The distillery of Nuoc Mam Hung Thanh is the largest of Phu Quoc’s fish-sauce makers, a short walk from the market in Duong Dong. 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 jolts you back to reality.
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. There’s 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.