Bãi Sao (Star Beach) Phu Quoc Island

White powder sand that squeaks and squelches underfoot, luminous plankton in the water at night. Plastic deck chairs and tables crowded under thatched roofs by the tree-line, where barefoot waitstaff buzz about dishing out delicious seafood and cold beer. Bai Sao is one of the most popular beaches on Phu Quoc but it manages to remain strangely deserted for much of the time. For many tourists staying at Long Beach, Bai Sao is the second beach they see, often on day trips organized by their resort or hotel. The tours usually include snorkelling and fishing from a boat. Any fish that get caught will later be cooked up and eaten on the boat or onshore, along with the obligatory sea anemone (a Vietnamese favorite), and plenty of Phu Quoc fish sauce. Despite their initial misgivings many tourists end up loving the sea anemone (and even the Phu Quoc fish sauce!) Give both of them a try because they might surprise you.

If you think it would be neat to stay at Bai Sao long after the day-trippers have gone home, there are a few accommodation options. One of the cheapest is My Lan, a collection of rudimentary beach shacks and a simple restaurant.

Bai Sao is also home to Gecko Jacks, a resort literally hacked out of the jungle (but perhaps the jungle has reclaimed it: Gecko Jacks' website has seemingly disappeared from the Internet.) The resort has established a good reputation, and is recommended by those who have stayed there.

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