Kon Dao is still a corner untouched by modern civilization. 80% of the island (including 150 square kilometers of marine reserve with coral reefs, ideal for diving) are part of the national park. Here you can see such rare animals as green and sea turtles, as well as dugongs or sea cows (sailors called them mermaids for their resemblance to these legendary creatures). There are other protected species on the island: black squirrels, black-haired goats, wild pigs and macaques. You can get acquainted with the whole variety of flora and fauna of the island during a guided tour through the tropical jungle of Con Dao.
How to get there. One hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City, daily flights
Things to do on the island:
- A wide range of water sports, kayaking, and scuba diving;
- excursions on motor boats to remote islands, fishing, water skiing;
- Diving excursions to explore the underwater world and coral reefs;
- Visiting the secluded beaches of Bai Dat Doc and Dam Trau, picnics;
- Hiking and trekking through the mangrove forests to get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the island;
- Inspection of the island’s monuments dating back to the French colonial era;
- cycling, volleyball, etc.
Hoi An is a museum city.
30 kilometers south of Da Nang, on the banks of the Thu Bon River, is the ancient city-museum of Hoi An, known since the 16th century. to European merchants and sailors like Fifo, at that time the largest seaport in Southeast Asia.
Ships came to Hoi An for high-quality silk, paper, porcelain, tea, sugar, pepper, elephant tusks, lacquerware and lead. Settlements with offices and warehouses of Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French merchants gradually began to appear at the busy trading “crossroads”, thanks to which the traditions of different peoples were mixed in the rich historical and cultural heritage of Hoi An. The old quarter of the city is saturated with the aromas of antiquity. Many historical buildings, colorful chimney houses, Chinese assembly halls, pagodas and bridges are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. To preserve the unique appearance of this quarter, laws were passed prohibiting the reconstruction of buildings and the presence of cars on the roads.
Each quarter was erected by a certain merchant community and therefore has its own unique atmosphere. Narrow winding streets lined on both sides with countless shops with darkened mahogany doors and shutters, low houses decorated with lacquered panels and Chinese characters, pagodas and Buddhist temples, chapels and ancient assembly halls, bustling markets, junks and sailboats. ships – all this creates a unique flavor of the old port city. Only here you can observe a charming picture of the 19th century, as in a small shop full of antiques, a woman in national clothes sits at the counter and, a little further away, two elderly men slowly play Chinese chess…
Hoi An, more than any other city in Vietnam, has preserved the atmosphere of past centuries. Many of the older buildings here have unique features of traditional architecture not found elsewhere, and the originality of most of the buildings is intact. Some rooftops are made of thousands of “Yin and Yang” red tile tiles, so called because of the alternating rows of concave and convex sides fastened together. During the rainy season, the lichens and mosses on the tiles come to life, turning the roofs bright green. In many buildings in Hoi An, above the doorway, there are round wooden posts with the symbol of Yin and Yang in the middle, made in the form of a spiral. These “watchful eyes” (mat kua) are said to protect the occupants of the house from harm.
On festive nights, especially when the moon is full, the old town turns into a small fairy-tale world – colorful lanterns are lit in the streets, guests and locals enjoy traditional food, songs, dances and exciting games.
The weather in Hoi An is more than warm all year round, with more rain in winter. The best time to visit is from June to November. The average temperature during the resort time is +29 C.