With more than 50% of Phu Quoc Island covered by the Phu Quoc National Park, it’s an excellent destination to consider, particularly if you’re looking for a break from the hot daytime weather. Taking a walk along one of the park’s trails or riding a motorbike on the roads in the north is a great way to experience the island’s natural environment.
Background and Park area
Established in 2001, Phu Quoc National Park covers a vast area of 31,422 hectares, which includes 8,603 hectares of strictly protected area, 22,603 hectares of biological restoration area, and 33 hectares for administration and services. An additional 6,144 hectares are dedicated to a land-buffer zone and around 20,000 hectares of sea-buffer zone, with plans for the final Marine protection zones.
Location and Topography
Located mostly in the North of the island, the park’s northerly and eastern boundaries follow stretches of the coastline, except for the northerly villages of Gành Dầu and Rach Vem and Cửa Cạn. The park is within the boundaries of several communes: Gành Dầu, Bãi Thơm, Cửa Cạn, and in part of the Communes of Cửa Dương, Hàm Ninh, Dương Tơ, and Duong Dong Township. Mount Chua, the highest point in the park at 603m, has plans for a walking trail to a lookout point.
Visiting the National Park
Until the park is made more accessible for tourism, there are a few options available for visitors to explore the park, including:
- Hire a motorbike and explore the northerly parts of the island.
- Take a walking trail approximately 5km before Ganh Dau, which is easy to walk and provides a pleasant way to escape the heat of the sun.
- Book a tour through one of the many tour operators on the island or enquire with your hotel.
Flora and Fauna
Phu Quoc National Park contains many forest types and landscapes, including mangroves and wetlands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation, and forest on rocky mountains. Studies have recorded 1,164 higher plant species, including 23 orchid species and 12 rare plant species. A total of 208 animal species were recorded, including 28 mammals, 119 birds, 47 reptiles, and 14 amphibians. Of these species, six mammals, four birds, and nine reptiles are globally endangered.
The Future of Phu Quoc’s National Park
Authorities are improving their surveillance and have greater powers in protecting the park from harmful activities, such as hunting and trapping of animals, illegal logging, and land clearing. Additionally, there is increasing community involvement and education taking place, informing local residents of the environmental value of the park and ways to protect the ecosystems.
Safety Tips for Walking and Trekking
- Plan your trip carefully in advance.
- Leave written details of your route and expected time of return with a responsible person.
- Set a pace that the slowest member of your party can handle.