HOW TO TRAVEL TO CON DAO ISLAND
By plane: only Vietnam airlines cooperate with Vasco currently operate flights to Con Dao. You will take direct flights from Saigon or Can Tho to Con Dao. If you fly from Hanoi or Danang, you will have to transit either mentioned places. Specifically, there are 3 to 4 flights from Saigon and passengers are allow to take 20kg baggage and 7kg carry-on bag with free of charge. Duration: 55 minutes
By speedboat: besides plane, visitors have another option which is more economical is speedboat from Cat Lo harbor (Vung Tau) to Dam wharf (Con Dao) and vice versa. Speedboats are only for people and motorbikes.
However, when traveling by speedboat, you should aware of seasick. During the calming sea’s period (from April to August), traveling by the speedboat is very interesting experience; but from September to March, it may be a bad experience for anyone who gets seasick.
The speedboat leaves at 5pm and reaches Dam wharf around 7am and vice versa. There is a small canteen serving beverages. Food on the speedboat is mostly instant noodle and steamed chicken eggs. It is about 12km from the Dam wharf to central island.
Price: VND 350,000 (US $16) per way departure at Vung Tau and it is VND 450,000 (US $23) for departure at Bach Dang wharf in Saigon.
Furthermore, Superdong speedboat company is planning to inaugurate the route to Con Dao from Soc Trang in June 2017 and it takes only 2.30 hours.
WHAT TO SEE IN CON DAO
Con Dao is a great place for cool climate, wide road and romantic landscape which is ideal for exploring around by motorbikes. Visitors can rent a motorbike at hotels or renting shops, price: from VND 100,000 (US 4) to VND 150,000 (US $7).
Sea in Con Dao is very clear and cool surrounded by green tree lines. Some beaches you should visit are:
Dam Trau beach: next to Co Ong airport, the beach is famous for its soft white sand surrounded by mountain in the arc shape so the wave is gentle and tranquil. This is considered as the best beach in Con Dao.
Lo Voi beach: is located along Ton Duc Thang road which is suitable for groups or families
An Hai beach: is 10 minutes walking from the center which is surrounded by mountain so the wave is mild and tranquil.
Contemplating sun: in Con Dao, you will have a wonderful chance to see the sun. Wake up early to enjoy sunrise at Ca Map cape, the sun comes out Bay Canh island altogether with clouds and sunshine make an amazing miraculous show of light. In the late afternoon, travel to Nhat beach to see sunset going down Tinh Yeu peak.
Discovering Ong Dung primeval jungle: from Con Dao, travel to the west to experience trekking trip in 20 minutes going past the primeval of Ong Dung.
Bay Canh island: board on a ship to visit Bay Canh island which is the second biggest one amongst 16 islands in Con Dao. The island is totally covered by a primeval jungle. Visit this place, do not forget to experience snorkeling.
Dam Tre Bay: is famous for its natural beauty which is surrounded by the salt marsh forest. At this place, visitors can explore the salt-marsh forest, dive to see coral reefs or swallows making nets or many other ocean animals. On the way, visitors can enjoy the beauty of Con Son bay, Lo Voi cape, Dat Doc beach or Dong Bac bay…
WHAT TO DO IN CON DAO
Diving to see coral reefs
This is “cannot-miss” activity in Con Dao. You can rent a boat to Bay Canh island and then jump into the clean and cool water to enjoy the beautiful coral reefs. The coral here is not colorful because the warmer water bleaching the coral. However, you will immerse in the sea with wide ranges of colorful fishes.
Renting a motorbike
A motorbike with the price from VND 100,000 (US $4) to VND 120,000 (US $5) will be an ideal way to explore the island. You can stop anywhere on the peaceful island from the Ben Dam wharf in the South to Dam Trau beach in the North. There are two petrol stations located in the center so you need to fill up motorbike’s tank before departing. You can park your motorbike anywhere without worrying the security.
Watching turtles laying eggs
From the Bay Canh island, continue to Cau island to see the salt-marsh forest. Right at the Cau island, turtle preserving center founded in 1995 is also a wonderful place for your visit. Visitors can stay overnight here to have more time watching turtles laying eggs.
The period for laying eggs is from March to October. There are about 3,000 to 5,000 eggs laid every night. However, the beach area cannot be accessed, only forest guards can reach this area to avoid the impact to turtle’s life.
Trekking at Con Dao national park
The park is in 6,000-hectares on land and 14,000-hectare wet land. You can walk through the forest to enjoy the fresh air and listen to birds singing. Beaches near the national park are very tranquil and beautiful where you can totally relax.
WHAT TO EAT IN CON DAO
Vu Nang shellfish: the pyramid-shaped shellfishes can be grilled, steamed or fried; especially grilled shellfishes with onion and oil. All restaurants here serve this dish. You can enjoy the delicious seafood and beautiful beach.
Red grouper: is the specialty of Con Dao. Their meat is delicious, sweet and brittle.
Lobster and mu ni lobsters: are considered as the “king of seafood” which is very fresh.
Oyster sauce: cannot be missed for every meal in Con Dao. Made of oyster, mixed with salt and spice…in some days, the sauce will be extracted creating a tasty red sauce.