Situated closer to Cambodia than Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc has arguably the best beaches in the country. An international airport opened in 2012, raising the island’s profile and bringing in droves of visitors. Despite this, the island retains a laid-back, underdeveloped charm, and its coast is still dotted with small fishing villages with brightly painted boats. The interior of the island includes plenty of forest, while some of the land is earmarked for growing black pepper—pepper from here is famous throughout Vietnam. The best beach lies to the west of the town of Phu Quoc; it's a 13-mile long straight stretch with golden sands, coconut palms, and clear turquoise waters. The An Thoi Islands, south of Phu Quoc but still part of its marine park, offer excellent snorkeling and diving during the dry season from December through May.