To give you a complete introduction about The Cham islands, I’m afraid I ‘m not able to do that, but I will share things that I believe to be more interesting based on what I experienced.
How do I get to The Cham islands?
From Hoi An, there’re two kinds of transportation that can get you to the islands which are wooden ship and canoe. You can save yourself from many problems if you read this review thoroughly first. Practically, if you want to get there as soon as possible, especially those who easily get seasick, please by all means stay away from the wooden ship. I’m sure you won’t be even able to walk after the trip.
If you choose the canoe, it will only take 20 mins. Although it has higher price (150.000VND/person) but it suits those who like adventurous and also less seasick. There’re many canoe trip and it arrives at Cua Dai port. Tickets can be bought at the dock and many other travel agents.
I arrived on the stormy day
The most suitable time that you can travel to Cham islands is from March to August every year because of the warm weather, peaceful sea. The islands are nearly quarantined in the rest of the year due to storms.
I arrived with my colleagues in October 2015, the time when the weather forecast predicted a storm but not big enough to affect the trip. On the day we arrived to Cua Dai port at Hoi An city, the weather was fined for the first 20 minutes when I can enjoyed being on the canoe and imagined of the stunning coral reef. When we get to the islands, things started to get worst. Getting an information that there was going to be a storm at 14pm, the whole schedule had to go faster. I believe that you can imagine when you had just hold the cup of beer and got urged in order to rush to beach before the storm arrived. And that moment when you knew that 5 minutes were all you had to enjoy the beach.
I heard that the residents on the islands have many interesting festivals, you can choose to join “Cau Ngu” festivals from the 3th to the 4th of April (lunar calendar) or the “salangane ancestry” on the 9th and 10th of March (lunar calendar).
It might sound scary but it not really as bad as I told you, we can still visit the village on the island. The village itself may be small but it has nearly everything: sea creatures, football field, pagodas and especially the Ancient Cham Well. It was crafted many old symbols on it so people believe that washing their face there will bring them luck.
The Cham Islands sell many souvenirs at Tan Hiep market, this especially is a female tourist attraction. I heard before that this pace have total 7 beaches located from the North West to the South East, I’ll list these beaches down here:
1. North Beach: many natural caves and not many people know this place
2. Ong Beach: It’s located near Lang Beach, next to the dock. This is the most crowded beach and tourists usually come here and have lunch because there are many restaurants here.
3. Lang Beach: It is more like a fishing dock than a bathing-place.
4. Xep Beach: It haven’s been used for anything purpose so the whole area is still very quiet
5. Chong Beach: a sandy and beautiful beach with a place for taking a bath and a changing room. There’s also a lake with a small bridge on it. The cost for taking a bath here is about 15.000VND.
6. Bim Beach: The water here is pristine and it’s free to swim here
7. Huong Beach: Hard to swim because there’re many boat here but the sea food is delicious.
Luckily, I was able to visit 2 beaches during my trip. Taking to many pictures at Bim beach reduced the time that I could observe the coral reef.
Back to the time when there was a storm at 14pm:
10 minutes was all I had to watch the coral reef, those who could dive deeper get to see more than those who could only be on the surface. I thought the situation could not get any worst, but I turned out that I lost my canoe when I backed to the shore. I was so scare and after a few minutes of screaming, someone came and took me back.
That’s all, my Cham Islands trip which I call “a stormy trip”. Although it was not really like what I expected but it was definitely a memorable experience to me. What happened was a lesson for the future and I really hope that what I told you here can help you. Have a fun trip to Cham Islands !