Photo: Con Dao beach scenes.

Hon Bay Canh and Con Dao’s other islands

Our rating:

With 16 islands and islets, Con Dao archipelago deserves some serious marine exploration.


Photo of Hon Bay Canh and Con Dao’s other islands

The islands are part of the national park which means access is restricted and therefore keeps mass tourism in check. But if you are willing to splurge a little, you can go where few tread, see the islands’ unique biodiversity and get up close to sea turtles.

Bay Canh Island (Hon Bay Canh) to the east of main island Con Son is the most popular spot, offering visitors the most varied experience. The archipelago’s second largest island has an area of 683 hectares, mostly covered by rainforest full of rare species, as well as some mangrove forest. It also has the most sea turtles laying eggs.

Cat Lon Beach is one of 14 turtle breeding grounds on the island. During breeding and nesting season from April to September, you have a chance to see as many as 20-30 turtles nest, with end of May to July being the optimal months.

Con Dao has several diving operators. Snorkellers can join dive trips for US$48, including lunch, equipment and a Divemaster watching your back. To step foot on the island you have to arrange the trip through the national park office at 29 Vo Thi Sau Street, open 07:00-11:30 and 13:30-17:00. Overnight excursions include a guide, boat, government permit, snorkelling, dinner, releasing baby turtles into the sea (if the season) and accommodation in a basic room or a hammock. For one person we were quoted 3,000,000 dong, two people 5,000,000 dong. Pay extra for the hike to the lighthouse built by the French in 1884 on the eastern tip of the island.

There are many smaller islands that very few people visit such as Tre Lon Island (Hon Tre Long or “Big Bamboo Island”), also home to sea turtles, or Tre Nho Islet (Hon Tre Nho or “Small Bamboo Island”), a sea bird nesting ground. Facilities are basic: you sleep in a hammock, but there is a toilet. Expect to pay 9,000,000 to 10,000,000 for two to three people.

Trips can go all year except during high winds, usually November to January.

Contact or visit the park office at 29 Vo Thi Sau St; T: (064) 3830 669; (097) 5830 669; sale@condaopark.com.vnwww.condaopark.com.vn.

Or try park official Mr Hung, who speaks English at T: (091) 8429 739; hungcondaopark@gmail.com.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Con Dao Islands.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Con Dao Islands.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Con Dao Islands.
 Read up on how to get to Con Dao Islands, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Con Dao Islands? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.


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