I stayed 3 nights in Con Dao islands and if on the first day the rain was threatening, the other days the same didn’t happen. Inclusively I spent a day at the hostel because of the rain…
The hostel owner was super nice and borrowed me his own bicycle. I was afraid of riding a motorbike in the rain, but I now regret not doing it. Con Dao is too big to explore on foot and has many untouched places to discover. The island is still a mystery as I don’t find many things about it on the web, so exploring this rough place fully would have been fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t rent a motorbike and therefore haven’t seen a third of the island.
This day it was raining, but not heavily, so I decided to go by bicycle. My stupid idea was to go by bicycle to Bai Bien Dong, but soon I realized that would not happen. The street from the center to the beach is very steep and 10 minutes after riding the bicycle I realized that I would not proceed with a bicycle on such a steep street. You really have to rent a motorbike! So, I went back, but this time under the rain. One hand was on the bicycle and the other was handling the umbrella. It was a tough ride…
Con Dao prison tiger cages
As my previous plan was ruined, I decided to visit Con Dao prison and tiger cages. Con Dao is an isolated island far from land and it was where the war prisoners were sent to be isolated forever. This is why Con Dao’s prison is very known, but not only. Atrocities were committed in this prison that is now talked about in other war museums in Vietnam. The name tiger cages come from the places where prisoners were jailed. They were tiny and made of wire and prisoners could barely move. Prisoners were caged like animals. It was atrocious. Awful to imagine what would be like being a prisoner in those cages. The prison was built by the French to jail those considered dangerous to the colonial government. Many important political prisoners were abused and tortured here. Terrible things were done too bad to be true!
Unfortunately, or maybe, fortunately, I couldn’t visit and testify to this horrendous place where so many Vietnamese were treated like wild beasts. The gates were closed and apparently, this prison is not open for tourists every day all day. So you better read about its opening times before attempting a visit. At least the street nearby was very beautiful. The pavement was red due to the thousands of flowers fallen on the ground. A very beautiful sight.
Van Son Pagoda
Another place I decided to visit but this time on foot was Van Son Pagoda which seems to be the most important in town due to the great numbers of Vietnamese visiting it. The temple is still quite a walk from the center, but the streets are so empty and calm that the walk is very pleasant with many areas colored by fallen flowers.
The pagoda stands tall and has a nice view of the island. Next to it, there is a lake with many lotus flowers. It is a cool place to visit.
An Hai beach Con Dao
Near Van Son pagoda is An Hai beach a wide beach that is the one closer to the center and therefore the main beach on the island. This is where the biggest number of accommodations in Con Dao are settled. The views from here are beautiful and the beach is so big that you will have plenty of space to enjoy its calmness.
Sea turtles laying eggs
The thing that was actually more appealing to me and that I wanted to do was seeing sea turtles laying eggs at night. I knew that when I visited Con Dao would be the right time of the year to watch this event, I visited in June. But, this is something I can’t do on my own and there is only one place that has tourist offers on the island. It is Con Dao travel. What I wasn’t expecting is that this type of tour costs hundreds of dollars. I was truly not expecting it to be so expensive because we are in Vietnam. Another inconvenience is that I can’t do this all alone so I need a group to join. As there are almost no travelers here, there is no one I can join, and if in a group the tour is expensive, I will not even tell you what about alone. That’s why traveling alone to untraveled places can be complicated and expensive. I was not able to share the costs of anything, and doing any type of tour on my own was out of the question. This was the most exciting reason why I came to Con Dao, so I was very sad about not seeing the sea turtles.
Besides this, I have explored the nearest beaches to the center and I spent a day at Con Dao National Park. You can read about it in the next article.