Discover Ba Ria-Vung Tau – Vietnam's Riviera - Con Dao Archipelago

Tuesday - 28/05/2019 11:22
Con Dao is the biggest archipelago in Ba Ria- Vung Tau province, and is an ideal destination for those who are nature lovers. This archipelago contains 16 islands with the total size of 76 square kilometers, and the largest among them is Con Lon Island.

Tourists can experience nature, museums, pagodas, markets and statues. Con Dao is definitely a must - see attraction in Vung Tau as it has natural and stunning beauty. 

First of all, for those who are nature lovers, you can visit Con Dao National Park and Dam Trau Beach. Con Dao National Park is a diverse ecosystem and has many species of corals and sea turtles.



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The park covers fourteen of sixteen islands and their surrounding marine area. Visiting the park, visitors have a chance to discover the undersea world with many pieces of animals and plants in different colors and shapes. 

It is the home to 882 species of floral species, 135 species of animals, and more than 1300 species of marine creatures. Besides it, Con Dao National Park is the favorable habitat of rare animals such as Hawksbill, Green Turtle and Dugong. 

There are many rare animals and plants inhabiting the park and it contributes to make the diversity of the park. Coming to Dam Trau Beach, visitors will have a chance to enjoy the atmosphere and activities on the beach.?

Tourists can go to visit Van Son pagoda in Con Dao. The pagoda was built to meet the spiritual needs of residents and visitors who wish to worship. 

Tourists can also visit Con Dao market. Coming here, you will find fresh vegetables and food stalls of local specialties, small garments, toiletries and others.

Furthermore, it will be regretful if you miss the chance to enjoy special foods in Con Dao such as Mini Savory Pancakes, Can cake, Shredded Duck Porridge and Salad, etc... These foods are featuring dishes in Con Dao in particular and Vung Tau. You also can taste these dishes when travelling to Con Dao.

In the center of Con Dao, there are streets with lines of ancient tropical almond trees. After being used as a place of lords of island to live and work for 113 years, the ancient house built in the period of French domination has become the showroom of historical monuments of Con Dao from Vietnam travel agency.

Hang Duong cemetery is the resting-place of over 20 revolutionary soldiers with names or without names. This may be the only cemetery where the tombs are designed simply: each tomb is a small rectangular rock pillar, above the tomb is a brown brick with a star.



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Hang Duong Cemetery


The tomb of Vo Thi Sau martyr that is in the B area is spiral with incense smoke. Annually, when the anniversary of her death comes, people come here to worship her.

Con Dao is also famous for the primitive and beautiful beach like Dam Trau, hang Duong, Phi yen… sand on the beach is very smooth and seawater is clean. The Con Dao rocky mountains with the sea makes an attractive landscapes: Mui ca map, Thanh Gia mountain, Tinh yeu top of mountain…surrounding Con Son (the main island of Con Dao) is small islands: Hon Cau, Hon Bay Canh, Hon Trung, Hon Tre… and blue bays: Ben Dam bay, Dam Trau Bay, Dam Tre bay…

Bai Nho is not far from charming Dam Trau bay. Right here, after swimming, we climbed the cliffs, visiting the primitive lake of fresh water behind the bay, and diving to see colorful coral reefs and flocks of fish. Then, we wandered in the primeval forests, seeing rare animals only in Con Dao like Nicoba doves…

Coming to Con Dao, do not forget to visit the shrine of Phi Yen – Nguyen Phuc Anh lord’s wife.

For these reasons, Con Dao will satisfy your wish to travel and admire the beauty of nature.

Con Dao Prison


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Con Dao is notable for its paradoxes, one of very few “Hell on Earth”, the Con Dao prison, and  wonderful natural scenery with the ocean, mountains and grass field. Thiscombination: the beauty of nature and the evil of humans.

The noted place in Con Dao is Con Dao prison – the place that jailed prisoners in the Vietnam War. Compared to Phu Quoc prison, Con Dao prison was behind in terms of torturing methods, but it is well-known for a much longer history. 

Established in 1862 by French Colonists, Con Dao is known as a Hell on Earth; anyone arrested there would suffer a painful death.

From 1862 to 1975, Con Dao captured and detained thousands of prisoners, mostly patriots. Con Dao prison conjures up a dark memory that makes everyone trembling when reminded of the past. 

In Con Dao, the French Colonists and American Army built a system of torturing, beating and killing prisoners slowly and painfully. They established special departments to easily torture prisoners.

The most famous one is separate “tiger cages”, which shocked the American public in 1970s, with unbelievable methods applied to prisoners. These tiger cages are small basements built with stone with steel window on the top, with the aisles between basements for jailers and soldiers to guard and insult prisoners with dirty water and lime. 

Jailers even invented “sunbathing room”, known as the tiger cages with no roof to force people inside to suffer from the sun heat for days. Another noted invention is separate cow sheds, which had been used to keep cows inside, but jailers transformed them into rooms for prisoners. They kept prisoners among animals in very poor conditions.

More terribly, they sent some “dangerous” prisoners to the basements under the sheds and let them rot away due to the excrement from the animals. Prisoners here were chained with cuffs all the time, and the food was just enough for them to survive. The jailers beat prisoners whenever they wanted, and kept inventing torturing methods that could not be seen anywhere else, including taking teeth, nailing into body, burning, etc. 

Con Dao nowadays has become an uncomfortable museum for people to visit, but it still attracts many tourists to witness the evilness of humans. It could be a useful and interesting history lesson for all tourists.

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