Roughly 80% of the land area in the island chain is part of Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea-turtle nesting grounds; the main nesting season is June to September. Sadly, monitoring operations by park rangers have been scaled back in recent years and turtle-egg poaching has consequently mushroomed. Other interesting sea life around Con Dao includes the dugong, a rare marine mammal in the same family as the manatee.

Feature: The Teenage Martyr

If the breeze is blowing from the north, you can probably smell the incense from a specific grave in Con Son's cemetery: the tomb of Vo Thi Sau, a national icon.

Vo Thi Sau, a teenage resistance fighter during the French occupation, was politically active from a very early age. She killed a French captain in a grenade attack at the age of 14, and was only captured years later following a second assassination attempt. Vo Thi Sau was taken to Con Son and executed here, aged 19.

Visit the cemetery at midnight and you'll find crowds of people packed around her grave, saying prayers and making offerings. The Vietnamese believe that this is the most auspicious time to pay respects and venerate the spirit of this national heroine, who was killed in the early hours of 23 January 1952.