Con Dao is an archipelago off the coast and also the island district of Ba Ria- Vung Tau province in South Vietnam. The archipelago was named after its largest island. Con Dao (or Con Son), the main island as well as the main tourist attraction of the whole archipelago, is about 80km from the mainland Mekong Delta region and 230km from Saigon. Vinh Hai commune, Vinh Chau town, Soc Trang province is the closest place to Con Dao island. Due to its separate location, the only ways to visit Con Dao are taking the limited short flights from Saigon Airport and boarding the speedboat ride from the pier in Soc Trang or Can Tho to reach the island after a couple of hours.
Until now Con Dao is still a very quiet and untouched island with approximately 80 percent of the island is forested. The thick canopy provides a habitat for all sorts of exotic-sounding animals endemic to the island. Con Dao is also a beautiful mountainous island, with the highest peak reaching 557m. The ocean around the island is home to sea cows and sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beaches from March to August annually. There is a nature reserve on the island, Con Dao National Park, which has proved its unique and pristine ecosystems. Here is also the home a lot of dreamy white-sand beaches, secluded bays, the calm & crystal clear seawater as well as the breathtaking landscapes, which are all for perfect beach getaways. Due to the limited ways to visit the island, Con Dao is still less-visited and remains its well-off-the-beaten-tracks as they can always be. Unlike many busy islands in Vietnam, Con Dao has gorgeous and hushed seafront promenades and dramatic coastline roads where you can freely pamper your soul with striking visual feasts. Not only appealing by its pristine natural beauties, Con Dao is a significant historical site owing to its dolorous history in the past. Con Dao was once the largest prison in Indochina before 1975 and in the subconscious part of many Vietnamese people it is notoriously known as “the real hell of the world”. There are 11 prisons on Con Dao, of which Phu Hai is the largest one. They were the place of the detenting and torturing political prisoners in the last centuries. For over 100 years of existence, over 20,000 Vietnamese have been imprisoned and sacrificed in Con Dao’s prison series. They were closed in 1975 after the unity of entire Vietnam. Nowadays, these prisons along with many old French buildings in colonial times, a famous cemetery, and a holy shrine are the prominent historical sites of Con Dao, which reflect the island’s great history and even mythical legendary.
When it comes to Con Dao, the island might be well-known as the sought-after place for spiritual tours in Vietnam. As many Vietnamese do pilgrimages in Con Dao to remember national heroes or relatives who were imprisoned or died here. Perhaps the most famous of all the victims of the Con Son prisons is Vo Thi Sau and she has been even worshipped as a fabled god protecting the island. But now, Con Dao has more openly attractive to tourists as a fabulous exclusive resort and sightseeing destination which is out of this world than any other Vietnam travel destinations. The total population residing on Con Dao island is just about 7,000 people, most of whom are fishermen or part of the Peoples’ Army of Vietnam, which keeps the island the intact charms and its inherent remoteness and serenity. There are several lesser-known yet worth-while luxurious resorts around the island, and the most outstanding one among of which is Six Senses Con Dao, a place surely deserving a sense of the true lavish as well as a spectacular escapade from the bustle of current life for anyone. Being a mystical tourist attraction containing the mesmerizing lures from natural to historical highlights, Con Dao is a true hidden gem that is turning out to be the island in vogue for those who are looking for something is exceptional for their exclusive trip.