Con Dao Islands was known as Poulo Condore, is one of those rare places in Vietnam where there are virtually no structures over two storeys, and where the traveller’s experience is almost hassle-free. Owing to the relatively high cost and the inaccessibility of the islands, mass tourism has thankfully been kept to a minimum.
These days most visitors come to Con Son are package-tour groups of former VC soldiers who were imprisoned on the island. The Vietnamese government generously subsidises these jaunts as a show of gratitude for their sacrifice. Foreign tourists are still few and far between, though their numbers are on the rise. Under the French, there was used as a major prison for opponents of French colonialism, earning a reputation for the routine mistreatment and torture of prisoners.