Con Dao Travel Guide 2024 : The perfected Beach

Tuesday, 11/06/2024, 15:39 GMT+7

Con Dao the beautiful island from South Vietnam

Con Dao, a pristine archipelago off the southern coast of Vietnam, stands as one of the most enchanting and mysterious travel destinations.

With its powdery white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich historical tapestry, Con Dao is quickly becoming a must-visit paradise.

This guide provides a comprehensive look into traveling to Con Dao in 2024, helping you uncover its finest beaches, top attractions, and essential travel tips for a flawless beach getaway.


Best Time to Visit Con Dao

The best time to visit Con Dao is from March to September when the weather is dry and sunny, ideal for beach activities and outdoor adventures.

This period also coincides with turtle nesting season, offering a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures.


How to get to Con Dao from Ho Chi Minh city?


Con Dao from Ho Chi Minh by plane

Getting to Con Dao from Ho Chi Minh City is straightforward and can be accomplished by either air or sea.

The quickest and most convenient way is by plane. Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines offer direct flights from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Con Son Airport on Con Dao.

The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Upon arrival, you can take a taxi transfer Con Dao Airport to hotel, as the airport is about 13 kilometers from Con Dao town.


Con Dao from Ho Chi Minh by sea

Alternatively, you can travel by sea if you prefer a scenic and adventurous route. First, travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau either by bus, which takes about 2 to 3 hours, or by hydrofoil, which takes approximately 1.5 hours.

From Vung Tau, take a ferry operated by Vina Express or Con Dao Express 36 to Con Dao. The ferry ride takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. It is advisable to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during high season, to ensure availability.


Another option is to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Cantho or Soc Trang by bus or private car, and then take a ferry from Soc Trang to Con Dao. The ferry from Soc Trang, operated by Superdong or Con Dao Express, takes about 2.5 hours.

And the ferry from Cantho, operated by Mai Linh Express, takes about 3.5 hours. As with the Vung Tau route, booking in advance is recommended.

When planning your trip, consider the travel time and weather conditions, especially during the monsoon season from May to November, which can affect sea travel. Flights are generally faster and more convenient, while ferries offer a more scenic experience.

Once on Con Dao, local transportation options include renting scooters or bicycles, and using local taxis. Besides, many hotels and resorts also offer transportation services for their guests.

You can read more Ho Chi Minh City To Con Dao island : A Detail Travel Guide


Best Beaches in Con Dao


Dam Trau Beach

Dam Trau Beach is often considered the crown jewel of Con Dao’s beaches. Located conveniently near Co Ong Airport, Dam Trau Beach is the first glimpse of paradise many visitors see as they land on the island.

This beach has an expansive stretch of fine, golden sand that meets the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea, creating a picturesque setting that seems almost otherworldly.

The beach is framed by dramatic cliffs and lush greenery, offering plenty of shaded spots for those who prefer to stay out of the direct sunlight.

The calm, shallow waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and wading, particularly for families with young children.

Adventurous visitors can also explore the rocky outcrops at either end of the beach, which are perfect for snorkeling and discovering vibrant marine life.


Dam Trau Beach is also renowned for its stunning sunsets. As the day winds down, the sky transforms into a canvas of brilliant oranges, pinks, and purples, providing a mesmerizing backdrop for evening relaxation or a romantic beachside picnic.

There are a few local beachside vendors and small shacks where you can enjoy freshly prepared seafood, cold drinks, and traditional Vietnamese snacks.

For those looking to extend their stay on Dam Trau Beach, there are rustic beach bungalows and tents available for rent.

Staying overnight gives you the unique experience of falling asleep to the sound of waves and waking up to the serene beauty of an untouched beach.


An Hai Beach

An Hai Beach is another gem on Con Dao Island, located conveniently close to the town center. This accessibility makes it a favorite among both locals and tourists. An Hai Beach is a perfect blend of natural beauty and convenience, providing a tranquil escape without straying too far from amenities.

The beach itself is characterized by its wide, sandy expanse and gentle waves, making it an excellent spot for swimming and beachcombing.

