Con Dao islands are located just off the southern coast of Vietnam. They are an archipelago of Bà Rịa, Vũng Tàu Province. They are about 185 km from Vũng Tàu and 230 km from Saigon. The islands are mostly uninhabited but there is a nice bit to do for visitors to the islands. What are things to do on Con Dao Islands?
Most of the Con Dao islands have beautiful beaches and wonderful landscapes. The island that certainly cannot be missed is Con Son. This is the main, the biggest, and the only inhabited island out of the group of 16 and it has a great variety of activities to do from visiting the Revolutionary Museum to the Phu Hai Prison.
In this post, we will go through things to do in Con Dao Islands Vietnam. Let’s get started!
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Where Are The Con Dao Islands?
Con Dao Islands are an archipelago of Ba Ria in the Vung Tau Province. The islands are about 230 km south of Ho Chi Minh City. Con Dao islands consist of 16 islands and they have an area of about 76 square km.
Best Time To Visit Con Dao Islands
In Con Dao, the rainy season is from June to September. And between November to February are the driest months. And has an average temperature of between 26°C to 30°C all year round.
March to June would be the best time to visit the Con Dao Islands.
Things To Do On Con Dao Islands Vietnam
Con Dao Islands is an interesting place to visit and if you are getting tired of the crowded beaches and want to learn a little about Vietnams history where you can visit one of the prisons or museums.
Here, are some of the fun things to do on the Con Dao Islands.
Explore The Phu Hai Prison
This historical site is the biggest of the 11 prisons on the Con Dao islands. It has not been used since the 19th century but one can still feel the terrifying spirit, as these prisons were a true hell on earth. This was where thousands of prisoners were all kept naked and chained together during the French era.
Nowadays, mannequins, abnormally thin just like the prisoners of the past, recreate the frightful spectacle. Indeed, this place of horror is a must-see for anyone who is interested in Vietnamese history.
Visit The Revolutionary Museum
Despite the fact that this museum does not offer any information about its exhibits in English. It does provide a lot of background to the horrifying past of the Con Son island.
More specifically, it displays historical events such as the Vietnamese resistance against the French. For example the treatment of political prisoners, and the communist opposition to the Republic of Vietnam.
The part of the exhibit that leaves everyone speechless is the painting of Vo Thi Sau, a young Vietnamese heroine, and martyr, who is portrayed facing her death, yet with her head held high.
Admire The Van Son Temple
This temple is located at the top of the hill. Starting from a long steep staircase that leads to the pagoda structure on wooden columns. And ending with the inspirational landscape around, the Van Son Temple is a true masterpiece.
Whether you find temples particularly fascinating or are just searching for a place with exceptionally beautiful nature and views, you will not be disappointed.
Visit Island Spirit Palace
Though it has been built only over a decade ago, this is probably one of the most important historical sites on the islands. It commemorates those who sacrificed themselves for the national liberation of Con Dao and exhibits the Revolutionary Relics.
The layout of the main palace is done in accordance with the traditional temples and the bonsai garden of fruit trees around the temple represents the diversity of the three regions of the country.
It is not at all surprising that the Island Spirit Palace, a sign of the local dedication to history and spiritual culture, has found a place in both Vietnamese people’s and travelers’ hearts.
Go To The Beach And Try Fishing
No matter how big of a Vietnamese history fan you are, at some point, you would want to take a break and do something else. Fortunately, Con Dao has a few nice beaches such as Nhat beach where you can go fishing for fun or just relax.
If you are looking for a deep and authentic experience, you can join a group of professionals who share a passion for fishing.
One more great Con Dao activity is snorkeling and scuba diving. You can enjoy the incredible underwater world by booking a dive. And, if lucky you will see hawksbill turtles, cobia, batfish, or even a whale shark!
This might sound scary but is, without a doubt, one experience that you should try and will not regret.
This might not be the most exciting thing to do for most travelers, yet it is a fact that Con Dao is home to various species of birds, many of which can only be found on these islands.
This is a great opportunity to see rare birds that you will not see either in your home country or anywhere else. The Nicobar pigeon and the pied imperial pigeon are just two examples of birds you might encounter.
Explore The Rainforest
Though many travelers enjoy exploring the unknown by themselves, it is best to book a guide from the National Park Office for exploring the rainforest.
A local guide will keep you company but more importantly, will show you trails that you will not find on any map and guide you to the most beautiful parts.
You can experience hiking through the unspoiled rainforest and seeing astonishing waterfalls. If you are traveling during the rainy season, will certainly be one of the most refreshing experiences of your life.
Finally, Con Dao Islands in Vietnam are a great place to visit especially if you enjoy exploring places like the Revolutionary Museum to the Phu Hai Prison. You can also enjoy the beaches where you can go fishing and enjoy a hike into the rainforest or go bird watching.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the fun things to do in Con Dao Islands Vietnam has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.