Con Dao Islands – Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province
Con Dao Islands are an archipelago that consists of 16 islands in the Southeast region of Vietnam. Once you reach it, you will constantly have a feeling that you’ve found yourself on a picture from some beautiful postcard! Wherever you go, you will see breathtaking sceneries of a wild untouched nature. Except this, Con Dao is also an important place in the history of Vietnam. It really seems that even time stops here. This is a real paradise off the beaten track, which you will, probably, never forget!
Stunning view on the archipelago Image source: vietnammuslimtour.com
How to get there?
Côn Sơn Island, which is the biggest island of the archipelago, has an airport that serves domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Cần Thơ, operated by VASCO (Vietnam Airlines). The round trip from Ho Chi Minh City costs nearly $350.
To get from the airport to the city centre, you can use any hotel bus – the drivers will be only happy to give you a ride only for $2 (50,000 VND). The taxi from the airport will cost approximately $15 (300,000 VND).
You can hire a boat at the national park office on the Côn Sơn Island, in a case you want to explore the islands around by boat. A 12-person boat costs about $50 (1,200,000 VND) per day.
Welcome to the wonderland! Image source: remotelands.com
Things to do at Con Dao Islands
Enjoy a day on the beach
Probably, spending a lazy day on the beach will be your biggest wish after a flight and long travel to the island. Be careful, the Con Dao beaches are so beautiful that you may easily spend here the rest of your trip, but there’s still a lot of other interesting things to do and to see! If you stay on the Con Son Island, you may check Bai Dat Doc beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful on the island. It’s a lot of less crowded with tourists, but no less awesome than other beaches on the smaller islands around. If you want to explore them as well, visit a beautiful white sand beach of Tre Lon Island, located to the west of Con Son.
Six Senses Con Dao Resort Image source: condaoexplorer.com
Take a tour in Phu Hai Prison
Phu Hai Prison was built in 1862 to house the first anti-colonial agitators. Nowadays this is an important historical site of the country that attracts visitors from all the parts of the world. It is known that the prisoners were kept here in the terrible conditions and more than 20,000 of them have died here. Next to the prison, you may find a Revolutionary Museum, where the guided informative tour costs less than $1 (20,000 VND).
Phu Hai Prison Image source: citypassguide.com
See the turtle sanctuary
If you want to see an exciting natural phenomenon of turtles laying eggs, you can book a special turtle tour at the National Park Office. When booking your trip, remember that the turtle season lasts only from June till the middle of September. It may still happen that the office will sell you tickets out of season and promise turtles, but in the end you will see nothing. However, if you come during the right season, use your chance to see it!
Baby turtles hatch and head out to sea Image source: photoblog.nbcnews.com
Con Dao has a reputation of one of the best destinations for diving in Vietnam. It’s corals are untouched, the underwater life is diverse and the flocks of fish are colourful and impressive! Among the reliable and trustful companies that provide diving service there are Dive! Dive! Dive!, Rainbow Divers and Senses Diving Con Dao. The prices start at $75. Pay attention that the medical insurance is obligatory due to the island’s remote location.
Con Dao is a great destination for diving Image source:feelgoodholidays.co.uk
Visit the Con Dao National Park
Almost 80% of the land area of the archipelago are a National park. Here you can see the unique animals, for example, the endemic black squirrel and the crab eating macaque. Part of the territory is covered with wild rainforests with beautiful lakes and waterfalls. Remember to plan and check your route in advance. Doesn’t matter how beautiful are the landscapes, it’s never a good idea to get lost!
The wild and untouched beauty Image source: vietnamvisaonentry.com