Dog racing is a recent arrival to Phu Quoc Island, stirring up interest among many residents and visitors. Phu Quoc Island, in the southern province of Kien Giang, has been a tourist attraction for some time, not only because of its beaches, forests and specialties, but now also thanks to a unique racetrack for the rare Phu Quoc ridgeback.
The new Phu Quoc Dog Racing race course, officially called the Thanh Nga Dog Farm & Dog Racecourse, was launched in 2014 and is quickly becoming a popular place to visit on the island. Not only is this touristy venue a race course but it is also a kennel and a museum of sorts for the islands most popular and recognizable animal – the Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog.
What to expect
The Phu Quoc Ridgeback Dog “racing” is not like your traditional dog race. The unnumbered dogs run around a 4 lane 400m obstacle course like race track where they are challenged by the following obstacles: running through tall grass, climbing over trees, crawling under tunnels, and swimming in water.
To motivate the dogs to run there is a “trainer” chasing them while blowing a loud whistle. There are normally 2 races, the first one is the warm up race followed by the actual race. After the race is over, a staff member will provide you a tour of the facility and show you how the dogs are raised, bred, what they can do, and finally how they live. Watching the race and then touring the facility takes only about 45 minutes. The admission fee as of 2014 is 40,000VND ($2.00USD) per person.
Thanh Nga Phu Quoc dog racing schedule
- You can visit the facility at two different times per day:
- First tour session: 9:00to 11:130m race | Second tour session: 2:00 to 4:00pm race
- There is a special race held on Saturday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm.
- Contact number for more details: Tel: 0918565113 or 0918123494
The racetrack is located in Cua Duong Village which is about 10 minutes from Duong Dong Town. To get here, head north along Nguyen Trung Truc Road that takes you to Thom Village. The facility is located next to the road on your left hand side (if you are heading north) and the parking is free. A taxi from Duong Dong Town to here will cost about 100,000VND. You can also visit this venue by signing up for an “Island Tour Of The North” excursion offered by the various tour agencies found on the island, however it is very easy to get here by motorbike or bicycle as the roads are all freshly paved and smooth. This is a unique experience found only Phu Quoc Island and we highly recommend this sight even though the conditions for the dogs are not the greatest.
Need to know
Like similar facilities in Asia, the Thanh Nga Dog Farm and Dog Racecourse is not the most animal friendly place. The conditions are not poor but they are not the greatest either.
You cannot place bets here as gambling is not allowed. To further discourage gambling, the dogs that are participating in the race are not numbered.
The staff only speak Vietnamese however you do not need an interpreter here, just pay the 40,000VND admission fee, watch the race, then walk around the facility.
You can also purchase Phu Quoc Dogs here and the locals claim that this is the best place to buy a ridgeback dog in all of Vietnam. The cost for a puppy starts at 1,000,000VND and goes up depending on color and age.