Previously known as a hell on earth during the war time, Con Dao now is a famous tourist attraction in Vietnam with its crystal clear water, its long white beaches, its yummy seafood, and many other things to offer.
One must-do in Con Dao is to visit the penitentiary built during the war between the Vietnamese and the French, and continued to be used for the following war with the U.S. The prison complex, dubbed “hell on earth”, consists of multiple sections. Political prisoners were kept in there, undergoing various types of torture and other mistreats. You can find there statues depicting the calamity and conditions of prisoners decades ago. It was scary just to look at those life-like china statues.
Another thing that the locals (and by locals, I mean Vietnamese) love to do in Con Dao is to visit Hang Duong cemetery, where the tomb of Vo Thi Sau – a female activist during the French war – is located, among thousands of other activists. Most people choose to go there very late at night, mostly at midnight. It is said that when praying to her tomb, your wish will be granted. I did make 2 wishes, 1 clearly came true, and the second, if looked at from a certain perspective, did come true as well.
But beside those, Con Dao is still an island surrounded by a blue paradise.
Now you know where the photo for my blog header was taken. This was on Bay Canh island, another island about 1 hour from Con Dao. The view, in person, was even much much more impressive. On the way we climbed to the lighthouse on top of the island, I turned around and this view, with one single tiny boat in sight, made me speechless with its beauty.
This is the view from lighthouse on Bay Canh island.
And this is an average beach you can find anywhere in Con Dao.
But if you’re rich enough to spend $600/night at Six Senses Resort, the island’s only 5-star resort, this is the private beach that you get. I couldn’t get near the beach because, of course, I only spent $8.5 for a simple plain vanilla milkshake in order to get in the perimeter of the resort and zoom in to capture its beach. 🙂
Another place of interest is Cape Shark, located at the southern tip of Con Dao, where it’s rumored to host the best sunrise on the island. This is, however, the result.
The other view was still priceless though.
And at this cape, when my friends and I were posing on the rocks by the ocean, my most favorite moment of the whole trip occurred. I didn’t smile, I didn’t show any reaction, I didn’t do anything I wish I had done, but now, four months after that moment, even when I couldn’t remember the image I saw, I could still feel the warmth mildly in my heart.
My blue paradise, where wishes came true and where I found a piece of my soul I never thought I had.