Last Christmas, I traveled the tiny island of Con Dao off Vietnam’s southern coast, where I somehow managed to unwittingly fly straight into a typhoon. After the storm passed, I explored the island’s notorious and expansive network of prisons. From 1862–1975, Con Dao was France’s, and then Vietnam’s penal colony in the South China Sea, and today, the ruins coexist peacefully alongside markets and homes and schools. Here’s an entry on off-hand discoveries, official histories, and the infamous tiger cages of Con Dao.
A typhoon usually doesn’t just sneak up on you. But that’s exactly what happened to me last Christmas Eve, when my husband and I unwittingly traveled to the Vietnamese island of Con Dao the day before a roaring typhoon was scheduled to hit. Here’s a story about taking cover in the eye of tomorrow’s unknown.