Con Dao’s beaches


Con Dao’s turquoise waters sparkle like a jewel, and they’re best enjoyed from one of the island’s many beautiful beaches. Some are ideal for vegging out while others require an adventurous hike. One thing’s for sure: it will never be crowded. Here’s a rundown of all the island’s noteworthy beaches.

Dam Trau beach

Unless you’re staying at Six Senses Con Dao, you’ll be staying in Con Son town and luckily you don’t have to go far for a dip. The town sits on prime oceanfront real estate and you can swim anywhere in this area. It’s certainly not Con Son’s best beach but it is easy walking distance and remember you can stroll through any of the beachfront resorts to find a patch of sand.

Walk north on the beach or take a quick ride along the coastal road (Nguyen Van Cu) to reach Lo Voi Beach (Bai Lo Voi). The white sand is vast, flat and empty, and relatively rubbish free. During low tide, the water can recede as far as a kilometre – you almost feel as if you could walk to one of the outer islands. Gentle shallow waters make this a lovely spot to visit.

Lo Voi Beach

An Hoi Beach is south of town, on the coast near Chua Van Son Pagoda. When we visited it was full of rubbish.

An Hoi Beach

Dam Trau Beach (Bai Dam Trau) is undeniably the island’s best. Clean soft sand and glittering turquoise water broadly stretches out, flanked on either side with rocky green hills. You can easily spend a whole day on your trip lazing here. This beach is directly underneath the airplane landing flight path so watching the propeller planes glide in provides a few seconds of entertainment. Thankfully reggae beats or Vietnamese pop music have not invaded here; it is usually blissfully quiet. And because it is on the west coast and naturally protected, Dam Trau is swimmable even during the windy months of November to February.

As of 2016, there are three low-key bars and lounges. The best is on the right (as you come in on the path, facing the water). This joint has set up comfortable sofas, loungers and tasteful beach chairs, and they’ve got a bounty of fresh fruit for shakes as well as coconut water and cold beer. Dig into a big plate of fried calamari. Prices are a bit dear (160,000 dong for a dish), but surroundings are significantly better than the usual uncomfortable and ugly plastic chairs and so on. They’ve also built up the nicest toilet and change room we’ve seen on a public beach in Vietnam. The sofas and chairs are free, the sun beds with a towel cost 50,000 dong. We were also told you can camp on the beach. A tent rental was quoted as 150,000 dong.

To get to Dam Trau, nearing the airport turn left at the blue sign “Mieu Cau 700m”. Follow the sandy trail. If you’ve never ridden a motorbike on sand before, it does require finesse, light steady pressure on the gas and balance. We witnessed one couple take a spill here. Not pretty. If you’re uncomfortable, park the bike anywhere on the side and walk.

Pick brilliant spring up on Con Dao Island (5)

Dam Trau Beach

Other beaches
Several beaches require a hike through Con Dao National Park to reach. The only formality is you need to pick up a free ticket at the park office before you set off. Ong Dung Beach (Bai Ong Dung) is great for snorkelling and is a relatively easy walk, 700 metres one-way on a paved trail. You can rent snorkel equipment from dive shops in town.

Ong Dung Beach

Another great national park hike plus beach combo is the longer hike to Bang Beach (Bai Bang) and Dat Tham Beach (Bai Dat Tham). Like Ong Dung, they are on the undeveloped western side of the island but are more remote and isolated. It is 5, 6.2 or 6.8 kilometres long, depending on if you choose one or both beaches. Don’t be surprised if you have it all to yourself.

Close to the airport, vast and windswept Dong Beach (Bai Dong) is not great as it catches a ton of rubbish. But walk across all 2.5 kilometres of it to reach the trailhead for a six kilometre roundtrip hike to Dam Tre Beach, set in a gorgeous rugged bay. See our information on Dam Tre for full details – this hike needs to be well timed as Bai Dong disappears during high tide.

Beach at the centre

Finally, it’s worth mentioning Bai Dat Doc, home to Six Senses Con Dao Resort. The public are only allowed on a sliver at the very edge – beside the resort look for the sign “Bao Bai Bien” and the rubbish-filled trail leading down from the road. Before you even dismount from your motorbike, hotel security will grunt and point at where you are allowed to go. It’s definitely worth stopping for a few photos of the dramatic “Elephant Mountain” that looms over the beach – it is truly beautiful – but you probably won’t want to linger (unless you enjoy having security watching your every move like a hawk).

Dat Doc Beach

Be warned: There are sandflies. They are usually most active at sunrise and sunset. Deet mosquito repellent works for them too.




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