Ho Chi Minh City to Phú Quốc

We took an Uber from our place to the airport in Ho Chi Minh City for about $3.50. The driver dropped us at the international terminal, which we found out later. The domestic terminal is the second building. We were taking a Vietnam Airlines flight, which comes with a free checked bag so we got in line. The line was really long, but ended up moving quickly. My suggestion would be to show up at the airport with no less then two hours until your flight departs. It takes time to sort out which line to be in and where to go. The security checkpoint was exactly the same as the US. They expect you to take out electronics and take off your shoes, but we experienced no problems. We got to the gate and ate our sandwiches while we waited to board.

Boarding was interesting because there was no bridge from the airport to the plane. We followed the line of people outside onto the tarmac and into a bus. The bus took us to our plane which we boarded from both the front and the back. The overhead bins are plenty of space which was nice for once. One of our bags slightly exceeded the size limit, but no one hassled us.

The flight to Phu Quoc was a short one and it was nice sitting next to the window to see the Mekong delta region as well as Phu Quoc as we approached it. The flight overall was bumpier then I would have liked, but we made it in one piece.

We departed the plane to a bus which took us to the airport building as in Ho Chi Minh City. My bag was already waiting for me at baggage claim when we got there. Unfortunately the island doesn’t have Uber so we had to take a taxi to our hotel in Duong Dong. The taxi was $7 including the $1 exit fee which the driver had us pay. The taxi driver was trying to take us for a ride, show us all the sights, and be the slowest car on the road to be sure we paid the maximum. Having a GPS open on our phone helped limit the side trips and in the end paid about what the hotel said we should, but if hadn’t been so insistent we would have easily paid 4x more. We had a little trouble locating our hotel, but one of the hotel staff came and found us. Thankfully we had only missed it by a block.

It is best to find a hotel that is on the beach with airport pickup and pay the extra money then to stay somewhere cheep and try to save money. In general, plan on spending money while you are here. Saving money is just not really an option since a lot of stuff is shipped in from the mainland. The costs here are still pretty low compared with back home but easily 5x the normal price for Vietnam. The difference between staying on the beach and staying in the city really can’t be overstated. Also, despite being a communist country, the beach is privately owned and walled off from the public. You will have a hard time finding an entrance and will have no option but sneaking through a resort.

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