A glimpse of Con Dao Island
Update: Nov 13, 2014
Once branded as “Hell on earth” with a notorious jail system in wartime, Con Dao Island off mainland Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province is now a peaceful destination appealing to many tourists.

When approaching Co Ong Airport from the air, visitors will see Con Dao open up in full magnificence but unique tranquility. The island boasts its wild beauty highlighted by green mountains and forests.

On the way to the town center, over 10 kilometers from the airport, tourists can admire amazing vertical cliffs on one side and the ocean on the other side. The winding road becomes even prettier with a wide variety of wild flowers blooming all the year round. A number of old tropical almond trees are seen lining Con Dao’s coast, catching visitors’ attention.

The town is surrounded by the blue sea and white smooth sand that seems to spread endlessly. Although a lot of boats come and leave, the wharf on Con Dao remains a peaceful place. Apart from a few cafes under the shade of tropical almond trees, there are neither street vendors nor pubs for drinking. Therefore, Con Dao still maintains its natural and pure beauty. Both tourists and islanders enjoy immersing themselves in the seawater at the time when the sun rises or sets.

The straight paved roads stretch under the shade of tropical almond, flamboyant and frangipani trees. Frangipani trees here are more special with larger canopy, green leaves and white flowers. Summer on Con Dao is the time when flamboyant trees unleashes their overwhelming red color while crape myrtle trees show off their purple flowers together with wild flowers growing everywhere. Con Dao market sells necessary stuffs of any kind that are mostly shipped from the mainland.

Coming to Con Dao, tourists often visit Dam Trau Beach close to the airport for relaxation and sightseeing endowed with smooth beaches under the shadow of evergreen trees, fresh air and crystal clear water.

Con Dao is home to a number of relics worthy of attention. In addition to Con Dao prisons, there are Phi Yen (King Gia Long’s second wife) Temple and Prince Cai (King Gia Long’s son) Tomb. If wanting to take further trips, you can follow islanders’ ships to other smaller islands. However, the most interesting part is to watch baby turtles hatch out and return to the sea together with local rangers. Such activity is very important to protect the ecology and natural landscapes.