The soft, white sand is ideal for sunbathing or building sandcastles, while the clear, shallow waters are perfect for children to play safely.

The beach is well-maintained, and its cleanliness is a testament to the local community’s commitment to preserving Con Dao’s natural beauty.

One of the unique features of An Hai Beach is the view of Con Dao’s rugged mountains in the background, creating a stunning contrast with the azure waters. This picturesque setting is perfect for photography enthusiasts looking to capture the island’s natural splendor.

You can rent loungers and umbrellas to relax in comfort, and several beachfront cafes and eateries are offering delicious local cuisine and refreshing beverages.

Fresh seafood is a highlight here, with dishes like grilled squid, shrimp, and fish caught daily by local fishermen.

An Hai beach

An Hai Beach is also an excellent starting point for exploring Con Dao’s underwater world. Snorkeling gear can be rented from nearby shops, allowing you to discover the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life just off the shore.

The calm waters make snorkeling a safe and enjoyable activity for all ages.


Ong Dung Beach

For those seeking a more secluded and adventurous experience, Ong Dung Beach is a hidden treasure on Con Dao Island. Nestled within the Con Dao National Park, Ong Dung Beach requires a bit of effort to reach, involving a scenic hike through lush tropical forests.

This journey adds to the beach’s allure, as the path winds through dense vegetation, offering glimpses of local wildlife and exotic plants.

Upon arriving at Ong Dung Beach, you are rewarded with a pristine, untouched landscape. The beach is a tranquil haven with soft white sand and crystal-clear waters that are rarely crowded.

The sense of isolation and serenity makes it an ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more popular tourist areas.

Ong Dung Beach is a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The waters are home to vibrant coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and occasionally, rays. The clarity of the water allows for excellent visibility, making underwater exploration a breathtaking experience.

For those looking to extend their adventure, there are camping options available within the national park.

Camping on Ong Dung Beach allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature, falling asleep to the sound of the waves and waking up to a stunning sunrise over the ocean.

The park authorities provide basic facilities for campers, ensuring a comfortable yet rustic experience.

Read more: Top 9 Beaches in Con Dao Islands


Top Attractions in Con Dao


Con Dao Prison Complex

The Con Dao Prison Complex is a haunting yet historically significant site, often referred to as the "Hell on Earth" of Vietnam. Built by the French colonialists in the late 19th century, the prison was used to incarcerate Vietnamese political prisoners and revolutionaries.

During the Vietnam War, it continued to serve as a detention center for those opposing the South Vietnamese government.


Today, the prison complex serves as a museum, offering a stark reminder of the island's tumultuous past.

You can tour the infamous "Tiger Cages," where prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions, and see exhibits detailing the history of the prison and the resilience of those who were held there.


Con Dao National Park

Con Dao National Park is a nature lover's paradise, encompassing a large portion of the Con Dao archipelago. Established in 1984, the park protects both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, providing a sanctuary for a wide array of flora and fauna.

The park is home to several endangered species, including the Con Dao black giant squirrel and the green sea turtle.

You can explore various hiking trails that wind through dense forests, leading to secluded beaches and offering breathtaking views of the island's landscape.

Birdwatching is a popular activity, with the park hosting over 100 bird species. Additionally, the park's marine areas are rich with coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it a prime spot for snorkeling and diving.


Hang Duong Cemetery

Hang Duong Cemetery is a solemn and poignant site, dedicated to the memory of the thousands of Vietnamese revolutionaries who perished during their imprisonment on Con Dao.

It is the final resting place of many national heroes, including Vo Thi Sau, a young resistance fighter who became a symbol of courage and patriotism for the Vietnamese people.

You can pay their respects at the gravesites and learn about the lives and legacies of those who fought for Vietnam’s independence.

The well-maintained cemetery features beautifully landscaped grounds, making it a place of reflection and remembrance.


Phu Hai Prison

Phu Hai Prison is another significant historical site on Con Dao, known for its brutal conditions and the resilience of its inmates. Like the Con Dao Prison Complex, Phu Hai was used by both the French colonialists and the South Vietnamese government to detain political prisoners.


The prison's architecture includes solitary confinement cells, communal barracks, and the notorious punishment cells where prisoners were subjected to severe hardships.

