Stranded tourists in Phu Quoc struggle as bad weather disrupts travel

On Wednesday, more than 40,000 tourists were now stranded on Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island outside the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, as ferry services to the mainland were suspended due to rough seas and strong winds.

Sarah Loxley from Australia was among more than 2,000 foreign tourists stranded on the island.

“There’s a lot of rain,” he said.

Loxley lost his temporary residence card in the chaos and is waiting for his passport from Da Nang so he can fly home.

Many visitors like him find their travels exceed their expectations.

Nguyen Hong Vu, 36, was lucky that he and his wife did not take their children with them for this stormy trip.

According to the original schedule, their group would have left Phu Quoc on Wednesday aboard a high-speed boat to Rach Gia Port and will proceed to Can Tho where they will visit the Cai Rang floating market.

However, all ferries and high-speed boat services connecting the mainland to Ha Tien and Rach Gia on Phu Quoc Island have been suspended from Monday morning.

Some 40,000 people live in Phú Quoc

A video shows strong waves in the waters of Phu Quoc on July 12 2022. Video by Truong Phu Quoc

Their group will cancel their visit to Can Tho and wait to fly back to Ho Chi Minh City but regular flights to and from Phu Quoc will be limited until the weather calms down.

Pham Tran Quoc Bao, a tour guide of Moc Tam Phan Travel Company where Thuy and Vu booked tours, said travel companies were ‘passive’ as airlines cut flights due to the weather. , leading to expensive ticket prices at approximately VND3 million per person.

“Travel companies are struggling to arrange plane tickets,” he said.

Duong Van Khon, director of the travel agency Phu Quoc Today, said that 130 tourists of his company who planned to visit Phu Quoc were also stranded in Rach Gia Town due to travel disruption.

The company arranges for tourists to visit certain places in the town and constantly monitors the weather situation.

Nguyen Vu Khac Huy, director of Vina Phu Quoc Tourism Co., Ltd., said that tourists stranded in Phu Quoc will be given accommodation and if there is a cost, his company will negotiate with the tourists.

Those stuck in Rach Gia can cancel their tours or wait for the weather stabilization.

Huynh Quang Hung, chairman of Phu Quoc, instructed all accommodation facilities to consider offering discounts to the affected tourists to ensure they stay on the island.

Phu Quoc, famous for its long sandy beaches and luxury resorts, enters the peak summer travel season, but May-October is also the rainy season there.

Under the influence of an intertropical convergence zone and a low-pressure area, the southwest coast of the country has been hit by heavy rain, strong winds and choppy oceans since Sunday.

Phu Quoc received 1.4 million tourists in the first half of this year, or more than 70 percent of its full -year target.