An Thoi Islands
An Thoi group up of Islands and only 30 minutes from An Thoi Town. The An Thoi Islands (An Thoi archipelago, An Thoi Vietnam), a total of 15 islets, make up the Phu Quoc archipelago and are part of the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO designated area. It’s a fine area for sightseeing, fishing, swimming and snorkelling. Hon Thom Island (Pineapple Island) is about 3km in length and is the largest island in the group. The best way to explore the wonders of these islands is by boat – either through a private charter or part of an organized tour.
Phu Quoc Island
There is one place in Vietnam that is always ranked as top of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. That is Phu Quoc Island – the pearl island which is best-known for its spectacular, diverse and pristine natural scenery. However, Kien Giang land is not only famous for the sea paradise Phu Quoc, but also known for the deserted but poetic and lyrical attraction of An Thoi Islands. Let’s explore the mysterious temptation of the deserted An Thoi Islands with Dailytravel in this article.
The deserted An Thoi Islands is located in the Southeast of the tourist pearl island-Phu Quoc, in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is under the management of Hon Thom Commune, Phu Quoc District, Kien Giang Province. With 18 different small and large islets, An Thoi Islands is one of the few islands that is remained the intemerate beauty with crystal clear blue sea and white fine sands. Thus, travelers should take the advantage of visiting Phu Quoc to discover An Thoi Islands once.
Tourists will easily get overwhelmed because of the bizarre charisma of An Thoi-an alluring deserted island of Phu Quoc District. There are 18 islets in total but only 5 islets of An Thoi that have inhabitants there. Therefore, the atmosphere here is completely fresh, the nature is spacious, wild and unpolluted because it is not affected much by humans or tourism activities.
Sea in An Thoi Islands (An Thoi archipelago) is quite tranquil and perfectly transparent. There are some areas which have a wholly deep sea level. Together with far-reaching white smooth sands and lush greenness of coconut shadow, all of which create a wonderful parade for nature lovers. Only on deserted islands like An Thoi, which has the sea, mountains, green trees and whispering waves, people can harmonize with the nature, relax and forget all the stresses, the hustle and bustle pace of daily life.
An ideal varied ecosystem is thoroughly suitable for tourists to take an underwater world tour. Particularly, An Thoi Islands is renowned for top stunning coral reefs in Vietnam due to their variety in density and species. There are 17 kinds of stony and soft species and different sea anemones, which definitely arouse your wonder and satisfy any tourists with the snorkeling to observe coral reefs activity on this An Thoi Islands.
Deserted An Thoi Island is a splendid option for every sea picnicaholic. After snorkeling to see coral reefs, you can expose your body to the sun on the white fine sand and enjoy the cool sea breezes. Then, you can try fishing, squid fishing and so on. Those are all perfect and interesting experiences. Thus, visiting Phu Quoc without taking part in such activities: fishing, snorkeling and exploring coral reefs of An Thoi Island like losing an ideal opportunity.
For tourists who are huge fans of risky sports, there is also one activity that would inspire you besides those entertainments above. That is reaching the submit of high and steep cliffs on An Thoi Island (of course with a dedicated support from the locals). People lives on An Thoi Island mostly go fishing or plant fruit trees for living. Even they have not known yet how to develop tourism like people on Phu Quoc Island, they are all hospitable and helpful people. They are willing to guide and support yous whatever they can, for example: catching sea urchins crawling on rocks and making some specialties to banquet you, showing you how to catch fishes and squids and so forth.
An Thoi Islands (An Thoi archipelago) tour is usually accompanied with Phu Quoc tours. Tourists travel here not only for swimming, diving, fishing but also for reveling in the fresh natural atmosphere and the pristine scenery of the sea and islets on An Thoi. Like coral reefs, An Thoi Island is also well-known for the diversity of fish. Especially, anchovy fish resource is quite rich and also the main supply for the distinctive flavor of the brilliant Phu Quoc fish sauce. Besides, An Thoi Port area is the only deep-water port on the pearl island Phu Quoc and it is now in the process of transforming into international port. This will promise to improve the living standards of local people on the wild and remote area.
Most boats depart from An Thoi on Phu Quoc, but you can make arrangements through hotels and resorts on Long Beach. Also inquire at the dive operators, as they have boats heading down there regularly for diving. Boat trips are seasonal and generally do not run during the rainy season.
The most popular islands to visit are
- Hon Thom Island (Pineapple Island) – The largest island with a total of 4,000 inhabitants. You can reach here by taking a ferry from An Thoi port or by joining a tour/
- Hon Dua (Coconut Island) – The closest island to An Thoi Town and where most of the ocean fish farms are located.
- Hon Roi (Lamp Island) – A great spot for squid fishing at night.
- Hon Vong (Echo Island) – There is a nice white sand beach here.
- Hon May Rut (Cold Cloud Island)
- Hon Dam Ngoai (Shadow Island) – A uninhabited island.
- Hon Kim Qui (Yellow Tortoise) – The best place to snorkel in An Thoi.
- Hon Mong Tay (Fingernail Island) – Has one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Vietnam.
Hon Dua (Coconut Island) is the closest island to An Thoi town. The island is thick with forests of coconut and mango trees. Divers venturing off its western shore might find pieces of antique porcelain scattered around a sunken ship.