A visit to Phu Hai Prison offers an educational and emotional journey into Vietnam’s history. The prison has been preserved as a historical monument, with guided tours available that provide detailed accounts of the prisoners' lives and the conditions they endured.

Exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and written accounts, offering a comprehensive understanding of this dark chapter in Vietnam's past.


Tai Islet

Tai Islet is a small, uninhabited island off the coast of Con Dao, known for its pristine beaches and rich marine life. Accessible by boat, Tai Islet is a popular destination for day trips and excursions.

The island offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving, with vibrant coral reefs and diverse underwater ecosystems.

The untouched nature of Tai Islet makes it a perfect escape for those seeking solitude and natural beauty. You can explore the island’s beaches, hike through its lush vegetation, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The islet is also a great spot for birdwatching, with various species inhabiting the area.



Ben Dam Port

Ben Dam Port is the main harbor on Con Dao Island and a bustling hub of activity. It is the primary entry and exit point for goods and visitors traveling by sea.

The port area is vibrant, with fishing boats, cargo ships, and ferries constantly coming and going.

A visit to Ben Dam Port offers a glimpse into the daily life of the island’s residents and the local economy.

The port is surrounded by small shops, cafes, and markets where you can buy fresh seafood, local produce, and souvenirs.

From Ben Dam, you can also arrange boat trips to nearby islands and explore more of Con Dao's natural beauty.


An Son Temple

An Son Temple, also known as Van Son Pagoda, is a serene and culturally significant site on Con Dao. Located on a hill overlooking the sea, the temple offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the town below.

The temple complex is dedicated to the worship of the island's guardian spirits and is an important place of pilgrimage for locals.

You can explore the temple grounds, which include beautiful gardens, traditional architecture, and statues of various deities.


The temple is especially busy during religious festivals, where you can witness traditional ceremonies and experience the local culture and spirituality.


Con Dao Market

Con Dao Market is the best place to experience the island’s local culture and cuisine. Located in the town center, the market is a bustling spot where vendors sell fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and various other goods.

It’s an excellent place to sample local delicacies, shop for souvenirs, and interact with friendly locals.

The market is particularly lively in the mornings, with fishermen bringing in their catch of the day and shoppers haggling for the best prices. Try some of the local specialties, such as banh khot (mini savory pancakes), grilled seafood, and tropical fruits.

Visiting Con Dao Market is a sensory experience that provides insight into the daily life and traditions of the island's inhabitants.


Where to Stay in Con Dao?

Con Dao offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and eco-friendly stays. Here’s a detailed guide on where to stay in Con Dao:

Luxury Resorts


Six Senses Con Dao

Six Senses Con Dao is the epitome of luxury and sustainability. Nestled amidst a lush tropical forest with stunning ocean views, this resort offers private villas with plunge pools, elegantly designed with a blend of modern comforts and traditional Vietnamese architecture.

The resort focuses on eco-friendly practices, including a commitment to preserving the local environment.

You can enjoy world-class amenities such as a spa, gourmet dining, and a range of recreational activities, including snorkeling, diving, and yoga.



Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa

Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa is another excellent choice for those seeking luxury and tranquility. Located on a serene beach, the resort features spacious suites and villas set within beautifully landscaped gardens.

The resort offers an array of facilities, including a spa, a swimming pool, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious Vietnamese and international cuisine.

Its secluded location ensures a peaceful and relaxing stay, perfect for couples and honeymooners.


ATC Resort

ATC Resort provides comfortable and affordable accommodation with stunning sea views. It is located near the town center, offering easy access to local attractions and dining options.

The resort features well-appointed rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving a variety of dishes. It’s an ideal choice for travelers looking for a convenient and budget-friendly place to stay.


Con Dao Resort

Con Dao Resort is another budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on comfort. The resort is situated on a picturesque beachfront, offering guests beautiful ocean views and direct access to the beach. Rooms are clean and comfortable, equipped with essential amenities.

The resort also has a swimming pool, a restaurant, and offers various activities such as fishing and cycling.


