Côn Đảo is a group of 16 islands off the southeast coast of Vietnam with acreage in total is 76 square kilometers. Con Dao is well-known for their beautiful beaches with pure water, coral reefs and marine life. There are also many historic and religious on this island where you will understand more the war time in Vietnam.
In Vietnamese, Con Dao means The Island. The original name of this island was Con Lon which was transfer from English as Poulo Condor. This island had experienced many important events during two wars time of Vietnamese against French and American Armies. Most well-known thing about this island is the prison which killed hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers in the past. It is also known as an evidence of War’s victims. Nowadays, this island still holds the important military position on ocean in Vietnam. Therefore, the policy of citizen going out and tourist coming in this island are very strict.
Where to go?
Most of places on this island related to Vietnamese Heroes, prisons and religions.
The must-visit place is Vo Thi Sau’s Grave where she was buried and memorized by all citizens as a Saint guarding this Island. She was a soldier during war time and sacrificed her life at the age of 19 to keep the secrets for Vietnamese Army. Every days, there are many people including tourists going to this grave to with all honor and appreciation of all their heart to this little Vietnamese hero.
If you are interested in religion, then this temple is a good destination on Con Dao. This temple was built to memorize five female saints who regarding to five elements: wood, water, fire, soil, and metal. The local people believe these five saints will support farmers, fishermen, handicraftsmen, businessmen and all citizens for their life and jobs.
Another religious place for tourists is Van Son Pagoda or Mot Mountain Pagoda. This pagoda was built in 1964 for American Government during war time. Other than that, the main purpose of this pagoda was to hide the evil fact of the prison on this island. The nature around this pagoda will amaze you from the very first moment you step in this place. The Buddha Statue facing to the ocean was meant to wish all local people a peaceful life and to raise the gratefulness to all soldiers who sacrificed their life for peace.
This is the biggest and oldest prison in the system of prisons on Con Dao which was built by French during end of 19th Century. Visiting this place will touch tourists’ heart because of sensitive images of prisoners and jailers.
On the eastern side of the island, there is a trail to climb to visit the Bay Canh Lighthouse which was built by French in 1883. Do some exercises to reach the top then you will be blown your mind by the windy and panoramic views.
Nowadays, Con Dao is not only a destination atracting more and more tourist, but also a national park for nature conservation. Accomodation on this island is still in need of improvement including life of citizens and those destinations. It is believed that this place will become new trend for tourists who are interested in pure nature and history.