An Thoi Town

  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
  • An Thoi Town
Location

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

Address

An Thoi town, tp. Phú Quốc, Kien Giang, Vietnam

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Phu Quoc Island in the district of the same name is the second largest town of Phu Quoc. An Thoi (An Thoi Phu Quoc) is where you will find the main ferry port for services from the mainland town of Rach Gia, and is also a jumping off point for visiting the group of An Thoi islands to the south. An Thoi has many goods and services on offer, though the selection is limited compared to what you will find in Duong Dong. Many of the islands fish sauce factories are based here, along with the islands naval bases and second largest local market offering a decent selection of fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood and much more. There are some hotels here, limited banking facilities, some travel agents and a small hospital, however most people tend to stay along Long Beach or in Duong Dong half way up the island. One advantage of staying in An Thoi town is that you are closer to exploring the islands to the south and closer to Bai Sao and Bai Kem beaches with their pristine white sands. If arriving by boat, buses, taxis and motorbike taxis are generally available to take you to your desired destination on the island.

An Thoi is the southern sea port town of Phu Quoc Island and increasingly popular among tourists. There are several points of interest nearby. The Coconut Tree Prison that once was hell on earth and now serves as an educational center about war crimes and torture, Sao Beach and Khem Beach, the first one of the most famous white sand beaches of Vietnam, the second one supposedly off-limits and destined for 5-star development, Phung Hung fish sauce factory with it's natural fish sauce and pungent aroma, and of course the southern archipelago with several interesting islands as well as countless tiny ones. The reef is a popular diving spot and snorkeling tours are offered by cheerful fishermen at the harbour.

An Thoi is, right after Duong Dong, the second largest town on Phu Quoc Island. There is a ferry connection from An Thoi to Rach Gia on the mainlands. The town is also a point to depart for the famous An Thoi Islands, which we usually call the souhern archipelago. The harbour town has many things to offer, even if the choice is smaller than what Duong Dong or the Long Beach strip along Tran Hung Dao street has to see.

The port town of An Thoi is located at the southern tip of Phu Quoc and after Duong Dong Town it is the second largest town on the island. Historically, An Thoi is famous for its prison concentration camp nicknamed the “Coconut Tree Prison” which was often referred to as “hell on earth” for generations. The prison was built by the French and expanded by the Americans during the Vietnam/American war. Today An Thoi is booming and famous for its white sand beaches (Sao Beach and Khem Beach) numerous coral reefs, commercial fishing industry, fish sauce factories, and its port. The islands naval base is also located here. There are a few hotels, cafes, a large church, a market, and even a small hospital.

There are not too many hotels and guesthouses near An Thoi, but the advantages of staying here are the proximity to Sao Beach and the islands with their reefs and diving opportunities. So, diving fiends may find that the town has all they desire. The local market offers everything from fresh fruit to fresh or dried seafood, fish sauce and other things you expect at Vietnamese markets. If you arrive by ferry from Rach Gia on the Vietnamese mainlands, taxis and motorbike taxis are generally around to carry you to your desired destination. The bus stops in An Thoi as well, but we found the buses timetable too lax, even for Southeast Asian standards.

Why An Thoi Town is special ?

An Thoi Town is where you will find the main ferry port for services from the mainland town of Rach Gia, and is also a jumping off point for visiting the group of An Thoi islands to the south. Historically, An Thoi is famous for its prison concentration camp nicknamed the "Coconut Tree Prison" which was often referred to as "hell on earth" for generations. The prison was built by the French and expanded by the Americans during the Vietnam/American war. Today An Thoi is booming and famous for its white sand beaches "Sao Beach and Khem Beach) numerous coral reefs, commercial fishing industry, fish sauce factories and its port. The islands naval base is also located here. There are a few hotels, cafes, a large church, a market and even a small hospital.

What to explore at An Thoi Town?

An Thoi has many goods and services on offer, though the selection is limited compared to what you will find in Duong Dong. Many of the islands Villagesfish sauce factories are based here, along with the islands naval bases and second largest local market offering a decent selection of fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood and much more. There are some hotels here, limited banking facilities, some travel agents and a small hospital, however most people tend to stay along Long Beach or in Duong Dong half way up the island. One advantage of staying in An Thoi town is that you are closer to exploring the islands to the south and closer to Bai Sao and Bai Kem beaches with their pristine white sands. If arriving by boat, buses, taxis and motorbike taxis are generally available to take you to your desired destination on the island.

