Cu Lao Cham Island essential travel guide
Photo: Lang Du
Cu Lao Cham Island is one of the most well-known attractions in Hoi An. The island possesses wonderful beaches and diverse undersea world. It attracts tourists not just by pristine and untouched beauty, but also the hospitality of locals.
Cu Lao Cham Island, one of most visited attractions in Hoi An, is well-known for long white beaches, turquoise waters, and delicious seafood. Cu Lao Cham Island is located in Tan Hiep, Hoi An, Quang Nam, about 15km from Cua Dai Beach. There are eight smaller islands in Cu Lao Cham, including Hon Lao, Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon Kho Me, Hon KHo Con, Hon La, Hon Tai, and Hon Ong. Tourists to Hoi An after visiting the ancient town often travel to Cu Lao Cham Island to enjoy the serene and pristine beauty of the nature here. The period from March to August is an ideal time to take trips to Cu Lao Cham Island. During the time, the weather is warm with beautiful sunlight, turquoise waters, and gentle waves. It is highly recommended not to travel in the rest months, because it will have heavy storms.
Location and geography
Cham Island is a group of 8 small islands, which has been recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve (Cu Lao Cham Marine Park).This ideal destination is endowed with marvelous topography of mountain slopes and biological diversity. From Cua Dai Beach, Quang Nam province, it takes about 30 minutes to arrive at Cham Island by express boat, though tourists may choose 45-minute-boat instead, to enjoy the feeling of travelling by fishermen’s boats.
How to get to Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town - Source: Image from Flickr
In Vietnam tour packages to Cu Lao Cham, travelers of choose one of the following means of transportation. Traveling by plane, despite of not having direct flights to Hoi An from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, there are many direct flights to Da Nang City or Quang Nam operated by different airlines. It is suggested to take flights to Da Nang, and then travel by bus to Hoi An rather than to Quang Nam. It is because the distance from Da Nang to Hoi An is shorter than that from Tam Ky – the city center of Quang Nam to Hoi An. If tourists want to save the travel expense, train is a good choice. The fare from Hanoi fluctuates between 300,000 VND - 650,000 VND, while it costs from 900,000 - 1,200,000 VND, depending on each seat and train. After reaching Da Nang, there are services of taxi and bus to reach Hoi An Ancient Town. The bus ticket is about 20,000 VND (about 1USD). In addition, travelers can hire a motorcycle. It takes about 60,000 - 120,000 VND (3-6USD) per day. What about by road? Travelers from Hanoi can take a coach at Giap Bat Bus Station or Nuoc Ngam Bus Station to travel to Hoi An. It costs about 380,000 VND (20USD). If travelers depart from Ho Chi Minh City, they can reach Eastern Bus Station. The ticket is about 430,000 VND (27USD).
How to get to Cu Lao Cham Island
Cu Lao Cham - A beautiful beach in Vietnam - Source: Image from Flickr
In Hoi An tours to Cu Lao Cham Island, tourists can approach there by canoe. The fare per person is 150,000 VND (about 7USD). It is easily to buy tickets at the wharf on Cua Dai Beach or travel agents in Hoi An. It takes about 20 minutes to travel from Hoi An to Cu Lao Cham. The canoe will operate from 8:00 to 10:00. Another day is getting there by boat. The ticket is about 30.000/pax, and 80,000/pax with a motorbike. It is suggested to come to Bach Dang Wharf at 7:00 or Cua Dai Wharf at 8:00 to buy tickets.
How to get around Cu Lao Cham Island
Village on Cham Island - Source: Image from Panoramio
To enjoy the Cu Lao Cham discovery in a perfect way, the most suitable vehicle is motorcycle. Travelers can stay at guest houses on the island. It costs 80,000 - 200,000 VND/day (4-10USD/day). In addition, travelers can get around the island by boat. It costs about 500,000 VND - 1,500,000 VND/turn. These boats also provide service of scuba diving.
Where to stay in Cu Lao Cham Island
Accommodation in Cu Lao Cham Island is mostly homestay, focusing on Bai Lang Beach and Bai Huong Beach. A double room costs about 150,000 VND. The rate is about 50,000 - 100,000 VND for single room. Please note that Bai Lang Beach is the landing place of boats, while Bai Huong Beach is for canoes. Depending on the way of traveling, travelers can choose guests house near the berth area. For travelers in Vietnam tours to Hoi An adoring to immerse into the wild nature can make a camp on Bai Ong Beach, Bai Huong Beach, and Bai Bim Beach. Rents are provided by the local people with the fee of 150,000/rent.
What to see in Cu Lao Cham Island
Hai Tang pagoda - Source: Image from Flickr
There are many attractions in Cu Lao Cham Island. For example, Cu Lao Cham Museum is the place where the history, traditional customs and habits, as well as marine specialties are introduced. By dint of the good arrangement of artifacts, travelers can understand more about the culture of this land. Hai Tang Pagoda was built in 1758 at the mountain foot in the west of Hon Lao Island. Inside the pagoda, there is a red lacquer trimmed with gold parallel sentences, spectacular statue, and a big bell. The pagoda is the worshiping place of locals and merchants to wish a good journey.
Cham Ancient Well or Xom Cam (Prohibited Hamlet) is about 200 years old. The work is in round pipe shape. The ground is square. The architectural work features the characteristic of other Cham wells in Hoi An. Tan Hiep Market near Bai Lang fishing port is divided into two part. The inner part is the place of daily necessary items; the outer part sells seafood and souvenirs. Do not forget to bargain when shopping here.That will be an interesting experiences. In addition, Yen Island and Bai Chong Beach are popular attractions in this island. For those who like to immerse in the cool and turquoise water, Bai Xep, Bai Ong, and Bai Lang beaches are ideal options.
Cham Ancient Well in Xom Cam
These above Cu Lao Cham travel tips may help travelers have more options in discovering the beautiful island. If having two days visiting Cu Lao Cham, tourists can spend one day for visiting Cu Lao Cham Island Museum, Nest plantation, Ancient Well, Hai Tang Pagoda; and another day for Yen Island, Xom Cam Ancient Well, Bai Lang Beach, and come back Hoi An. Before departing for Cu Lao Cham Island, travelers should not bring plastic bags. Travelers must not break coral reef when diving. It is necessary to prepare some essential items for beach journey such as hat, sandal, sun cream... And, do not forget to bring personal documents to easily hire vehicles.
This article originally appeared on alotrip.com.