetables at local shops and Duong Dong market. For imported meat, we get to the warehouse to purchase directly from 5tfoods.

Address:

  • KingKong Mart: 141A Tran Hung Dao street, Duong To, Phu Quoc
  • Duong Dong market: Tran Phu street
  • 5tfoods: 15 Mac Thien Tich street, Duong Dong

 

More info about living on Phu Quoc island

Traffic

Life in Phu Quoc moves slowly, without a big crowd like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. You will rarely see traffic congestion or hazy vehicle smoke. The streets outside Duong Dong are quite empty most of the time.

Weather

Weather in Phu Quoc is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The temperature ranges from 24 – 28 degrees Celsius.

The dry season is from November to April, while the rainy season in Phu Quoc starts from May to October. You may see heavy rain in September and October. Sometimes it rains all day. 

Starting from November, Phu Quoc’s weather changes season, so it rains erratically. 

Hospitals

If you need medical facilities on the island, you can consider the following places:

  • Vinmec Phu Quoc International Hospital
  • Phu Quoc General Hospital (Benh Vien Da Khoa Phu Quoc)
  • Pharmacies

Education

Phu Quoc is probably not the best place to live if you have kids. The education system in Phu Quoc is not as developed as in big cities like Saigon, Da Nang, or Hanoi.

Jobs

You can find most jobs in the tourism section. The most popular jobs in Phu Quoc are hotel managers, hotel staff, bartenders/ waiters, and freelancers. Many expats teach English online as well. 

Development potential

Phu Quoc has always been considered as a place with strong development potential. You can easily spot big projects such as Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc, 5 * resorts, golf course projects, casinos, etc.

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