Phu Quoc’s tourist attractions
Fish sauce factories are one of many tourist destinations in Phu Quoc. Local people began making fish sauce 200 years ago and the local fish sauce has become famous around Vietnam and overseas.
Visiting fish sauce factories, tourists are overwhelmed by large wooden vats holding tons of anchovies. Tourists are most interested in witnessing the many steps in making the product. Salt and anchovies are the main materials in its production. Each factory has its own secret for making delicious fish sauce.
Ho Kim Lien is the owner of Khai Hoan fish sauce company said “Phu Quoc fish sauce is made in the local traditional way. Compared to tourism, making fish sauce earns less income but it is our traditional trade, we want to keep it. I’m proud of our products. We always try to improve the quality of our products to meet the demands of customers inside and outside the country. Tourists are interested in visiting our factories”.
Phu Quoc island is also the largest pepper cultivation region in the Mekong Delta. Pepper gardens are listed as one of the summer tourist destinations in Phu Quoc. Pepper is a local specialty and also a favorite souvenir for tourists. Phu Quoc pepper is famous for its high quality, big seeds, spice and heat.
Vicent, a French tourist said “I have heard about Phu Quoc pepper and I myself like its taste very much. I’m lucky to have a chance to visit a pepper garden and taste local pepper, which has a unique flavor. I will buy pepper as gifts for my friends and tell them that this is Phu Quoc pepper of Vietnam”.
After being dried under the sunlight, pepper changes its color from red to dark black. The seeds are dried in sunlight for at least 10 days before being screened. Pepper is harvested manually.
During the main harvesting season running from February through July, farmers collect ripe peppercorns and divide them into black, red and white pepper.
Ruffino, a tourist from France, is interested in witnessing the steps in harvesting and drying the pepper.
“I’m lucky to visit a pepper garden in Phu Quoc and see with my own eyes green and ripe pepper. They are in different colors. I like the pepper’s taste. I found out that pepper can also be used to make many special dishes”, said Ruffino.
Rose myrtle is also a specialty of Phu Quoc. Tourists can visit gardens and learn about a variety of rose myrtle products.
Nguyen Thanh Son, owner of a rose myrtle garden in Phu Quoc said: “Rose myrtle products have become strong and a tourist product in Phu Quoc in addition to pepper and fish sauce. We make rose myrtle wine, tea, juice and jam. These products sell well. Rose myrtle is a forest plant, so it very clean and rose myrtle fruits are nutritious. Because the yield is not high and stable, we are researching new varieties of rose myrtle and transfer the technology to farmers”.
Leaving Phu Quoc island, tourists bring home photos of beautiful beaches and scenery as well as special local products.