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Con Dao Island Vietnam: A pristine archipelago for castaway fantasies

20/01/2024 13.873

With its pristine beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Con Dao Island offers a captivating respite, allowing you to temporarily disconnect from the hectic urban hustle and immerse yourself in a tranquil haven.

Con Dao Island

Nestled off the southern coast of Vietnam, Con Dao Island emerges as a captivating destination in South Vietnam. Whether you seek relaxation on pristine beaches, exploration of diverse ecosystems, or a journey through history, Con Dao Island has it all.

1. Where is Con Dao Island? How to get there?

1.1. Location of Con Dao Vietnam

Con Dao Island, also called Con Lon and Con Son, is an archipelago consisting of 16 pristine islands, located approximately 180 kilometers off the southern coast of Vietnam. This pristine island belongs to Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, which is approximately 100 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City.

Con Dao Island

>>> Explore:  Con Dao beaches: 9 of the best places to escape the summer heat

1.2. Ways to get to Con Dao Island

Getting to Con Dao Island is an exciting part of the journey, and there are several ways to reach this idyllic destination. Here are a few options for travelers to consider:

  • By plane: The most popular and convenient way to reach Con Dao is by air. Con Son Airport serves as the gateway to the island, offering domestic flights from cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho. Flights from Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao Island usually take around 45 minutes, providing a quick and comfortable travel experience.
  • By ferry: For those seeking a more adventurous approach, taking a ferry to Con Dao Islands can be a memorable experience. Departing from Vung Tau or Soc Trang, ferry services operate at scheduled intervals. While it takes longer than flying, the journey allows you to enjoy scenic views of the coastline and the open sea. Be sure to check the ferry schedules in advance, as they may vary depending on the season.

>>> Read more: Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao: The best transportation guide with ticket prices

2. How is the weather in Con Dao? When is the best time to visit it?

The weather in Con Dao Island is characterized by a tropical climate, offering warm temperatures throughout the year. Note that the island experiences two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

The dry season in Con Dao typically spans from November to April, offering visitors clear skies, sunshine, and lower humidity levels. This period is considered the best time to visit the island, as you can enjoy pleasant beach weather, engage in various water activities, and explore the natural beauty of Con Dao without the interruption of heavy rainfall. The temperatures during this season range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius, providing comfortable conditions for outdoor adventures and relaxation.

Con Dao Island

On the other hand, the rainy season in Con Dao occurs from May to October, with peak rainfall in July and August. Although the weather may be more predictable during this time, it is worth noting that the rains usually come in short bursts, allowing for breaks of sunshine in between. Despite the occasional showers, the lush green landscapes and reduced tourist crowds during the rainy season can create a unique and serene atmosphere for those who prefer a more tranquil experience.

>>> Read more: Con Dao diving: What you need to know for the best experiences

3. Best things to do on Con Dao Island

3.1. Watch turtles laying eggs

Con Dao Vietnam, with its nature reserve status, is home to a significant population of sea turtles. Witnessing the sea turtles laying eggs during your visit to Con Dao will definitely be a mesmerizing experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Various locations in Con Dao serve as nesting grounds for sea turtles, including Cau Island, Tre Lon Island, and Tai Island. The most significant site for turtle nesting is the expansive sandy beach of Bay Canh Island. This is a secluded haven within the Con Dao National Park, boasting untouched natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. It also serves as the largest sea turtle conservation area in Vietnam.

Con Dao Island

For those eager to witness this captivating sight, the best time to visit Con Dao is from September to November. This period coincides with the nesting season, where you can witness the turtles laying eggs and even the baby turtles making their journey to the sea. It is a remarkable experience that showcases the circle of life and the importance of conservation efforts.

3.2. Lounge around on stunning beaches

Con Dao is home to a collection of stunning beaches that will leave you in awe. Some must-visits include: 

  • Dam Trau Beach, known for its pristine beauty
  • An Hai Beach, offering a picturesque setting near Con Son Town
  • Lo Voi Beach, a secluded and untouched gem
  • Nhat Beach, a long stretch of golden sand ideal for leisurely strolls
  • Ong Dung Beach, with a rugged coastline and unique rock formations

Each beach offers a tranquil escape, where you can relax, soak up the sun, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Con Dao's coastal landscapes.

Con Dao Island

3.3. Conquer Mount Thanh Gia

From Con Son Town, a visit to Mount Thanh Gia requires a short journey to the foothills followed by a scenic 6-kilometer climb to the mountain's summit. The mount stands tall as the island's highest peak, and no travel guide to Con Dao would be complete without highlighting this remarkable destination. 

Covering a total area of approximately 2 hectares and towering 577 meters above sea level, Mount Thanh Gia acquired its name due to its cross-like shape in the past. Sadly, the ravages of war have altered the mountain's distinctive silhouette.

Con Dao Island

A visit to Mount Thanh Gia unveils not only the religious significance of the site but also brings an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich heritage of Con Dao. As you explore this sacred place, you will witness the echoes of the past, woven into the fabric of the mountain and its surroundings. The resilience and beauty that have emerged from the hardships endured are a testament to the island's unwavering spirit.

