Con Dao Island - Vietnam's Enchanting Hidden Gem

Once you set foot on any of the Con Dao Islands, it's hard to fathom that this stunning and secluded island paradise was once a living nightmare. The Con Dao Islands have emerged as a shining gem in Vietnam's attractions. Long known as the "Devil's Island of Indochina," reserved for political prisoners and outcasts, this place is now captivating visitors with its breathtaking natural beauty.


Con Dao doesn't just lure tourists with its natural splendor; it also carries a rich historical legacy. While it's undergoing development, it has managed to retain its pristine and mysterious charm. What's particularly remarkable is the environment here, which remains fresh, clean, and captivating with its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue seas.

Con Dao, also known as Con Lon and Con Son, is a deep-sea archipelago situated in the Ba Ria - Vung Tau region. It is the largest island in this cluster, comprised of 16 larger and smaller islands. Mention Con Dao, and most people recall the infamous prisons and historical vestiges. However, what often escapes notice are the island's serene beaches, coral reefs, and lush flora and fauna in secret forests. In fact, prestigious travel magazine Lonely Planet once ranked Con Dao among the top 10 mysterious and romantic islands in the world.



With approximately 285 plant species and over 100 bird species, as well as mammals like the ducula bicolor, salangnes nest, cheloniidae, and eretmochelys, Con Dao is a true natural wonder. Its azure seas and white sandy shores, coupled with consistently pleasant weather year-round, make it a place of perfect beauty. Local legend has it that Con Dao is a gift from the heavens, bestowed upon the land after enduring countless hardships in its history.

Given its relatively small size, Con Dao is best explored on foot or by bicycle, allowing you to soak in the sights and relish the tranquil, peaceful atmosphere. The sight of the Trau Lagoon, nestled beneath imposing cliffs with its creamy sand dunes, is bound to leave you in awe, temporarily sweeping away life's worries and cares.

A visit to the enchanting Bay Canh Islet is a must. The entire island is cloaked in lush primeval forest, and each year, hundreds of turtles make their pilgrimage here to lay their eggs, making it one of Vietnam's largest turtle nesting sites. Enjoy swimming, build sandcastles with friends on the sandy beaches, or witness the awe-inspiring sight of turtles laying their precious eggs. Snorkeling is also a favorite pastime, as Bay Canh Isle boasts a rich and diverse coral carpet, home to numerous species listed in Vietnam's Red Book.

Don't miss the opportunity to savor the local specialty, the ketapang fruit, during your Con Dao trip. Its aromatic, savory flavor, complemented by a hint of saltiness and sweetness, is perfect for sharing with friends. Seafood in Con Dao is exceptionally fresh, with red grouper and white fish meat being local delicacies. Lobster and slipper lobster are also readily available. Restaurant prices in Con Dao are quite uniform, so there's no need to agonize over choices.



A trip to Con Dao also carries deep spiritual significance, connecting you to its roots. This is the land where martyr Vo Thi Sau and many heroes made the ultimate sacrifice, and it's dotted with historic sites, including remnants of the Con Dao prison system from the war era.

Con Dao is the destination of choice for those seeking both tranquility in nature's embrace and an opportunity to delve into its rich historical tapestry. Traveling to Con Dao, an archipelago in the southeast waters of Vietnam, is a perfect hint for an unforgettable Vietnamese holiday.