For the best down to earth shopping and life style experience, visiting the local markets on the island is highly recommended. While western style goods are very limited, the local markets offer a colourful range of fruit, vegetables, seafood’s and much much more.
Duong Dong market located in the centre of town along the river is the islands largest and most exciting local market. At most times of the day this can be a busy place with the local traffic running along the road and boats coming and going, loading and unloading their goods, and it is here you will find lovely ladies in conical hats selling everything from tropical fruits to unusual fishing equipment.
Unless you enjoy a decent crowd, we recommend avoiding Duong Dong market when cruise ships arrive (usually once a week) at the pier, bringing thousands of travellers, who fill the town and market place.
Duong Dong shops
The local shops do offer some limited items, depending on what you are after, for instance there a number of supply shops that sell everything from biscuits, soap and shampoo and interesting toothpaste to soft drinks, water and cases of beer. There are also a number of pharmacies, sunglass shops and a number of local laundries that are far cheaper than the resort prices. If you’re in need of building supplies, there are some places that sell tiles, paints, marble, timber and plumbing goods, though the range and quality will not be the same as the mainland.
Clothing stores are limited, however if you’re in need of some long shirts or pants to keep off the dust while riding around the island or any mosquitoes at night, there are some local market style places opposite Duong Dong market on the other side of the bridge opposite that sell plenty of cheap and non fashionable clothing and hats. For something a little more modern, there's also a mini mart (Ph 0773 993366) in town about 1km past the airport at Nguyen Trung Truc after Hung Vuong Street, Duong Dong, which sells a range of clothes, cosmetics, and a variety of other items.
If you are after some up market souvenirs, many of the resorts have small shops or displays offering island gifts, everything from pearl necklaces to t-shirts or caps and postcards.
There are a couple of shops in Duong Dong that now specialise in selling arts and crafts, and while most of the products are from the mainland, these shops are still fairly new and offer discounted prices from time to time. A couple of shops are located opposite Phu Quoc Airport road entrance in Duong Dong, including Phu Quoc Crafts & Cafe (109 Nguyen Trung Truc), Phu Quoc Fine Arts (Khu Pho 4, Duong Dong) with another shop on the way to Long Beach called Phu Quoc Creation (30 Tran Hung Dao Street). Courtesy of www.discoverphuquoc.com.
Another large souvenir shop can be found on the road heading south from Duong Dong Town on Long Beach called Coinguon at 149 Tran Hung Dao (ph 773 980 206, www.coinguonphuquoc.com). They sell a wide range of souvenirs, pearls, jewellery and art and also have a fairly extensive museum towards the rear of the left hand side shop which contains an interesting array of items includes Vietnamese pottery, animal skeletons, old money and more. There is a wide range of souvenirs available so you might like to think twice before purchasing any items made from the many sea shells in the store.
Phu Quoc airport
Looking for a last minute purchase, then the airport offers a decent range of postcards, pearls and other jewellery items, along with Phu Quoc books and maps, t-shirts and caps and of course fish sauce (after immigration). There is also currency exchange counter in the arrivals hall, which offer reasonable rates.
If you’re after the real deal, the pearl farm shop run by an New Zealand based company in Duong To Village about 9kms south of Duong Dong along the dirt road that follows Long Beach. See their web site for more information, www.treasuresfromthedeep.com. Here you will find some remarkable pearls and some information about the history of pearl farming on the island. You might find the prices are also quiet remarkable too, judge for yourself.
For alternatives to the best that money can buy, there are numerous pearl shops around the island and many places that sell pearls, most of these are located in Duong Dong town near Saigon Phu Quoc Resort. At these places you can pick up a wide variety of pearl gifts from bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and much more, all at very reasonable prices.
Unique shopping items
Besides the pearls, you can not go past the opportunity to either visit or purchase one of the products that Phu Quoc Island is world famous for and that is the Fish Sauce. Please note that when departing Phu Quoc by air, carrying fish sauce on the airplane is not allowed and some airlines have banned it altogether because of risk of breakage and the pungent fumes that are extremely difficult to remove. You can however purchase some fish sauce at the airport in the departure lounge, and they currently organise delivery for you to Ho Chi Minh (somehow). See our unique sights page for more details on fish sauce and locating some distilleries.