Con Dao Islands are an archipelago of 15 islands situated in the South China Sea, approximately 250 km or a 45-minute flight from Saigon, and are a protected marine nature reserve and Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds. However, they have a tragic history. During the French occupation, due to its remote location, the largest island, Con Son, was used as a large prison complex which was sadly kept running by the Americans and the South Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Con Son Island is mountainous and covered in forest and today offers ample opportunity for hiking and wildlife exploration. Its coastline of steep, rocky hills and scenic bays boasts some excellent spots for swimming and snorkelling.