The Con Dao Islands, located in the remote archipelago of the Ba Ria-Vung province, are an area of notable outstanding natural beauty. Much of this area now forms part of the Con Dao National Park. Situated approximately 145 miles from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), as the crow flies, making it a short flight. The islands have a dark past which should not be forgotten – they were a place of terrible imprisonment during the French colonial years, and then for political prisoners during the war up until 1975. Visitors can pay their respects and learn more about this at the Con Dao museum in the main town, something we highly recommend.
The Con Dao islands of today have reinvented themselves and are welcoming tourists but in relatively few numbers, so the islands remain undeveloped, much less so than the more well-known island of Phu Quoc. This is mainly due to its relative remoteness and that owing to the small size and rugged geology, the airport is only very small and is likely to remain that way. This is all good news for the island and its flora and fauna. Some of the protected yet endangered species on the island one might be lucky enough to see include the dugong, the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle. Con Dao is said to be the best place for scuba diving in Vietnam so if you are a keen diver and plan to visit to Vietnam, Con Dao should be on your list.
Weather patterns on the Con Dao islands are a little complicated and are not always in line with the mainland. The best time to visit is between is between February and May, but the summer months are also a good time to visit. From September to December the conditions can be quite windy.
A holiday to Con Dao is an excellent inclusion to any tailormade holiday to Vietnam or Southeast Asia and would make a relaxing break after a busy itinerary sightseeing on the mainland.
Features in the following itineraries
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India