Con Dao Island, a paradise on earth

Tuesday - 02/08/2022 15:11
It is not overstated to call Con Dao Island a tourism paradise by embracing many pristine and charming beaches, beautiful routes and historical relics.
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(Source: vietnamcoracle)

Located off the Southeast coast of Vietnam, Con Dao is an archipelago of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, in the Southeast region of Vietnam, and also a district. Con Dao Island in the past, was used as a political prison in the war between Vietnam and the Colonials, it was known as “the Devil’s Island of Indochina”. Nowadays, Con Dao will amaze all visitors by the charming view of blue sea, green trees and mountains, white sand beaches, and golden sunshine with convenient tourist services. Con Dao becomes a tourist paradise with the diversification of tourism types.

Con Dao Island from March to September has rain but will stop quickly and the sea is calm. It is also the turtle-hatching season, which is the most ideal time for paying a visit. Visitors can choose to fly or take a bus and superdong ferry to Con Dao Island.

Flights depart daily from Ho Chi Minh City and land at the island's airport; another option from Ho Chi Minh City is to take a bus to Soc Trang Province and take the two-hour Superdong Ferry to the island. The main town of Con Son is flat and small, making it easy to explore by foot or bicycle. Major sights just outside of town are also accessible by bicycle, including the prison relic and museum and Van Son Pagoda. The rest of the island is best seen by motorbike. Small boats are also available for snorkeling trips. Tourist accommodations are available in a wide range from resorts, 4-5-star hotels, and budget 2-3-star hotels to homestays,...

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(Source: Six Senses resort Facebook page)
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(Source: Con Dao Resort Facebook page)

Top things to do in Con Dao Island 

Visitors coming to this primitive island will be amazed by the charming view of blue sea, green trees and mountains, with white sand and golden sunshine. Heaven can be felt on this island itself since it inherited the beauty from the mother of nature. Here, beaches are the jewels of this island, take a hike to Ong Dung Beach, a stony coastal spot where visitors can snorkel close to shore, or head to Dam Trau Beach, one of the world’s best beaches, voted by the US magazine, Travel + Leisure for sunbathing. Besides, there are many other beautiful beaches for visitors to explore such as Nhat Beach, Loi Voi Beach, Dat Doc Beach, Suoi Nong (Hot Stream) Beach, etc.

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Dam Trau Beach (Source: vietnamcoracle)
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Ong Dung Beach (Source: vietnamcoracle)

Con Dao is not a single island but an archipelago of 16 smaller islands and islets such as Bay Canh Island, Tre Lon (Big Bamboo) Island and Tre Nho (Small Bamboo) Islet, Cau Island, Ba Island, So Ray, etc. Hence, it is a perfect paradise for marine explorations and activities. Bay Canh Island, known as the second largest island in the Con Dao archipelago, is covered by an extensive rainforest and an excellent eco-environment to see the rare species and exotic animals in Vietnam.

Since Con Dao Island used to be a political prison where many Vietnamese soldiers died during the war period of 1862 - 1975, the trip to Con Dao Island will not be accomplished if visitors don’t get to know about the heroic story of the “Dat Do Heroes”, especially, about Miss Vo Thi Sau, a patriot who fought against the French colonials in Vietnam and was executed at a very young age. Lied here, in Hang Duong Cemetery, there are more than 2,000 graves including Vo Thi Sau’s Grave. Visitors are all welcome to the cemetery to learn about the spiritual customs of the Vietnamese and to listen to the old stories about the war in Vietnam. Nearby, there is a museum where the photos and historical belongings of Miss Vo Thi Sau that visitors can come to see.

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Hang Duong Cemetery and Memorial (Photo: Paul Arps)

Next spot in Con Dao Island that visitors should not miss is the Con Dao Prison Relic. Being there, visitors will understand why Con Dao was named “the Devil’s Island of Indochina” by witnessing different methods of torture and see by own eyes the infamous tiger cages that were once used by the French and then the Americans to put several prisoners under the hot sun.

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Tiger cages at Con Dao Prison Relic (Source: Condao)

As a stop by next to the Prison Relic, the Con Dao Museum will show visitors the prehistory and the island’s brutal past and it is an entrance-free visit.

What to eat at Con Dao Island

Besides enchanting beaches and historical relic sites, there are many things in Con Dao Island to explore and the most “delicious” way to explore Con Dao Island to the fullest is through its specialty marine dishes. Con Dao Island offers a broad range of seafood collections from seawater fish, fish salad, moon crab, lobster, sea urchins, hat snails, sea worms to freshly caught oysters. The typical snacks that visitors must try are Con Dao coconut ice-cream and smoothies.

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With these experiences, visitors can realise how primitive and beautiful Con Dao Island is and who knows, visitors may have fallen in love with this poetic island already…

Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Photo: Internet

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