Duong Dong Town
Duong Dong (pronounced “Sa-zoo-ong Dong”) is the largest town in Phu Quoc, Vietnam and it also the administrative capital of the island. The town is located on the west coast of the island and has a population of roughly 80,000 inhabitants. Duong Dong is the epicenter of all tourism on Phu Quoc.
It is here where you will find the majority of hotels, resorts, restaurants, banks, pharmacies, a large hospital, as well as a few fish sauce factories and pepper plantations. The Phu Quoc International Airport is also part of Duong Dong Township. The main tourist strip is locate along Tran Hung Dao Street which lies parallel to the most famous and popular beach in all of Phu Quoc – Long Beach (Bai Truong).
What To See
- Duong Dong Market – Every morning the town’s main market (Cho Duong Dong) comes to life with the buying and selling of fresh fish, vegetables, and consumer goods. This is a great market to buy fresh fruits and unique local food like the Phu Quoc Mushroom, Fresh Island Pepper or Herring to make the infamous Herring Salad. You would be surprised how cheap everything is here. The market is located behind the construction site of a new bridge which kind of makes it a bit difficult to find.
Note: Due to the fact that this is a local market, not a tourist market, we do not recommend that you go in large groups, it will be easier for you and less intimidating for the vendors if there are just 2 or 3 of you, rather than a whole gang.
- Duong Dong Port – Located on the Duong Dong River you will find the port where are the fishing and sightseeing boats are docked. This is a good place to see very colorful boats and the many fishermen unloading anchovies, the key ingredient in Phu Quoc Fish Sauce. If you want to go night fishing or explore the northern islands, you can also commission a private boat from here.
- Dinh Cau Beach – Enjoy this small patch of sand with the locals. Dinh Cau Beach is a tiny beach located in Duong Dong Town and behind the Night Market. Every evening at sunset locals congregate by the beach to eat local Vietnamese snacks, drink beer, swim, and enjoy the sunset. The beach is not cleanest nor is the water the finest, by there is a stark beauty about this beach.
- Sunsets – The sunset along the Duong Dong River, Dinh Cau Beach and by Dinh Cau Temple are quite magical.
- Cao Dai Temple – If you want to discover Cao Daism or have a panoramic view of the Phu Quoc National Park, Duong Dong Town, Dinh Cau Temple, etc then head over to the Cao Dai Temple on Nguyen Trai Street. Parking and admission are both free. Remember to dress appropriately.
- Dinh Cau Night Market – This is the infamous night market that sells seafood, pearl jewelry, and other souvenirs.
- Dinh Cau Temple & Lighthouse – This temple, which is also the symbol of Phu Quoc, should not be missed.
- Visit Pepper Farms – You do not need to travel far up north or south to visit Phu Quoc’s famous pepper farms. At the edge of town along 30 Thang 4 Street you will find 3 pepper farms which are open to tourists.
- Tour Fish Sauce Factories – There are 3 fish sauce factories in Duong Dong town that are receptive to visitors and all of them can be found along the Duong Dong River just behind 30 Thang 4 Street.
What To Do
- Night Fishing – You can try your luck at catching squid at night by either joining an organized tour or by commissioning your own boat from Duong Dong Town.
- Shore Fishing – You can fish off the shore or from Doung Dong Pier at sunset with the other locals.
- Karaoke – There are a couple of karaoke bars found along Tran Hung Dao Street and 30 Thang 4 Street however the cater to mainly to the local population.
- Bars & Clubs – There are a lot of nightlife options here in Phu Quoc however most of the venues are not very busy. The most popular spots in town are Rory’s, Pirate Cove, Drunkn’ Monkey, and Chez Carole for live music.
- Be a local – at sundown, congregate by the Dinh Cau Temple, grab a plastic chair, buy sugar cane juice, and enjoy the sunset with the residents of the town
Where To Eat & Drink
- International Food – If you want international cuisine such as Italian, Russian, Indian, or even Mexican food then walk up and down Tran Hung Dao Street.
- Phu Quoc Seafood – The night market is famous for its seafood dishes. You can also purchase local snacks and sandwiches here as well.
- Vietnamese Food – If you are craving Pho, Com Tam, Bun Bo Hue, or even a Swiss Hamburger, then head over to 30 Thang 4 Street. There are plenty of restaurants and street side eateries found here.
- Deserts – There are a few desert places on the island such as German B Bakery & Deserts and Buddy’s Ice cream.
A few restaurants in Duong Dong Town:
- Le Deauville
- Food type: French
- Pho Cali
- Food type: Vietnamese
- Food Type: Deserts and coffee
- Drunken Monkey
- Food: Bar food
- Ganesh Indian Restaurant
- Food Type: Indian
- German B Bakery
- Food type: Baked goods, deserts, and coffee
- Green River (Song Sam)
- Food Type: Seafood & local dishes
- Le Giang 2
- Food Type: Vietnamese
- Mondo Restaurant
- Food Type: European, tapas, baked goods
- Pepper’s Pizza
- Food Type: Mainly pizza’s and some German food
- Pizza Oi!
- Food Type: Pizza – only place on the island with a proper pizza oven.
- Safari Bar
- Food Type: Mainly Vietnamese food
- Swiss Cafe
- Food Type: Mainly burgers with some Suisse options.
- Sim Garden
- Food Type: Seafood
- Thinh Phat Restaurant
- Food Type: Mainly Vietnamese
- Food Type: Pub food
- Quan An Chay
- Food Type: Vegetarian
- Khan Ly
- Food Type: Vegetarian
- Thanh Dieu
- Food Type: Vegetarian
Where To Stay
There are plenty of hotels, resorts, and guesthouses in Duong Dong Town. All the beachfront and garden resorts are found along Tranh Hung Dao Street. If you are looking for a simple hotel or guesthouse, then you can find some near Duong Dong Port and a lot along 30 Thang 4 street. The accommodations here are limitless.
Crossing The Duong Dong River
The Duong Dong River divides the tourist part of town from the local part. If you are planning on visiting the northern part of the island you have to cross this river. There are currently 2 bridges that connect you with the north and a larger third bridge is currently being constructed and is projected to be finished in 2015.
The two routes are as follows:
1. The “Adventurous” route: The first way to cross over the river involves navigating through very narrow alleyways. The bridge here is very small and located near Duong Dong Port and the Dinh Cau Temple along Bang Dang Street. This bridge is a manual steel bridge that swings open when larger boats want to pass through. The bridge leads to a small commune with narrow streets where you will find a small wet and dry market. Just follow the flow of traffic and you will eventually reach the 2 main roads: Tran Phu and Nguyen Trung Truc.
2. The “City” route. The easier route to cross over the river requires you to head east along 30 Thang 4 street and then north along Hung Vuong street. The larger wider bridge to the north is located here. Around this bridge you will also find a larger wet and dry market, shops, and restaurants.
Need To Know
- In Duong Dong Town there a few imported goods stores in case you need western snacks.
- Along Tran Hung Dao Street there is a Co-Op Mart where you can purchase some groceries, alcohol, cereals, lotions, creams, pots and pans, etc.
- There is a public gym, tennis courts, basketball court, and table tennis in Duong Dong Town.
- If you are planning on coming here during TET holiday and want to stay at one of the popular beachfront resorts, you should book in advance. If you come here during TET without any plans you can always find accommodation along 30 Thang 4 Street in Duong Dong Town proper.
- You can find cheap street food all along Tran Hung Dao street. The food is fresh and delicious.
- If you are vegan/vegetarian, then there are a few restaurants along Tran Hung Dao Street that are suitable.