Roi Island is the second island south of An Thoi town, and while it is pretty chilled now there are big plans afloat for its development. There is a masterplan for Roi Island and it could end up looking like Vinpearl Resort off the coast of Nha Trang, all luxury hotels and water sports arenas. Get there before the developers move in. Squid and shrimp swim on the reef.
The third island out from An Thoi harbor is Hon Thom Island (Pineapple Island) and it is the largest of the archipelago, with two 100m high hills at its northern and southern tips, and its own harbor and native population. It is one of the busiest of the islands and is permanently cloaked with blue fishing boats. It is also very popular with tourists. Expect serious development in the near future!
Beyond Hon Thom the sea is sprinkled with tiny islands with colorful names: Vong Island, Hon Vang (Echo Island), Kim Qui (Yellow Tortoise Island), Hon Mong Tay (Short Gun Island), Dan Island, Dua Island, Muong Island, Gam Ghi Island (the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography has launched a plan to protect its coral reef), May Rut Island, and so on. For about US$15 you can tour some of the islands and nearby beaches, such as Bai Sao, according to one Finnish blogger. Lunch might include sea urchin which is a speciality in Vietnam.
An Thoi Islets Topography & Hydrology
An Thoi island topography
The mountainous An Thoi Islands are situated in the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand. The island topography is represented by relatively high plateaus bordered by steep slopes. The rocky terrain consists mainly of sandstone and conglomerates occurring within a flat dipping complex and partially covered by quaternary sediment. A characteristic feature of the islands is the steepness of its slopes, which is well pronounced in the coastal zone and on submarine slopes.
An Thoi hydrology
The An Thoi Islands are located in turbid and nutrient rich waters which is why the area is teeming with macro and micro life. There is also a large concentration of dissolved suspended matter (more than 100 mg/L) which makes the water less visible than other locations along the Gulf. Also, there are constant currents usually running in the same direction (clockwise in the rainy season and counter clockwise in the dry season) which can make diving difficult at depths greater than 15 meters.
What to see
- Tour the islands – you can charter a boat from An Thoi Port or join a tour group and spend the day touring the An Thoi Islands.
- Visit Hon Thom Island – This island has a sizable population consisting of fishermen and their families. The beach here is not the cleanest however there are quite a few colorful fishing boats that dot the shore and make for a great photo op. There is a small market here that sells local fruit and fresh fish at affordable prices.
- Pearl farming – On Hon Rut Island you can see how pearls are farmed.
- Sunset – The sunset out at sea is gorgeous.
What to do
- Snorkeling (An Thoi Islands snorkeling) – Scattered around the various islets are coral reefs which you can discover by chartering a boat from An Thoi Port or joining a snorkeling tour from Duong Dong Town or one organized by your hotel/resort. You can book tour diving via FlipperDiving or RainbowDivers.
- Diving – The diving is better than the snorkeling here and there is a chance you may spot an eagle ray or even a bamboo shark. There are plenty of macro and reef species down at the 10m mark. Most sites have a maximum depth of only 10-12m making diving in An Thoi a great place for beginners.
- Kayaking – If you join an organized tour then these companies will provide kayaks for you to explore the islands.
- Sun bathe – Find yourself a small patch of white sand on a secluded beach and catch some rays.
- Climbing – It is possible to climb some of the sandstone cliffs, but this a sport that is mainly organized by private groups.
- Fishing – You can fish on your own or you can ask one of the islanders to take you squid fishing at night for a fee. Just ask around. Prices start at 500,000VND.
An Thoi Islands Snorkeling
The following are a few places where you can snorkel in the An Thoi Archipelago
Snorkeling Ong Doi Cape
Although it is not part of the An Thoi Islands (An Thoi archipelago), some tour operators mislead tourists and take them to Ong Doi Cape for a quick snorkeling excursion and tell them they are visiting the archipelago. Ong Doi Cape (Mui Ong Doi) is located at the very southern tip of Phu Quoc Island. This area has historical significance as the Emperor Gia Long’s boat got stuck in the corals found here while he was fleeing the Tay Son army and a local islander rescued him. The coral reef here is not as spectacular as those found elsewhere on Phu Quoc but there are a lot of fish here. The depth here is only 3m making this area a great place to snorkel for beginners. Ong Doi Cape is also a fishing spot for organized tours.
Snorkeling An Thoi Islets
There are many islands in the An Thoi Archipelago that have a coral reef system and are teeming with life however most people only get a chance to visit a few spots while visiting Phu Quoc. The following are the popular snorkeling spots found in the An Thoi group of islands
- Coconut Island (Hon Dua) – The reef here is at a depth of 8m and can go as deep as 20m. You can see a variety of coral here and a lot of fish such as puffer fish cuttlefish, and even seahorses.
- Cold Cloud Island (Hon May Rut) – This small island has a shallow reef teeming coral and fish. The maximum depth here is 10m.
- Dam Island (Hon Damn Ngoai) – a small island located close to An Thoi town has a shallow reef in about 10m of water. You will find a variety of nudibranchs and smaller reef fish here.
- Pineapple Island (Hon Thom Island) – The largest island here with a few good spots to snorkel along its north coast. The best snorkeling spot here is the area in between Hon Roi and Hon Thom.
- Hon Kim Qui – Here you can find both soft and hard coral. This probably the best spot in An Thoi.
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