HO CHI MINH CITY, March 17 (Xinhua) -- With rich traditional cultures and unspoiled landscapes, Con Dao in Vietnam's southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province is one of 12 crowd-free sea paradises in Asia, US Cable News Network (CNN) has recently stated.
Once a penal colony known as the Devil's Island of French Indochina, Con Dao, a 16-island archipelago off the Mekong Delta, has turned to more peaceful pursuits in modern times. It offers coral reefs, palm-shaded beaches, rainforest trails and chic beach hotels like the Six Senses Con Dao.
History buffs will revel in the island's role in the age of ocean exploration -- Marco Polo allegedly stepped ashore at Con Dao on his long return journey to Venice, according to CNN.
To learn more about the island's war-plagued past, travelers can explore the Revolutionary Museum -- located in the former French commander's residence -- or tour the old prisons on the main island.
Con Dao is a haven for outdoorsy types too, with plentiful scuba, snorkeling and fishing opportunities. Between May and October, visitors can watch sea turtles lay their eggs, while the infants hatch and scramble into the sea.