What To See

  • An Thoi Port – The busiest port on the island is filled with colorful fishing boats and tourist boats that line the shore and makes for a great photo opportunity, especially at sunset. The cost to enter the port is 5,000VND.
  • Wet and dry fish market – Near the port you will see a lot of small shops selling fresh and dried fish and also processing newly caught fish.
  • An Thoi Church – There is a large Christian church in town that may be of interest to you.
  • Sung Duc Pagoda – Near the south western tip of the island there is a very beautiful Buddhist temple that is definitely worth a visit.
  • Coconut Tree Prison – The infamous concentration camp is close to An Thoi town. Admission is 20,000VND.
  • Sao Beach & Khem Beach – Two of the islands most beautiful white sand beaches in Phu Quoc are located 10 minutes from An Thoi Town. You can either ride a motorbike up to these beaches or charter a boat from An Thoi Port.
  • Kings Well – An historic site that features a small beach and fresh water well can be visited by chartering a boat from An Thoi Town.

What To Do

  • Visit Pineapple Island (Hon Thom) by ferry – The ferry from An Thoi port costs 30,000VND for a one way trip to the island and it takes about 45minutes. at the island you can snorkel the surrounding bays or just observe how the locals live.
  • Tour the An Thoi Archipelago – You can charter a boat to visit the An Thoi Islands. These islands are colorfully named, from Yellow Tortoise Island (Hon Kim Qui), Coconut Island (Hon Dua), Pineapple Island (Hon Thom), Echo Island (Hon Vang), Cold Cloud Island (Hon May Rut), Shadow Island (Hon Dam) and Fingernail Island (Hon Mong Tay), among others. Coconut Island is the nearest island where coconut groves and mango orchards fill plots of land.
  • Snorkel Ong Doi Cape – You can charter a boat and visit this cape that has a small snorkeling sport with a few corals and fish. Some of the tours will take you here.
  • Fishing – You can fish from the An Thoi Port dock with the locals at sunset or charter a boat and go deep sea fishing or night fishing for squid.

Where To Eat & Drink

There are a lot of places to eat and drink in An Thoi Town near the market. You can eat at a proper sit down restaurant or purchase a meal from a street vendor. Do not expect to find any western food in An Thoi as seafood is the specialty here.

What To Buy

For the cooks out there, fresh seafood is relatively cheap here compared to other parts of the island. You can buy fresh oysters for 60,000VND to 80,000VND per kg. Crab is about 170,000per kg (the larger variety), and squid is about 180,000per kg. You can also buy dry fish, fresh fruit, and even unprocessed pearls.

Need To Know

  • Rach Gia to An Thoi – The ferry from Rach Gia once docked at the port in An Thoi but as of 2014 all ferries from the mainland now dock at Vong Beach.
  • Boat Charters – Chartering a private boat from An Thoi Port costs 500,000 VND for 4-5hrs for up to 8 people. If you want food, add another 200,000VND.
  • Ball Sea Cucumber: There has been sort of “gold rush” happening in An Thoi Town lately, particular for a type of sea creature that has seen ramped up demand from the Chinese market – the Ball Sea Cucumber or “Banh Long”. A Ball Sea Cucumber is an animal that lies at the bottom of the ocean and resembles a grey sponge. When dried they shrivel up to the size of a tennis ball. Chinese merchants are willing to pay up to $10USD per kilogram and as such a lot of fishermen have rushed to hunt them. The hunting practices are not environmentally friendly as it involves dredging the sea floor and destroying everything in its path. You can see the daily haul and the cleaning of the ball sea cucumber around the side streets near the An Thoi port.

How to get to An Thoi Town?

An Thoi Town is located on the south-east coast of Phu Quoc. You can take a taxi, hire a bike ro get there. You can get a boat from Rach Gia which docked at Vong Beach. From here, you can catch a taxi to the town.

An Thoi Phu Quoc Review

AN THOI TOWN
An Thoi is the port town all the way to the South of Phu Quoc Island.
An Thoi is the southern sea port town of Phu Quoc Island and increasingly popular among tourists. There are several points of interest nearby. The Coconut Tree Prison that once was hell on earth and now serves as an educational center about war crimes and torture, Sao Beach and Khem Beach, the first one of the most famous white sand beaches of Vietnam, the second one supposedly off-limits and destined for 5-star development, Phung Hung fish sauce factory with it's natural fish sauce and pungent aroma, and of course the southern archipelago with several interesting islands as well as countless tiny ones. The reef is a popular diving spot and snorkeling tours are offered by cheerful fishermen at the harbour.
An Thoi is, right after Duong Dong, the second largest town on Phu Quoc Island. There is a ferry connection from An Thoi to Rach Gia on the mainlands. The town is also a point to depart for the famous An Thoi Islands, which we usually call the souhern archipelago. The harbour town has many things to offer, even if the choice is smaller than what Duong Dong or the Long Beach strip along Tran Hung Dao street has to see.
There are not too many hotels and guesthouses near An Thoi, but the advantages of staying here are the proximity to Sao Beach and the islands with their reefs and diving opportunities. So, diving fiends may find that the town has all they desire. The local market offers everything from fresh fruit to fresh or dried seafood, fish sauce and other things you expect at Vietnamese markets.
If yo arrive by ferry from Rach Gia on the Vietnamese mainlands, taxis and motorbike taxis are generally around to carry you to your desired destination. The bus stops in An Thoi as well, but we found the buses timetable too lax, even for Southeast Asian standards.

