Shopping is surely one of primary things that travellers should include in their to-do list while visiting any place. It can be said that no trip is complete without shopping. If you are planning to visit Phu Quoc island, make sure you are going to visit shopping markets to enjoy local vibes and buy necessary items as well as amazing souvenirs. Shopping in Phu Quoc island is well known for incredible markets and several shophouses. So, are you ready yet? Let’s discover the most popular markets on the island and find out what to buy for your friends and family.
I. What to Buy in Phu Quoc Island?
In this heaven of shopping, you can find plenty of things to buy in Phu Quoc. Above all, we highly recommend the following products which are all famous and popular.
Phu Quoc Pearls is of high quality and has gained its popularity for a long time. If you are looking for something luxurious for your friends, it is a good choice.
Peals farming and culturing have been existing in this island for hundreds of years. The favorable environment conditions with calm water are ideal for oysters to produce pearls. You can find several pearl farms here where you can see stages of cultivating pearls and making jewelry. Though pearls are sold at many souvenir stalls, good pearls just account for 20% of the total pearl market in Phu Quoc island. Therefore, it would be best to visit the farms for authentic pearl items. Their price would be high depending on color, quality, and shape.
The most expensive is black pearl which costs more than USD 1000 for one. Normal pearl’s price is lower, around USD 40 while the ivory pearl has the lowest price, just a few dollars.
It is easy to buy peppers anywhere, but the pepper in Phu Quoc island is totally different and a great ingredient to boost your meal. It is extremely famous for its pungency, strong aroma, and pungency. No chemical fertilizers and organic fertilizers are used for cultivating peppers in Phu Quoc farms. Peppers are harvested by hand and there are 3 kinds: black pepper, red pepper, and white pepper. With 385 ha of pepper plantation on the island, Phu Quoc produces up to 1000 tons of quality black pepper annually. You can visit the farm all year round, but the best time to visit the farms and buy some for your beloved ones is from February to July. Phu Quoc peppers will surely delight your roast poultry, seafood, and pan fried foie gras. The salt pepper is especially perfect for dipping fruits.
3. Fish Sauce
As the island has an abundance of ingredients like the teeming shores with plankton, freshest fishes are used to make fish sauce. Though many countries use various types of seafood like shrimp or squid to produce fish sauce, Phu Quoc makes it different by using only Ca Com, or so called rice fish, to create a wonderful taste. Besides, Phu Quoc island has a special grading system measuring the dilution of fish sauce, ensuring that customers can enjoy the best taste.
There are 2 types of fish sauces: the higher quality is more fragrant, mainly used for dipping, and the lower quality one is for marinades and cooking purposes. The fish sauce is truly an amazing thing to remember about Vietnam’s taste when returning home. However, take note that some airlines do not allow fish sauce on the plane. Therefore, please check before booking your ticket.
4. Sim Wine
Sim Wine is also known as Rose Myrtle wine or Ruou Sim. It is a famous wine in Phu Quoc that is made with a local fruit from the Rose Myrtle tree. The recipe for making this kind of wine originated from the ethnic minority groups in the central highlands.
In Phu Quoc, people can find many rose myrtle trees in the wild forests which bear flowers and fruits all year round. However, to get the best materials for making the wine, people pick up the fruits in the spring to get the sweetest fruits.
Local people in Phu Quoc island often enjoy seafood with the wine as it will bring a bursting taste. According to them, Sim Wine also benefits your health by helping with digestion, fatigue, and reducing joint pain. The wine has an unique scent which is like flower, and the taste is similar to a fermented blackcurrant alcoholic beverage. Content of the alcohol is around 7.5%. So, you can buy a bottle to enjoy the seafood when visiting the island.
II. Most Popular Places for Shopping in Phu Quoc island
1. Duong Dong Market
Duong Dong market is known as the largest and busiest outdoor market in Phu Quoc Island. The market is the best place where you can experience the real local lifestyle and buy a wide range of fresh produce. Stretching along Tran Phu street, Duong Dong market is listed among unique tourist attractions in Phu Quoc that attracts numerous tourists.
Looking from afar, it looks like a port in the center of the island with small boats bustlingly operating. The market opens from very early in the morning with many boats and cargo ships full of different kinds of goods. This creates a crowded atmosphere and bustling scene.
Here, you can find various kinds of seafood that are newly caught or dry including mackerel, squid, crab, barracuda, eel, shellfish. The price is quite reasonable. Apart from buying some seafood, you also have a chance to enjoy local indigenous dishes like fried rice porridge, noodle soup, and fried noodles.
2. Dinh Cau Night Market
Your night time in Phu Quoc would become more colorful with Dinh Cau Night Market. It is a must-see market that offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities until late. About 5 minute walk from Dinh Cau Rock, it is a pedestrian friendly market that stretches along Vo Thi Sau street.
While Duong Dong market is popular with locals, Dinh Cau Night Market caters mainly to tourists. Here, you can find up to 100 stalls, and half of them sells street food, seafood, and beverages at a reasonable price. It is not oversaying that this is a heaven for street food lovers.
In front of seafood stalls, there are always tanks full of live fish, crabs, sea snails, and scallops. What you need to do is choose your favorite and take your seat before the chef makes your dishes and serves you. We highly recommend steamed squid with fermented fish sauce, grilled scallops, and deep fried shrimps. Though the price is a bit higher than other restaurants, the seafood is so fresh that many youngsters choose these places for their dinner.
If you are looking for some souvenirs for your friends and family, walking along the street will give you a chance to find many interesting ones including slippers, handicrafts, slippers, and clothes. Pre packed snacks are also worth considering like cashew nuts, dried seaweed, fermented fish sauce, and black pepper.
3. Phu Quoc Pearl Farm
Phu Quoc Pearl is ranked as the best kind in the world. So there is no reason not to buy some pearl items for your special ones.
A number of pearl shops can be found on the island, but Phu Quoc Pearl Farm is still the most reliable one. The farm is a great place not only to find awesome gifts but also to witness the process of harvesting and making impressive items from pearls like jewelry, clothes buttons, and articles encrusted with mother of pearl.
Besides, pearl powder is also very useful in treating different diseases of skin, joint, and bone. For women, don’t miss your chance to buy some cosmetics from pearl here as it is a good remedy to beautify and lighten your face skin.
4. The Green Boutique Phu Quoc
Location: 92D Tran Hung Dao, Phu Quoc island
The trip to Phu Quoc gives you some peaceful moments to immerse yourself in nature and buy natural products. The boutique sells a variety of home-grown beauty products for skin care and hair care. The special thing is that all of the ingredients are natural, which is really safe for your skin.
Occupying Tran Hung Dao street, the boutique is just a 15-minute walk from the popular tourist attraction – Sung Hung Pagoda. On the wooden shelves, aromatherapy oils, soap, scrubs, body lotions, sunblock, massage oils, shampoo, hair masks, sunblock, etc, are neatly put. These products are hard to resist as they don’t contain any preservatives and additives at all. If your skin is allergic to specific ingredients, you can friendly talk to their staff who speak English quite well. The price is a little high. You may expect to pay at least USD 10 for 100 ml of customized body cream or facial. However, the price is well worth its quality.
Shopping in Phu Quoc is truly an amazing experience with a lot of amazing things to buy while enjoying the real local life. If you are looking for something with Phu Quoc, we highly recommend the 4 above things. Wish you a nice trip!