A tiny archipelago off the southern coast of Vietnam, Con Dao is made up of 16 craggy islands and islets covered in tropical jungle, fringed by sandy beaches and surrounded by coral reef. A modern-day tourist paradise, for over a century it served as a brutal penal colony for thousands of political prisoners and was known across Vietnam as “hell on Earth.”
Established by the French in 1861 and only closed after the American War, the prisons are still standing but now house museums documenting Con Dao’s dark history. While many domestic visitors come to pay their respects to national heroes incarcerated and buried on Con Son, the largest island of the archipelago, international tourists are drawn to Con Dao by its stunning natural beauty and world-class diving opportunities.
With a small local population, a limited number of visitors and much of the archipelago protected as a national park, Con Dao is a superb destination for island-hopping, wildlife-watching and riding your motorbike along deserted coastal roads. If Marco Polo popped over once, we figure you might too?
The is the Bamboo Islet, where you can explore the intricate and mesmerising world under the sea.
A beach of pure white sand contrasting the suffering and the old shipwrecks of Shark Cape.
A palm tree topped beach surrounded by mountains just a short walk from the main town.
A nice little pagoda perched on top of a hill with a stunning view of the open seas around.
The place which remembers the revolutionaries and fighters whose ideas helped to form modern-day Vietnam.
Come and see one of the biggest places to stay in Con Dao, reserved for criminals, dissidents and the revolutionary.
The one place full of visitors which US Soldiers didn’t want to see back during the days of the war.
A pristine and picturesque island where you can watch the turtle’s egg-laying ceremony.
A petite, crescent-shaped beach which offers plenty of time for sunbathing, swimming and reflection.
The golden sun creates the picturesque scenery of golden sands to enjoy golden moments in time.
Con Dao Hotels
We've pre-picked the best hotels to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.