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City & Culture

How to get to Con Dao for all travelers

Translated by Bing
Con Dao district is located far offshore in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province. The 76 km2 archipelago consists of 16 islands, the largest being Con Son Island. Con Dao is 185 km from Vung Tau, far from Ho Chi Minh City. HCM is 230 km and about 83 km from Can Tho. Planes, helicopters, high-speed boats are the means visitors can choose to go to Con Dao.

Airplane


Currently, Vietnam Airlines is the only airline still operating routes to/from Con Dao.


Previously, Bamboo Airways also operated this route. However, this unit announced to stop operating the Hanoi - Con Dao route from the end of February (due to early termination of the lease contract for 3 Embraer E190 aircraft). The airline's last flight was on March 31.

However, the airline with the golden lotus logo only transports passengers from Ho Chi Minh City. HCM. Visitors departing from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Da Nang... If you want to go to Con Dao in this form, you must fly 2 flights, from the host locality to Ho Chi Minh City. HCM or Can Tho, then connect to Con Dao.


Routes in Ho Chi Minh City HCMC - Con Dao will soon only have VASCO, a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, operating by ATR72 aircraft. Currently, VASCO operates this route with a frequency of 10-22 flights/day.



Advantage:

For the form of travel by flight, the biggest advantage is in terms of time. Only about an hour flight, visitors from Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City was able to set foot on a pristine island with many historical destinations or cool beaches.


Restrict:

In the context that only one airline holds the exclusive position to Con Dao and the current demand to visit the island, visitors may have to spend a higher amount of money for transportation. The "fever" of tickets may end when more airlines participate in exploiting the Con Dao market.


From Con Dao airport to the town center about 15 km, you can take a motorbike, taxi or shuttle of the resort.


Helicopter


Launched in 2019, the helicopter flight to Con Dao is only available in Vung Tau with 2 flights per week (6th, Sunday) managed by Vung Tau Safe Flight Ticket Co., Ltd., under permission from Southern Helicopter Company.

The total travel time by helicopter from Vung Tau to Con Dao is 60 minutes/trip. Take-off and landing times are subject to a fixed time frame. The afternoon departure starts at 13:30 and the second leg is at 15:30.


The ticket price is 4.4 million VND/roundtrip/adult and about 3.9 million VND/round trip for children from 2 to under 12 years old.



Advantage:

- Short travel time.

- View the sea from above.


Restrict:

- Fares are relatively high compared to ships.

- It is mandatory to depart from Vung Tau.


Ships


In addition to air, visitors can now choose to travel by speedboat from Ho Chi Minh City. HCM, Soc Trang, Can Tho, Ba Ria - Vung Tau to Con Dao. Travel time will range from 2.5-5 hours. The ticket price is about 280,000 - 1.2 million VND/ticket/turn (depending on the ticket class, starting point, age and departure time of the week. Concrete:



Originating from Ho Chi Minh City HCM

Ben Hiep Phuoc (Nha Be district)


If departing in Ho Chi Minh City. HCMC with Phu Quoc Express high-speed boat route (Thang Long train), visitors can take about 5 hours to get to Con Dao with the lowest price of 615,000 VND/child, regular seat 880,000 VND/adult, VIP seat 1.1 million VND.

Currently, the high-speed boat only runs 3 trips per week (because it has just been put into operation), departing at 7h from Saigon - Hiep Phuoc port to Con Dao. The second leg departs at 13h from Ben Dam port.


Advantage:

- New, wide, modern train, comfortable seats, large capacity up to 1,000 passengers.

- The ship leaves on time.

- Sell foods such as instant noodles, fruits.


Restrict:

Tourists stay far from Hiep Phuoc port like the center of Ho Chi Minh City. HCM must move itself to the gathering point.

Previously, Phu Quoc Express served free passenger transfers from the city center to Saigon - Hiep Phuoc port and vice versa.

However, recently, this shipping line announced that from June 1, it will suspend the transit route due to many inadequacies in the process of organizing transshipment.



Originating from Soc Trang

Ben Tran De


There are currently 3 cruise lines operating Soc Trang to Con Dao: Con Dao Express (Trung Trac high-speed ferry), Phu Quoc Express and Superdong, departing from 8h and arriving at 10h30.

Fares at these 3 airlines do not have too big a difference. Economy class tickets on weekdays are about 370,000-390,000 VND/adult/time, weekend ticket prices are 450,000 VND/adult/time. The VIP tier costs 590,000 tickets per visit, applicable to all weekdays and holidays.

Advantage:

- Travel time from Tran De pier to Con Dao is short, only about 2 hours.

- You can book tickets online on the airline's website.

- Shuttle bus to the pier. For Superdong, visitors from Soc Trang who want to go to Tran De port must pay a ticket price of 60,000 VND/person/time.



Originating from Can Tho

Ben Ninh Kieu


Con Dao Express and Mai Linh Express are 2 operators of Can Tho - Con Dao route.

For this leg, the travel distance is quite long, about 4 hours. The airlines inched up the departure time to 1 hour, ie 7am, instead of 8h like Soc Trang route and arrived at 11h.


Visitors from the West wishing to go to Con Dao can choose Mai Linh Express to save costs.

The economy class price here is 600,000 / ticket / adult / time on weekdays and 680,000 / ticket / adult / trip on weekends. With the head of state seat (the most advanced seat class in this unit) costs 1.2 million VND/ticket/adult/turn on all weekends and holidays.


At Con Dao Express, economy ticket class on weekdays is 750,000 VND/ticket/adult/turn and 850,000 VND/ticket/adult/turn on Saturday and Sunday. VIP class costs 1.1 million VND/ticket/adult/turn on all weekends and holidays. Fare information from the official website from the airlines.


Advantage:

- Explore the landscape along the Hau River.



Originating from Vung Tau

Stone Bridge Harbour


Passengers from Vung Tau can choose Phu Quoc Express (Thang Long train) and Con Dao Express. The journey from Vung Tau to Con Dao takes about 3 hours.


Currently, Thang Long train is the largest passenger high-speed train in Vietnam up to now with the price of 880,000 VND/general ticket/adult/way and 980,000 VND/general ticket/adult/way on weekends. The VIP tier is about 1.1 million VND/adult/turn ticket on all weekends and holidays, according to the airline's official website.


The general drawback of the method of traveling to Con Dao by ship is the problem of time and seasickness. Visitors can equip more medicine, eat well before departure so as not to get tired, affecting the quality of the trip.



According to Zing

Photo: Multiple authors

Image source: Multiple authors
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