Boat and ferry services to Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc, and the neighboring islands of Nam Du and Hon Son, have been suspended due to heavy rains and rough seas from Typhoon Saolas.
The Kien Giang Provincial Maritime Port Authority said services were suspended from Saturday until further notice.
The islands received thunderstorms, while their waters saw waves of up to three meters.
High speed boats to Phu Quoc island anchored in Rach Gia town, Kien Giang province. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Dong
Phu Quoc Island is 120 km from Rach Gia and 45 km from Ha Tien. There are more than 30 high-speed boat trips from the two coastal towns to the island every day. Those who have already purchased tickets will receive a refund or be able to reschedule a later trip.
The suspension of service is expected to affect people’s travel plans during the National Day holiday. Many tourists on the island have already canceled their cruises on Friday, the first of a four-day break, due to heavy rain.
A representative of a travel agency said on Friday that 60% of its clients had canceled their tours around the island, adding that the number of tourists coming to Phu Quoc for vacation had already decreased by 50% compared to years previous ones.
Air services to Phu Quoc remain at full capacity, with 82 flights arriving on the island on Friday.
Typhoon Saola, one of the region’s strongest storms in decades, weakened as it made landfall in southern China’s Guangdong on Saturday after causing flooding and destruction in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau.
The typhoon was packing winds of more than 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour) on Friday, forcing Hong Kong and neighboring Chinese provinces to cancel hundreds of flights and close businesses and schools.
The South Vietnam Hydrometeorological Center said the typhoon would cause thunderstorms in the sea off the Mekong Delta from Ca Mau province to Kien Giang province, with winds of 29 to 49 km/h and waves of 1.5 to 3 meters.