Budget-Friendly Accommodations 


Con Dao Camping

For those who enjoy being close to nature, Con Dao Camping offers a unique experience. Located within Con Dao National Park, this eco-friendly accommodation option provides simple bungalows and tents set in a lush, natural environment.


You can enjoy the tranquility of the forest, with opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the nearby beaches. It’s an excellent choice for eco-conscious travelers and adventure seekers.


Uyen’s House

Uyen’s House is a charming homestay that emphasizes sustainability and community. Located in the heart of Con Dao town, this eco-friendly accommodation offers cozy rooms decorated with local crafts and materials.

The homestay provides a welcoming atmosphere, with hosts who are eager to share their knowledge of the island. You can participate in eco-friendly activities, such as beach clean-ups and local workshops, making it a meaningful and immersive experience.


General Tips for Choosing Accommodation

  • Book in Advance: Especially during peak travel seasons, it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance to secure the best options and prices.
  • Check Reviews: Look for reviews and ratings on trusted travel websites to ensure the quality and service of the accommodation.
  • Consider Location: Choose an accommodation that suits your itinerary and preferences, whether you prefer to be close to the town center, the beach, or surrounded by nature.
  • Amenities: Make sure the accommodation offers the amenities you need, such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, swimming pools, and dining options.
  • Sustainability: If you are environmentally conscious, look for accommodations that prioritize eco-friendly practices and contribute to local conservation efforts.

Con Dao offers a diverse range of accommodations to cater to all types of travelers, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay on this beautiful island.


What to eat in Con Dao?

Con Dao Island offers a tantalizing array of culinary delights that showcase the island’s fresh seafood and traditional Vietnamese flavors. Here are some of the must-try dishes:


Fresh Seafood

Con Dao is famous for its abundant fresh seafood, a staple in the local diet. Some highlights include grilled lobster, steamed clams with lemongrass, and fish hotpot.

Grilled lobster is often prepared simply to highlight the meat's natural sweetness, typically served with a garlic butter sauce.


Steamed clams are infused with the aromatic flavors of lemongrass and ginger, making for a fragrant and delicious dish. Fish hotpot is a communal meal where diners cook fresh fish in a flavorful broth right at the table, accompanied by vegetables and noodles.


Banh Khot (Mini Savory Pancakes)

Banh Khot are small, crispy pancakes made from rice flour and coconut milk, topped with shrimp or squid. These bite-sized treats are typically served with fresh herbs and a sweet-spicy dipping sauce, making for a perfect snack or light meal.

The combination of crispy pancake, tender seafood, and the fresh crunch of herbs is irresistible.


Goi Ca Mai (Raw Fish Salad)

Goi Ca Mai is a raw fish salad that is both refreshing and flavorful. Thinly sliced fresh fish is marinated in lime juice, mixed with herbs, and topped with peanuts.


This dish is light, tangy, and perfect for those who enjoy fresh, raw flavors. The citrusy marinade "cooks" the fish, giving it a tender texture and vibrant taste.


Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Savory Pancake)

Banh Xeo is a crispy, savory pancake made from rice flour and turmeric, filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

It is served with fresh lettuce and herbs, which are used to wrap pieces of the pancake before dipping them in a tangy fish sauce. The contrast between the crispy pancake and the fresh, crunchy vegetables is delightful.


Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)

Goi Cuon are fresh spring rolls made with rice paper and filled with shrimp, pork, vermicelli noodles, and fresh herbs. These rolls are light, healthy, and served with a savory peanut dipping sauce.


The combination of fresh, crunchy vegetables and the rich dipping sauce makes these rolls a favorite appetizer or snack.


Best Restaurants in Con Dao

Con Dao Island is not just a paradise for beach lovers but also a haven for food enthusiasts. The island offers a variety of dining options, ranging from casual street food stalls to upscale restaurants, all serving delicious local and international cuisine.

Here’s a guide to the best restaurants in Con Dao:


1. Infiniti Cafe & Lounge

  • Address: Tran Phu Street, Con Dao Island, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province
  • Price Range: 50,000 VND - 500,000 VND per person

Infiniti Cafe & Lounge is a popular dining spot known for its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful sea views. The restaurant offers a diverse menu, featuring both Vietnamese and Western dishes.

