Summer is here, and from the southern island of Con Dao, you can cruise to the neighboring islets, enjoy bathing and fishing, or walk through splintered sunlight in a tropical jungle. There are few tourist services but many people like it this way because there is less hassle.
Con Dao is 180 kilometers off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and comprises 16 islets and is known worldwide for the groups’ notorious prisons and barbaric oppression during war times.
Con Dao Island, known as “The Hell on Earth” under the French regime and during the American War, draws many visitors who come to learn the history. Fishing is one of the interesting activities on this beautiful island. Some sportsmen have great luck in the channels between islets. Most people prefer the tamer waters near Wharf 914. Live bait is available at the market, which is a short walk from the wharf. Some sellers give the bait away.
“It is very small, I cannot sell it to customers to make food. So you can take it, just for fun”, a seller told us when we asked for a couple of small fish to try our luck.
You might not catch too many fish but you never feel lonely because the wharf is usually crowded with fishermen and kids. The kids are there just for fun. Despite going home empty-handed most of the time, these kids are ready to help you catch a fish and tell you what you are doing wrong and why your bait is no good and snap your camera for you when you do land a fish. They spend the great majority of their lives on the beach and usually have enough free time to keep you company all day.
On a full moon, when the tide ebbs, the islets grow taller giving you a chance to have a nice long walk straight into the ocean. Some nights you can walk more than one kilometer under the moon. You will bump into many friendly locals out here hunting for cuttle-fish.
This can also be a romantic setting, but the opportunity only lasts for a few hours and then the sea quickly reclaims the exposed skin of the island. Give yourself plenty of time to start walking back in.
There are 13 flights to the Con Dao every week.