Southern Islands: Con Dao and Phu Quoc
Update: Aug 28, 2017
Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands are among the most inviting beach destinations in Viet Nam. The islands combine jungle-covered interiors with pristine beaches and easily reached from Ho Chi Minh City by air. However, the two islands are quite different in relation to character so likely to attract the different travellers.

Beach in Phu Quoc Island

Here are a few of the key differences between these two southern islands:

The Viet Nam weather and climate is quite variable. Phu Quoc has weather that is quite simple. From November to May the climate is sunny, dry and hot. Between June to October the weather turns humid and rainy. A great time to visit this island is December to February when the seas are calm, skies are clear and the nights are cool. However, the climate on Con Dao is slightly more complex. In the months of September to December it is very windy and the rugged coastline is battered by heavy waves. The summer months offer blue skies, rainfall humidity and high heat. The preferred time to visit is February to May when the waters are calm and flat, skies are clear, and temperatures are pleasant and mild.

Con Dao has a rugged coastline with limited stretches of sand, whereas Phu Quoc Island is entirely ringed with white sandy beaches.

Phu Quoc has the inviting and peaceful north-western beaches, Dai and Bau, while the western seaboard is a single, long stretch of beach. However, the eastern side of the island is less appealing to tourists with its ferry ports and high number of jellyfish that make swimming in the sea quite problematic. However, Sao Beach is one great beach on this side of the island with its sapphire-coloured water and white sand. Also, the north-east coastline is isolated and pretty, but isn't the easiest to reach with its rather bumpy coastal roads.

Con Dao beaches are exceptionally beautiful, but in short number. In the north-west is the picturesque Dam Trau Beach with its golden sand. Nhat Beach is at the bottom of the island and a delightful mix of sky-blue water and white sand. Con Son is the main town with a further white sandy beach nearby. Read more: Beaches in Viet Nam.

Con Dao Island

Phu Quoc has the most diverse accommodation options with low, mid-range and high prices to match all budgets. But, the places to stay on Con Dao are more limited and only include a few luxury resorts and hotels. A visit to the town of Duong Dong in Phu Quoc gives plenty of options ranging from budget-friendly dorms to high-end resorts. Also, Long Beach has plenty of mid-range resorts.

Expenses and value for money
Similar to other islands, the prices on Phu Quoc and Con Dao are slightly more expensive than staying on the mainland for the Viet Nam luxury tours. Out of these two islands, the cost of staying on Con Dao is likely to stretch the wallet the furthest.  Con Dao is more expensive because of the relatively small amount of development and need to import most goods from the mainland. Excursions, transport, food and drink, resorts and hotels are all more expensive than Phu Quoc. However, travel in Viet Nam is still a very affordable and even if you are paying a little extra for food and accommodation it is certain to be worth it.

Vivu Travel