Top 10 of the best things to do and to visit in Con Dao

Mention to Con Dao, visitors will immediately think about the most haunted colonial prison. War is closed, returning Con Dao to its undisturbed and poetic natural beauty with numerous pagodas, temples, monuments and mysterious anecdotes. Visitors coming here can dip themselves into the warm sea water, taste countless delicious yet reasonable seafood dishes; and simultaneously, widen the horizon about the spiritual life of the local


1. Con Dao Prison

Located offshore Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, Con Dao Prison is listed in the special national monuments of Vietnam. Constructed by the French colonists, Con Dao Prison is a complex of prisons, including 127 ward, 42 cells, and 504 “tiger cages”, which is a testimony to the horrible tortures during the French colonialism and American imperialism. As a sacred destination, this place is considered "the living hell on Earth" because it is the historical site where more than 20,000 Vietnamese patriots and key political cadres were jailed, imprisoned and tortured savagely. When coming to Con Dao, visitors will absolutely be panic, chilled or even shaken to witness all the most brutal ways of torture to execute Vietnamese warriors, to observe the remains of artifacts, and understand the hidden corners of the war. Furthermore, traveller can be cognizant of the sacrifice and the resilient will of Vietnamese passionate patriotism, army and forefather’s generations who sacrificed their blood and bones to gain independence for the nation. Visit Con Dao Prison is both to broaden knowledge and to express the deepest gratefulness for the sacrifice of the country.

2. Ben Dam Port

Ben Dam Port will be the first destination that tourist can’t miss as it is a gateway for entering Con Dao. With the total area of ​​​​about 2,600 square meters, 12 meters in depth and 2 kilometers in length, Ben Dam Port has a capacity of approximately 20 boats. Ben Dam Port lies between Con Son and Hon Ba Island, protected by two towering mountains, Thanh Gia Peak and Dinh Tinh Yeu; thus it is a berth for boats, and a convenient location for essential services for offshore fishing vessels and bustling local life of trade activities. The weather here is so pleasant and fresh, not too windy or too sunny. Ben Dam Port is considered a paradise of marine sport activities, especially fishing. On beautiful days, just standing at a corner of the aisle will have a super stunning picture. Visitors will feel like they are flying on the sea, letting the wind flow through their hair.

3. Nui Mot Pagoda

Nui Mot Pagoda, known as Van Son Pagoda, is located halfway up Nui Mot in Con Dao. Being constructed by the US in 1964, the pagoda is considered having the most charming and stunning architectural style in Vietnam, the most majestic landscape can’t be ignored when visiting Con Dao. Standing here, you can capture the whole splendid scene of Con Dao, the open fresh sea in front and evergreen mountains behind. At present, it is a spiritual destination to pray for Vietnamese soldiers who sacrificed heroically for the national independence. Through the ravages of time, Nui Mot Pagoda lasts long with the beauty of Asian Buddhist architecture so it is variably the most attractive destination for both domestic and international visitors


4. Dam Trau Beach

Dam Trau Beach is considered a masterpiece of nature on Con Dao Island, owning to a long white sand beach with blue sea water, colorful coral reefs, and the unspoiled forest with rocky slopes, which brings the charming beauty of pristine and virgin scenery. Located on Con Dao Island, Dam Trau beach accompanied with a sad-ending love story of an intelligent boy and a pretty girl. Standing on the mountain cliffs, tourists will contemplate a poetic beach, nestling under the shadow of mangrove forest with the blue sky. Here tourists can participate in numerous aquatic activities including diving and swimming to watch the coral reefs, enjoying the natural landscape, having sun-bathing, camping with friends and relatives in the evening, singing and chatting on the beach, listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, or admiring sunset.

