Welcome to Con Dao
Isolated from the mainland, Con Dao is a chain of 15 islands and islets. Long the Devil’s Island of Indochina, the preserve of political prisoners and undesirables, this place makes one of the star attractions in Vietnam thanks to its pristine and striking natural beauty. With a total land area of 20 sq km, Con Son Island, which means ‘Island of the Squashes’, is the largest island and fringed with lovely beaches, coral reefs and scenic bays, and remains partially covered in thick forests. In addition to hiking, diving and exploring vacant coastal roads and deserted beaches, there are some outstanding wildlife-watching opportunities. Roughly 80% of the land area in the island chain is part of Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds. Other interesting sea life around Con Dao includes the dugong, a rare and seldom-seen marine mammal in the same family as the manatee.
Con Dao is one of those rare places in Vietnam where there are very few structures over two storeys, and where the tourist experience is almost hassle-free. The most favorable time to visit Con Dao is from November to February, although the seas are calmest from March to July. The rainy season lasts from June to September, but there are also northeast and southwest monsoons from September to November that can bring heavy winds.