Con Dao islands represent a more serene side of Vietnam

05/23/2010 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Vietnam has come to be characterized by constant, chaotic activity, shiny skyscrapers, motorbikes and honking horns. Con Dao, a 16-island archipelago located 110 miles off the southeastern coast of the mainland, offers a different type of Vietnam. For more than a century, the Con Dao islands featured a harsh prison system. People did not visit the islands, which now means they are relatively untouched and the hordes that have yet to discover their sandy beaches and tranquil ambiance.

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