Comprising of 16 islands of different sizes in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Con Dao National Park is one of two national parks in Viet Nam owing both forest and marine protected area.
- Location: Con Dao, Ba Ria-Vung Tau
Con Dao National Park is centered on an archipelago of 14 islands, the largest of which is Con Son. The topography of Con Son Island is mountainous and dominated by a granite ridge which runs from south-west to north-east, sheltering the bays on both sides of the island from strong winds.
The highest points on the island are the summits of Mount Thanh Gia and Mount Chua, at 577 and 515 m respectively. The smaller islands reach a maximum elevation of 200 m.
There are no permanent watercourses on the Con Dao archipelago, only seasonal streams. In the rainy season, water is plentiful; however, there is a serious lack of water in the dry season. Three reservoirs collect water during the rainy season to supply the local population during the dry season.
2. Biodiversity Values
Con Dao has various marine ecosystems with 285 species of hard coral, 84 species of seaweed, 202 species of fish, 153 species of mollusc, etc.
What is more, aqui herbosa ecosystem, geophytes in sea estimate about 200ha, comprising of 9 species among 16 ones in the world. Con Dao’s sea is a home of tortoise-shell, turtle, black whale, and especially dugong, one of the extremely rare species in the world.
Although the number of species is relatively low, the density of individual species is often high such as black giant squirrel, ratufa bicolor condorensis. The bird fauna of Con Dao National Park is diversified with nicobar pigeon caloenas nicobarica, red-billed tropicbird phaethon aethereus, pied imperial pigeon ducula bicolor and masked booby sula dactylatra.
The marine ecosystems at the national park include mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds. Mangroves cover a total of 15 ha, and are distributed around Ba Island and along the west coast of Bay Canh Island, and along the north and south coasts of Con Son Island.
The coral reefs at Con Dao are among the most pristine in Vietnam, and are distributed in shallow waters around the islands, covering a total area of around 1,000 ha.
3. Conservation Efforts
The World Wide Fund for Nature has been active in protecting sea turtles and dugong in Con Dao National Park. Since 1995, more than 300,000 baby turtles have been released to the sea and nearly 1,000 mature turtles have been tagged.
Con Dao National Park is now considered one of the best examples of marine conservation in Vietnam with regulations to limit fishing activities and prohibit destructive fishing. There are plans for eco-friendly development within the park’s boundaries.
4. What to Do in Con Dao National Park?
Once coming to Con Dao National Park, tourists should not skip trekking in the jungle trails, scuba diving under coral reefs and wandering along white sandy beaches. In addition, you can also rent a scooter or motorbike if you want to make your own trip in this area. This will give you a chance to discover every corner of Con Dao park.
5. Where to Stay
Hotels, motels, resorts and homestays in Con Dao are numerous. Depending on your demands and budget, you can choose the most suitable one for you and your family. Here are some of the best suggestions for you.
- Motel Tien Minh
Location: Vo Thi Sau Street, Con Dao District
Tel: 0834 111 141
- Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa
Location: Con Dao District, Ba Ria Vung Tau
Tel: 0254 3831 500
- Homestay Thanh Son
Location: Le Van Luong Street, Con Dao District, Ba Ria Vung Tau
Tel: 0374 347 290
6. Tips on Visiting Con Dao National Park
- You need to get permission from the management office in Con Dao District before exploring this national park
- If you go hiking, don’t forget to bring some bottles of water in case you are thirsty because of the extreme humidity in the park
- Even if you are a good trekker, please don’t go alone
- Plan your trip to Con Dao National Park carefully and try to come back to the hotel before dark