A short trip through one of my favourite countries, the most exciting country in the world
Contributed by feature reporter Jens Hoffmann
Vietnam offers really everything:
A glorious coastline, fantastic landscapes beautiful islands and amazing people.
Beeing in Southeast-Asia is always great but to explore this romantic island – listed in the top ten most joy and peaceful places is just fantastic.
Especially after a few days in the humid funky city of Ho-Chi-Minh (Saigon).
We travelled to Con Dao, south-east of Vietnam, part of an archipelago of 16 islands.
One of the world’s most beautiful nature reserves was waiting.
The arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (one hur flight away from Saigon) feels like to be in heaven.
Cyrstal clear, turquoise water, sugar-white beach.
A big wow. The island has its origins in 1930, when the French colonial government constructed a small airport with runways near the village of Tan Son Nhat.
Later on the airfield was during the Vietnam War (1968 and 1974), the busiest military airbase in the world. But forget about sad history times, we enjoyed the Six Senses in Con Dao!
Located south-east coast of mainland Vietnam on the small island of Con Son which is the largest of a group of islands making up the “Con Dao” archipelago.
In the main restaurant “By the beach” the finest, freshly caught seafood is served before breathtaking backdrop of moonlight and shimmering sea.
Easy to enjoy the long sweeping stretch of white sand beach that curves subtly within the arc of a secluded bay.
The delightfully luxurious retreat is one of Vietnam’s best beach resorts, the most of the archipelago is marine and national park making it a “Robinson Crusoe” tropical idyll.
Six Senses has 50 private pool villas each built in true Six Senses style utilising local natural materials from sustainable sources. The architecture is contemporary and panels of reclaimed teak from Vietnam’s interior, complementing the beautiful surroundings perfectly.
The villas are designed in that way that the need for air conditioning is reduced to natural ventilation, face the ocean and are either set on the beach or close to the beach and come with a terrace and private plunge pool, offering spectacular views of the South China Sea.
Other dining options include pan-asian snacks; the resorts main restaurant offering all kind of seafood, fruit and vegetables bursting with flavour based on traditional Vietnamese recipes with a subtle French influence, an irresistible combination. We booked a lovely picnic on the beach. Just amazing.
Noodles, rice, soups, rolls and wraps are all made to order.
History: Con Dao served as a prison island for political prisoners during the French colonial era, when it was known as Poulo Condore, and in later years the Saigon regime imprisoned opponents of the regime in the infamous cells known as the “tiger cages”. The old prison buildings are still standing and are open to the public as is a small museum tracing the island’s history.
Besides having an “interesting” history, Con Dao is also an island of immense natural beauty with forested hills, deserted sandy beaches and extensive coral reefs making for some excellent diving.
Con Dao is a shining example of good conservation. 80% of the land area of the archipelago is a national park offering primary jungle teeming with interesting life such as the endemic black squirrel and the crab eating macaque. Beautiful beaches and hidden lagoons are also to be found here, with very few tourists. Con Dao is still a paradise off the beaten track.
Surrounded by trees with the dramatic backdrop of the Lo Voi Mountain; only ethically produced spa products derived from local herbs and flower essences are used.
A indulgent Vietnamese journey, pure relaxation.
Resumee: Six Sensens – seventh heaven; a lovely experience.