trekking tours

Con Dao is top island

Vietnam’s Con Dao tops island bucket lists

By VnExpress   March 12, 2017 | 10:40 am GMT+7

Vietnam's Con Dao tops island bucket lists

Con Dao at dawn. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Nguyen Le Hoang

The southern archipelago is getting more international recognition for its beauty and history.

CNN included Vietnam’s Con Dao island chain on a list of crowd-free Asian getaways on Friday.

Last month, New York-based Travel + Leisure included Con Dao on a list of the best secret islands on Earth. In 2016, the islands made the Lonely Planet‘s list of top 10 must-see places in Asia.

“Once a penal colony known as the Devil’s Island of French Indochina, this 16-island archipelago off the Mekong Delta has turned to more peaceful pursuits in modern times,” CNN said.

In addition to diving, enjoying palm-shaded beaches, exploring rainforest trails, tourists can spend time taking in wildlife, which includes a large population of nesting sea turtles

They can pay a visit to Con Dao Prison where French colonists jailed Vietnamese soldiers during the 19th century or hire a motorcycle to tour the islands, CNN said.

Con Dao is administered by the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and sit 230 kilometers (143 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City.

CNN’s recent list included Cambodia’s Koh Rong, Malaysia’s Pangkor, Myanmar’s Lampi, the Philippines’ Palawan, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat and Samosir Island, and Thailand’s Koh Phayam.

Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Tran Huu Hoang

Sunrise on Con Dao. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Tran Huu Hoang

Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Pham Van Tap

Crystal clear water and a tranquil atmosphere make Con Dao the perfect getaway. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Pham Van Tap

A lotus lake, An Hai Village, Con Dao. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Cao Huy Hai

A lotus lake, An Hai Village, Con Dao. Photo by VnExpress Photo Contest/Cao Huy Hai

Inside Con Daos biggest prison Phu Hai, today a museum, known as hell on earth. During the French colonial period, Vietnams revolutionary leaders like Nguyễn Duy Trinh, Phan Chu Trinh, Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Ngô Đức Kế were held and tortured here. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Ngoc Hanh

Inside Con Dao’s biggest prison Phu Hai, today a museum. During the French colonial period, Vietnam’s revolutionary leaders like Nguyen Duy Trinh, Phan Chu Trinh, Huynh Thuc Khang and Ngo Duc Ke were held and tortured here. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Ngoc Hanh