A thriving port on the Gulf of Thailand and something of a southern boom town benefiting from a serious injection of Viet Kieu money, Rach Gia's population includes significant numbers of both ethnic Chinese and ethnic Khmers. Most travellers zip straight through for boats to Phu Quoc Island, but the lively waterfront and bustling backstreets are worth exploration.
With its easy access to the sea and the proximity of Cambodia and Thailand, fishing, agriculture and smuggling are profitable trades in this province. The area was once famous for supplying the large feathers used to make ceremonial fans for the Imperial Court.
Vietnam Airlines has daily flights to and from HCMC (from 1,100,000d) and Phu Quoc Island (from 800,000d). The airport is 10km southeast of the centre, along Hwy 80 in the direction of Long Xuyen; a taxi into town will cost around 80,000d.
There are regular services to Ca Mau (50,000d, three hours), Ha Tien (38,000d, two hours) and other cities in the region from the central bus station north of town. A taxi into town will cost around 20,000d.
Boats to Phu Quoc Island leave from the centrally located ferry terminal at the western end of Ð Nguyen Cong Tru. Approximately three hydrofoils leave daily for Ca Mau (110,000d, three hours) from the Rach Meo ferry terminal, about 2km south of town.