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Exploring Vietnam's remote Con Dao Islands

You are wondering sitting and where are planning to travel during this summer, why don’t visit to Con Dao Islands?

Way south of the mainland, Vietnam’s idyllic Con Dao was used by the French and Americans as an island prison for anti-regime activists and criminals for decades. History aside, Con Dao is blessed with stunning beaches and rich coral reefs that represent the best diving in Vietnam. This is what makes you should go there to explore.

What to do ?

Begin with taking a morning stroll in Con Son town

It’s a delight to explore the islands' tiny capital on foot. Along the town’s spectacular promenade, with a horizon-filling turquoise ocean on one side and a roster of handsome ochre French colonial buildings to admire on the other, traffic-free streets, a couple of traffic lights don’t work and a solitary gas station closes for a siesta , this will bring you a real feel of Viet Nam in the slow lane.

Discover the islands' terrible past

There were once 11 jails. The largest was Phu Hai, where political rebels and criminals were herded together naked in the French period. This prison acted as a revolutionary university for leaders of the People's Army of Vietnam. The most difficult prisoners were singled out for particularly gruesome treatment in the infamous neighbouring Tiger Cages, where they were kept in open-roofed pens, beaten with sticks and doused with lime (which burns the skin). Over 20,000 prisoners died in Con Dao explain the reason why for its terrible past.

Dive Vietnam's best reefs

After a disturbing look into Con Dao's past, lighten your mood with a trip to the beach.

The Con Dao islands' reefs are unquestionably the best in Vietnam, with healthy soft and hard coral, and there are also a few wrecks to explore (including a 65m Thai freight ship). You can expect to see a good variety of tropical marine life: parrot fish, triggerfish and perhaps a turtle. The best conditions are between January and June but diving is possible year-round.

How to get there ?

The islands are connected to the mainland port of Vung Tau by ferries (three to four times a week), but since the crossing can be very rough, conditions very basic, the journey long (12 hours) and cancellations frequent, most people choose to arrive by air. Vietnam Airlines and Vasco operate three daily direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City.

Come and go to find a flight ticket to have a chance to see Colourful Vietnamese fishing boats in the Con Dao Islands!

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