An Expat Guide To Living In Phu Quoc, Vietnam
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 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|
|Gas & water:||$5|
|Prepaid cell phone plan:||$5|
|Transportation (motorbike rental and gasoline):||$100|
|Entertainment (eating out, drinking):||$300|
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 beaches – Ong 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.
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.
Read more: Best beaches in Phu Quoc.
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, asking the locals, or driving 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 reselling 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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
The weather in Phu Quoc is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy and dry seasons. 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.
From November, the season changes, so it rains erratically.
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)
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.
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.
Phu Quoc has always been considered as a place with solid development potential. You can easily spot big projects such as Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc, 5 * resorts, golf course projects, casinos, etc.