The Vietnamese islands of Con Dao, which were once home to a notorious French colonial prison camp, will soon be more accessible. The construction work has started on a major new ferry terminal in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, southern Vietnam, which will enable the launch of new fast ferry services to Con Dao. Scheduled to open in June 2017, the ferry port will cover 3.6 hectares of land in the town of Tran De. With an investment of VND90 billion (US$3.9 million), the project will include a jetty, passenger terminal, restaurant, waiting room, parking area and other facilities. Initially one 306-passenger ferry, named Superdong Con Dao 1, will be used to transport passengers from the terminal to Con Dao. A second boat, Superdong Con Dao 2, will then enter service in the first quarter in 2018.
While it was once feared for its penal facilities, including the notorious “tiger cages”, Con Dao is now transforming into a tropical eco-tourism destination. Much of the archipelago is protected as a national park and Six Senses operates a luxury resort on the island. Con Dao is also served by an airport.