Trekking & Hiking
Considered the most pristine natural environment in Vietnam, the Con Dao Archipelago welcomes tourists to its primeval forests, blue sea and fresh air which have not been over-exploited by mass tourism. This is a paradise for tourists who are passionate about traveling and exploring with trekking trips through the forest. Several well-maintained, easy-to-follow hiking trails traverse the main island as well as a couple of the archipelago’s outlying islets, all of which are part of the Con Dao National Park. Not only are the hikes beautiful – wild flora and fauna, deserted pristine beaches, majestic old-growth mountain scenery – but they’re also a recommended way of exploring Con Dao.
Ong Dung Beach is a destination often chosen by tourists. The road is quite easy to follow, it only takes about 1 hour from the Con Dao National Park office, following the sign along the 700m long paved road, crossing Ma Thien Lanh bridge to reach Ong Dung Beach. From Ong Dung Beach, visitors can hire a speed boat from the Ranger Station to visit nearby Tre Lon Island and Tre Nho Island for sightseeing, coral diving and watching seabirds. For a more challenging trip, instead of turning to the small road to Ong Dung beach, continue following the main road south for a few more kilometers to reach So Ray plantation – now a medicinal plant garden – and get to know the endemic and rare tree species such as Con Son oil, Lat Hoa tree… From the top of 260m height, you can have a fabulous view due south and east over Côn Sơn town, bay and headlands. Spending almost an hour to the north, along the dirt trail from So Ray down to Ong Dung, tourists will find it interesting to meet the over-hundred-year-old trees and creepers are as big as human arms twisting into strange-looking shapes.
At the remote, wind-swept and wave-lashed northern tip of the island, Dam Tre Bay is a slab of rugged land arches east into the sea, creating a protected circular lagoon of turquoise water with an extremely rich coral reef ecosystem. The hike to the bay begins by on the long, wide, empty sands of Vong Beach – one of the 6 most beautiful long beaches in Con Dao located in the northeast. Going along the 2.5km long beach will lead into the green primeval forest, climbing over the 166m high Horse peak, which is home to wild animals such as geckos, snakes, monitor lizards, wild chickens, squirrels, monkeys, mountain crabs,… and many rare plant species such as Gang Neo, Lat Hoa… At Dam Tre Bay, you will experience snorkeling and watching coral with giant clams and fishes living in coral reefs; exploring primeval mangrove forests; watching swiftlets nest during birth season; admiring the landscape of Dam Tre bay from the high mountain…
A place not to be missed is Bai Bang stream located in the northwest of the island, which is the intersection between the freshwater flowing from the high-altitude Bai Bang stream and the salt water from the vast ocean. This small lake is surrounded by stacked rocks, creating a very beautiful and pristine landscape. To get to Bai Bang stream, from the National Park headquarters, visitors travel to the north, start climbing the stone steps and follow the signs to reach Notre Dame Cave, Bai Bang and Bai Dat Tham. Following the road about 3km long, it will take visitors more than 1 hour to walk on the forest trail. The path is a bit difficult and slippery due to moss growing around, but the effort will be rewarded with endless, wild green natural scenery, breathing fresh air and experiencing the ecosystem. Island with rare animals. There will be a board introducing the names of plant species. Please take some time to learn more about this interesting information!
If you are considering hiking in Con Dao please note that the climate is very hot and dry so bring plenty of water and also mosquito repellent and remember to wear solid shoes. Restricting the use of plastic and littering to maintain environmental hygiene. Climbing tours are guided by rangers and can be booked through the Con Dao National Park office at 29 Vo Thi Sau. Refer to the tour programs of the National Park here: National Park tours