Cham island Hoi An, also known as Cu Lao Cham, always captivates tourists by its long coast in the summer. It is one of the most chosen islands of many domestic and foreign tourists annually.
In this blog, we will introduce to travelers who have plans to visit Viet Nam the essential things about this island. Besides that, we will provide tips to save costs for your trip. Therefore, you and your beloved ones can have a good time at Cham island Vietnam.
General information about Cham island Hoi An
Cham Island Hoi An has been famous for its long-standing cultural heritages of the Cham and Vietnamese peoples. Cham Island was recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2009. Hoi An Cham island tourism has become a trend in recent years because of its wild beauty.
The significant trading spot
Cham Island Vietnam is a historical and cultural relic associated with the formation and development of the commercial port town of Hoi An.
From the 7th to the 15th centuries, Hoi An Cham Island was the trading spot of merchant ships from many countries. Its location is also a significant maritime transport axis connecting the major trading centers of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Moreover, Cham Island Hoi An is a convenient stopover to avoid wind, storms, top-up freshwater, and food.
Through many generations, locals still preserve and develop the distinctive culture of Cham island Vietnam. There are many architectural works from the early 18th century to the early 20th century still protected until now.
Hoi An Cham island’s location
Cham Island Hoi An is 15 square kilometers and located 19 kilometers to the east of Hoi An ancient town. It includes 08 islets that string along in the shape of a mermaid, known as:
- Pear Islet (Hòn Lao).
- Long Islet (Hòn Dài).
- Leaf Islet (Hòn Lá).
- Large Rocky Islet (Hòn Khô mẹ).
- Small Rocky Islet (Hòn Khô con).
- Ear Islet (Hòn Tai).
- Tomb Islet (Hòn Mồ).
- Grandfather Islet (Hòn Ông).
The population on these islands is about 3,000 people. Cham Island Hoi An is a tourist destination with a wonderful year-round climate with rich flora and fauna.
The island is especially famous for its rich source of seafood and bird’s nest. It is a habitat for about:
- 135 species of coral
- 202 different types of fish
- 84 species of krill
- 5 species of lobster.
Coral reefs in the sea area of Cham island are also highly appreciated by scientists. Some rare corals are on the protected list.
How to get to Cham island Vietnam
If you wonder how to get to Cham island, we will provide some options herein. To get to Cham island Hoi An, you need to be at Cua Dai port of Hoi An ancient town. Boats and canoes all depart from here.
Cu Lao Cham is an island located off the east coast of Hoi An. With the mean of how to get to Cham island, you can choose between two primary means of transportation to Hoi An Cham island: speedboat or local boats.
- Local Boats: The boat leaves from Cua Dai harbor every day at 8:30 AM. It will take 1,5 to 2 hours to get to Cham Island. It is the only boat that will return the same day to Hoi An. Therefore, you need to stay on the island for at least one day if you choose other options.
Prices: 80.000 VND/each person.
- Speedboats: You can arrange the private speedboat that brings you to Hoi An Cham Island. Surprisingly, it just takes 30 minutes to get to the island. Hence, it will be more convenient in terms of time than local boats.
Prices: 150,000 VND/each person.
In addition, there is one more option that you can consider is a package tour. This is a suitable option because you have more time to explore the island than the above options.
UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve
On May 29th, 2009, with rich flora and fauna and historical relics hundreds of years ago, Cham island Hoi An was recognized by UNESCO as a “World Biosphere Reserve”. The reward means “coastal or terrestrial ecosystems that help promote solutions to harmonize protection and preserve biodiversity with sustainable use of that area.”
Cham island Hoi An is a place full of typical natural ecosystems. Some of them are:
- Seaweed ecosystem
- Beach ecosystem
- Coral ecosystem
- Seagrass ecosystem
- Mangrove ecosystem
- Rocky embankment ecosystem
- Green forest ecosystem
This place is a typical and clear example of the connection and harmony between nature and people. Within ten years, Hoi An Cham island is a bright spot in marine conservation and environmental protection. It is the first successful case of Vietnam to implement environmental protection rules such as:
- Say no to plastic bags.
- Coral restoration model.
- Displacement of sea turtles.
In 2009, Cu Lao Cham welcomed more than 15,000 visitors, and this number has continuously increased over the years. Until 2014, the number of tourists had reached 415 thousand. It increased 30 times compared to the previous ten years.
In 2015, Cu Lao Cham island had a national electricity grid. Since then, people’s living standards have improved, and the economy has grown.
During ten years of operation, Cu Lao Cham World Biosphere Reserve is gradually asserting its position in the hearts of domestic and foreign tourists. Furthermore, it creates the trust and love of many international tourists.
