Con Dao, the offshore island in South Vietnam, is considered as a mysterious island that captures the attention of many domestic and international tourists. Con Dao Island is famous not only for Con Dao Prison with stories about Vietnamese heroic soldiers but also for pristine natural landscapes of a pretty island. Coming to Con Dao, tourists should not ignore Bai Dam Trau (Dam Trau Beach), an appealing beach accompanied with a sad-ending love story.
I. The Legend of Bai Dam Trau
The story of Bai Dam Trau, or Dam Trau Beach, is about a cruel twist of destiny of a couple who had the same father. Legend tells that, once upon a time, in Co Ong Village, there was a gentle and intelligent boy called Cau and a pretty girl named Trau. One day, they met each other on the beach, Cau used folk verses to make clear his feelings to Trau. They fell in love with the other and started dating.
After a time of love, Cau asked his father to marry Trau, the girl he had loved so much. However, his father was astonished and revealed to him a story that he had kept for a long time. Ironically, Trau was the result of a sneaky love of her mother with Cau’s father. The secret shocked Cau, and he was much more anguished because Trau was impregnated with Cau without knowing that the two were siblings.
Understanding the situation, Cau blamed himself and drifted to a deserted island without saying a word to Trau. He lived in seclusion on the island until his death. When he died, rows of lush green trees with red fruits grew on the island. The island has since then been called Hon Cau.
When Cau left without saying goodbye, day by day she came to the cliff where they used to date to wait for her lovers. One day when she knew the truth between her mother and Cau’s father, she began to understand that her lover would never return. So desperated was Trau that she jumped into the sea to commit suicide with the love for Cau. The beach where Trau ended her life then called Dam Trau.
II. Highlights of Bai Dam Trau
Bai Dam Trau is located on Con Dao Island, an offshore island of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province. This island has a strategic position in national security as well as the socio-economic development of Vietnam. Not only that, in recent times, Con Dao is getting more and more famous among both domestic and foreign visitors thanks to its historical and natural values.
Dam Trau Beach is near Co Ong Airport, which is outside the area of Con Dao National Park. With an area of 3.3 hectares, this is one of the largest beaches on Con Dao Island. From Bai Dam Trau, tourists can overlook the view of Con Dao sea with the offshore Hon Cau Island
2. Beauty of Bai Dam Trau
With a long white sand beach and clear water, Dam Trau Beach is like a gift from Mother of Nature to Con Dao Island. Adorning the charming appearance of Dam Trau Beach are the unspoiled forest of Con Dao National Park, colorful coral reefs and rough rocks on the beach. There are not many services on this beach, Bai Dam Trau still preserves its pristine scenery.
Bai Dam Trau has rocky slopes, high cliffs in various shapes and sizes. Climbing on the mountain cliffs, tourists will admire a beach nestling under the green shadow of mangrove forest. Far from the shore are islands which look like up-turned bowls. The blue sky is decorated with seagulls hovering and fishing boats are heaving on the sea surface.
III. What to See and Do at Bai Dam Trau?
It is a pity that going to Dam Trau Beach without swimming in the cool and clear water of the sea. Thanks to the separated location without any large estuaries, the seawater around Con Dao is all year glassy. Immersing yourself in the sea, letting the water wash away all your tiredness and feeling the peaceful atmosphere of Bai Dam Trau are the most intriguing experiences for you when getting to Dam Trau Beach.
Besides, sun-bathing is an activity tourists should not miss in Bai Dam Trau. It is sunny in Con Dao Island almost all year, but thanks to its location, the sunlight is not as harsh as in North Vietnam. Therefore, Con Dao Island and its beaches are considered as the most ideal destinations for sunbathing.
2. Admiring sunset
Sunset is the most stunning moment of a day, and what can be more wonderful than contemplating this moment on the beach? Bai Dam Trau is said to be an ideal location to admire the sunset on Con Dao Island. In the late afternoon, the blue sky gradually turns into red, reflecting the shimmering light on the sea surface. The sun is like a giant fireball disappearing behind the horizon. Seagulls are flying back to their nests in a great hurry, leaving buzzing sounds on the air. The splashing waves become striking under the sunset light.
3. Visiting Con Dao National Park
Con Dao National Park is one of the 9 Ramsar areas (the salt-marsh areas) of Vietnam. The total area of this reserve is up to more than 15,000 hectares, of which 6,000 hectares are on land, the rest is 9,000 hectares of sea. With a diverse system of flora and fauna, Con Dao National Park is the home of 882 plant species and 144 kinds of animals.
Not only that, Con Dao National Park owns the largest turtle community in Vietnam, and the most popular species is hawksbill sea turtle, a rare and valuable type of turtle. Con Dao is also the only area in Vietnam that is the living environment of dugong. Coming to Con Dao National Park, you will have a chance to find yourself in nature and explore an unspoilt reserve of North Vietnam
IV. How to Get to Bai Dam Trau?
To get to Con Dao Island, tourists can choose to go by plane or high-speed ship. If you want to go by plane, you have to depart from Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in the South or Hanoi, Hai Phong and Vinh City in the North. If you want to go by high-speed ship to save money, you should depart from Cat Lo Port or Cau Da Port of Vung Tau City. It may take you 3 to 4 hours to get to Con Dao Island on ship.
Bai Dam Trau is about 14 kilometers to the center of Con Dao Town. Thanks to its favorable position right next to Con Dao Airport, it is not difficult to get to this beach.
From Con Dao center, you follow Co Ong Road along the sea shore of this island to Con Dao Airport. Turn left at the intersection near the airport and you will reach Bai Dam Trau.
You can hire a car or taxi for travelling on this island, and it takes you about 30 minutes from the town center to Bai Dam Trau.
V. Best Time to Visit Bai Dam Trau
The weather of Bai Dam Trau in particular and Con Dao Island in general is affected by the tropical climate. There are two seasons in a year: rainy season and dry season. The rainy season is often from May to October, and the dry season is from November to April. According to the experience of other visitors, the most suitable time to visit Con Dao Island is from April to October. Though it is the time of the rainy season, the beach there is quite gentle, and the outside temperature is favourable for sea tourism.
If you want to visit Bai Dam Trau, you should choose a sunny day to enjoy the best condition for your exploring activities. Besides, if you travel with the locals, you can get a great opportunity to see turtles laying their eggs on the beaches of Con Dao Island at night.
VI. Extra Tips
- If you plan to get to Con Dao Island by high-speed boat, remember the departure time of your speed. The number of ships to Con Dao is still limited, missing a ship means that you have to wait until the next day.
- Dam Trau Beach is not near any crowded residential areas, so if you want to grab some bites during your journey, you should bring your own food buying in Con Dao Town.
- On rainy days with rough seas, you must not swim on the beach because it is extremely dangerous.
- If you travel in a family with children, keep an eye on them all your way.
- While experiencing the activities there, you have to follow the instructions to ensure your safety.
- In case it is sunny and hot, you need to prepare a hat and wear sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Don’t forget to keep the environment around you clean.
On a hot summer day, going to Bai Dam Trau and immersing in the cool water there for sure is one of the most thrilling things you can do on Con Dao Island. Dam Trau Beach is a marvellous present of the Creator. With a vast sea, long sandy beach and mysterious jungle, Bai Dam Trau and its seductive beauty are waiting for tourists of Con Dao to explore.