A trip starting with a run to save turtles can be an amazing experience, especially when this is happening at one of the most beautiful offshore paradises in the world, with golden sand, crystal-clear water, and lush green plant life.
As one of the luckiest travellers flying to the Con Dao archipelago this summer, I joined with hundreds of runners in the Save Turtles Run around the island hosted by The Secret Con Dao and AKYN Hospitality Group. This is the first time such a meaningful activity was organised on the island, expected to be an annual one to raise public awareness of Con Dao sea turtle conservation.
|Save the turtles: Shaping experience for modern travellers in Con Dao |
After the run, the hotel’s staff, guests, and runners contributed almost $4,200 to support Con Dao National Park for sea turtle conservation. “We want our guests to enjoy not just a revitalising, inspirational holiday, but return home feeling that they have had a genuine insight into the destination they visited,” said Eugene Hendriks, general manager of The Secret Con Dao Hotel.
Con Dao today is a nod to the island’s rich heritage showcasing French colonial-era villas, thoughtfully renovated with modern elements and Indochinese inspirations and sensory experiences, creating a stimulating environment and a hotspot for modern travellers from all continents.
Besides exploring the main island with typical journeys to explore the war heritage sites of Con Dao prisons, cemetery, and museum, pamper yourselves at stunning beautiful beaches around the island, as well as get inspired by local food and the unforgettable experience of releasing baby sea turtles at Hon Cau Island.
After around 45 minutes of canoeing from the main island’s tourism wharf, I ventured out to uncover the colourful Hon Cau island. Hon Cau bears similarities with Robinson island without any modern hotel facilities – it is a special island in the Con Dao archipelago with underground fresh water.
Camping overnight on the beachside is the best choice to wait for the night and watch the sea turtles nesting and laying their eggs.
Along with camping by the beach, snorkel diving in the vibrant underwater world with fancy coral reefs and brilliant fish and oysters, learning how sea turtles live and are protected, and helping with releasing baby turtles into the ocean are all truly intriguing experiences and activities we cannot find anywhere else in the world in this combination.
The islands feature only simple and nature-friendly services with basic facilities but still present themselves as a perfect rendezvous with the blue ocean, white beach, and Phong Ba trees. The islands are also a paradise for swimming, kayaking, and snorkelling around the coral reef.
| ||Con Dao island home to one of 25 most beautiful beaches worldwide |
The Bai Dam Trau beach in Con Dao island in Vietnam’s southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, has been listed among the 25 most beautiful beaches in the world, according to a recent article published by Travel + Leisure magazine.
| ||Con Dao Airport upgrade going ahead to handle two million passengers yearly |
The Ministry of Transport has approved plans to upgrade Con Dao Airport plan to increase passenger capacity from 400,000 to two million a year by 2030.
| ||Save Turtles Run by The Secret Con Dao promotes turtle conservation |
The Save Turtles Run, organised for the first time by The Secret Con Dao and AKYN Hospitality Group, was a significant event that attracted many tourists to Con Dao island and Con Dao National Park