Ho Chi Minh City To Con Dao island : A Detail Travel Guide

, 08/06/2024, 19:12 GMT+7

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

Getting from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao is worth taking for its pristine beaches, rich history, and stunning natural beauty.

Whether you're planning a relaxing beach holiday or an adventurous trip exploring the island's diverse marine life, understanding your travel options is essential.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore various ways to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao, including flights, ferries, and tips to make your journey smooth and enjoyable.


Where is Con Dao?

Con Dao is an archipelago located in the southern part of Vietnam, approximately 230 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. Known for its crystal-clear waters, lush forests, and historical significance, Con Dao has become a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers. The archipelago comprises 16 islands, with Con Son being the largest and most developed.

Ho Chi Minh City To Con Dao island  A Detail Travel Guide (4)


The distance and travel time to Con Dao

The distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao is roughly 230 kilometers as the crow flies. While this might not seem very far, the journey can vary significantly depending on your transportation mode. Options include flights, ferries, and a combination of bus and ferry travel.


How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao?

There are several ways to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao, each with its advantages and considerations. Let's explore these options in detail:


Traveling Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao by flights

Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to reach Con Dao. Vietnam Airlines operate direct flights from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City to Con Son Airport (VCS) in Con Dao. The flight takes approximately 1 hour with 15 trips per day.


Traveling Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao by bus/taxi + ferry from Vung Tau to Con Dao

You can take a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau from bus stations such as Mien Dong Bus Station. 

Address: 292 Dinh Bo Linh, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh

Phone Number: +84 28 3899 1607

Email: bxmien.dong@gmail.com

CLICK HERE to see the location of the bus station on Google Maps.

Bus Companies from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau

Bus Company

Ticket Price (VND)


Departure Point

Arrival Point

Phuong Trang (Futa Bus)

100,000 - 150,000

2-2.5 hours

Mien Dong Bus Station

Vung Tau Bus Station

Hoa Mai

100,000 - 150,000

2-2.5 hours

Mien Dong Bus Station

Vung Tau Bus Station

Toan Thang

100,000 - 150,000

2-2.5 hours

Mien Dong Bus Station

Vung Tau Bus Station


Or you can catch a taxi from your location. 



Taxi Companies from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau

Taxi Company

Phone Number

Price per Km (VND)

Mai Linh Taxi

+84 28 3838 3838

15,000 VND/km

Vinasun Taxi

+84 28 3827 2727

14,500 VND/km


Book via the Grab app

12,000 VND/km (varies)

Saigon Taxi (Saigontourist)

+84 28 3823 2323

16,000 VND/km

Vina Taxi

+84 28 3811 1111

14,000 VND/km

Airport Taxi

+84 28 3848 8484

17,000 VND/km


Once you arrive in Cau Da Port, Vung Tau from Ho Chi Minh by bus or taxi, the next leg of your journey is the ferry ride to Con Dao. This part of the trip offers beautiful coastal views and a chance to relax before arriving at your destination.

Several companies operate ferries from Vung Tau to Con Dao, with Vina Express or Côn Đảo Express 36 being one of the most reputable providers.


Ferry Companies and Ticket Prices

Ferry Company

Ticket Price (VND)



Contact Information

Vina Express


~3 hours

1-2 trips daily

0254 3628 888

Côn Đảo Express 36

660,000 (Economy Class), 880,000 (Business Class), 1,200,000 (VIP)

~4 hours

1-2 trips daily

0919 926 663



  • Book Your Ticket: Tickets can be booked online, at the Vina Express or Côn Đảo Express 36
    office, or at the ferry terminal.
  • Check-In: Arrive at the ferry terminal at least 45 minutes before departure to check-in and board the ferry.
  • Onboard Experience: Ferries are equipped with comfortable seating, air conditioning, and sometimes refreshments.
  • Facilities: VIP and Business Class tickets often include additional amenities such as more spacious seating and complimentary snacks.

Except Ho Chi Minh, traveling to Con Dao involves different routes and modes of transportation. Here, we provide detailed information on ticket prices and schedules for ferries from Tran De, Cantho to Con Dao.


Ferry from Tran De, Soc Trang to Con Dao

Traveling from Tran De to Con Dao by ferry offers a scenic and convenient journey. The ferry ride begins at Tran De Port, located in Soc Trang Province. As you embark, you'll find the vessel well-equipped with comfortable seating and essential amenities. 

Currently, several companies offer ferry services from Tran De to Con Dao, notably Superdong and Con Dao Express 36. 



Departure Time

Arrival Time


Price (VND)


Tran De to Con Dao

08:00 AM

10:00 AM







Con Dao to Tran De

01:30 PM

03:00 PM






Con Dao Express

Tran De to Con Dao

09:00 AM

10:45 AM

Economy (Mon-Wed)



Economy (Fri-Sun)






Con Dao to Tran De

01:30 PM

02:15 PM

Economy (Mon-Wed)



Economy (Fri-Sun)






Ferry from Cantho to Con Dao

Mai Linh Express will be the only operating high-speed ferry to Con Dao from Cantho, providing a modern and comfortable travel experience. And departure from Ninh Kieu Port, Cantho.

Website: https://taucaotocmailinh.vn/

Phone: 083 692 8888

Address: 83 Ly Thai To, Hung Phu Ward, Cai Rang District, Can Tho

Mai Linh Express Ferry Details


Ticket Price (VND) (Monday to Thursday)

Economy Class


Business Class


President Class




Cantho - Con Dao

Con Dao - Cantho

Departure Time



Arrival Time



Operating Ferry

Mai Linh Express

Mai Linh Express

Number of Seats

332 seats

332 seats


32 knots/hour

32 knots/hour

Read more: Taxi Transfer Con Dao Airport To Hotel 


Best Time to Visit Con Dao

The best time to visit Con Dao is from January to October. During this period, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the islands. The monsoon season from November to January can bring heavy rains and rough seas, which might disrupt travel plans.


