Phu Quoc Night Markets evoke sights sounds and smells that I’ll never forget. I wasn’t intending to eat here. After all these are just a tourist attractions, right? Well, yes and no. It’s true that prices are not what the locals would want to pay. But for anyone like me who loves seafood, it’s just about impossible to walk through here without succumbing. And don’t get me wrong, it isn’t really expensive by Western standards.
I found myself in Duong Dong, by the harbour and the famous Dinh Ba Temple, and spotted the huge sign announcing Dinh Cau, one of the most famous Phu Quoc Night Markets; you can’t really miss it. Walking in from the harbour it all starts innocently enough. Stall after stall of bric a brac, jewellery, seashells and souvenirs. However none of this prepares, for what is to follow. The rows of empty seats gave no hint as to what I was about to enjoy. I was suddenly aware of the vast array of fresh seafood, all caught today, most of it still alive. It was though quite early, soon it was about to get busier.
Fantastic seafood at Phu Quoc Night Markets!
I stopped to take a photograph and the whole atmosphere got me! Before I knew it I was seated in one of the now rapidly filling up restaurants, drinking a cold Tiger beer and awaiting the arrival of my barbecued tuna and king prawns. The king prawns are huge, about a dozen to a kilo (2.2lbs), costing about VND600,000. If like me, you adore seafood, you simply have to try this, this is an absolute must-see, must-do attraction.
The fish was truly awesome. Cooked to perfection it fell off the skin, well there were no bones, and was moist, succulent and beautifully flavoured with spices and lemon grass. Sometimes there are advantages in travelling alone. This was not one of those occasions. This would have been so much better with a group of people, whereby we could have chosen a large selection and shared. It was though, still a magnificent meal, al fresco, in one of the genuine Phu Quoc Night Markets.
I do like travelling and I do like people, but a slight downside to the night was the ability of several people to reinforce their negative, national stereotypes. A Russian woman who stood heavily on my foot talking a photograph and simply ignored my yelp, came first. A table full of Brits moaning about the prices and settling for one portion of fishcakes between four with beers followed. And a table full of noisy Americans dominating the whole proceedings, brought up the rear.
Still, nothing could spoil this one for me. Phu Quoc Night Markets; check them out!