1. Getting around the island by motorbike or bicycle
Con Dao is a small island with amazing scenery everywhere. A motorbike will help you navigate the whole island easier. If you don’t bring your own motorbike, you can rent one at the hotel for $6 to $9 a day. The people of Con Dao are very friendly. They are more than willing to assist you in case you get lost. You take in more of the island by riding through the island by motorbike.
2. Visiting Con Dao prison
Formerly one of the most notorious prisons in Indochina, Con Dao’s prison system has many solitary confinements and tiger cages, and has become the first destination for visitors when coming to this island. This place has detained and tortured many generations of Vietnamese political prisoners.
Seeing the prison system with your own eyes, you will have a better understanding of the history of Vietnam and how the people suffered during the war.
3. Enjoying sunrise at 914 pier or Chim Chim nose
One of the moments that you don’t want to miss when visiting Con Dao is the sunrise at dawn. At this time, red and yellow are intertwined in the sky. When the shimmering sunlight shines on the beach are moments of tranquility that you will remember forever.
To see the amazing moments immersed in sunrise in Con Dao, you can come to 914 pier or Chim Chim nose on Co Ong road (near Con Dao airport).
4. Immersing yourself on Dam Trau beach
It can be said that Dam Trau is the most beautiful beach in Con Dao with it’s long sandy beach and clear blue water. Immersed in Dam Trau beach is one of the experiences that visitors shouldn’t miss when coming to this island. The exotic beauty of Dam Trau will capture the heart of anyone coming to this place.
5. Visiting Ong Dung beach
Ong Dung beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Con Dao. To go down to the beach, visitors have to walk through the forest of Con Dao National Park about 700m. The road is not too difficult to hike with beautiful scenery along the way. The sounds of leaves and animals such as squirrels and monkeys create a very natural environment.
After a walk through the jungle, Ong Dung beach suddenly appears like a mirage in a desert. Here you can go kayaking, fishing, snorkeling or be exploring the cliffs, crabs, snails … In addition, from the beach visitors can rent a boat at the Forest Protection Station to visit the nearby islands Tre Lon and Tre Nho.
6. Trying the jam of the seed of the Terminalia catappa
In Con Dao, wherever you go you will encounter the dear silhouette of the Terminalia catappa tree. Terminalia catappa has become an integral part of their lives.
The trees here are bigger and stronger than in any other places, with some trees being several hundred years old. Not only do the trees represent the vigor of the people here, but it also contributes to the improvement of the income of residents on the island through picking the beans to sell.
To make delicious jam, people go to collect seeds to dry and then split the seeds. Depending on the preparation the seeds can produce either salty or sweet jam. But whether salty or sweet, the smell and fat of the grain are always kept.
The jam is a unique product of Con Dao. It can be said that the jam is a specialty that all visitors must try when visiting. It can also be a great gift for friends and relatives after the trip.
7. Enjoying seafood on the coast
For an evening of fresh seafood, visitors can try some restaurants near Con Dao market, but the price can be relatively expensive. For a more personalized meal, you can visit the market to choose the seafood you like and have it prepared exactly the way you want it. It’s definitely worth visiting 914 pier just to enjoy the night scene, sipping a little wine while chatting with friends.
Con Dao is a natural source of abundant seafood and is certainly an ideal destination for those who love fishing.
For those who want to go on a fishing expedition, the trip should last from 3 to 4 days and cost around $500 per person. After a few days on the sea, the group can collect about a few quintals of fish, including those weighing about 10 kg. If it’s a big catch, some of the fish can be resold to the fish market and the remaining frozen and transported to the mainland. However, the fishing expedition is quite popular on the island, so booking in advance is recommended.
For those who just want recreational fishing, you can take part in one-day fishing trips. Usually, this catch could be enough where the group can hang out and BBQ the fish at the end of the day.
If you come to Con Dao, don’t forget to spend a day with the people of the island. Nothing beats making new friends as you enjoy the moment of relaxation and harmony with nature.
9. Visiting Hang Duong cemetery
As the war ended, Con Dao has become a historic pilgrimage destination with many sacred sites. One of them is Hang Duong Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Con Dao. This place has buried tens of thousands of patriots and revolutionary soldiers in Vietnam. No one has come to Con Dao without stopping to light the merit of heroic martyrs in Hang Duong.
10. Scuba diving
Con Dao consists of big and small islands such as Bay Canh island, Tai island, Tre island, etc., which is the most colorful and rich coral reef in Vietnam. This is also an ideal place to explore the wonderful oceans because no place can give you the feeling of satisfying the curiosity of the animal world like here. Therefore, scuba diving to explore the ocean, mixing in colorful fish has become one of the activities that are indispensable when coming to Con Dao.
11. Watching green turtles lay eggs
Watching green turtles lay eggs (from late April to November) will be a memorable experience when visiting this island. On average, there are nearly 400 tortoises every year in the sand dunes of Con Dao National Park nesting eggs. During turtles breeding season, Cat Lon beach on Bay Canh island is the beach with the most concentration of turtles.
To see the egg laying on Bay Canh island, it will be extremely difficult without a guide, so joining a package tour is the best option at this time. You can find the tour information here:
In the process of visiting the island, visitors will be guided by the forest guards to see the turtles to lay eggs and learn the behavior of sea turtles. Not only that, you will get to drop the baby turtles back into the sea.