We stayed at the SeaStar resort, a place I stayed over New Year in 2005. Back then it was a little less developed and certainly less busy, and I seem to remember getting the bungalows on the beach for $30. One thing that hasn't changed is the road. Despite this beach (Long Beach) being the main beach for tourists on the whole island, it is still unsealed and at one point just past the Saigon tourist resort is horrifically pot-holed (is that a hidden message?). Beach bungalows now go for $60 per night here, a fairly standard price along the beach for such accommodation. The Garden Bungalows, set a little further back, are $45 per night. Some pictures of the resort.
Our Beach Bungalow
View from the restaurant:
I don't intend to advertise for SeaStar, but it is fairly typical of the accommodation on Long Beach, which is a 10 minute drive from the airport. This beach is also a short motorbike journey to town and it's selection of restaurants, the nightmarket and the collection of dive shops. Other recommended stays are Cassia Cottage and Mai House.
Alternatively, Ong Lang beach is about a 20 minute drive from town along in places a very bumpy road. We visited Mango Bay one afternoon to check the place out. It boasts secluded bungalows built with an eye on sustainability , and most are lofted up into the foilage, set back in a garden, with views out over the private bay the resort is situated on. Mango Bay raises too many questions in my mind for a comfortable stay. No where else to eat without a long journey by bike or taxi. Very isolated and quiet. But of course, this is what some people crave, and sitting on the decking at one of the two resort restaurants supping a cocktail and watching the sun go down in absolute tranquillity wasn't that bad...
Chen La is another posh alternative nearby this part of the island. Chi and I also stayed at Thang Loi on our first trip to Phu Quoc, much cheaper but the same isolation. - this resort is just the other side of Mango Bay.
As for our own holiday, Louisa decided to develop a bizarre rash which made her miserable and spread from head to toe over three days, finally clearing up on the last couple of days. Whilst other tourists spent their time posturing on their hired automatic bikes and really trying to look like they weren't possibly going to crash, visiting pearl farms, snorkelling and diving, sampling seafood cuisine and getting lost on inland island dirt tracks, Chi and I were back in the bungalow battling with a raucous, unhappy and uncooperative 11 month old baby. Finally, we settled on a solution that everyone was happy with.