Con Dao is one of the top coastal tourist sites of Vietnam. Located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, this island has many unspoiled beaches communing with nature, therefore, it always attracts numerous visitors especially in the summer. Being one of 21 national tourist areas of Vietnam, Con Dao now is chosen to be the paradise of relaxation and exploring nature. It was also voted one of ten mysterious and best islands in the world by Lonely Planet Magazine in 2011. In this article, I would share some useful tips in preparation for Con Dao adventure tour with you.
The best time to come here
From October to the end of February is time of rough sea, the subsistence allowance in Con Dao is often expensive because freight ships cannot reach to the island. Therefore, you had better visit Con Dao from March to September. This is time of calm sea and tourists can take part in many interesting activities.
The tourist attractions in Con Dao
Con Dao consisting of various islets such as Bay Canh, Tai, Tre, Trung, or Cau islet, is home of coral reefs with highest density in Vietnam, the ideal place to explore the fascinating ocean world.
Marine ecosystem of Tai islet is plentiful and colorful picture of coral mingling with sea creatures hidden under the blue water. Getting to Tai islet, visitors can see lizards, geckos, sea birds, white imperial pigeon – a rare bird and ebony squirrels – an endemic species in Con Dao. Con Dao is also famous for a land abundant in seafood; therefore, it will be an exciting voyage for those loving to go fishing. Then, you can enjoy both your spoils and peaceful space of white sand, blue sea with companions or relatives. In particular, the best suggestion for tourists who want to challenge their courage with shark angling is Nhat beach, located on the top of Love Island.
Bay Canh Islet
Bay Canh Islet is the second largest one in 16 islands of Con Dao archipelago, where the amount of sea turtles laying is highest in Vietnam. Each year, there are hundreds of mother turtles laying eggs on the beach. The entire island is covered with virgin tropical forest and very rich fauna and flora. Traveling to Con Dao, you can experience a quiet night but very fascinating on Bay Canh islet. You may witness Chelonia mydas sea turtles called green turtles making nest and laying eggs on the coast. Especially, visitors will be able to explore the ecology of mangroves and dive to view coral.
Cau islet is well known for both pristine beauty, healthy environment and an important site for conserving species of rare wildlife as sea turtles, bird’s nests. This is only one of offshore islands having groundwater. Moreover, it is also a historical monument where French and American imprisoned patriotic soldiers in the wartime.
In addition, visitors can come to Dam Tre Bay that is located to the northeast of Con Son Island; just far away center of Con Dao National Park 16 km. This is a wild tourism destination with natural landscape and blue seawater.
Con Dao prison
Besides these above islets, Con Dao prison is other place that you should not skip. From 1862 to 1975, Con Dao is known as a brutal prison for opponents of the French colonialism and the former Saigon regime. To understand somewhat Con Dao in ancient times, you should visit Con Dao Museum, Chuong Cop relic (France & USA), Hang Duong cemetery, the graves of heroic martyrs Vo Thi Sau and other soldiers.
Note when travelling to Con Dao
The service in Con Dao is sometimes not much appreciated but is improving. Good supply depends on shipment from the mainland, therefore, the price is relatively expensive and many activities at night are restricted. You should prepare boots, anti-allergy drugs, and some fast foods if you want to explore the forests. Here, there are only a few shops; you can choose Thu Ba or Tri Ky restaurants, 2 famous one on Con Dao to enjoy your meals. Especially, if travelers want to save money, they had better reach to wharf at 6h00 am or 2:00 pm to buy seafood with very cheap price and then have hotel staffs cook for them.
Leaving Con Dao after beach vacation, you’ll always keep the images of wooden swings, the smell of sea, smell of the wind, smell of grass and the sound of waves, birds around forests. In Con Dao, you will live and sharply feel real life of people here, not in a dream.