AN THOI ISLANDS
An Thoi Islands, or the southern archipelago as we usually call them, are a beautiful sight and just off the southern tip of Phu Quoc. They are a great place for sightseeing, swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving or just to hang out with friends. Whether you charter a boat for several people or accept the offer of a local fisherman to take you on a snorkeling tour for around 300.000đ is up to you, but you should definitely check out the pristine beauty of the boulder-seamed isles and islets in the archipelago. That's what a tropical dream is made of.
If you don't trust your own Vietnamese negotiation skills (or the captains English for that matter), you can book all kinds of tours at your trusted tour desk or dive center.
Scuba diving (don't want to lie to you guys, the picture is from Mexico, since I could not lay my paws on a nice Phu Quoc Island diving picture) | photo: Asbjørn Hansen (cc-by-nc-sa)
The group consists of 15 islands. The largest one is Hòn Thom, Pineapple Island with a length of around three kilometres. Other named isles contain Hòn Dua, Hòn Roi, Hòn Vông, Hòn Mây Rút, Hòn Dam, Chan Qui and Hòn Mong Tay. Hòn is, as you may have guessed already, the Vietnamese word for island.
Most short trips will take you to Hon Dua, the Coconut Island, and the two long isles of Hon Dam Trong and Hon Dam Ngoai, because they are closest to An Thoi. Snorkeling and diving trips are best during dry season because the water is clear and calm, while rainy season makes the water a bit murky and sudden rain may be uncomfortable. Other websites claim that there are no island tours during rainy season, but that's nonsense.
Right now most visits to the archipelago are based on agreements with local tour operators and fishermen, but development plans are underway and parts of the area may be turned into some sort of splish-splash resort. ~ann

On the south-east coast of Phu Quoc is the port town of An Thoi, a major rival to Duong Dong as the tourism capital of the island. An Thoi is famed among divers for its numerous coral reefs and mesmerizing tropical fish. Popular pastimes here include fishing, snorkelling and boating. For all its beauty today, however, An Thoi was once hell on earth for generations of political prisoners and revolutionaries at the euphemistically named Coconut Tree Prison. The prison was built by the French when they ran Indochina and later expanded during the American War (that’s what the Vietnamese call the Vietnam War of the 1960s/70s.) At times there were thousands of prisoners here, at this most desolate edge of the Vietnamese nation, and torture was common. Punishment for troublesome prisoners included solitary confinement to the tiger cage, a squat horizontal cylinder filled with barbed wire. Prisoners kept inside had no space to stand up or lie down, and were forced to crouch like a tiger all day and night long. If they fell they landed on barbed wire. The prisoners were exposed to the elements and tormented by guards. The tiger cages have survived and offer a chilling insight into the brutality of war. If you are here around July 27 you could catch the Fallen Soldiers’ Day memorial services, usually attended by high-ranking Vietnamese politicians and the military top brass.

Vietnam’s long years of struggle are over and the emphasis in An Thoi is now on having fun. Of course the beaches are great, but the best attractions here swim, slither or glitter beneath the water. These waters are reputed to offer the best scuba diving off Phu Quoc. Bamboo sharks, angelfish, scorpion fish and specimens of octopus can be seen in the clear sea. The rare and mysterious dugong - a large marine mammal - swims here too.
Hon Dua (Coconut Island) is the closest island to An Thoi town. The island is thick with forests of coconut and mango trees. Divers venturing off its western shore might find pieces of antique porcelain scattered around a sunken ship.
Roi Island is the second island south of An Thoi town, and while it is pretty chilled now there are big plans afloat for its development. There is a masterplan for Roi Island and it could end up looking like Vinpearl Resort off the coast of Nha Trang, all luxury hotels and water sports arenas. Get there before the developers move in. Squid and shrimp swim on the reef.

The third island out from An Thoi harbor is Hon Thom (Pineapple Island) and it is the largest of the archipelago, with two 100m high hills at its northern and southern tips, and its own harbor and native population. It is one of the busiest of the islands and is permanently cloaked with blue fishing boats. It is also very popular with tourists. Expect serious development in the near future!
Beyond Hon Thom the sea is sprinkled with tiny islands with colorful names: Vong Island, Hon Vang (Echo Island), Kim Qui (Yellow Tortoise Island), Hon Mong Tay (Short Gun Island), Dan Island, Dua Island, Muong Island, Gam Ghi Island (the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography has launched a plan to protect its coral reef), May Rut island, and so on. For about US$15 you can tour some of the islands and nearby beaches, such as Bai Sao, according to one Finnish blogger. Lunch might include sea urchin which is a speciality in Vietnam.
~matt