Sao Beach, my absolute favorite getaway, is a hidden paradise on the charming island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Every time I set foot on its ivory sand and watch the waves of the clear blue water, I’m convinced it’s the closest to heaven on Earth.
Where is Sao Beach
Sao Beach is nestled in the southern part of Phu Quoc Island. About 25 kilometers from Duong Dong, the main town of Phu Quoc, Sao Beach, is surrounded by serene hills, lending to its secluded appeal. This secluded location and its abundant natural beauty make Sao Beach a must-visit for every traveler.
How to get to Sao Beach
Over the years, I’ve traveled to Sao Beach in numerous ways.
For those who love the freedom and the thrill of a ride, you can take a motorbike journey from Duong Dong town. First, head south along Tran Hung Dao Street, and continue on Highway 46. This 25-minute ride gives a glimpse of Phu Quoc’s picturesque landscape.
Taxi and private car charters are more comfortable options, especially after a long day at the beach.
I find joining a day tour is an excellent choice for first-timers. These tours usually feature a trip to Sao Beach and exciting activities like snorkeling and cable car rides to Pineapple Island. They take care of all your transport needs and offer an in-depth exploration of Southern Phu Quoc.
Best places to stay near Sao Beach
Accommodation around Sao Beach caters to various budgets and preferences.
From modest guesthouses to luxurious resorts, there is a stay for every budget. Personally, I love the homely comfort of guesthouses, but there’s no denying the allure of resorts’ pampering service.
Sao Beach Weather
Sao Beach enjoys a warm tropical climate throughout the year. The shelter provided by the surrounding mountains ensures that the beach is protected from the strong winds, especially during the monsoon season, making the beach an ideal year-round destination. The calm and warm waters here are perfect for a relaxing dip, regardless of the season.
Best time to visit Sao Beach
While Sao Beach is a year-round destination, my favorite time to visit is during the dry season from November to March. The weather is perfectly balmy, the skies are clear, and the sea is calm and inviting – ideal conditions for a beach holiday.
How much time to spend at Sao Beach?
On my first trip, an afternoon at Sao Beach felt too short. With its white sand, crystal clear water, and many activities, it’s a place that demands time. I’d recommend at least a day to experience its charm.
However, a stay of two to three days is ideal to truly savor everything it offers and explore the surrounding attractions at leisure.
Entry to Sao Beach beach is free. But some activities do come with a cost. For example, a jet ski ride costs about $20 for a 15-minute session, while windsurfing costs around $40. Always remember to carry enough cash, as not all vendors accept cards.
Best things to do
Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or a relaxation seeker, Sao Beach caters to all.
If you’re after tranquility and relaxation, the allure of the white sandy beach, caressed by gentle waves, is irresistible.
I’ve spent countless hours just lazing on the sunbed under the swaying palm trees, enjoying the beauty of the surroundings. The cool sea breeze, the rustling palms, and the soothing sound of waves create an almost hypnotic atmosphere, melting away stress and rejuvenating the soul.
For thrill-seekers, Sao Beach offers exciting activities that pump up the adrenaline. Imagine skimming across the calm turquoise waters on a jet ski and the thrill of speed at your fingertips.
Or embracing the challenge of windsurfing, an unforgettable experience as you harness the power of the wind to glide effortlessly over the water. For a more relaxed pace, you can paddle a kayak, try fishing or snorkeling.
What to wear
When it comes to beach attire, I’ve learned that comfort is the key. The tropical climate calls for light, breathable clothes. I usually prefer cotton tops and shorts, or a sundress. They’re airy, casual, and perfect for the laid-back beach vibe.
On sunny days, which are most days at Sao Beach, you should put on a wide-brimmed sunhat. And trusty flip-flops, they’re ideal for strolls along the beach.
And, of course, swimwear is a must! Whether you plan on taking a dip in the serene waters, sunbathing, or engaging in water sports, you’ll need swimwear that provides comfort and ease of movement.
What to pack
Essentials for a day at Sao Beach include high SPF sunscreen to protect from the tropical sun, a hat, and plenty of water to keep hydrated. A beach towel, snorkeling gear, and a camera to capture the stunning vistas should also find a place in your beach bag. And, of course, a good book or music player can be great companion as you laze on the beach.
While Sao Beach is mesmerizing, the charm of Phu Quoc doesn’t end there. Once you’ve experienced the beach to your heart’s content, I highly recommend exploring other attractions on the island.
The lively Duong Dong Market is a feast for the senses. The fresh produce, the energetic haggling, and the tantalizing food stalls – all present a vibrant slice of local life.
For a peaceful retreat, head to Dinh Cau Rock, a tranquil spot with a lovely view, particularly during sunset.
And then there’s Phu Quoc National Park, a sprawling natural sanctuary home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Its dense forests and hiking trails offer a refreshing contrast to the beach and are perfect for nature lovers.
And don’t miss a chance to visit the local fish sauce factories or pepper farms to learn about Phu Quoc’s signature products.
Food & drink
Sampling the local cuisine is a must-do when visiting Sao Beach. This region is known for its seafood, and plenty of restaurants around offer delectable dishes.
Enjoy the fresh herring salad, grilled sea urchin, sea urchin porridge, and crab. Also, savor the local fruit juices, which are a refreshing treat in the tropical weather.
Some popular restaurants are Gecko Jack’s and My Lan Resort & Restaurant.
Though Sao Beach is quite safe, it’s always wise to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid leaving them unattended on the beach. Also, always clean up after yourself so the beach stays nice and clean.