Travel to Con Dao, Vietnam
Travel to Con Dao is one of the most beautiful and peaceful getaway you will do in Vietnam.
Isolated from the mainland, the Con Dao Islands are one of Vietnam's star attractions. You’re likely to experience two sides to the islands when you travel to Con Dao: the tropical paradise, or the brutal penal colony. One day spent swimming in the clear sea, walking upon white sand beaches, hiking in the jungle, riding a scooter along deserted coast roads, and drinking cocktails on the seafront promenade; another spent visiting the colonial-era prisons, learning about political prisoners and witnessing remnants of their deadly forced labour.
How to travel to Con Dao islands ?
There are multiple daily flights from Saigon, and weekly flights from Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. There’s also a new, fast, daily ferry connection from Soc Trang in the Mekong Delta (2h30), and a slow ferry service from Vung Tau (5h). Cruise ships even make stops at Con Son occasionally. On Con Son Island itself, getting around couldn’t be easier, thanks to good roads, short distances, light traffic, taxis, and scooter rental.
The best time to travel to Con Dao
The best time to be on the islands is from March to June: the weather is hot and generally dry, and the sea is blue and smooth as glass. Either side of New Year (November to February) is the driest time, but it can be pretty windy: the sea is choppy, lying on the beach is difficult to enjoy with the sand blowing in your face, diving conditions aren’t great, and, if you’re planning to arrive by sea, boats are often forced to cancel. Summer months are hot with calm, clear waters, but there’s always the chance of some heavy monsoon rain. October tends to be the worst month, because the islands are subject to the typhoon winds which blow in from the northeast.
Travel to Con Dao - Things to do
Travel to Con Dao - Places to visit
For the majority of Vietnamese visitors, prisons, museums and historical sites are the Con Dao’s history that brings them here. Every year, tens of thousands of Vietnamese of all ages and backgrounds come on a pilgrimage of sorts, to pay their respects to the former inmates of the prisons, many of whom are considered great national heroes. Over 20,000 prisoners died on the island, either through malnutrition, disease, mistreatment or execution. Of course, this makes the prisons and associated sites a very sombre experience. But, for a foreign visitor, it also gives you some historical perspective, and makes you appreciate how this island, which today appears to be the epitome of a tropical paradise, was a dark and hellish place for thousands of prisoners for over a century.
- Phu Hai Prison
- Con dao prison
- Con Dao Museum
Travel to Con Dao - Activities
Relax and enjoy the beaches in Con Dao: Ong Dung, Dam Trau, Bien Dong... It is easy to reach them by motorbike.
Diving or Snorkelling with a travel agency such as Con Dao Dive Center, Rainbow Divers or Lighthouse Con Dao Travel.
Travel to Con Dao - Where to eat?
Villa Maison Kitchen & Wine Bar
This very pleasant restaurant is the place to go to Con Dao when you are looking for a beautiful setting and good food. We suggest you to try the Seafood Red Curry, which is amazing!
Address: 46 Nguyen Hue, Lo Voi Beach
Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 11pm
If you are looking for great burgers and pizzas, Bar 200 is the place to go!
Address: 7 Vo Thi Sau | thi tran Con Dao, huyen Con Dao
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 9pm
Travel to Con Dao - Where to stay?
The number of places to stay on the Con Dao Islands has grown significantly over the last couple of years. Here are our recommendations for each budget.
Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa $$$
It is just a couple of minutes drive from the airport, and the only accommodation on this side of the island. For the time being, the resort has the entire beach to itself. The styling and decor are superb. The theme is French colonial. Inside, the rooms are very spacious and beautifully appointed. Other facilities include an attractive infinity pool, spa, large gardens, restaurant and bar.
Tan Son Nhat Con Dao Resort $$
This place is right next to Con Dao Resort, and shares the same great beach location. Large and nicely-made wooden bungalows are set under big trees right on the beach.
Uyen’s House Homestay $-$$
With its cool, pastel tones, antique-chic decor, and pleasantly young and trendy vide, Uyen’s House has become a favourite selfie location for Vietnamese twenty-somethings.