Con Dao in Vietnam - Paradise of relaxation and discovery of nature

Con Dao is an archipelago in the southern coast of Vietnam and also a district of the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Con Dao is situated at 97 nautical miles from the center of this province.

Con Dao in Vietnam

Some geographical descriptions of Con Dao:

Con Dao or Con Son is the name of the largest island of the archipelago. The history of Vietnam before the 20th century has been called the island of Con Son and Con Lon. Ancient texts in English and French called Poulo Condor.

In 1977, the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has decided the official name of this island: The island of Con Dao.

The archipelago consists of sixteen islands with a total area of ​​76 km² in which Con Son is the largest island covered by mountains dominated by granite blocks.

The climate of this archipelago is sub-equatorial, characterized by moist heat, which is divided into two seasons: the rainy season lasts from May to November and the dry season lasts from December to April. The annual average temperature is 26.9 ° C. The annual average rainfall is 2200 mm.

The city of Con Dao is located on a semi-circular valley which has a length of 8 to 10 km, a width of 2 to 3 km and the average altitude of about 3 meters above the level of the sea. One side has view on the South East Bay while three sides are surrounded by mountains. The city is the center of the economic, political and social life of the archipelago of Con Dao.

Origin of name of Con Dao:

Con Dao is the name of Malay origin: Pulau Kundur meaning: Pumpkin Island. The European people literate Poulo Condor. Vietnam's history books called Con Lon while the Khmer people call Koh Tralach.

Con Dao in Vietnam

Long time ago, at the moment of the defeat by the troops of Tay Son, Nguyen Anh or the first king of Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam, hid in Con Dao for continuing the revenge fight. Legend says that one of the wives of Nguyen Anh didn’t agree with Pigneau of Behaine who advised Nguyen Anh to seek the help of France. The lady was exiled in the island of Con Lon or Lady Island which was also the name of the island of Con Dao.

Con Dao - Summary history:

Before the French colonization: 

Con Dao is located in a strategic location on the sea route between Europe and Asia. So, this archipelago has been known for a long time.

In 1294, 8 ships of the fleet of 14 ships of the Italian explorer Marco Polo were overthrown by a typhoon on the way back from China. The rest of the fleet was hidden in this island.

In the period 15th century-16th century, there were many European who visited this island.

In late 17th century and early 18th century, the British and French capitalists began to pay attention to Con Dao. Many British and French companies have conducted investigations  with the purpose of the occupation.

In 1702, the director of the company East India British ordered the landing by building fortresses and mast.

After 3 years, 3 February 1705, after the uprising of Macassar soldiers, British troops left the island.

November 28, 1783, Pigneau of Behaine took Prince Canh and the royal seal of Lord Nguyen Anh to France. Behaine represented himself Nguyen Ang to sign with the count of Mantmarin (the representative of King Louis XVI of France) a treaty known as: the Treaty of Versailles. This was the first official document that approved the French occupation of Con Dao. In exchange, France has helped Nguyen Anh 4 warships, 1200 soldiers, 200 artillerymen, 250 African troops to fight against the Tay Son dynasty.

Con Dao in Vietnam

Under the French colonization: 

In 1861, the French troops occupied after Con Dao after controlling Hue (former capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945) and South Vietnam. In 1862, a lighthouse was built by the French people to mark territory.

June 5, 1862, Hue signed the treaty of Nham Tuat with France. Article 3 of the treaty précised that the Nguyen Dynasty had to give completely the archipelago to the French emperor.

February 1, 1862, the Governor Bonar signed the decision to create the Con Dao prison that held Vietnamese political prisoners with the system of the famous tiger cages known by terrible living conditions. During the history of the prison of Con Dao, Vietnam had about 20,000 people of several generations who were killed and buried in the cemetery of Hang Duong present.

