Sandra Nguyen Si was born in Hanoi, and lived in Ho Chi Minh city since 1995. Growing up in the city “with neon lights, motorbike noises and highly-dense population”, Sandra was “extremely happy” to move to Salinda Resort, a member of the WorldHotels Collection, on Phu Quoc Island, in 2014. Let’s join her in her happy place!
Where do you take your own guests when they visit?
This island boasts pristine beaches and natural wonders with a wide range of island activities. It’s a versatile holiday destination for anyone who is looking for a new beach destination. For travellers seeking an escape from the bustling city life, the island offers peaceful beach relaxation. One can visit the white-sand Sao Beach (Bãi Sao) or golden-sand Long Beach (Bãi Dài). And of course, there are growing options of fun activities on the island, turning Phu Quoc into a favourite spot for adventure-seeking tourists or family vacations:
- Island-hopping boat tours at An Thoi (Ăn Thới) Archipelago;
- Water sports (kayak, snorkelling and diving);
- Cable car ride to Pineapple Island (Hòn Thơm) in the south of Phu Quoc;
- Local excursions to famous pepper plantations, pearl farms and myrtle wine distilleries; and
- Morning fishing or night squid fishing tours.
Phu Quoc is also becoming a preferred destination for the bridal couples to exchange their vows against a backdrop of endless ocean vistas or filling their love story with unforgettable sunsets during their honeymoon.
It’s a rainy day but we want to explore, what we should do?
On Phu Quoc Island, it is relatively quiet when the rain comes and we usually offer some great indoor events or activities for our guests.
Salinda Spa: What better way to spend a rainy day than getting pampered at the only Thai Spa in Vietnam? Treatments, such as Signature Pearl Massage or Vietnamese Chocolate-Coffee Scrub, pay tribute to the island’s natural ingredients, while Royal Thai Massage and Siam Spice Wrap embody ancient Thai wellness secrets, all delivered by our professional Thai therapists. Based on your elemental nature (fire, air, water and earth), Salinda Spa will customise your experience, starting from a personalised welcome drink and spa consultation to wearing colour-coded Thai cultural wear – sarongs – throughout your spa journey.
Thai SPA Class: Create your own holistic remedies of the ancient Thai healing practices and awaken your sensory pleasures while mixing and making herbal compress ball. We hope that this interactive spa class will leave you with wonderful memories and impressive new skills to create your own spa back home.
Cooking Class:Master the philosophy of the Vietnamese cuisine by combining five fundamental taste elements to complete a full meal: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty. Learn to cook the most authentic dishes of this country and dine on your creations for lunch.
Karaoke Time: One of our guests’ favourite ways to spend a rainy day is to sing their hearts out in one of our gorgeously decorated Karaoke rooms.
Movie Afternoons: A rainy day is a perfect excuse to lie on one of our comfortable sofas in High Note Bar Lounge with some of the greatest movies of the century with some great movie-inspired cocktails, hot Vietnamese chocolate and movie snacks.
What are your recommendations for night-time entertainment?
There are quite a few unique venues on Phu Quoc to experience when the night falls.
High Note Bar Lounge: A groovy bar lounge with an outdoor terrace, featuring nighttime live band and a music-inspired cocktail menu. Our signature cocktails are designed to capture the essence of local ingredients and the music genre that they are named after, such as Jazzmineor Disco Beets. High Note brings the best live acts Phu Quoc has to offer by hosting various theme nights, such as Film Music Concert, Retro Party and Latino Night.
Sailing Club: A new beach bar opened in December 2018. Located on the south-western coast with chill music on the background.
Bittersweet: Small in size but very intimate atmosphere with craft cocktails tailored to your personal taste and preference.
Chuon Chuon: Situated on top of the hill, this is a great outdoor bar for sunset drinks and light dinner.
What key phrases visitors should learn?
- Hello – Xin Chào!
- Thank you – Cám ơn
- Hey there – Em ơi! – Usually used to call waiters (younger than you) in a restaurant.
- Bill please! – Tính tiền
- Airport – Sân bay
- Night market – Chợ Đêm
Where are the best places to shop and buy souvenirs?
Though souvenirs can be purchased at the Night Market or All Good Things Shop, Salinda Resort offers a unique collection of Vietnamese handicrafts, hand picked by Madame Huyen, co-founder of Salinda Resort.
Salinda Boutique: Inspired by the talents and stories of local artisans, we have dedicated ourselves to celebrate and uphold the finest traditions of Vietnam. The wide selection of authentic tailor-made gifts and souvenirs captures the beauty of local craftsmanship and ultimate finesse of luxury. Let the touch of Vietnamese heritage gifts embraces you and your beloved ones at home.
- Natural pearls and jewellery
- Tailor-made ceramics
- Silk scarves and dresses
- Bags and leather goods
- Linen clothing
- Mekong quilts and accessories
- Phu Quoc pepper and myrtle ‘sim’ wine
- Vietnamese lacquerware
- Beach essentials and accessories
- Coffee, tea and chocolate
- Paintings from Salinda Gallery
What is child-friendly thing to do or place to go?
Kids Club: We ensure that our youngest guests feel welcome with daily entertaining activities like painting, sculpting, colouring sculptures, playing board games and puzzles, reading books, watching cartoons and pillow fighting. For important holidays, we prepare a special treat and activities for kids.
Vinpearl Complex: A Theme Park, waterpark, aquarium, golf course and Safari – all located at the same location.
Family Island Tours:Rent a car or a boat for the whole family day-trip.
What is your best-kept secret or favourite hidden treasure?
Starfish Beach (Rach Vem): One of the most secluded and natural beaches up in the north of the island with thousands of red starfish lying on the white-sand shores.
Salinda Gardens: Salinda Resort has around 100 species of trees and flowers confined within the spaces of the resort. We provide a map with a guide to discover the flora of our resort.
Ho Quoc Pagoda: This Buddhist temple located on the top of the towering cliff and overlooking eastern bay is a place to admire nature with serenity.
What is the best way to get to the airport?
The best way to get to the airport is by car or taxi, as currently no public transportation is running on the island. It takes around seven minutes to drive from Salinda Resort with our complimentary shuttle. Though it’s closely located to the resort, no airplane noise is ever heard as the planes are taking off from the eastern coast.
When is the best time of the year to visit?
The dry season is from late October until late May, but the best time to visit is from November-March as the weather is extremely pleasant: sunny with low humidity.
Is there anything else we should know when visiting?
Phu Quoc is almost the same size as Singapore.
Phu Quoc is classified as the special economic zone.
Phu Quoc remains the only destination in Vietnam where a 30-day visa exemption is available for all nationalities who only come to Phu Quoc (they cannot travel around Vietnam). You must have a roundtrip ticket from Phu Quoc Island back to your country to be eligible for this exemption. Otherwise, e-visa is available for 40 nations.
For more information, or to book, click here.