A commercial sea transport service between the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang and Con Dao island district, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, has been launched recently. The service shortens traveling time on the route to 2 hours and a half instead of more than 10 hours by a cargo ship.

The launch of the high speed shipping service is expected to contribute to promoting the development of tourism, waterway transport and the marine economy in Soc Trang and Ba Ria - Vung Tau provinces.

Con Dao is an archipelago off the coast of the southern province of Ba Ria –Vung Tau. Once served as a prison island for political prisoners during the French colonial era, it has become an international tourist destination, attracting visitors for primitive beauty, rich fauna and flora ecosystem, pure water, silky sand banks and blue skies.

The 16-island archipelago is reachable by flight from Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho or by ferry from Vung Tau.

Con Dao was ranked fourth in the top 10 best places to travel in Asia by Lonely Planet Magazine last year.-VNA