1. Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) – untouched beauty in Vietnam

Cu Lao Cham, also known as Cham Islands, is one of the most popular beach destinations which boasts an untouched beauty and great cultural values. It is situated in Tan Hiep Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. 

Cham Island

In 2009, Cham Islands was recognized by UNESCO as A World Biosphere Reserve with exceptional values in biodiversity, culture, history and tourism. It extends for nearly 15 square kilometers and consists of 1 main island and 8 surrounding small islands. In recent years, authorities have made great efforts to protect the islands from pollution and degradation with the hope of developing a sustainable eco-tourism here. 

To enter Cu Lao Cham, you have to pay 70.000 VND per person (~$2.98) and the ecological fee costs about 20.000 VND per person (~$0.85). With such a reasonable price, exploring Cu Lao Cham would be a highlight of your trip to Hoi An, Vietnam. 

  • Location: Tan Hiep Commune, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. 
  • Area: 15-square-kilometer 
  • Entrance fee: 70.000 VND/person (~ $2.98)
  • Ecological fee: 20.000 VND/person (~ $0.85)

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2. Best time to visit Cham Islands

If you want to enjoy nice weather and a laid-back atmosphere,  you should visit Cham Islands from March to August. Also, during the peak summer months, Cu Lao Cham is a magnet for swimming, snorkeling, scuba-diving and sightseeing.

From September to February, heavy rainfalls and large waves usually hinder your trip to Cham Islands. 

3. How to visit Cham Islands?

3.1. By Canoe

It only takes visitors about 20 minutes to go to the island cluster by canoe. It is suitable for adventure enthusiasts who desire a strong surfing feeling. The ticket fee for a canoe trip is 200.000 VND per person (~$8.25). 

Canoe to Cham Island

3.2. By wooden boat

The fee to travel by wooden boat is 150.000 VND (~$6.39) for local tourists and 200.000 VND (~$8.25) for foreigners. This method is not suitable for seasick people and takes more time to enter the islands. 

Moreover, if you want to bring your motorbike to the island, the extra fee is 50.000 VND per motorbike (~$2.13). 

Cham Island Boat

4. Best Things to DO and SEE On Cham Islands in 1 Day

As one of the hottest travel destinations in Asia, going sightseeing on Cham Islands does not fall short when it comes to picture-worthy locations such as Bai Lang Residential Area,  ​​Xom Cam Residential Area, Hai Tang Pagoda and Tan Hiep Market. 

4.1. Cham people’s Ancient Well

One of the hot spots on the Cham Islands is the Cham people’s Ancient Well. It was recognized as a national relic in 2006. Originally, it is believed that the Cham people’s Ancient Well was built and used by Champa residents, then Vietnamese people inherited and utilized it in daily life. Although the Well was covered with a thick layer of green moss, it still provided people with fresh, clean water for daily use and production activities. 

Legend has it that if you drink water from the Cham people’s Ancient Well, you will find the love of your life. Also, tour guides shared that many visitors have babies as their wish after drinking the Cam Hamlet Well’s water. 

Cham people’s Ancient Well

4.2. Hai Tang Pagoda

The name “Hai Lang” is closely related to its construction. According to local people, “Hai” means “sea, and “Tang” means Tipitaka – a holy bible. Built in 1758 (the 19th year of Canh Hung), Hai Tang is undoubtedly withstanding the test of time and become a sacred place for Fishermans to pray for health, peace and prosperity. 

Even though there is no abbot living here, the pagoda is well cared for by an old couple and authorities. Visiting Hai Tang Pagoda, you will have a chance to learn about many artifacts including ancient sculptures, bronze bells, and horizontal lacquered boards. 

Hai Tang Pagoda

4.3. Tan Hiep Market

Tan Hiep Market is a paradise for seafood lovers. It is located right next to the pier and has a good selection of seafood such as crab, lobster, scallops, dried squid and fish. We bet that buying things here will be a bargain indeed because you can feast on inexpensive flatters of seafood. Also, half-dried cuttlefish is the best-seller product that many visitors buy to bring home as a souvenir. 

Besides, any necessities are sold here for your convenience. Tour around Tan Hiep Market and grasp whatever you want. 

Tan Hiep Market

4.4. Blue beaches

Bai Ong: beckons with long fine white sand, straight coconut trees, blue sea water and green seawater spinach beds. You can enjoy your active vacation by swimming in the sea and participating in games such as parachute, tug boat, coral camping and motorbike on the sea.

Bai Ong Beach

Bai Xep: known as a fabulous, pristine beach with crystal water. It is home to the most beautiful coral reefs in the sea of Cu Lao Cham

Bai Xep Beach

Bai Chong: features smooth white sand beaches, straight lines of coconut trees, diverse polymorphic rocks stacked like symbols of husband and wife, yin – yang element; land famous in the fable.

Bai Chong Beach

Bai Huong: an unspoiled fishing village that lies on the foot of a deep green natural forest. Here is a perfect place for visitors to explore the life of fishermen and enjoy fresh seafood.

Bai Huong Beach

5. Top 7 dishes you must try on Cham Islands

Grilled one-sunny-day squid: This semi-dried squid will bring you a perfect taste when dipped into chili sauce. 

Grilled sea urchin: This dish is usually served with scallion oil on top, making it a unique dish with an unforgettable taste.

Grilled sea urchin

Rock crab: Rock crab’s meat is fresh with a firm texture. It can be steamed with beer, then served with salt, pepper and lemon.

Abalone: Cham Islands’ abalone is quite rare and fishermen have to make great efforts to catch it. You can try abalones that are cooked by boiling, frying, grilling,… 

Pyramid top shell (Ốc vú nàng): A famous sea snail found in the central coastal region. It would be great to enjoy pyramid-top shells on full moon nights. 

Pyramid top shell

Forest vegetables: Try any type of forest vegetables such as wine lettuce, plantain, plantain, yard vegetables,…that grow on the foothills. The boiled forest vegetables dipped in fish sauce with chili and garlic is one of the most mouth-watering dishes that every visitor always wishes to try. 

Banh It La Gai: This is a local delicacy on Cu Lao Cham island. The cake is wrapped with thorn leaves growing in the rocky area, making it slightly sweet and fragrant. 

6. Some things you need to remember before visiting Cham Islands

Do not bring plastic bags. People on Cham Islands use paper or dry leaves to wrap food and store things, making the island cluster eco-friendly. 

Be well-prepared for your personal belongings such as hats, sunglasses, sandals, sunscreen, and insect spray,…

Remember to bring your identification if you have the intention to rent bikes or motorbikes

Do not touch or bring any coral reefs and sea animals to the land

Cu lao Cham Are you ready to enjoy your own 24-hour experience on Cham Islands, Hoi An? If yes, contact Metta Voyage right now. Metta Voyage is a wellness retreat tour operator in Southeast Asiaand your trip to Cham Islands will be well prepared down to the tiniest details! 

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