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    Con Dao island


    Number of posts : 5
    Age : 32
    Localisation : USA
    Registration date : 2011-01-03

    Con Dao island Empty Con Dao island

    Post by Milanice on Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:59 pm

    A protected Marine Nature Reserve, the Con Dao Islands (of which Con Son is the largest and where you are likely to be staying) can be difficult to get to, with irregular flights from Ho Chi Minh City or an overnight ferry from Vung Tau.. but my goodness, it's worth it!

    I must confess, the highlight of any travelling around Vietnam for me is usually the food, yet the lack of any real eating options outside of the main hotels didn't still manage to disappoint, as the scenery around Con Dao is so spectacular you'll want to stay forever. I think of all the places I visited in Vietnam Con Dao was possibly one of the most beautiful I've seen.

    The islands of Con Dao have a tragic history - they lay completely unoccupied until the French occupied Vietnam and used the island as one large prison complex, where prisoners were shackled, starved and beaten, forced into hard labour and subjected to some particularly cruel and unusual punishment. Sadly when the Americans arrived to 'save' Vietnam from Communism they kept the prisons running, and made good use of one of the most barbaric elements, the 'Tiger Cages'; even once their horrific nature had been exposed in the US media they simply built another set deeper in the jungle so the journalists wouldn't find them.

    Today the prisons serve as a stark reminder of the horrors of war, and many of the islands residents are ex-convicts who decided to stay on the islands rather than return to the mainland. These days the main industries are fishing and shipping, and life on the island is very simple and undeveloped, though there are plans to encourage more tourism to the islands in the future.

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