Belonged to Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province in the South of Vietnam, about 185km from Vung Tau city, Con Dao archipelago consists of 16 small islands and islets with total 76km2. Con Dao archipelago, with its own beauty and uniqueness, has left many legends and compliments of many tourists once coming here. Con Dao is where ocean, earth and sky joined harmoniously. Thanks to its main topography is mountainous terrain surrounding each other making imposing landscape and bays among the islands.
Con Son Bay –
a view from the peak of Thanh Gia Mountain
Not just that, the flora and fauna here are also diversified specially the coral reefs under water, many of them are listed in the Vietnam Red book – a book lists out Vietnam’s endangered wild life animals and species, hence, Con Dao National Park was established in 1993 in the attempt to preserve them. Thanks to that vegetation composition, islands are covered by all the colors of nature, white of sand, deep-blue ocean and green of forests, would take the breath away of any tourist coming to this paradise. Dam Trau beach and Hot Spring beach represent ideally for a tropical beach with white flat sand and a mangrove ecosystem can hardly be found in other islands. Not only this, Bay Canh (Seven Sides) islet, Ba islet or Tai islet are some of most favorite places for sight-seeing and discovering whereas Ben Dam port is favorable for experiencing with the fishing village.
Con Dao is not only famous for its potential tourism product Sun, Sea & Sand but also for its history and culture from tragic past. This destination was well-known as a horrific prison, where capturing political prisoners during French & American wars from 1861-1975. In this period, over 20,000 people had died for revolutionary purposes. At present time, those magnanimous places have become historical sites, such as Phu Tuong camp (has the French tiger cages), Phu Binh camp (has the American tiger cages, Hang Duong cemetery, etc. Because of the islands’ isolation with mainland, no one could escape, the two colonialism had chosen Con Son Island as a prison to jail and torture mercilessly their captives, turned Con Dao islands into the actual hell on earth.
However, besides the impressive nature, the catastrophic past, people coming to Con Dao can find peace in minds when visiting some spiritual attractions. The two most famous ones are the tomb of Ms.Vo Thi Sau – Vietnam’s national heroine and Temple of Phi Yen – the concubine of King Nguyen Anh – the local worshipping her for her loyal towards the king despite painful events had dealt to her. The third site is Van Son Pagoda, a relic sites for local people of Con Dao. This is a majestic architecture locating on Mot Mountain, is a stunning landscapes cannot be ignored when visiting Con Dao. From here visitors can admire On Hai Lake and the panoramic Con Son Island and Gulf.
The marvelous beauty of Van Son Pagoda
For all of special characteristics have been mentioned, I am sure that your curiosity about this green paradise has been increasing, however, stay tuned, there still has more interesting information and tips about Con Dao for you.
About travelling, there are only two means of transportation to reach to the islands. It will take you around one hour with daily flights departing from Ho Chi Minh city or Can Tho city and twelve hours with every-two-day boat from Vung Tau city. The price is of course different, $50 for airplane and only $10 for boat. When coming to Con Dao, there are no taxis on the islands. A mini bus of your hotel will get you at the airport, then you can choose to wondering around islands or renting a motorbike instead. The cost is about $3-5/day.
About sea sports or any water activities. Yes! Con Dao has the best diving in Vietnam. Snorkeling and diving are superb choices of visitors to discover the beauty of the coral reefs, from March to September. Tourists can rent equipment from Rainbow divers or Dive! Dive! Dive!
One very stimulating activity is highly recommended, is taking the Turtle tour in the national park. You may see turtle laying eggs but the season only from Jun – early September. Because the trip is not cheap so be aware and do not fall for this.
After playing a lot, surely that you need to refill your energy, and Con Dao actually has delicious dishes to fill your stomach. Some specialties cannot be missed are Vu Nang sea snails, looking similar to oyster and usually grilled with peanuts and onions but you can choose many other ways to make your own dish or Moon crabs – the crab living mostly in Con Dao and its meat very fresh at moon rising time, don’t forget to order some beers or mixed drinks to fascinate the tastes. You can choose some recommended restaurants such as Phuong Han, Tri Ky. Finally, crime is almost non-existent, motorbikes and bikes are even left outside houses at night.
So what are you waiting for! Let’s Grab your clothes and book a ticket via Holidaytoindochina.com to that charming island right away!