The vast national park spreading across Phu Quoc Island is home to hundreds of species of animals and plants, such as the elusive and endangered dugong.
Phu Quoc National Park is situated across the north-east of the island, covering more than 70% of the island’s total area - it is roughly the same size as the Isle of Wight.
The park covers a huge variety of landscapes and ecosystems which includes mangrove swamps and wetlands, tropical forests and mixed coastal vegetation.
Over 1,100 different plant species can be seen across the protected area, including 23 different types of orchid and the beautiful but rare Paphiopedilum callosum flowers.
As the island within the tropics its warm and humid climate readily supports wide forests of indigo trees (Indigofera tinctoria) with light green leaves and bright pink and purple blooms.
Leaves from these trees were traditionally used to produce a bright purple-blue dye.
The forests and wetlands also house more than 200 different kinds of animals and birds, 10% of which are endangered species including otters, hornbills and long-tailed macaques and silver langur monkeys.
One of the most interesting species to be found in the marine reserve of the national park is the dugong.
Also known as “sea cows” due to their large size and because they mainly feed on sea grass, these marine mammals only exist in a few isolated communities across the world and are close to extinction.
Their closest relation is actually an elephant rather than other marine mammals, sharing their grey, wrinkled skin and wallowing appearance.
Dugongs can live for up to 70 years, but are therefore slow to reproduce and females only produce a few calves throughout their life which makes the species even more vulnerable to hunting and extinction.