Signature dishes include fresh seafood platters, Vietnamese spring rolls, and gourmet burgers. The cafe is also a great place to enjoy a cocktail or a fresh fruit smoothie while watching the sunset.


2. Bar 200 Con Dao

  • Address: 12 Nguyen Duc Thuan Street, Con Dao Town

  • Price Range: 100,000 VND - 300,000 VND per person

Bar200 Con Dao is a vibrant bar and restaurant located near the town center. Known for its laid-back vibe and friendly service, Bar200 serves a variety of comfort foods, including pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.


They also offer a selection of local and imported beers, wines, and cocktails. The bar frequently hosts live music events, making it a great place to unwind and enjoy the local nightlife.


3. Thu Ba Seafood Restaurant

  • Address: 7 Vo Thi Sau Street, Con Dao Town
  • Price Range: 200,000 VND - 600,000 VND per person

Thu Ba Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit for seafood lovers. Located close to the pier, this restaurant is renowned for its fresh seafood, which is caught daily by local fishermen. Popular dishes include grilled lobster, steamed clams with lemongrass, and fish hotpot. The casual, open-air setting adds to the authentic dining experience, allowing guests to enjoy their meal with a view of the sea.


4. Con Dao Market

  • Address: Tran Huy Lieu Street, Con Dao Town
  • Price Range: 50,000 VND - 200,000 VND per person

For an authentic local experience, visit Con Dao Market, where you can sample a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes.

The market is bustling with vendors selling fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and local specialties like banh khot (mini savory pancakes) and pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). It’s an excellent place to enjoy a meal and immerse yourself in the local culture.



5. Villa Maison Con Dao Restaurant

  • Address: 8 Nguyen Duc Nhuan Street, Con Dao Town
  • Price Range: 300,000 VND - 800,000 VND per person

Villa Maison Con Dao Restaurant offers a sophisticated dining experience in a charming colonial-style villa. The restaurant serves a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine, prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Notable dishes include the duck confit, seafood risotto, and banh xeo (Vietnamese savory pancakes). The elegant ambiance and attentive service make it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion.


6. Six Senses Con Dao Restaurant

  • Address: Dat Doc Beach, Con Dao District
  • Price Range: 1,000,000 VND - 3,000,000 VND per person

For those seeking luxury dining, the restaurant at Six Senses Con Dao Resort is an excellent choice. The menu features a range of international and Vietnamese dishes, crafted with organic produce and sustainably sourced seafood.

You can enjoy their meals in a serene, beachfront setting. The resort also offers unique dining experiences, such as private beach barbecues and chef’s table dinners.



7. Bao Tram Restaurant

  • Address: 22 Nguyen Hue Street, Con Dao Town
  • Price Range: 100,000 VND - 300,000 VND per person

Bao Tram Restaurant is a cozy family-run establishment that offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The menu includes a variety of home-cooked Vietnamese dishes, such as clay pot fish, stir-fried morning glory, and caramelized pork.

The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists.


8. Thanh Binh Restaurant

  • Address: 40 Pham Van Dong Street, Con Dao Town
  • Price Range: 150,000 VND - 400,000 VND per person

Thanh Binh Restaurant is known for its extensive menu and delicious local cuisine. The restaurant specializes in seafood, with popular dishes like grilled squid, seafood fried rice, and fish cooked in a clay pot. The friendly staff and relaxed ambiance make it a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal.


Activities and Adventures


Water Sports

Con Dao’s clear waters and diverse marine life make it a hotspot for water sports. Popular activities include snorkeling, kayaking, and jet-skiing. Equipment rentals and guided tours are readily available for visitors of all skill levels.


Hiking Trails

The island offers several scenic hiking trails that traverse lush forests and coastal paths. These trails provide opportunities to discover hidden beaches, observe wildlife, and enjoy panoramic views of the island.



Con Dao is a destination that promises a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and modern comfort.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on its pristine beaches, adventure in its waters, or a deep dive into its history, Con Dao offers an unforgettable travel experience. Plan your trip for 2024 and discover the perfected beach paradise of Con Dao

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