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Con Dao - a legendary homeland

The epidemic of COVID-19 passed and left behind people with pale faces and empty shabby streets. The wound will gradually be healed and streets will be busy and bustling again. Although the tourism sector has been back to its operations, people are not yet eager for trips and adventures. Tourist cities have still been quiet and empty and so has Con Dao been… The island is still staying offshore waiting…

Compared to it, Con Dao Prison has been considered a hell on earth in an island

Hang Duong Cemetery where proud history is kept

Son La prison is considered a hell on earth at the border. Coming to this place, people still clearly feel the images of prisoners’ hard time. In quiet afternoons, the image of To Hieu and his peach tree in the prison still touches people’s hearts:

Coming down my pages

Is the pink petal of a peach flower.

In an evening in Son La

I hear it whispering

(Anh Ve Cung Mua Hoa- Ta Huy Yen)

Compared to it, Con Dao Prison has been considered a hell on earth in an island, where war remnants and legends have been kept. It was founded in the middle of the 19th century (on February 1, 1862 by a decision signed by General Bonard to change Con Lon Island to a captive place to kept France-resistant prisoners). Later, the Government of the Republic of Vietnam made it a prison system to keep mainly political prisoners.

Hang Duong Cemetery where proud history is kept

After many centuries, Con Dao still retains in itself the pristine and full of charming beauty of an island in the middle of the sea, along with it brings more romantic stories, historical evidences about heroes in the journey to build and defend the country.

Con Dao - a beautiful and charming island- used to be named "the hell on earth". Although the war was over and peace brought back its inherent beauty. People are still scared by the prison’s tiger case system and a series of torturing methods which were used as investigative measures. The place was considered a harsh place to train communist people. Famous national heroes spending their time in the place were Phan Chu Trinh, Huynh Thuc Khac, Ngo Duc Ke and communist ones as Ton Duc Thang, Nguyen Van Cu, Le Hong PHong, Le Duan, Le Duc Tho, and Pham Hung…

Despite enduring extreme physical and mental pain, in the midst of that dark prison, they still wrote poetry, wrote newspapers, still held theory lessons, performed art performances, and women were still doing there embroidering works. “Standing in land of Con Lon; Proudly bringing down the mountain…”- the image of patriotic prisoner Phan Chau Trinh and his poems will remain in people’s hearts.

During the dark time , more than 20,000 communist prisoners of many generations died and were buried in Hang Duong Cemetery. That cemetery today is always full of purple flowers, the poplar groves flutter between the waves, the wind and sand are like a song about faithful communists. Today, tourists still come to Con Dao with their hearts respectfully bowing before those who sacrificed their lives for the Fatherland. Hang Duong Cemetery becomes a spiritual and sacred tourist destination, especially the legends about Vo Thi Sau - a young girl in Dat Do district, with stories about the Lekima flower season, about female martyrs. The resilient and courageous sixteen-year-old fell to defend the freedom and independence of the

Watching sea tortoises laying eggs- Life sprouting in sand and winds of the sea

The beautiful beaches of Con Dao, in addition to the beauty of a blue island- a shimmering pearl between heaven and earth- there are also very beautiful coral reefs stretching in Hon Vung, Hon Ba. Or the orchards, the coconut forests in Hon Cau.

The beautiful beaches of Con Dao, in addition to the beauty of a blue island- a shimmering pearl between heaven and earth

More interestingly, every year from April to October, on peaceful nights by the sea, green tortoises come up from the deep sea to nest and lay eggs on the beach. After completing the task, the mother tortoise will fill in sand to camouflage her nest. At this time, the rangers - who have the task of conserving sea turtles will bring the eggs back to the nest. And then on this Bay Canh island, we can also see life sprouting - the young tortoise take their first steps back to the sea, the early mornings when the water and the sun is still high.

In order to visit this magical spectacle of nature, in addition to having to apply for a permit at the National Park, you also have to hire a boat to go to Cat Lon beach on Bay Canh Island. Along the way, along the mangrove forest, there are many kinds of animals such as wild chickens, ebony squirrels, colorful butterflies ... and many other kinds of mangrove plants

Con Dao carries with it sacred legends from the early days when people came here to live and set up villages. After many centuries, Con Dao still retains in itself the pristine and full of charming beauty of an island in the middle of the sea, along with it brings more romantic stories, historical evidences about heroes in the journey to build and defend the country. The island in the middle of the sea is still charming, attractive and waiting for visitors to visit one not far away day.

Con Dao is an island district located off in the East Sea of Vietnam, 45 nautical miles from Hau River and 97 nautical miles from Vung Tau City. Con Dao is also known by different names such as Con Son, Con Lon or Con Non, also has another name according to the Khmer name Koh Tralach. Although far from the mainland, the location of this island is on the maritime route connecting Europe - Asia, so Con Dao soon became known to Westerners. As early as the 9th century, an Arab merchant wrote about this place with the name Poulo Condore. Because of its favorable position, Con Dao was soon watched and noticed. In the early 18th century, in the 12th year of Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu's reign, a British company landed on Con Dao to build fortresses and flagpoles. . Con Lon at that time was also a place of refuge for Nguyen Anh when he was pursued by the Tay Son army. Therefore, the island in the middle of the vast waves brings more history, anecdotes such as in An Hai village, there is also a temple for Nguyen Anh's concubine, Hoang Phi Yen, and Co Ong village has the Temple of Uncle to worship the Prince- the son of the concubine Hoang Phi Yen…

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