A Unique Breed: The Phu Quoc Ridgeback -- Found only on the island of Phu Quoc, the medium-size Phu Quoc Ridgeback is a bit taller and sturdier than the average curly-tailed street mutts you find elsewhere in Vietnam. Tenacious hunters, intelligent, and loyal, Ridgebacks are credited with nearly completely ridding the island of all things that crawl, walk, or creep. Locals still employ the dogs to hunt small game. Usually black, and with a slightly blunted pointy nose and perky ears, Ridgebacks are not under any specific control or pedigree breeding, so they come in all shapes and sizes.

As elsewhere in Vietnam, dogs roam free and travel in packs, which means you should be mindful if out on the beach or rural roads late at night. I saw one of the worst dogfights I've ever seen in my life on this island. If leaving by boat or visiting the pier area in far southern An Thoi town, keep an eye out for the small kennels where local entrepreneurs sell Ridgebacks. I got one guy down to about $30, and a strong, healthy pup goes for a whopping $100 in Saigon -- a fortune in a country where dogs are more or less meat on feet. The dogs are said to breed only on the island, and controlled breeding on the mainland has been unsuccessful.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.