Con Dao is a green island in the southern offshore of Vietnam. This is not only the natural and historical site as well as the crucial point in the defense and security in southeastern coast of Vietnam.
Con Dao island
History of Con Dao Island
Con Dao is a group of islands in the offshore of southern Vietnam, whereas Con Son is the largest island in the Con Dao Archipelago, 80km from the mainland. Con Dao used to be a prison for political prisoners during the French colonial time and in later years when the Saigon regime hold the power, it was continuously the place imprisoning opponents of the regime in the infamous cells known as the "tiger cages". The old prison buildings are still standing and are open to the public as a small museum telling the cruelty of the old regime and showing the island's history.
Unlike the prisons on Phu Quoc where the north Vietnamese soldiers were held, this is the prisons for Viet Cong here during Vietnam war. Being accused of the traitors to their own country (The Republic of South Vietnam), the living conditions of political prisoners on Con Dao were especially harsh but they still lived in peace and kept an iron spirit in this terrible “tiger cages”.
Apart from having an appealing history, Con Dao is also a tourism heaven with the immense natural beauty of the forests, sandy beaches, and extensive coral reefs.
There is a national park here named the Con Dao national park.
How to get to Con Dao
Due to the separated geography of Con Dao, the easiest way to get to Con Dao is by a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the main island Con Son, it just takes an hour to get the island. Because the number of flights here is limited, it means that only a trickle of travelers can get to paradise.
However, you also take a boat to visit this island from Cat Lo port, it takes 12 hours to reach Ben Dam port on Con Son island. The islands are still a refreshing enclave of protected wilderness, a chunk of the land and waters belonging to Con Dao national park. Tourists coming here will have a chance to walk along the coastal road and mountainous trails as well as enjoy the deserted beaches.
What to see and do on Con Dao
Visit Con Dao prison
Con Dao prison was built in 1861 by the French colonists to confine the political criminals and those who were trusted to be dangerous to the colonist government. So, many Vietnamese ranking leaders and Vietnamese idealists were also jailed here such as Phan Chau Trinh, Le Duan. When visiting Con Dao prison, you should linger a while at Dao museum. This is where a lot of relics related to the island’s heroic past have been remained. You will be shocked when seeing the ancient objects and documents telling the cruelty of the mother country of France during the time Vietnam was under the domination of France. However, the must-see site in this prison you should not miss is “tiger cages,” where prisoners suffered from inhuman torture methods. The prison was closed after the victory of the spring 1975 and just opened for the public later.
Con Dao prison
Explore the ocean by scuba diving and snorkeling
Con Dao is one of the best destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling in Vietnam. Thanks to the beauty of the beautiful range reefs in Con Dao sea, you will have the wonderful experience to discover the amazing variety of the underwater life. While sinking your body in the marine world, you may wander around the ocean heart to encounter the lovely species such as the turtles, cobia, giant barracuda, batfish, whale shark, and tropical reef fish. You may choose to book a snorkeling tour in Thailand and Vietnam tours with the necessary equipment, which is more than 500.000 VND per tourist.
Snorkeling in Con Dao sea
If you are a fishing lover, Con Dao promises an ideal destination for you to go fishing and definitely bring you a different feeling. The popular place to go fishing for the fishing professionals in Con Dao is Nhat beach. There are two kinds of fishing on the island, fishing for fun and professional fishing. Professional fishing that lasts some days is suited to those whose passions are going fishing.
Watch turtle laying eggs
Visiting Con Dao, you not only have the chances to see the turtles swimming in the sea but also are able to spy the turtles laying eggs in darkness. Coming to Con Dao in the breeding season from April to September every year, you will see thousands of female turtles moving to sandy beaches and laying eggs in the sandy nests during the night. What a unique experience for you in Con Dao!
Coming to Thailand Cambodia Vietnam tour, you will have the memorable moments in the beautiful destinations that keep in your mind forever. If you have any questions, let’s contact us to get more details. Thank you and have a nice trip!