Once an island district, Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has become Vietnam’s first island city with a population of nearly 180,000 people following National Assembly Standing Committee approval last December.
Phu Quoc, measuring 573 square kilometers, is located in the Gulf of Thailand, habitually trawled by more than 3,500 fishing boats.
Most island residents depend on fishing and tourism.
The island city is surrounded by 150 kilometers of coastline and has 22 large and small islands, dotted with famed beaches like Bai Truong, Bai Khem, Ganh Dau, Bai Sao and Cua Can, earning it the “pearl island” moniker.
It gained worldwide popularity after opening an international airport in 2012 and has been implementing a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners since 2014.
The city is surrounded by green trees and natural forests.
Phu Quoc has maintained high and stable economic growth over the past 15 years, attracting more than 320 investment projects worth over VND340 trillion ($14.74 billion).
Phu Quoc International Airport was inaugurated in 2012 with a total investment of VND3 trillion ($130 million) while an international passenger seaport in Duong Dong Town was put into operation in April 2015.
Tourism saw the fastest annual growth rate of 28 percent between 2016-2019. During this time, Phu Quoc contributed over 40 percent to the provincial budget.
With a total length of nearly 7.9 kilometers, the Hon Thom cable car route was recognized as the world’s longest by Guinness World Records.
Duong Dong Town with a population of 60,415 will become the city’s Duong Dong Ward. An Thoi Ward will be established by merging Hon Thom Commune with An Thoi Town.
Duong Dong is the island’s economic, political, cultural, and social center while An Thoi serves as its marine transport hub.
Phu Quoc night market, which has around 50 food stalls serving a wide range of Vietnamese seafood, is a great place for anyone who wants to go out for a late bite.
Thousands joined a ceremony on Jan. 8 to officially announce the establishment of Phu Quoc City.