Destination: Con Dao Island
Con Dao Island: Discovering the Hidden Gem of Vietnam
Con Dao is an archipelago of 16 islands located off the southern coast of Vietnam. It is a hidden gem that offers visitors stunning natural beauty, rich history, and unspoiled beaches. In this blog, we will explore some of the reasons why Con Dao should be on your list of must-visit destinations in Vietnam.
Con Dao has a complex and fascinating history. The islands were first inhabited by the Khmer people in the 17th century, and then later by the Vietnamese. However, it is best known for its use as a prison by the French colonizers and later the South Vietnamese government. The prisons held many political prisoners, including many Vietnamese who were fighting for independence from the French. The prisons were notorious for their brutal treatment of prisoners, and many died during their incarceration. Today, the prisons have been turned into museums, allowing visitors to learn about this dark period in Vietnam's history.
Con Dao is home to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in Vietnam. The waters around the islands are crystal clear, and the beaches are fringed by lush green forests. The most popular beaches on Con Dao are Dam Trau, Nhat Beach, and Bay Canh Island. These beaches offer visitors the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe in a beautiful and peaceful setting. In addition to the beaches, Con Dao is also home to several nature reserves, where visitors can observe wildlife such as sea turtles, dugongs, and rare birds.
Con Dao has a unique culture that is a blend of Vietnamese and Khmer influences. Visitors can explore the local markets, where they can buy traditional handicrafts, clothing, and food. The island's cuisine is also a highlight, with fresh seafood and local specialties such as sea urchin porridge and sweet potato cake. Visitors can also take part in cultural activities such as learning traditional fishing methods or participating in a local festival.
Con Dao offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to simple guesthouses. Some of the most popular resorts on the island include the Six Senses Con Dao, the Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa, and the Con Dao Resort. These resorts offer visitors luxurious accommodations, breathtaking views, and top-notch amenities.
Overall, Con Dao is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and culture. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, be sure to add Con Dao to your itinerary. Whether you are interested in history, nature, or culture, you are sure to find something to love on these beautiful islands.
Top 10 things to do in Con Dao Island:
Visit the Con Dao National Park: This park covers most of the island and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. There are several hiking trails to explore, as well as beaches and viewpoints.
Relax on An Hai Beach: This is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches on the island, with clear waters and soft white sand.
Explore Con Dao Town: This small town is the main hub of the island, with a few restaurants, shops, and historic sites to visit.
Visit the Phu Hai Prison: This historic site was once a brutal French colonial prison, and now serves as a museum documenting the island's dark past.
Take a boat tour: There are several boat tours available that will take you around the island, stopping at scenic spots for swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing.
Visit the Hang Duong Cemetery: This cemetery is the final resting place for many of the political prisoners who were held on the island during the French colonial period.
Snorkel or dive in the clear waters: Con Dao has some of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Vietnam, with colorful coral reefs and a diverse range of marine life.
Explore the Co Ong Village: This small fishing village offers a glimpse into local life on the island, with traditional houses and a lively market.
Visit the Dam Tre Bay Lagoon: This beautiful lagoon is surrounded by mangroves and offers a tranquil setting for swimming and kayaking.
Relax in a spa: There are several spas on the island that offer traditional Vietnamese massage and other treatments, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring.
photo sources: usplash/vnexpress