Hon Thom Islet with turquoise waters on the island of Phu Quoc in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Khanh Tran

Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island off the southern province of Kien Giang, has been selected among the top 25 islands in the world by readers of US magazine Travel+Leisure.

The magazine says readers’ enthusiasm for the island stems from “its white-sand beaches and delicious cuisine”.

The island is renowned for its production of fish sauce, an essential Vietnamese condiment, and peppercorns.

Other attractions include its coral reefs and dense rainforest, according to the magazine.

For this year’s World Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asked its readers to rate travel experiences around the world to choose the world’s best islands based on activities, sights, natural attractions, beaches, food and friendliness.

The island of Ischia in Italy tops the list, followed by the Maldives and Bali in Indonesia.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, gained popularity after the government allowed 30-day visa-free entry in 2014.

In 2019, before Covid-19 hit the country, the island received more than five million visitors, including 541,600 foreigners.

Phu Quoc has seen a strong recovery since the country lifted most of the Covid-19 restrictions. It welcomed 1.4 million tourists in the first half of this year, more than 70% of its annual target.

Amid the peak summer season, more than 40,000 tourists are now stranded on the island as heavy rain and rough seas due to an Intertropical Convergence Zone and low pressure area have suspended services ferry and limited flights since Sunday.