About Con Dao Island
Con Dao is a 16 island archipelago within Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province, in south east Vietnam. It is famed for its crystal clear blue-green waters, soft golden sand beaches, lush mangrove forests and beautiful coral reefs. Six Senses Con Dao is nestled in a beautiful secluded bay 8 km from Co Ong airport. The resort has a magnificent beach, a beguiling 1.5 km strip of golden sand with sloping dunes leading to turquoise waters, and dramatic Elephant Head Mountain as a backdrop.
Getting there is easy. Con Dao is approximately 230 km from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) which is served by many of the world’s leading airlines. The transfer flight to Con Dao takes approximately 45 minutes.
Climate & Eco systems
Located close to the equator, Con Dao enjoys a warm tropical climate. The average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius. Sea conditions are calm, certain times of the year, throughout the archipelago which makes for excellent swimming, snorkeling and diving all year round. The island also benefits from abundant shade provided by evergreen trees.
Con Dao was recognized as a nature reserve in 1984 and became a national park in 1993. The total protected area of the park is 20,000 hectares, including 14,000 hectares of sea and 6,000 hectares of forest. Con Dao National Park encompasses oceanic and coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, coral reefs and sea grasslands. The park is the most important egg-laying area in Vietnam for sea turtles as well as being home to rare dugong, dolphins, and varieties of orchids found nowhere else in the country. In addition, the island has large and diverse coral reefs.
Con Dao will become an international heritage tourism center within the next two decades. This ambitious target has been set as part of the Con Dao tourism development masterplan until 2020 with a vision to 2030 approved by the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People's Committee.
According to the plan, the floating part and surrounding waters of Con Dao Island will be invested in and divided into four major parts, including Con Son, Ben Dam, Co Ong and urban zones in surrounding islands. Con Son Town will act as the tourism and heritage, administrative, cultural, education and training and healthcare center.
Provincial leaders believe that Con Dao has great potential to develop heritage tourism. The master plan will act as the basis for the local authority to make plans on improving historical sites, organizing eco and cultural tours on Con Dao and surrounding areas, creating a healthy cultural environment, while effectively exploiting cultural and historical heritage sites on Con Dao.
Con Dao's infrastructure is currently being improved, including the road system, electricity and water supplies, schools, healthcare and economic centers. The road connecting the island with the mainland has been upgraded. Two ships can transport hundreds of tourists from the mainland to the island. In terms of air routes, Co Ong Airport has been improved, providing 4-5 flights from Con Dao to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi daily, shortening the time traveling from the mainland to the island.
A number of five star hotels have already opened on the islands. Many luxurious resorts and hotels are under construction. The Six Senses Resort and Spa hosted Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie during their stay in 2011.
Tourists have been satisfied with the services provided on Con Dao Island. The strong development of infrastructure has proceeded without harming historical sites which have been transformed into attractive tourism products, with sites including Ma Thien Lanh Bridge, which was constructed though rough mountainous terrain by Vietnamese prisoners under orders by the French colonial administration, Hang Duong cemetery, Vo Thi Sau's grave and Phu Hai Prison.
The islands peaceful old houses hidden among trees adds to the island's unique heritage appeal. In addition, Con Dao National Park covers 6,000ha on land and more than 14,000ha in water with more than 2,700 types of fauna and flora, including 100 species that are extraordinarily rare, providing another unique tourist attraction.
Those tourist sites have attracted a large number of visitors. In 2001 alone, Con Dao welcomed nearly 60,000 tourists, up 80 percent compared to 2010. According to the master plan, the island will welcome 150,000 tourists per year, 50,000 of which come from abroad. It is estimated that Con Dao will welcome 250,000-300,000 tourists annually with international tourists accounting for 15-20 percent.
To realize this target, Con Dao has applied a number of methods to lure more investors. Investors in Con Dao will enjoy many preferential policies. Individual income taxes of workers on the island will be reduced by 50 percent. All basic construction works on investment projects in the island will be exempted from import and valued added taxes. In addition, those projects will enjoy preferential policies on land renting fees and land use taxes.
Island leaders said that apart from developing different types of tourism and entertainment services, the island should be developed and play a role in Vietnam's further international integration. To get there, visit: http://www.luxuryprivatetravel.com/