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Soc Trang Province emerges as gateway to Con Dao Island

October 14, 2017 Destination Feature, Headline News No Comments Email Email

One out of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta Region in the southern part of Vietnam, Soc Trang Province emerges as a gateway to Con DaoIsland, which is just about 83km away in the Eastern Sea. Soc Trang Province has a coastline of 72km in Cu Lao District, Tran De District and Vinh Chau town with the three large estuaries of Cuu Dinh An, Cuu Tran De and Cuu My Thanh belonging to the Song Hau river system of the Mekong. It is from the river port of Tran De that the Malaysian owned boat “Superdong Con Dao 1” will depart and reach Con Dao Island in two and a half hours. The service started in June 2017 and it is planned to install Superdong Con Dao II in 2018.   http://www.lagunaphuket.com/events/event.php?event=3

Actually, Con Dao is an archipelago of 16 small islands with a total land area of 76.7 square km some 230km away from Ho Chi Minh City. Luckily, it is not claimed by China same as the Truong Sa Archipelago of Khanh Hoa Province, also called Spratly Islands, and the Hoang Sa Archipelago of Da Nang City, also called Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea.

Access to Con Dao is normally by plane from Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho City, but there are also ships from Vung Tao City going there within 12 hours. Con Dao has many unspoiled and pristine beaches stretching within the Con Dao National Park, which features tropical rain forests, salt-marshes, coral reefs and sea-grasses. Sea turtles, birds and monkeys abound. Con Dao was an infamous location because of a colonial French prison system that started from 1862 to 1975 and consisted of 127 rooms, 44 cells (tiger cages) and another 504 separate rooms. The Hang Duong cemetery is now the resting place of more than 20,000 dead revolutionary fighters for independence and freedom of the country.

According to an ambitious master plan up to the year 2030, the Vietnamese Government wants to develop Con Dao to become the only island heritage and urban complex with a central urban area and 1,000 hotel rooms. Co Ong-Dam Tre Bay and Ben Dam Port will then accommodate up to 13,500 people.

With the new ferry service in Soc Trang Province, which has a 30% Khmer population, tourists can now easily go to Con Dao and enjoy the still natural and romantic island life. From Ho Chi Minh City, just follow National Highway 1A passing Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Can Tho and Hau Giang Provinces. From Soc Trang City and its beautiful and colorful Khmer temples, take the local road to Tran De port to hit the ferry point for the daily transfer to Con Dao.

Written by : Reinhard Hohler

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