5. Con Son Bay

With the total area of more than 50 square kilometers, Con Son is one of the largest islands in the Southern part of Vietnam. The bay has a system of 14 islands, both small and large, and there are several clusters of islands standing in the middle. Visitors can travel here by plane, speed boat or boat. The destination offers comfortable weather, lesser rain, and a gentle sun which brings the fullest experience to visitors. Con Son Bay has many amazing beaches with white sand, clear sea water and the coral reefs, which is the perfect place for gorgeous pictures, taking a walk or enjoying the sunset.  The dreamy islands with colorful corals become more beautiful and alluring under the golden sun that will certainly make visitors unable to take their eyes off.

6. Bay Canh Island

If you are an ecotourism lover, Bay Canh Island is a special destination can’t be missed.  As the gift of Mother of nature, Bay Canh Island is considered the most precious sea habitat for turtle. With the total area of ​​683 hectares, Bay Canh Island is the second largest of the 16 islands in Con Dao and has a mangrove ecosystem of 5.1 hectares. In addition to the diverse flora, the island is rich in fauna ecosystems. Under the water are many species of mussels, snails, sea cucumbers, and fish living together in the coral reefs. Up to now, Bay Canh Island has maintained its natural abundance and becomes the most fertile area during the turtle's breeding season. Coming to this ecological conservation place, tourists have chances to observe turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. Besides, visitors have chances to deepen themselves under the fresh water to wash all tiredness away.

7. Con Dao National Park

With an area of nearly 9,000 ha marine and 6,043ha forest, Con Dao National Park was established three decades ago. It is a natural reserve area, characterized by a diverse ecosystem. Many species of corals, sea turtles, dolphins, and endangered dugongs are found here. Up to present, the place still retains its original and virgin beauty. Con Dao National Park is home of more than 30 species of orchids, 100 species of vines and many rare herbs and woods. Con Dao has totally 144 species, 14 of which are precious endangered listed in the Red Book of Vietnam. Here, visitors have the opportunity to see the rich flora and fauna, and participate in climbing, riding bicycles, trekking or even sightseeing-cum-research. It is the best place for visitors close to nature and to appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature.


8. Historic Pier 914

Constructed in 1873 by the French colonialists, with a length of more than 100 meters, Historic Pier 914 is a special historical relic of Vietnam, showing the heroic spirit of sacrifice of Vietnamese ancestors during wars. Historical Pier 914 is obvious evidence to depict the crimes of the colonial empire. 914 is the number of soldiers who suffered hundreds of whips, exiles and finally died of building pier ships. This place is used to be covered with red flags and yellow stars on the Vietnamese success of the August Revolution in 1945, Day of Southern Liberation for National Reunification in 1975, and the special place where thousands of prisoners could leave free to return to the mainland. Apart from its historical values, Historic Pier 914 is an ideal destination to watch the sunrise from the sea, take a deep breath to recharge the energy.

9. Hang Duong Cemetery

Being recognized as a National Special Monument since 2012, Hang Duong Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Con Dao, the resting place of more than 2,000 revolutionary soldiers who died during the period from 1862 to 1975 at Con Dao prison. The area is divided into 4 zones A, B, C, and D with 713 already identified graves. Besides, tourists can visit the grave of Vo Thi Sau, the Vietnamese heroine of the armed forces in zone B. Coming here, visitors can broaden the knowledge about Vietnamese history, visit the heroes who bravely sacrificed to fight for today's independence and express the deepest gratitude to these indomitable heroes.

10. Con Dao museum

Con Dao museum is one of the most famous historical spots with the total area of 3,570 square meters, especially with an exhibition area of 1,700 square meters. Con Dao museum is a huge space to store, display and preserve the historical vestiges of revolutionary soldiers so that tourists will able to understand about Vietnamese indomitable heroes with their patriotic hearts. The historical remains displayed here are diverse and insightful in regard to the history of Con Dao development process, to denounce the merciless crimes of the French colonial authority and the American Empire during the disastrous war. Besides, the Museum space has also exhibited the collections of archaeological artifacts in Con Dao, which enables tourists know about the heroic historical period of the nation, the loss and grief of Vietnam during war and the silent sacrifice of Vietnamese heroes.

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