Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham) travel guide (Last updated on Dec 22, 2020)
Cham Island (Quang Nam) is a pristine island cluster, a meeting point that attracts tourists when the summer comes. Here, you will be immersed in the romantic coastal space, impressive culinary experience …
Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham), Tan Hiep, Hoi An, Quang Nam, 15 km from Cua Dai Beach. There are 8 islands: Hon Lao, Dai, Mo, Kho Me, Kho Con, La, Tai, Ong. Many visitors after visiting the ancient Hoi An popular, often to the island to enjoy the natural beauty of nature. In 2009, Cu Lao Cham has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in the world and gradually became an attractive destination in the heart of domestic and foreign tourists.
This place used to be a major trading port and fishing ground of the Kingdom of Champa since the 15th century, located on the international silk, aromatherapy, and ceramics road. With rich flora and fauna and hundreds of years of history, Cham Island is recognized by UNESCO as one of the biosphere reserves of the world.
From Hoi An, take a boat along the Thu Bon River, turn the waves to Cua Dai, you will see Cham Island hidden with enchanting beauty. It is a tropical paradise with curved coconut trees, emerald water, white waves patting the sandy beach sparkling sunlight …
A day in Cham Island will give you interesting experiences such as floating on the river, discovering ancient relics, imprinting the Cham Pa culture as well as understanding more about the lifestyle and way of life of the coastal people.
Best time to travel to Cham island
The best time to visit Cu Lao Cham is from March until August. At this time, the calm sea, sunny weather is very suitable for exploring wild beauty and experiencing activities. Travel here in other months, the sea of storms, waves, small boats are not allowed going to sea and the islands are isolated so you should not go at these times.
And if you want to combine the discovery of this pristine island with the sight of Hoi An ancient lantern on your trip, you should choose the time to arrive on the middle lunar month. Then Hoi An old town will be lit with many lanterns with many different designs, many colors. While the weather in Cu Lao Cham will be very beautiful, it will be an unforgettable memory when you arrive here.
How to get to Cham Island
Cham Island is an isolated island so to get here you have to go to Da Nang airport, then from Danang city, you move to Hoi An ancient town and from here you can move to the island.
Come to Da Nang
Hoi An city is about 30km away from Da Nang International Airport (this is the nearest airport so you can move to Hoi An the most convenient way). If you travel from major cities with airports in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City. You can book airline tickets from airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar to Da Nang. From Da Nang International Airport you can rent a private car or taxi from the airport to Hoi An.
From Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City there are trains to Da Nang station with the price from 400,000 VND – 1,200,000 VND / person depending on seat class. Travel time is about 14 to 20 hours. And from Da Nang station, you will also have many options to go to Hoi An such as bus, passenger cars, taxi or rent a motorbike.
When traveling from Hanoi to Da Nang, there are many car companies you can choose from with prices ranging from 310,000 to 350,000 VND. With the tourists traveling from Saigon to Da Nang city, the fare is about 350,000 – 400,000 VND.
From Danang to Hoi An
By 2015, the tourist bus service to bring guests from Da Nang to Hoi An was be opened at about 25,000 VND / ticket/way. The first departure starts at 5:30 am and the last one ends at 17:50 daily with the route from Da Nang Bus Station – Hoi An Bus Station.
It is a convenient way to get to Hoi An quickly and safely. The price is about 350,000 to 450,000 VND/ transfer.
You can rent a motorbike from Danang and go to Hoi An very easily. It would be very suitable for travelers to explore and try new experiences.
From Hoi An to Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island)
To get to Cu Lao Cham, you need to be at Cua Dai port or Bach Dang wharf (Hoi An ancient town). From Cua Dai port, it will take about 20 minutes to get to Cu Lao Cham wharf if traveling by canoe. The round trip ticket price for the day is about 450,000 VND / person.
Meanwhile, if traveling by wooden boat, you will spend about 100,000 VND, departing from Bach Dang wharf in Hoi An ancient town. On the 2 hour cruise, you will be able to see the impressive scenery along the way. Those are rustic fishing villages, beautiful landscapes, and a charming blue sea looming in the distance …
In addition, you can also buy a join tour to visit Cham Island in 1 day; the tour price is about 650,000 VND / person, including hotel pick up and lunch.
You can rent a motorbike to explore the island for about 80,000 – 100,000 VND per day.
