Con Dao (Côn Đảo) island is a small island of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province. Traveling to Con Dao, especially during summer time, you will get to enjoy the freshness of tropical island and the endless deep blue water. Wanna know what interesting to do there, keep on reading!
How to get to Con Dao island
Con Dao is an offshore island so there’re just 2 ways to get there: by air or ship.
You can get to Con Dao by plane from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city (Sai Gon). There used to have flights by Mekong Air and Vietnam Airlines to Con Dao, but now only Vietnam Airlines. You can consult the times and ticket prices of Vietnam Airlines here, or contact:
Ticket office of Vietnam Airline in Hanoi: +8443.8320.320
Vasco office (an agent) in Ho Chi Minh city: +8483.844.599
When arriving at the island, you will see a number of 16-seat and 24-seat buses of hotels and resorts. Just pick one to get to Con Son town. All of them have similar price and operate as buses.
From Sai Gon, you have to get to Vung Tau by bus, then go to Cat Lo port to buy ship ticket.
Some buses to Vung Tau from Sai Gon (price about $6):
– Mai Linh bus at Mien Dong bus station (292 Dinh Bo Linh – Binh Thanh district – Ho Chi Minh City). Tel: +8188.8.131.52.39
– Kumho Samco at Mien Dong bus station, tel +8184.108.40.206
– Phuong Trang bus at 205 Pham Ngu Lao street – District 1 – HCM city, tel +848.38.309.309
You should tell driver to drop you at Cat Lo port (cảng Cát Lở).
To acquire ship tickets (price about $10), you can buy via tourism companies in Ho Chi Minh city, or contact directly to ticket office of the port at +84643.838.684. There’re 2 ships from Vung Tau to the island: Con Dao 9 and Con Dao 10, depart at 5 p.m and arrive at Ben Dam port (cảng Bến Đầm – on Con Dao island) at about 6 a.m the next day. You should carry some foods. The ships also sell foods but just a few snacks.
Best times to visit Con Dao island
Con Dao’s weather is divided into 2 seasons: dry (October to April) and rainy (the rest time in year), similar to most provinces in Southern Vietnam. So it is most ideal to visit Con Dao island sometime between October and April, dry weather is convenient for travelling and the sun brings out the best views of the sea.
Good hotels on Con Dao island
1. Phi Yen hotel. This has been a reputed hotel for many years, though services slightly goes down recently, it’s still a good one with a nice sea view. The hotel is located on Ton Duc Thang street, tel: +8464.3830.168. The rates are $18 for a single room and $23 for a double room, slightly more expensive compared to others.
2. Thanh Xuan motel is also located on Ton Duc Thang street, only a few houses from Phi Yen hotel, tel +8464.3830.261
3. Thanh Ngoc motel is also on Ton Duc Thang, tel +8464.3830.219
4. Thien Tan hotel on Nguyen Duc Thuan street, next to Con Dao Camping resort, tel +8464.3630.123 or +8491.9888.929. Rates from $19/room.
5. Bao Tang motel (Museum motel) is in the town center, near Con Dao museum. Contact Mrs. Loan at +84123.4198.930, rate about $13/room.
Top things to do in Con Dao island
1. Hang Duong cemetery (Nghĩa trang Hàng Dương): Maybe you are not interested in this site but with Vietnamese, this’s a very sacred place, where thousands of heroes and great figures from the war time are buried, including Vo Thi Sau (Võ Thị Sáu), a famous girl in Vietnam’s history.
Along with the cemetery is Con Dao prison, also known under the name “The hell on earth”. It was built in late 19th century by French colonists to imprison tens thousands of prisoners throughout over a hundred years.
2. Con Dao national park: to visit and request a guide, you have to contact +8464.3830.669 and pay entrance fee.
3. Fishing: you can get to 914 pier to rent a boat of fisherman, price is about $75 for a full day and about $40 for half a day. You can also contact Mr. Thanh (owner of a boat) at +8491.4720.581. He understand well the sea and knows where to take you for a good fishing day.
4. Diving: Con Dao waters is clear and blue, very suitable for diving. You can ask your hotel about this service or contact +8464.3630.024
Renting scooters on Con Dao island
To easily travel around Con Dao, you are advised to rent a scooter or car. Ask from your hotel or here are a few trusted shops to consider:
– Con Son cafe. Mrs. Dung att +8464.3630.670 – +8490.8099.919
– Thao Chau souvenir shop. Mrs. Binh at +8491.9701.871 or Mrs. Chau at +8491.8261.885
– Mrs. Lien, +8491.9432.559
– 16-seat car, contact Mr. Chinh at +8464.3508.387
– Travel Guide. Mr. Trieu Nhan at +8490.6626.168, enthusiastic and good-hearted.
With all these information, I hope you will have an unforgettable time enjoying this isolated spectacular island and don’t forget to share with your experience 🙂