Potentiality of tourism of Con Dao:

Con Dao is one of 21 national tourist regions of Vietnam. This archipelago is known by visitors as the paradise of relaxation and discovery of nature (forest and the sea). The archipelago is considered as a virgin destination with beautiful pristine beaches, cool blue water, long beaches of fine and smooth sand. The atmosphere on the island is really like pure paradise. Having the forest and the sea which are well protected, Con Dao is not only a place of scientific studies, but also a destination for ecotourism while travel in Vietnam.

May 2011, Travel + Leisure magazine described the destination: With steep cliffs beside pristine beaches, blue and clear waters, this is one of the best and mysterious islands in the world.

Con Dao in Vietnam

Similarly, Lonely Planet also added this destination to the list of best and the mysterious islands in the world. This archipelago has been described as "natural paradise with dense forests, emerald waters, white sand beaches and home to dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles and spectacular coral reefs."

5 September 2011, the Prime Minister of Vietnam signed Decision No. 1518 / QD-TTg approving the plan for the construction of Con Dao until 2030. According to this decision, Con Dao will be a modern center of economy and tourism in regional and international levels.

While coming here, visitors can participate in excursions on the small islands of the ecosystem of Con Dao National Park as: Islands of Bay Canh, Hon Tre, Hon Trung Hon Trac, Hon Cau ... These islands are the habitat of about 285 plant species and over 100 species of birds, mammals, such as squirrels, many rare animals such as oats, green sea turtle, sea cucumber, seaweed.. . In the National park, archaeologists also discovered relics of the Stone Age - Bronze Age dating back to 3000 years and the funeral burials of the Sa Huynh culture there are about 2000 years.

Con Dao attracts visitors with diving trips to explore the fascinating world of coral from the ocean. At night, visitors also have a pleasant experience on Bay Canh Island: this is to observe sea turtle Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle) that nests for laying eggs on the coast in the quiet, tranquil, natural ... space.

Local authorities, at present, is very interested in preserving the environment and the countryside to develop tourism of sustainable value. The archipelago's authorities call for the community to participate in tourism development, protecting the environment through the project "Say no to plastic bags". At the same time, residents and visitors are encouraged to use the bicycles as a main means of transport in Con Dao.

Con Dao - A huge insular economic potential: 

Con Dao, according to Dr. Tran Duc Thanh, the director of the Institute of Natural Resources and Environment of the Sea, has 3 islands which were chosen as reference points to establish the baseline for calculating the width of territory of the Vietnam continent.

Con Dao in Vietnam

This region is also a large fishing area, very convenient for logistics, construction of seafood processing establishments reserved for export. Ben Dam Bay with depth of 6 - 18m, very closed, is used as the main port by providing necessary services such as: warehouse, market, fresh water, electricity for fishing.

The archipelago will complete the modernization of the airport of Co Ong, will build the commercial port in Ben Dam along 336m to accommodate ships of 2,000 tons. At the same time, ports of tourism on small islands will be improved.

In addition, Con Dao has about 10 points where the swallows' nests can be exploited with great potential for pearl farming. Local pearl is superior to other sea areas in Vietnam in terms of brilliance and luster of pearl that can compete with the famous country for pearl farming in the world.

Here, there is Ngoc Hien enterprise that produces pearl with closed process of modern technology for selection of race, breeding, transplantation ... until the end. 75% of the pearls produced by Ngoc Hien are exported abroad, including countries well known for pearl culture like Japan, Korea ... Local people has succeeded in the artificial insemination of pearl oysters which can satisfy the needs of the production and contributes to the long-term ecological balance of the marine environment. And more, the potential of the production of pearl also helps to create more jobs and stable incomes for many people in Con Dao.

How to get to the archipelago of Con Dao? 

By sea: 

The archipelago is accessible by many daily boats from the city of Vung Tau. The trip lasting 10 - 11 h for 97 nautical miles may be tiring. In addition, Vung Tau is located 3 hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City.

By plane: 

Currently, there are daily flights from Can Tho where you discover the Cai Rang floating market and Ho Chi Minh to this island... You can contact us: info@guideduvietnam.com for more free information about the archipelago of Con Dao.