Most visitors are attracted to a Cham Island trip by the swimming, snorkeling over the extraordinary coral reefs, eating and drinking, karaoke and shopping, parasailing/paragliding and motor bike rides. If you are one of these, you will not be disappointed.
Approaching Cu Lao Cham the first impression is the color of the water, a stunning aquamarine to turquoise that intensifies in all conditions – whether clear or cloudy. Rising above this is the very beautiful and somewhat mysterious main island. Wooded hills rise steeply from the shoreline, their deep greens contrasting with the mostly duck egg blue sky – a dramatic and spectacular panorama.
From the moment you are picked up from your hotel and bussed to Cua Dai boat terminal the trip is frenetic: guides marshal you in the direction of your speed boat, arrange you into a life jacket and begin their commentaries. The speed boats travel very quickly, exhilarating in calm conditions, less comfortable in choppy conditions, cancelled if the sea is too rough, and take less than half an hour to cover the distance.
A slow boat that leaves from Hoi An is available which takes up to two hours – only worth it if you intend staying a night or two at one of the four homestays.
Arriving in Bai Ong, the main village, visitors are literally marched to the two pagodas, the ancient well, the museum and the markets – very amusing, highly interesting and entertaining. The extensive cultural history is linked directly to the Cham, Hindu traders, possibly from Borneo, who settled in Hoi An and on the island several hundred years ago. The museum doesn’t offer much but if you’re really interested in Cham history, go to My Son and the Champa Museum in Da Nang.
After experiencing the village it’s off again, round the corner to the white-gold beach. Here you swim and snorkel in the very warm, fabulously clear water and experience an exquisite underwater world of brightly coloured fish and coral. Lunch is provided.
Many thanks to Underworld Dream Diving for underwater photography
A challenging road that provides sweeping views of the coastline connects Bai Ong village with the smaller Bai Huong, adjacent to the beautiful, secluded Bai Chuong Beach. Unless you are an experienced and confident rider, hire a driver for around 400,000 VND return (includes waiting time). Once you arrive, the only way down to the beach from the road is a short, steep and very rough track – take care. Bai Chuong Beach can also be reached by local ferries nfrom the main village, Bai Ong.
Be aware that English is not widely spoken on the island so make sure you are getting what you want.
To treat yourself to something a little different with lots of fun, visit Cham Island.
Day tours go for around 600-700,000 VND (ask your hotel or any travel shop). Four homestays provide overnight accommodation and dive tour operators are listed below.
|Blue Coral Diving
Add: 77 Nguyen Thai Hoc
Tel: +84 (0)935 857 578
Email: [email protected]
|Bai Huong Homestay
T: +84(0)120 237 8530
|Cham Island Diving
Add: 88 Nguyen Thai Hoc
Tel: +84 (0)235 3910 782
|Cham Island Guest House
Book through Cham Island Diving
|Cham Island Tours
Add: 142 Tran Nhan Tong
Tel: +84 (0) 235 362 3777
Email: [email protected]
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