So it’s not your average sightseeing attraction, but more than a few have enjoyed a visit to the distillery of Nuoc Mam Hung Thanh, the largest of Phu Quoc’s fish-sauce makers. At first glance, the giant wooden vats may make you think you’ve arrived for a wine tasting, but one sniff of the festering nuoc mam essence brings you right back to reality. It’s actually not so bad after a few minutes.
Most of the sauce produced is exported to the mainland for domestic consumption, though an impressive amount finds its way abroad to kitchens in Japan, North America and Europe.
The factory is a short walk from the market in Duong Dong. There is no admission charge to visit, although you’d be best off taking a guide along unless you speak Vietnamese. Keep in mind that although nuoc mam makes a wonderful gift for your distant relatives, you may not be able to take it out of the country. Vietnam Airlines, among other carriers, has banned it from its planes.