The mysterious islands

condaoCôn Đảo, an ideal place for vacationers, is among the top 20 islands containing the most mysteries of the world, according to the world-renowned tourism magazine Travel And Leisure.

Côn Đảo is an archipelago in the southeast of Việt Nam, 97 nautical miles from Vũng Tàu and 120 nautical miles from Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC).

It consists of 16 islands of different sizes, with a total area of 76 square kilometers.

The biggest island of all is Côn Sơn, which covers 51 square kilometers.

By the end of last year, the Côn Đảo group of islands had about 6,000 inhabitants.

Seen on the map of Việt Nam, Côn Đảo looks like a bear extending its body to the Việt Nam’s East Sea.

The islands are famous for their beautiful beaches with pure blue water and long stretches of sand covered with lines of perennial trees.

Côn Đảo is also a national park with primeval forests which are home to rich fauna and flora.

The park has many species of orchids and animals such as black squirrels, fish of different colors and birds.

In particular, the Côn Đảo National Park is one of Việt Nam’s few natural preserves for dugongs, dolphins and sea turtles, the species facing the high risk of extinction.

Côn Đảo’s tourism strengths are poetical, pristine beaches, pure blue seawater and coral reefs.

Visitors to Côn Đảo can spend leisure time at Bảy Cạnh Islet, Nhat Beach and Đầm Trầu Beach.

Đầm Trầu Beach is suitable for bathing while Orchid Islet is good for fishing and Tre Islet is ideal for diving.

In addition, it is great for visitors to watch turtles lay eggs on Bay Canh Islet at night.

On Côn Đảo, tourists can go trekking through the forests or watch the whole area’s sceneries from the peak of Chúa Mountain, the highest mountain of the archipelago.

In the old days,  Côn Đảo was a place for imprisoning criminals and politicians.

Côn Đảo Prison is a fun place to visit as it helps tourists see how prisoners lived and were treated
here.

In the central part of Côn Sơn is Sài Gòn – Côn Đảo Resort.

The resort, a subsidiary of Saigontourist Holding Company, has villas with a total of 36 rooms.

The villas, built with French architecture in the 1920s and surrounded with greenery, used to be the place for French officials to live and work.

Apart from the villas, the new section, built with modern architecture in 2009, has 82 rooms.

All the rooms are well-equipped and face the sea.

At the resort, guests can enjoy delicious seafoods and Côn Đảo specialties at Poulo Condore and Hoa Biển restaurants.

Here, they can also book a tour of the islands.

Sài Gòn – Côn Đảo Resort, in coordination with the Việt Nam Air Services Company (Vasco), has launched a promotion program.

Accordingly, from September 5 until December 15, tourists flying on a Vasco aircraft to Côn Đảo and staying at the resort for one or two nights are offered a 35% discount and a meal voucher worth VND200,000 (US$9.5) per room.

Those who spend three nights will enjoy a 35% room discount and the third night free of charge.

By ĐẠT TIẾN 

Source: The Saigon Times 24/9/2011

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