3.4. Take an island-hopping tour

Embarking on an island-hopping tour from Con Dao allows you to witness the stunning natural wonders of these islands. Each destination offers a unique experience, whether it is exploring underwater ecosystems, indulging in tropical bliss, immersing in eco-tourism, or discovering hidden coastal treasures. 

A must-visit is Hon Cau Island, renowned for its pristine turquoise waters and vibrant coral reefs. After exploring Hon Cau, you can continue your island adventure to Tre Lon Island, where you will discover a tropical paradise with palm-fringed beaches and lush greenery.

Con Dao Island

Moreover, you should include Hon Bay Canh Island in your itinerary. This pristine island is part of Con Dao National Park, offering untouched natural beauty and an opportunity to encounter diverse wildlife. 

Lastly, don't miss the chance to visit Hon Ba Island, a hidden gem nestled southeast of Con Dao. Its rugged cliffs, picturesque coves, and emerald-green waters create a mesmerizing landscape.

3.5. Go trekking through Ong Dung Primeval Forest

For adventurous nature enthusiasts, a trek through Ong Dung Primeval Forest is an absolute must when visiting Con Dao Island. Embarking on a trekking expedition through this forest allows you to immerse yourself in the pristine natural beauty of Con Dao. 

As you traverse well-marked trails, you will be surrounded by towering trees, dense foliage, and the symphony of chirping birds and buzzing insects. The tranquil ambiance and fresh air create a rejuvenating atmosphere, offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Con Dao Island

3.6. Visit Con Dao Prison and discover the history of the island

A visit to Con Dao Island is incomplete without exploring the haunting remnants of its dark past at Con Dao Prison. Steeped in history, this prison complex serves as a poignant reminder of the island's tumultuous past, offering a chance for tourists to understand the struggles and resilience of Vietnamese people.

Expertly preserved, the prison showcases the harsh conditions and brutal treatment endured by Vietnamese political prisoners. While the visit may evoke a sense of somber reflection, it also highlights the triumph of the human spirit. Today, Con Dao Prison stands as a symbol of national pride, serving as a testament to the enduring strength and determination of Vietnamese people.

To gain a deeper understanding of Con Dao’s history, you can also explore other historical sites on the island, such as Hang Duong Cemetery, where Vietnamese revolutionaries were laid to rest, and the Revolutionary Museum, which exhibits artifacts and photographs depicting the island's past.

Con Dao Island

3.7. Go snorkeling 

With its crystal-clear water and vibrant marine life, Con Dao offers an unforgettable snorkeling experience for both beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. The reefs here are teeming with a kaleidoscope of colorful fish and intricate coral formations. 

As you glide through the water, you will be mesmerized by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world. Tourists should remember to respect the marine environment by practicing responsible snorkeling and not touching or damaging the fragile coral reefs.

4. Must-try specialties of Con Dao Vietnam

When exploring Con Dao Island in Vietnam, be sure to tantalize your taste buds with its delightful local specialties. Here are some must-try dishes that will give you a true taste of the island's culinary delights:

  • Con Dao Seafood: As an island destination, it is no surprise that seafood takes center stage in Con Dao's culinary scene. Indulge in an array of fresh catches from the surrounding seas, including squid, shrimp, and fish. The seafood is often prepared with simplicity, allowing the natural flavors to shine through.
  • Con Dao Cobia Hotpot: Cobia, a type of white fish, is a local specialty and a must-try dish. Savored in a flavorful hotpot, the cobia is simmered with a variety of fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables, creating a comforting and aromatic dish. The tender fish absorbs the fragrant broth, making each bite a delight.
  • Con Dao Lobster: With its rich fishing grounds, Con Dao is renowned for its delectable lobsters. Savor the sweet and tender meat of the local lobsters, prepared in various ways such as grilled, steamed, or stir-fried with flavorful sauces. This mouth-watering delicacy is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Con Dao Island

5. Where to stay during your trip to Con Dao?

Coming to Con Dao, you have a variety of accommodation options to choose from based on your preferences and needs. You can find budget options ranging from 200,000 VND per night to luxury resorts that exceed 10 million VND per night. 

For those seeking a relaxing and indulgent experience, luxury resorts and hotels near the sea or nestled amidst the forests with private beaches are highly recommended. These accommodations provide a serene atmosphere, stunning ocean views, and top-notch amenities to ensure a memorable stay.

If you prefer to be in the heart of the island's activities, staying at hotels and homestays in the center of Con Dao is a convenient choice. This allows you easy access to explore the town, enjoy local eateries, and conveniently reach the pier for early morning boat trips or island-hopping adventures.

Besides Con Dao Island, consider visiting other famous tourist destinations in Vietnam, such as Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long. In these destinations, it is highly suggested that you choose Vinpearl hotels and resorts as your accommodations because of their world-class facilities and exceptional services. 

Each property of Vinpearl is meticulously designed to offer a touch of luxury, creating lasting memories for guests. Situated in picturesque beachfront locations and vibrant urban centers, Vinpearl provides a diverse range of options that cater to the unique preferences of every traveler. Whether you yearn for a serene beachside retreat, a bustling city escape, or the perfect blend of both, Vinpearl has the perfect destination for you to indulge in.

Con Dao Island


Con Dao Island

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long and enjoy your holiday in Vietnam!

Con Dao Island stands as a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. From its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life to its lush forests and captivating landscapes, Con Dao is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

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