You can also rent boats to explore the island for about 500,000 – 1,500,000 VND
Where to stay? Nice and good Homestay in Cham island
Cham Island is still quite untouched, not having much impact on tourism services. This place focuses mainly on homestays, instead of luxury hotels and resorts. Here, you can rest at the homestay located in Ong beach, Lang beach, and Huong beach. The average room rate is from 50,000 – 100,000 VND / person or 150,000 VND / 2 people.</p>
In addition, if you love open and airy nature’s space, you can choose to camp overnight on the beaches. Pristine Bim beach, with clear water, is an attractive accommodation suggestion. In addition, Ong beach, Lay beach, Huong beach are also attractive camping sites.
Places to visit Cham Island
Xep beach is a prime spot for scuba diving tourists. Normally, when you come to Cu Lao Cham, you will see the coral here first and then will visit the beach for bathing and relaxation.
It is one of the beautiful beaches in Cu Lao Cham with fine white sand, fresh sea. There are many tourist services such as guest houses, freshwater bathrooms, restaurants… catering to the needs of tourists.
Chong Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cu Lao Cham. Nature beaches are prominent with fine white sand, fresh beach, green vegetation with natural slurry poured from the mountain down to create the rock with interesting shapes.
This is the most tourist beach in Cu Lao Cham, located right next to the pier. With clear blue water, stretches of white sand. After swimming, you can relax under the coconut leaves and enjoy the fresh air here.
Cu Lao Cham Marine Museum
It is a place to display samples of marine life in Cu Lao Cham such as sea turtles, coral, lobster … There is also a gallery of tools related to the daily life of the people. Through this, we can understand more about the life and work of the people in Cu Lao Cham
Ancient Cham Well
The only freshwater well on the island, you can also try water here if you want.
Hai Tang Pagoda
The temple was built in 1758, famous as a sacred temple extremely sacred. A place to visit when traveling here.
Tan Hiep Market
The Tan Hiep market is also called the Cu Lao Cham market, located right next to the pier. Here you will find a lot of fresh seafood from the boats of the people here, seafood specialties, souvenirs … At very reasonable prices, you do not need to bargain too much when buying stuff here. In addition, the special point of this market is not to use plastic bags to pack to protect the ecological environment here.
The experiences should try when coming here
See the coral reef
When you come to Cu Lao Cham you will have the opportunity to experience walking under the sea and watching the coral. The fee for diving is 150,000 – 400,000 VND / person.
Explore the island by motorbike
At a price of 80,000 – 100,000 VND / day, the motorbike is a great way to explore the island. You can go up the high hills where you can see the whole island will give you a sense of excitement.
If you love backpacking, you should rent a motorbike and wander every corner of Cham Island. Cham ancient wells, marine museums, and Hai Tang pagodas are must-try places for devotees to love to explore and learn about history and culture.
In addition, Cham Islandowns many beautiful and unspoiled beaches such as Chong beach, Lay beach, Bim beach, Ong beach, Huong beach … You can stop, admire the scenery, immerse yourself in the cool water…
Also, do not forget to rent a fisherman’s boat, walk around the island by sea, fish, and watch the coral. The seawater of Cu Lao Cham is famous for being clear, not too deep. Therefore, you can dive and watch the corals, admire a variety of brilliant marine life on the ocean floor.
What to eat on Cham Island?
This place is famous for fresh seafood, rich in sea aftertaste, processed by locals right after fishing. Here, you can find many “delicious and strange things” in the coastal areas such as squid, sea urchin, abalone, sea snail, rock crab … Tan Hiep market is famous for many delicious, nutritious, cheap seafood, for your satisfaction. taste goodness.
Fresh squid dried in the sun is a gift that attracts gourmets. Besides, stone crab is a rare and precious specialty that everyone wants to taste when coming to Cham Island. Stone crabs eat grass and trees on the mountain so the meat is firm, sweet, strong, and has no fishy smell.
In addition, forest vegetables; including 16 kinds of medicinal plants; growing wild at the foothills are also natural products in Cham Island. In the early summer, you can follow the local people to harvest and process forest vegetables with a rustic and unforgettable taste.
Some other travel experiences should be noted
- Pay attention to environmental sanitation, do not throw waste indiscriminately.
- Cham island is also known as the Biosphere Reserve of the world so activities that are intrusive to the natural resources here are not allowed.
- It should be prepared for the sea such as hats, sandals, glasses, sunscreen, insect repellent …
- Carry full identification documents.