Hike to Thác Hoài Dương Waterfall

Rate this Adventure 3.1 miles 492.1 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Michael Wigle

Where else in nature can you find your own natural infinity pool? This easy hike through a national park rewards you with a refreshing dip in a beachside pool.

Take Võ Thị Sáu street north out of Côn Đảo for about 1 kilometer past the old park office on the left. The road will split to the right and fade to the left here. Continue on the left fork which is now Huỳnh Thúc Kháng street for about 50 meters. The road will split off to the right twice with a lower and upper road. The upper road is the main park entrance road and is freshly paved. Head up the main park road about a kilometer and stop at the park office to get a free permit and map. The trail head is only a few hundred meters past the office and parking is on the road near the sign.

Assuming you've taken a scooter to get here as it is the main transportation option on Côn Sơn Island, you should secure it so it isn't knocked over or raided by monkeys. The jungle is typically hot and humid with little reprieve from the heat except for the stream that runs through to the waterfall. Bring plenty of water or plan on filtering it from the creek that meets the trail once halfway through and again at the end of the hike.

Take the trail headed up the hill for a couple hundred meters until it splits. The right will take you up to an old French Marian shrine while the right takes you toward the beaches. Staying left the trail will wind for a little over a kilometer up through the mountain into heavy jungle. If you're fortunate you will spot one of the rarest snakes in the world in the canopy above, the Ornate Flying Tree Snake. It is vivid cyan blue and absolutely stunning to find.

The trail will take you over a couple bridges. After the second bridge the trail starts dropping down toward the ocean. Follow this for about a half a kilometer. There will be a couple of paths leading off this paved trail but everything is well marked in english. There will be another french bridge side trail before the trail to split to the falls. Take the split and head down towards the beach. There are about 120 stairs over the next 400 meters before the base of the main falls. In the wet season this is a torrent in the crevice, but more than likely it will be a steady stream when you arrive.

The falls aren't the most stunning to see, but the natural crevice fills with a deep clear pool at the base before cascading over a 6 meter section into a wider and deeper pool above the beach. This is the main attraction because on a hot day you can relax in the cool water that cascades down another few meters into the ocean. Occasionally you will see other hikers here, but more often than not, the trail and beach will be all to yourself.

You can hike the beach to the north about another kilometer before the rocks end high up on a dangerous and windy cliff. Trace back the trail that you took to your bike and head back into town before dusk. The best way to end the day is at one of the best cocktail bars in SE Asia, LaCasa at the corner of Trần Phú and Lê Duẩn streets. Here they make unique Vietnamese-fusion drinks in an air-conditioned, modern, window-wrapped boutique. 

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