You can visit a pepper plantation if that might interest you…North of Duong Dong you can visit the one we did close to the community of Cua Dong…follow the road from Cua Dong North until you see the fork in the road….go left and its only a short distance to Huong Tram. The sign on the fork of the road is easy to see and you really cant miss the place, again, its marked with a large sign. It might sound tricky but in fact there are not many roads that you can get lost on..
Phu Quoc pepper is known for its good aroma and spicy flavor…it’s rumored that pepper grown here is a more intense spicy flavor than pepper grown in other regions of Vietnam although I can’t vouch for that.
We easily found this little hide out while motor biking a loop North of Duong Dong and we stopped for a while to investigate. The woman that was looking after the place was quite happy to have visitors; she spent some time with us showing us how the pepper is grown and how it is harvested.
You can see pepper growing in row after row of staked plants…when you look closer at these plants you can see the little buds that are really just pepper corns…waiting to ripen. When they ripen they are removed from the plant one at a time and then dried in the sun.
The whole process is demonstrated…the first picture is of the plants growing before being harvested. The second photo shows the peppercorns before ripening . The third shows the peppercorns separated from the plants in baskets and the next one shows them drying in the sun. This is pretty labor intensive and time consuming and as the prices of pepper has dropped in recent years there is less and less pepper production happening in Phu Quoc.
We made time to have a drink at one of the tables and chairs set up here and ultimately I made a purchase of a bag of pepper corns for about 100 000 Dong. Given that I’ve never seen how pepper corns were grown, and that I have a bit of a “green thumb” myself this was interesting to me and cost only the amount I spent on a drink and a bag of pepper corns.
Check it out…it’ll get you off of the beach for a while.