What to do in Cham Island Vietnam
Hoi An Cham Island is famous for its natural landscape, green mountains. At Cham island, you can see the long white sand beach and crystal clear water with your own eyes. Especially the rich flora and fauna along with tourist sites dating back thousands of years.
Cham Island is considered the “Pearl of Quang Nam”. It always captivates domestic and foreign tourists to explore every year. You should stay here for at least two days to visit the features of the Cham island Hoi An.
The destinations in the list below are suggestions that you cannot miss in your upcoming Cham Island Hoi An trip.
Water sports at Hoi An Cham island
Cham island snorkeling
Welcome to time for discoveries of clear beaches and turquoise water!
Firstly, the sport that has made an impression is Cham island snorkeling. Cham island snorkeling gives you the chance to observe the colorful coral reefs of Cham Island Biosphere Reserve.
Thanks to the deep enough coastline and the blue water surface, you can see the green moss that creates conditions for visitors to fully explore the nature of the seabed. When participating in Cham island snorkeling, you will be totally equipped with life jackets, diving goggles, and instructions on how to breathe and how to look underwater.
Secondly, you can experience moving underwater. You can float on the water and directly walk on the seabed to admire the beautiful colorful coral reefs. Then, discover a new sea space for yourself. You can see for the first time many types of fish and snails. It is called “Underwater Walking”.
This sport is also known as Sea walker. Sea Walker is a new type of scuba diving that has emerged in recent years. It is a service that allows participants to take a walk under the ocean. You will witness firsthand the images of marine life and colorful coral reefs.
The remarkable thing about this service is that you do not need to use any scuba diving equipment. All you need is a helmet for oxygen and follow the guide.
In addition, you will be instructed by a dedicated team of experts at Cham Island Hoi An. All of them are professionally trained and skillful. They will ensure visitors have a pleasant experience while walking under the sea. Even if you don’t know how to swim, you can still participate.
Finally, Hoi An Cham Island is famous for its long, clean beach, suitable for all ages of tourists. Aside from the above activities, Swimming is also a solution to help you have a comfortable time, immerse yourself in the clear water, and admire marine life.
Cham Island Hoi An has seven beautiful beaches with a bold natural identity. The beach is carefully kept very clean by the people and local authorities. They are determined to keep the environment green and not allow visitors to litter indiscriminately. Cham island Hoi An also strictly prohibits the use of plastic bags on the island.
On Cham island Hoi An, there is a marine reserve displaying many unique marine fish species. They keep pictures and samples of marine species. Among them are rare fish species, which have existed in the ocean for millions of years. Gradually, Cham island Vietnam found many new fish varieties, so the museum was formed. It is an interesting place to attract many tourists to explore.
Besides that, Grouper is a pretty common species off the coast of Cu Lao Cham. It comes in a variety of sizes and weights. Normally, it weighs from 4 to 10 kg, but adults can weigh up to tens of kg with 2m in length.
Besides fish species, this place also keeps many other samples such as shrimp, crab, sea coral, etc. Uniquely, there is a sea turtle specimen more than a hundred years old on display in the museum.
These days, sea turtles are rarely seen in Cham Island due to the influence of humans. The number of tourists is increasing annually. Hence, the sand beaches are getting smaller and encroached. As a result, sea turtles tend to move to other places to live.
Sunrise scene and local life
At Cham Island Hoi An, there are often festivals and campfires organized by local people. Everyone can have fun and watch the starry sky together. That is a bustling and romantic scene for tourists to come and enjoy.
Some important festivals here are:
- Fishing Bridge Festival (March – April or April Lunar Calendar).
- The death anniversary of Yen’s Nest (September, October, March of the Lunar Calendar).
- Cau Ngu Festival (April Lunar Calendar).
Besides that, visitors enjoy the stunning sunrise and sunset on the island. It will be a wonderful mixture of blue sky, green mountains, and the vast sea. Additionally, you can walk on the flower road and join some fishing activities of locals. Thus, you can admire the peaceful beauty of this place and relax in nature.
Hoi An Cham Island’s Seafood
Cham Island Hoi An is famous for not only the peaceful beauty but also its specialties. When traveling to this pretty island, we highly recommend you to try Rock crabs. Rock crabs live on the mountains’ cliffs. They are sold a lot in stores at Hoi An Cham Island.
Rock crab’s meat has a sweet, greasy taste, and is covered by crab bricks. The most straightforward dish is steamed rock crabs with beer. Therefore, it will create the standard delicious flavors.