Con Dao Prison


Advice to Travel

When planning your journey from Vung Tau, Cantho, Tran De to Con Dao via the ferry, it's crucial to consider the ferry's daily schedule to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Almost ferry departs from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM, and it’s recommended that passengers check in at least 45 minutes before departure. 

Moreover, make the most of your first day on the island by exploring key attractions and settling into your accommodation.


How Many Days to Stay in Con Dao?

Planning a trip to Con Dao requires considering how many days you should allocate to experience what the island offers fully. Based on various sources and travel recommendations, a stay of 3 days is generally ideal for a well-rounded Con Dao experience.

Day 1: Arrival and Beach Exploration

  • Morning: Arrive in Con Dao and check into your accommodation. If you take the early ferry, you'll have the entire day ahead.
  • Afternoon: Visit Dam Trau Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, known for its golden sands and turquoise waters.
  • Evening: Enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant and visit the Con Dao Night Market.

Day 2: Historical and Natural Attractions

  • Morning: Explore historical sites such as the Con Dao Museum and the notorious Con Dao Prison (also known as the "Tiger Cages").
  • Afternoon: Head to Hang Duong Cemetery to pay respects and learn about Vietnam's history.
  • Evening: Relax at a beachside café or take a sunset walk along the shore.

Day 3: Outdoor Activities

  • Morning: Take a snorkeling or diving tour to see the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life around the smaller islands.
  • Afternoon: Visit Ong Dung Beach for a serene environment and possibly more snorkeling.
  • Evening: Return to your accommodation and enjoy a quiet evening preparing for departure.



Phu Binh prison


What to Eat in Con Dao?

Con Dao is not only known for its natural beauty but also its vibrant food scene. Here are some must-try dishes:

Con Dao, known for its beautiful landscapes, also offers a variety of delicious local dishes, primarily featuring fresh seafood. Here are some must-try foods in Con Dao:


1. Seafood

Con Dao's location ensures an abundance of fresh seafood. Popular seafood dishes include:

  • Grilled Scallops: Topped with green onion and peanuts.
  • Squid: Served grilled, fried, or in salads.
  • Shrimp: Fresh and succulent, often served grilled or steamed.
  • Sea Snails: Prepared in various ways, such as stir-fried with lemongrass and chili.


2. Cua Mat Troi (Sun Crab)

A unique dish specific to Con Dao, sun crabs are small, sweet, and usually steamed or grilled. They are often enjoyed with a squeeze of lime and salt and pepper dipping sauce.


3. Oc Vu Nang (Vu Nang Snails)

These snails are a local specialty, usually grilled or steamed and served with a spicy and tangy dipping sauce. The meat is tender and flavorful.


4. Goi Ca Mai (Mai Fish Salad)

This refreshing salad features raw mai fish, a type of small fish, mixed with vegetables, herbs, and a tangy dressing made from fish sauce, lime juice, and chili. It’s a light and tasty dish perfect for hot days.


7. Lobster

Lobster is a luxury item on the island, often served grilled with garlic butter or in a simple yet delicious steamed preparation to highlight its natural sweetness.


8. Chao Hau (Oyster Porridge)

This hearty porridge features fresh oysters cooked with rice, ginger, and green onions. It's a comforting dish that's both nutritious and delicious.


What to Do in Con Dao?

Con Dao, an archipelago off the southern coast of Vietnam, is a hidden gem with pristine beaches, lush forests, and rich history. Here are some top activities to enjoy in Con Dao:


1. Explore Con Dao National Park

Con Dao National Park offers a diverse ecosystem with a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can go hiking through dense forests, enjoy bird watching, and discover rare wildlife. The park also has several beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy the serene environment.


2. Visit Historical Sites

Con Dao has a significant historical background, primarily known for its prison system during the French colonial period and the Vietnam War. Key historical sites include:

  • Con Dao Prison Complex: Visit the infamous Phu Hai Prison and the notorious 'Tiger Cages' to learn about the island's dark past.
  • Hang Duong Cemetery: Pay respects at the cemetery where many prisoners were buried, including the famous revolutionary heroine Vo Thi Sau.


3. Enjoy the Beaches

Con Dao has some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Must-visit beaches include:

  • Dam Trau Beach: Known for its golden sand and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • An Hai Beach: A peaceful beach ideal for relaxation and enjoying stunning sunsets.
  • Nhat Beach: Notable for its rocky landscape and picturesque views.

Read more: Top 9 Beaches in Con Dao Islands Will Make You Fall In Love


Go to beach at Con Dao


4. Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

The clear waters around Con Dao are perfect for diving and snorkeling. Discover vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. Popular dive spots include:

  • Bay Canh Island: Known for its coral reefs and diverse marine species.
  • Tai Island: Famous for its underwater caves and colorful corals.


5. Trekking to Ong Dung Bay

Ong Dung Bay is a beautiful and secluded spot accessible by a challenging trek through the jungle. The bay is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying a picnic amidst nature.


6. Visit Con Dao Museum

The Con Dao Museum offers insightful exhibits about the island's history, culture, and natural beauty. It's an excellent place to learn more about the significance of Con Dao in Vietnam's history.


7. Turtle Watching

Con Dao is one of the few places in Vietnam where you can observe sea turtles nesting. The best time for turtle watching is from May to September. The Con Dao National Park organizes guided tours to see these magnificent creatures.


8. Water Sports

Apart from diving and snorkeling, you can enjoy other water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The calm and clear waters make it an ideal location for these activities.

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