If you’ve had your fill of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are a bit worn out from endless walks through history or you’re trying to escape the maze of omnipresent tourism in Vietnam… there’s an oasis waiting for you. Head to the central coast of the country, stand on the beautiful My Khe beach of Da Nang or Cua Dai beach of Hoi An and gaze out upon your personal getaway.
Only 14 kilometers off the coast of Quang Nam (the province of which Hoi An belongs) are 8 islets known as the Cham Islands. Rich in culture and history (like everywhere in Vietnam), these islands have been inhabited by humans for over 2,500 years and were considered a holy land for the Cham peoples. Comprised mostly of mountains and jungles, these islets, of which only one is inhabited, are a true walk back into the country and region’s history. Locals still thrive and operate completely separate from the bustling area of Hoi An and rely on fishing (and now tourism) to help sustain their community.
Whether taking a slow cruise or a speedboat out to the islands, the journey to Cham is truly magnificent. Far away from the tourist streets of Hoi An, the buzz of the motorbikes and honks of autos, there’s nothing but fresh ocean air and the bubble of the East Sea to carry you out. Whether looking for a peaceful cruise, adventurous activities or even an overnight stay, the options aim to please everyone. If you’re tight on time, you may only want to take a photo tour of the area (both land and sea). Half day trips carry you from Hoi An’s port to Cham, with a quick viewing of the island and picturesque ocean cruise along the way.
If you have a day (or two) to spare, various companies offer snorkeling and diving trips off the Cham Coast, which is said to be some of the most beautiful in the entire country. Head underwater and dive with trained professionals for one of the most beautiful and exhilarating experiences in life. The best time to visit? Generally around May-August when the waters are warm, calm and most importantly, clear. If you’re ready for the full on experience, book an overnight stay on Cham where you can sleep on the beach, eat with the locals, drink by a fire and experience the serenity of Cham at night. If you’re traveling with friends or family, you may just be the only people on the beach!
With day tours on the islands, hiking trails, fishing villages, underwater activities and some of the most pristine (and empty) tropical beaches along Vietnam’s central coast, a visit to the Cham Islands is a must. If you’re not sure what tour suits you the best, allow the MinMax travel experts to walk you through the options and packages available. One of the most memorable and least experienced trips by tourists in the area, take the cruise out to the Cham Islands, you will not regret it!