The Pier on the Con Dao Island
The Pier on the Con Dao Island

Con Dao Islands Guide

Con Dao Island is an offshore archipelago to the south-west of Vietnam. Con Dao is a district of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province. The biggest island of Con Dao is Con Son Island which is the only island that has tourist facilities including airport, hotels, resorts and restaurants…

Con Son Island has a number of pristine beaches which offer relaxing far-from-the crowd holidays. Besides, there are the forests and the turquoise blue water which offer trekking tours and marine-life exploring trips (scuba-diving or snorkeling) if you want more active experiences. The island of Con Son is home to a few villages with peaceful life that you can have a leisurely walk or cycle through.

A beach resort on Con Son Island
Swaying palms at a beach resort on Con Son Island

Climate on the Con Dao Islands
The Con Dao Islands have two seasons: dry season from November through April and rainy season from May through October. But for tourists you may like to know more specifically as to the best time to visit these amazing islands. Below you can find typical weather patterns in Con Dao throughout the year and pick out the best time to visit which suit exactly the purposes of your tour to these islands.

- March – June: The best time for sea diving taking into account calm sea, clear water, good visibility under water. It is lovely sunshine and temperatures during this period, too.
- July – September: It rains more and the sky is cloudy and gloomy mostly. During this time the water is not that clear.
- April – September (peak time is July and August): the period when sea turtles lay eggs.
- November – January: the most beautiful water colors and the best underwater visibility. But it is often rough sea due to the Northeasterly Monsoon and sea diving may not be possible on many days when the sea is rough.

A beach resort on Con Son Island

An Hai Beach (municipal beach, close to the town of Con Dao)

 

Map of the Con Dao Islands
Map of the Con Dao Islands

Tourists attractions on the Con Dao Islands
1/ Con Dao National Park
The national park has 6,000 hectares of land area and 14,000 hectares of water area. The land area of the national park is located to the west of the Con Dao Town (west of the Con Son Island). The water area of the national park includes that adjacent to the land area and the water to the northwest, north and northeast of the Con Son Island. There are tropical forest, forest flooded by sea water, seagrass, coral reefs,… which are habitats for several different species on land and at sea: sea turtle, dugong,..

There is a jungle trail at the national park that you trek through the forest with huge timber trees. The trail goes to the western side of the island to Bai Ong Dung which is rugged rocky beach.

2/ Sites where sea turtles nest and lay eggs
There are 17 beaches on the Con Dao Islands that sea turtles come to nest and lay eggs of which there are at least 4 beaches that are regular home to 1,000 mother sea turtles. Con Dao is home to the biggest population of sea turtles in Vietnam.

AdventureGreen offers tours to watch sea turtle laying eggs on the Con Dao Islands.

3/ The Thanh Gia Mountain (577m)
The Thanh Gia Mountain is located to the southwest of Con Dao Town. The mountain top is the highest point of the Con Dao Islands which offers panoramic views of all the surroundings. To get to the Thanh Gia you travel to the An Hai Beach (southwest of Con Dao Town), turn right into a path to the Van Son Pagoda and proceed straight away past the Radar 590 Station. The trail to the top goes through a wood.

4/ The Van Son Pagoda (Chua Nui Mot)
This is a Buddhist pagoda located to the southwest of Con Dao Town, on the way to the Thanh Gia Mountain. The pagoda offers zen atmosphere and nice views of the sea.

5/Vinh Dam Tre (Dam Tre Cove, Dam Tre Lagoon)
The Vinh Dam Tre is a sea cove which is located to the northeast of the Con Son Island. To get to Vinh Dam Tre, we have to trek for 3 hours through a tropical forest with some wildlife. The trail goes through the Yen Ngua Mountain (166m high) which offers some nice views.

At the Dam Tre Lagoon you can go snorkeling, learn about forest flooded by sea water, watching birds nesting,… The lagoon is 16km northeast of Con Dao National Park.

Turquoise sea water around Con Dao
Turquoise sea water around Con Dao

6/ Bai Bien Dong Beach
The beach is located to the southeast of the Co Ong Airfield. You’ll have to get past the beach to travel to the Dam Tre Lagoon.

7/ Bai Dam Trau
The Dam Trau Beach is a nice beach to the northwest of the Co Ong Airfield with fine sand. There are cashew plantations separating the beach from the outside world making it quite well hidden.

Dam Tram Beach
Dam Trau Beach, untouched and separated from the town by a forest

8/ Bai Nhat Beach
The beach is located to the south of the Con Son Island with very fine sand.

Nhac Beach
Nhac Beach to the south-west of Con Son Island

9/ Cang Ben Dam (or Ben Dam Port)
The port offers some nice photographs on a nice day. The port is located to the south of the Con Son Island near the Bai Nhat Beach.

10/ Historical sites
There are several former prisons which are turned into museums now for the visitors. There is also the former residence of the chief of the island which is also a museum now with displays showing the islands through different periods in the history.

Tours on the Con Dao Islands
- Trekking in the forest of Con Dao National Park;
- Trekking to the Dam Tre Lagoon;
- Hiking to the Thanh Gia Mountain;
- Diving tours to discover the colorful coral reefs (1 day).
- Boat trip to the Dam Tre Lagoon (1 day);
- Boat trip to the Hon Tre Islands (Big and Small Hon Tre Islands which are to the west of Con Son Island, 1 day) with deserted beaches and Sea Turtle Conservation Center, colorful corals;
- Boat tour to the Bay Canh Island which is to the east of the Con Son Island. The island has the area of 683 hectares with deserted beaches and forest, sites where sea turtles lay eggs.., The boat trip takes 4-6 hours.

AdventureGreen offers family holidays and beach vacation packages to the Con Dao Island which include discovery boat tours to the islands around the Con Son Island and nature tours in the Con Dao National Park, trekking tours to the Dam Tre Lagoon.

Accommodation on the Con Dao Islands
Most tourist facilities are on the Con Son Island. There is a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, luxurious beach resorts, homestay,… in the Con Dao Town.

How to get to the Con Son Islands
To get to the Con Dao Islands from inland, you’ll travel to the Con Son Island first. There are daily flights by propeller aircraft between Con Son – Ho Chi Minh City and by helicopter between Vung Tau City – Con Son Island.

Con Son Airport Con Dao Island Con Son Airport

How to get around
Con Dao Town is small and walkable. To get to major tourist sites on the Con Son Island, you can rent bikes, electric bikes, scooters,… To travel to the other islands, then there are boat tours for you to choose from.

Road on Con Son IslandScenic road on Con Son Island