Con Dao is an archipelago off the coast of Southeast Vietnam and is a district directly under Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. Con Dao or Con Son is also the name of the largest island in the archipelago, which has been famous for its prison built by the French colonial government. Vietnam history before the 20th century often called the island Con Lon Island or Con Non Island. The ancient name of Con Dao in the text in English and French is Poulo Condor. In 1977, the National Assembly of Socialist Republic of Vietnam decided to call the official name Con Dao. Con Dao is also district- level administrative unit in Ba Ria - Vung Tau.
Geographical location: It is respectively far about 97 nautical miles and 45 nautical miles from Con Dao to Vung Tau province and Hau River estuary. Con Dao is situated in the same longitude as Ho Chi Minh City (106°36′ east longitude) and the same latitude as Ca Mau province (8°36′ north latitude). The archipelago is home to sixteen islands with a total land area of 76 km², in which Con Son Island is the largest island in the area. The topography in Con Dao Islands is mainly hilly area, dominated by granite ranges running from southwest to northeast, which protects islands in both sides from strong winds.
Climate: Weather in Con Dao brings the feature of sub-equatorial - hot and humid oceanic climate, which is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to November, and the dry season from December to April. The average temperature is about 26.90C.
Con Lon archipelago before French colonization period belonged to Ha Tien province and Vinh Long province afterwards. On 16 May 1882, French President Jules Grévy signed a decree recognizing Con Lon archipelago as a district of the South.
In September 1954, Ngo Dinh Diem government renamed Con Lon archipelago into Con Dao Islands.
On 22 October 1956, Ngo Dinh Diem signed a decree to establish Con Son province.
Then on 24 April 1965, the Republic of Vietnam changed Con Son province to Con Son administrative unit, directly under Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In May 1975, Con Dao was called Con Dao province.
Then on January 1977, Con Dao became a district in Hau Giang province.
In May 1979, Con Dao was a district in Vung Tau - Con Dao.
After many changes, from October 1991 up to now, Con Dao has been a district directly under Ba Ria - Vung Tau.
Currently, Con Dao is a single-level government district, through the district authorities directly to residential areas. There is no dependent administrative units as communes, wards or townships.
According to population census in 2012, population in Con Dao was around 7,500 people in 10 neighborhoods. Con Dao town is home to residents, resorts serving tourists and administrative units of Con Dao district. The Kinh people account the majority of population in the islands. The Vietnamese is the official language and commonly used here.
Economic structure "Service - Tourism - Industry" has positively shifted: increase the proportion of services - tourism sectors and reduce the proportion of agriculture and fishery. According to latest statistics, service sector accounts for 79.63%, industry - instruction occupies 11.56%, and agriculture - fishery holds 8.82%. In 2010, per capita income was 1,064 USD, up to 9.2% compared to the number in 2005. The total of revenue was 653.7 billion VND, in which the revenue of state budget reached 53.45 billion VND. Total revenue of other trade - services was 1,631.3 billion VND, in which trade revenue was 1,274.5 billion VND. Along with the rapid development of the tourism, the transportation industry, telecommunications and other types of services has developed systematically.
In recent years, the life and daily activities in Con Dao has been somewhat flourished. Roads, airports, and ports have gradually been restored and upgraded. Con Dao fishing grounds is now much busier by fishery logistic services. Presently, in term of transportation, along with 2 flight routes from Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City) and Vung Tau, Con Dao retains 5 large ships with 100 beds each and 3 cargo ships from 50 to 250 tons.
Education, social welfare are increasingly interested. Con Dao now is home to 1,000 students in all of education levels. Among them, there are 491 elementary students, 285 junior high school students, and 250 high school students. Teachers with standard qualifications are increasingly meet needs of local education.
In addition, Con Dao is available for phone coverage at present with good quality of use. In late-August 2007, Con Dao had ASDL high-speed Internet connection ensuring communications right in the distric and other regions. Besides, Con Dao owns radio and television, serving entertainment needs and information updates for the residents.
Con Dao Island is one of 21 national tourism areas in Vietnam. It is much appreciated as the resort paradise and nature exploration (forest and sea). Con Dao Island is considered as a tourism paradise with beautiful unspoiled beaches, the cool blue water, and smooth long sands. Owning virgin forests and high biodiversity marines, Con Dao is not only a rendezvous of research scientists but also a place for tourists to explore tourism, with attractive eco-tourism programs.
In addition, Con Dao fully converges factors of the majestic scenery, which includes 16 islands with abundant shapes. Each island retaining its own characteristics will certainly bring new experience for tourists: Tai Islet, Bay Canh Island, Cau Islet, Large Bamboo Islet... Additionally, abundant coral reefs and colorful vivid algae actually satisfy tourists.
Going to Con Dao is to find untouched nature, admire Ong Dung, So Ray pristine forests, go fishing on Bong Lan Island, dive snorkeling, or dive at Bamboo (Tre) Islet...Con Dao tourism thus is relatively diverse.
Beside beautiful natural landscapes, historical relics, many traditional festivals in Con Dao also attract both domestic and foreign tourists: Con Dao Day, Miss.Sau death anniversary, Vu Lan ceremony, and Phi Yen Temple festival. These festivals display the expression of gratitude to heroic martyrs who have constructed this beautiful land. Throughout the festival, many folk cultural activities and traditional living are elaborately organized and inspired meaningful deep humanity.