Where: VietnamWhat to do: As the dry season begins in Vietnam, visit the Con Dao national park to be just in time to see the sea turtle nesting season while diving in the surrounding waters. The winter months are also one of the best seasons to travel on a luxury junk boat through the limestone formations of this UNESCO heritage site.
A beautiful picturesque island located off the southeast coast of Vietnam, Côn Đảo is a tropical escape. It is popular among locals, but not yet bustling with tourists. The islands have a forested area of over 80%, which serves as a home to exotic wildlife, dugongs (sea cows) and sea turtles. However, Côn Đảo has a dark past. Tens of thousands of political prisoners were held on these islands for over a 100 years making it a hub of rebellion and independent activists. Many prisoners died on the island as a result of mistreatment. Their remains were collected and buried together in Hang Duong Cemetery. The tropical environment is the future of Côn Đảo, but the dark past is a part of the island that has shaped its character.Best Time To Visit: February to OctoberHow To Reach: Take a flight to Ho Chi Minh City costing around Rs. 18,000 for a return ticket, and then another flight to Côn Đảo which will cost around Rs. 14,000 round trip.Things To Do: There are several marked treks that enthusiasts can do to explore the mountainous terrains of the island; this island is the best site for diving and snorkelling in Vietnam; people who wish to see the dark past of Vietnam can visit the prisons and cemetery; from June to September you can also see sea turtles laying eggs on various beaches on the island.