The next can be mentioned is fresh Squid. At Cham Island Hoi An, you can try the squid without a fishy taste but its freshness. We advise you to try the grilled squid. At Hoi An Cham Island, squid will be grilled on low heat. It gets ready to enjoy when they change into light yellow.
Besides that, Cham Island Hoi An also owns rare seafood that is Abalone. Abalone is one of the extremely rare snails. That is why they are a bit more expensive than other seafood. The reason they are so rare and precious is that they are hard to find. Abalone usually lives and clings firmly to coral reefs in places with high salinity. Thus, it requires professional divers who can dive to a certain depth and separate them from large rocks.
To prepare this dish, people need to wash the sand. Abalone meat is usually fatty and very sweet. The simplest way to prepare is to bake so that it will keep the fresh taste and nutritional value.
In addition, there are Banh La Gai ( Little Cakes) and Swallow Nests.
- Banh La Gai at Cham Island Vietnam has green bean paste and grated coconut to create a lovely aroma.
- Swallow Nests birds use their saliva to build nests. Swallow Nests is famous for being very nutritious, supporting the digestive system, and balancing sleep. In addition, you can buy a box of bird nests or pure bird nests for cooking.
Both of the above items are very nutritious and suitable to buy as gifts for relatives. Above are some recommended dishes at Cham Island Hoi An. There are many other new and unique dishes waiting for you to enjoy!
Tips and Cost
Aside from the engaging experiences above, tourists can have many other exciting activities such as fishing with locals, camping along the coast, etc.
Next, you can take a walk to admire the monuments of ancient culture with bold features of Sa Huynh culture, Champa cultures such as Ancient Well, or marine conservation area. Each attraction is an exciting experience!
Best time to visit
We highly recommend you to visit Cham Island Hoi An from March to the end of August. At this time, the weather will be favorable for tourists to enjoy water activities and the coast. This time will provide you with a clear blue sky, warm sunshine, and especially no rain. In addition, it is the perfect opportunity to experience a full range of services and activities. Importantly, you can take beautiful pictures and conveniently travel by canoe.
If you are a scuba diving enthusiast, the most suitable time will be from May to August. At this time, the weather on the island is stable with a fantastic climate. It is also ideal weather for Cham island snorkeling to see the coral.
From October to February is not a good time for visiting Cham island Hoi An. It is the time when Cham island Hoi An turns to winter. As a result, the atmosphere is cold, and the services are limited. There will be a lot of rain, big waves, so it is not safe to travel by boat and enjoy water activities.
Transportation on the island
To visit around on Cham island Hoi An, you can choose some means of transportation:
- Motorcycle: It is a popular transport and is chosen by many people. Car rental is 150,000 VND for a day. So, this will be a convenient vehicle for you and suitable for climbing or exploring activities on this island.
- Local Boats: It is the main transportation at sea and some boats are licensed for tourism. Boat rental is 400,000 VND per person. You can see the scenery and explore the whole of Cham Island Hoi An.
- Cham Island ferry: It is also an excellent option for travelers suffering from seasickness. The Cham Island ferry moves slowly so it gives visitors time to take pictures of the scenery. The Cham island ferry rent is 350,000 VND for a day.
- Speed Cano: This is also a good choice for those who want to save time. The price for renting a canoe is 6,000,000 VND a day.
Homestay in Cham Island
In recent years, the homestay system in Cu Lao Cham Hoi An has been steadily built and developed. Currently, there is a national electricity grid on the island, so the homestays are fully equipped with amenities and luxury.
For those who prefer tranquility, wildness, and relaxation, then Cham island homestay is the right destination. With a view of the clear blue beach, you can watch the sunset from the window.
The price of homestay service ranges from 250,000 VND to 450,000 VND for a room of 2 people. Moreover, these homestays also provide you with a full range of catering services, laundry, and wifi. The host also supports car rental, boat rental, coral diving, etc.
As mentioned above, seafood in Cham island Hoi An is very famous that you should not miss on your trip. You can take a walk to the seafood markets and bargain seafood prices yourself. Then, you can cook or ask them to grill it to freshly enjoy. Here are some recommended prices in the table (the price may differ depending on seafood’s seasons):
|Cham island rock crab||150,000 VND – 200,000 VND/kg|
|Cham island squid||400,000 VND – 500,000 VND/kg|
|Cham island abalone||450,000 VND – 600,000 VND/kg|
|Cham Island Grouper||600,000 VND – 750.000 VND/kg|
Here is all the information and experience to help you design your best trip on Cham island Hoi An. We hope you can pick out some interesting ideas and local tips to add to your to-do list in Cham island. So that you can have memorable experiences with your beloved at Cham island Hoi An.
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