Guide to Visiting the Con Dao Islands

If you’re looking for a place to relax away from the busy streets of Vietnam, then check out the Con Dao Islands. These islands are home to some of the most beautiful and quiet beaches in Vietnam. Here, you can frolic at the white sand beaches, hike the jungle, or drive a scooter to explore the island’s deserted roads. So here’s your guide to visiting the stunning islands of Con Dao.

Where Is Con Dao?

Con Dao is an island in the Ba Ria–Vung Tau province of Vietnam. Located 230 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh, the easiest and fastest way to reach Con Dao is by taking a domestic flight from Ho Chi Minh City. It should only take 45 minutes and there are several flights that you can take daily.

Another option is to take a bus going to the city of Vung Tau and then take a boat or ferry from Vung Tau. The boat leaves at 5 PM and will get there at 5 in the morning on the following day. There are beds on the boat so you don’t need to worry about traveling overnight. They also serve food and beverages on board.

Taking the ferry is cheaper than flying. However, if you’re in a hurry, then flying is definitely a much better option.

Beaches in Con Dao

If you’re a fan of long sandy beaches with clear blue water, then you’ll absolutely love Con Dao. The island is home to a number of beaches and most of these are not too crowded unlike the other beaches in the country. Here are some of the island’s best beaches.

  • Bai Dam Trau – this beach is among the most beautiful in the island. It’s known for its crystal clear water, fine white sand, and beautiful coral reefs. But the best thing of all is that it’s not too crowded so you can fully enjoy swimming and sunbathing.

  • Bai Lo Voi & Bai An Hai – both the Lo Voi and An Hai beaches are in Ton Duc Thang Street and offers a great place to relax and swim in the water. It’s also a popular camping site and perfect for travelers with kids because they are easily accessible than the other beaches in the island.

  • Bai Suoi Nong – this beach is close to Dam Trau and to get here, you’ll have to pass through a road that’s tunneled by a forest. Because of its location, the beach is nearly deserted. It has beautiful powdery white sand with lush mangroves, which makes for a perfect haven to anyone who wanted to experience the true beauty of nature.

Other Things To Do in Con Dao

Aside from swimming at the beach, there are several other things that you can enjoy in the island of Con Dao. Here are some of them:

  • Visit the Con Dao Museum – the Con Dao museum holds an impressive collection of some valuable artifacts that were remnants of the Vietnam War. You’ll surely have a great time looking through the thousands of displays and learning a bit of history about the country especially during the war.

  • Check out the Con Dao Prison – another historical attraction that’s worth a visit in Con Dao is the Con Dao prison, said to be the oldest in Vietnam. This place is a witness to the most haunting memories of war, where prisoners have been brutally tortured. Indeed, visiting the place is such an incredible experience.

  • Wander Around the Con Dao National Park – the Con Dao National Park is the only national park in Vietnam where both the marine life and forest are conserved. Known for its scenic beauty, the park is home to more than 800 species of plants and over 150 different species of animals. Exploring the park is a great way to discover the best that nature can offer.

Tips to Visiting Con Dao

The best time to visit Con Dao is between the months of March and September where there are not too many waves in the ocean so the beaches are safe for swimming. There may be occasional rain showers, especially in the months of May and June, but there is still sunlight during this time so you can still enjoy sunbathing and swimming. However, these months are also the peak season in Con Dao so you can expect for the prices to increase, especially in the hotels and resorts.

It is best to book your accommodation as early as possible especially if you’re visiting during the peak season. Although Con Dao is known for its luxury resorts, such as the Six Senses, there are also lots of affordable accommodations in the island. Budget hotels range from $10 to $50.

If you plan on exploring the entire island, it’s highly recommended to rent a motorbike. You can also hire a taxi to get around the island and visit the beaches and other attractions.

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