Once a “hell on earth” for thousands of political prisoners before 1975, Con Dao has now turned into “tourist heaven” home to deserted white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and a natural reserve boasting rich marine ecosystems.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Con Dao National Park is the first and the most successful place that protects sea turtles. Photos: VNP/VNA
Con Dao,vietnam travel
Sea turtle eggs have an incubation period of about two months.
Con Dao,vietnam travel
Over 150,000 young turtles are released into the sea at Con Dao National Park each year.
Con Dao,vietnam travel
Checking the size and health status of a mother turtle.
Con Dao,vietnam travel
Rangers from Bay Canh ranger station patrol the mangrove forest, Photos: VNP/VNA
Con Dao,vietnam travel
Con Dao National Park has a rich forest and marine ecosystem with rare and precious animals.
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Con Dao National Park has a rich forest and marine ecosystem with rare and precious animals.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Con Dao National Park has a rich forest and marine ecosystem with rare and precious animals.
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Con Dao National Park has a rich forest and marine ecosystem with rare and precious animals.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Con Dao is known for its beautiful maritime ecosystem and coral reefs. Photos: VNP/VNA
 
Con Dao,vietnam travel

The runway at Con Dao airport is one of the most special runways in the world because its two sides border the sea.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Motor boats take visitors to explore the small islands in Con Dao.
Con Dao,vietnam travel

The villas of Six Senses Con Dao Resort sit up along the sandy beaches.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Tourists watch how turtles are released into the sea on Bay Canh island.
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Tourists explore the mangrove system in Con Dao. Photos: VNP/VNA

Con Dao,vietnam travel
The beautiful roads running along the coast and mountains in Con Dao (Photo: VNp/VNA)
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Phu Hai prison, the oldest prison in Con Dao, is now a tourist attraction.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Tourists visit Con Dao Museum. Photos: VNP/VNA
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Tourists visit the “tiger cages” in Con Dao.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
A model depicting a supervisor in Phu Binh prison torturing prisoners in “tiger cages”.
Con Dao,vietnam travel

Tourists burn incense sticks in Hang Duong cemetery at night to pay their respects to the late soldiers.

Con Dao,vietnam travel

Locals and tourists come to worship at Vo Thi Sau’s grave in Hang Duong cemetery.

Con Dao,vietnam travel
Hang Duong cemetery, a resting place of tens of thousands of revolutionary soldiers imprisoned at Con Dao prison. Photos: VNP/VNA

VNP/VNA

Images of peaceful Con Dao island taken by foreign photographers

Images of peaceful Con Dao island taken by foreign photographers

An array of photos captured by foreign photographers during their visit to Con Dao island in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province includes epic sunsets, children playing on the street, and the sky featuring sparkling stars at night, 

A peaceful view of Con Dao island

A peaceful view of Con Dao island

When mentioning Con Dao island, people often remember Con Dao prison, once considered "Hell on Earth" during the war against the foreign invaders.