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War-torn Con Co Island in central Vietnam finally opens to tourists

By VnExpress   April 13, 2017 | 11:38 pm GMT+7

Visitors can reach the unspoiled tropical island using a free speedboat service.

Authorities from the central province of Quang Tri officially launched free speedboat tours to Con Co Island on April 9. The first free tours will run until the end of April, according to officials.

Con Co was a heavily militarized island on the front-line during the Vietnam War. However, the 2.2-square-kilometer (0.85-square-mile) island is now known for its pristine beaches and diverse tropical ecosystem, mostly untouched by humans. Con Co and its surrounding waters are currently home to hundreds of species of coral, seaweed, crustaceans and other wildlife, according to Lao Dong newspaper.

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The forest on Con Co Island. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao.

Tourists can start their trip from Cua Viet, from where they can travel to the island on a Greenlines DP C5 speedboat. The boat is designed to carry up to 50 passengers on the 17-nautical-mile journey in about one hour. There is currently one tour scheduled per day, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

Tourists can visit the island's historical monuments, explore the jungle, swim, snorkel and enjoy seafood freshly cooked by locals.

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A view of Con Co Island seen from the top of a lighthouse. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Tao.

After the trial period, the trip will cost VND250,000 ($11) starting from around April 30, according to Nhan Dan newspaper.

The tour is part of Quang Tri's efforts to boost tourism and generate more income for the twelve families currently living on Con Co Island. Seven more families have been selected from the mainland to migrate to the island, where they will be given new homes and financial support.