Home Things to Do in Vietnam Things to See and Do in Con Dao Islands

Things to See and Do in Con Dao Islands

By: Jackie - 04 August 2017

Con Dao - an alluring offshore Vung Tau archipelago is one of the must–see destinations in Vietnam. Including 16 islands and islets, each and every part of Con Dao bears the distinctive charm. Before recognized as a tourist attraction, this isolated area was once a notorious prison keeping political convicts during Vietnam war. Today, a lot of tourists flock to this group of island not only to admire the beauty of the nature but to know why the phrase “hell on Earth” was named to it.

The Gloomy Chapter of the Paradise Island

In the previous century, Con Dao was known as “hell on earth” or “the Devil’s island of Indochina” for its dreadful past during the wartime. Con Dao prison system was established in 1862 by French colonist then by the in March 1955, the Americans – backed government. 

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands

In the darkest time, Con Dao’ jail captured thousands of prisoners, mostly political dissidents, communists, and Viet Cong, others are civilian and military offenders. All of them were treated like hell in which the “Tiger cage” cells and the cow shed are the 2 forms of the cruelest torture. Finally, in 1975, the prisons were closed putting an end to the horrifying era which related to the deaths of more than 20,000 people.

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 2
Tiger cages in the prison of Con Dao

Con Son – Where Most Stunning Beaches Were Found

Con Son is the biggest island and one of the inhabited ones in Con Dao archipelago, where most stunning beaches locate. The marvelous look of the lush vegetation embraces the blue – sky water and the fine white soft sand making beaches in Con Son one of the most desiring places to escape from the bustling city life. 
Furthermore, some beaches in Con Son are quite close to the town so that it takes less effort to find a place where you can enjoy yourself. Tourists can also spend a whole lazy day lying on the beach as many comfortable loungers and beach chairs are set on the shore with various foods and drinks.

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 3
Lounges and beach chairs on the beach

Dam Trau beach is considered as an island’s best in Con Son with the outstanding arc – shaped coast surrounded by greenery forest. In addition, this spot situates near the airport where sometimes watching a plane flying over is quite interesting.

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 4
Dam Trau Beach

Diving and Snorkeling - The Most Expecting Activities in Con Dao

Blessed with the pristine beaches and the great diversity of marine ecology, Con Dao becomes fascinating spots for water – base activities in which diving and snorkeling are favorable. The cost for these activities is rather expensive owing to the isolated location of the island, but still worth trying. 
You will dive along with numerous of peculiar sea creatures like batfish, stingrays, barracuda, turtles, moray eels, clownfish, etc. among the finest tropical reefs, making everyone fall in love with this island. The diving season goes around from March to October in the best weather condition.
Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 5   

Con Dao’s National Park – The Home of Sea Turtles

Con Dao national park is established to preserve the unique biodiversity of the archipelago. There are 14 turtle breeding grounds in this group of island in which Cat Lon Beach, Tre Lon Island or Bay Canh Island are the places where you can have a great opportunity to take a closer look at the turtle breeding grounds and to watch turtles laying eggs.The perfect time to observe the breeding and nesting procedures is from April to September, you can see as many as 20-30 turtle nests. 

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 6
Watching turtle laid eggs

Fantastic Hiking Routes to the other Islands

There are a lot of hiking options in Con Dao for your choice. Remember to get a ticket at the park office and prepare enough water for the trip. 
So Ray plantation and Ong Dung beach are 2 destinations that take a little effort to go. Both of them are short-distance trips and rather easy to hike through the National park. While hiking, do not feed or try getting closer to the monkeys because they are a bit annoying and try to steal your possessions. 
For a longer hike to Bang Beach and Dat Tham beach – the remote and isolated places on the western side of the island which is suitable for those who seek private and adventure. Taking a lot of legwork, the way to the islands is paved with stone and concrete rising steadily but always shaded by the green jungle.

Things to see and do in Con Dao Islands 7
Hiking activity in Con Dao

Con Dao should be on the top of your traveling list to Vietnam. This group of islands is the perfect place for whom seeking the privacy and tranquility. Con Dao first appears as the “hell on Earth” but today it is undoubtedly a tropical tourist paradise. Vietnam tour packages offer the best trip to this beautiful archipelago with excellent service.