Phu Quoc Island, in the Gulf of Thailand off Vietnam’s southwest coast, is fast becoming the country’s premier beach destination. With the opening of an international airport, the completion of numerous high-profile resorts, and newly sealed roads now stretching even to some of the island’s most remote beaches, Phu Quoc is on track to become one of the star attractions on the Southeast Asia ‘beach trail’. An enjoyable, cheap, and convenient way to reach the island – especially for those travelling to or from Cambodia – is by boat. Over a dozen passenger and car ferries leave regularly from two of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta towns: Ha Tien, on the Cambodian border, and Rach Gia, a couple hours further south. In this article, we provide all the information you need to know about getting the boat to and from Phu Quoc Island, including a full listing of times and prices for passengers and vehicles.
Guide: Phu Quoc Island by boat
Note that fast boats sail to Phu Quoc from both Ha Tien and Rach Gia in the Mekong Delta, but car ferries sail from Ha Tien only. All of the information, schedules, and prices on this page are accurate at the time of writing (January 2017). However, specific details on this route can and do change from time to time. But, in our experience, you can generally guarantee at least two sailings a day in each direction, on each route: one in the morning and one in the afternoon (weather permitting). Check the Superdong (fast boat) and Thanh Thoi (car ferry) websites for more information, contact details, and ticketing services.
About the fast boat
There are several companies operating fast boat services to Phu Quoc from Ha Tien and Rach Gia. But by far the most efficient and regular of these is Superdong. The boats are long and slender with inside seating on comfortable soft chairs. Air-con is turned up to the max, and Vietnamese pop music and soap operas are played throughout the journey. If you’re not into Vietnamese popular culture, it’s a good idea to head out to the back deck, where you can sit outside and watch the churning wake disappearing into the distance. (Note: for the first and last 10 minutes of the voyage, passengers are not allowed outside on deck). Boat staff are young and polite, and there are decent toilets on board, but no food or drink is available.
Although there are at least four fast boat companies, there should be little confusion for travellers, because all tickets for all boat companies are sold either at the ticket offices at the boat piers or at guesthouses, resorts and hotels in Phu Quoc, Rach Gia, and Ha Tien. Ticket prices are fixed and no commission is charged if you buy them through your hotel, so most travellers find it more convenient to do it this way. All fast boats from Ha Tien and Rach Gia dock at Bai Vong Port on Phu Quoc, in the southeast of the island, about 15 minutes’ drive from the main town of Duong Dong. The only hindrance to your voyage might be weather: in the rainy season (May to October) rough seas can force companies to cancel their services.
If you’re travelling on two wheels, all fast boats from Ha Tien and Rach Gia can carry several motorbikes, but it’s best to book at least a day in advance, especially during high season (December to April). Be aware that the baggage handlers, who are the ones in charge of your motorbike, sometimes try to rip you off by charging an additional ‘handling fee’ upon arrival: make sure you pay before boarding and establish that the amount is all inclusive.
About the car ferry
Unlike the fast boats, there’s only one company operating the slower car ferries between Ha Tien and Phu Quoc Island. Thanh Thoi has recently added new vessels to its ever expanding fleet. The car ferries are big steel hulks with room to accommodate trucks, coaches, cars and motorbikes, and plenty of inside seating on soft seats upstairs. There’s lots of deck space out among the vehicles, and most of the ferries have a decent bar/cafe on-board too (some even have karaoke). Toilets are OK.
From Ha Tien, the car ferry sails to two separate ports on Phu Quoc: Vinh Dam, in the southeast of the island (20 minutes from Duong Dong town), and Da Chong, in the remote northeast of the island, about 45 minutes’ drive from Duong Dong town. Thanh Thoi can arrange transfers between the ports and Duong Dong Town for a small extra charge. You can book tickets at the ferry piers or through hotels in Ha Tien and Phu Quoc. In general, there’s no need to book in advance. (Note: you will need your passport and vehicle license plate number to make a reservation.)
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