The small group of islands that comprise Con Dao are off the southern coast of Vietnam. There is a colourful history associated with the islands, and there is plenty of natural colour as well; sea, sand and forest are just a start. Many tourists who book an organised Vietnam travel package decide to include some time on one of more of Vietnam’s beaches; it is a great way to relax and Con Dao is somewhere worth serious consideration. Talk to your Vietnam travel agent and ask him to put together a Vietnam holiday itinerary including Con Dao.
The largest of the islands, Con Son, was the location of a prison where first of all the French held political prisoners who were struggling for independence. Later, the South Vietnamese held Viet Cong prisoners there during the Vietnam War. One place to visit is the old prison with a nearby museum explain the island’s history. The Cemetery is a national shrine and if you decide to visit, you must dress appropriately; no shorts or bare shoulders for example.
There is the tomb of a national heroine, Vo Thi Sau where locals go to pray, make offerings and burn incense. She was just a schoolgirl who joined the guerrilla war against the French. She was captured, tried and executed in 1952 at Con Dao Prison. The time to go to appreciate the place and its visitors is midnight.
The beaches are a major attraction and there are several to visit; An Hai is probably the most accessible close to the dock with Lo Voi further to the north. Dat Doc is a little more exclusive because that is where the luxury Six Senses Resort is located. There are a couple of others so you have plenty of choice.