The gift of raw natural beauty
No less than 15 amazing islands, the Con Dao Archipelago will literally knock your socks off. If you are looking for tropical paradise steeped in rich history this is a MUST SEE on your first trip to Vietnam. The island chain was at one time in history a penal colony due to its remote location 80km off the Mekong Delta. As far back as 1862, and as recently as 1975, the Con Dao Islands housed tens of thousands of political prisoners but now is home to a young community of budding eco-tourism opportunities.
- By Sea
- By Air
Catch a boat from the seaside town of Vung Tau. This is the most cost effective method of arriving on the island, and the most romantic. At 10$ a ticket, you can take an 11 hour boat ride leaving at dusk and arriving at dawn. The boats themselves are less than charming, with their smells of travelers past. Rough seas make the journey an adventure, giving the beginning traveler one heck of a story to tell. Waking up to the Ben Dam Harbor seems to somehow make it all worthwhile. Though the most travelers are better off taking a plane.
Vietnamese Airlines branch VASCO flies 5 or 6 times a day from Saigon to Con Dao. This is not the most cost effective way of traveling with prices starting at 100$, but it is the least time consuming. Time crunch or budget crunch, will help decide of you take the boat or a plane. However you get to Con Dao, get there.
The active backpacker, or beginning backpacker will get the most out of this location. It is a backpackers paradise. Tour the island on your own, rent a bike or just walk. There are enough well marked hiking paths to keep you from getting lost, and the towns and villages are connected with reasonable roads.
This is an amazing place for nature hikes in the jungles of Vietnam. Hike past the prisoner built Ma Thien Lanh Bridge and on ward to a breathtaking rocky cove. The National Park Headquarters will have some useful maps for hiking available to you, and when in doubt, hire a guide, that way you don’t miss a thing!
Vietnam has some of the best dive spots in the world, and Con Dao is the jewel on the crown. The rich and healthy oceans here, filled with sea turtles and fish of all kinds will offer you extraordinary underwater experiences you’ll remember for a life time.
Con Dao is a tropical island. That means it is hot, and it is wet; but that is the appeal of a tropical paradise. The heat, the sun, the rain in the palm trees, lazy days on the beach or a hike in a lush green forest Con Dao has it all. It will have your heart by time your trip is over.