Cham Archipelago – a must see site of a Hoi An tour

Photo of Entry:  Cham Archipelago – a must see site of a Hoi An tour

International visitors who go to Hoi An – a world cultural heritage city in the central region -- can enjoy a one-day or overnight tour of Cham Archipelago (Cu Lao Cham) in the East Sea, 10 nautical miles from Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An town. This island group has 3,000 inhabitants, most of whom make a living from fishing.

Cham is a 300 square-kilometer archipelago. It is also called Me Lao Cham (Mother of Cham Island) and has a 518m high mountain with three peaks, Ngoc Long, Tien But and Bat Lao, where the king of Cham Pa lived long ago.

Cham Archipelago has hundreds of small islands, including Hon La, Hon Kho, Hon Dai, Hon Man, Hon Lon Hon Loi and Hon En. They lie scattered in the East Sea. Hon En (island of Bird’s nest) is an island where a swallow’s nest industry is exploited by the local people and has an output of hundreds tons of bird’s nest yearly for Hoi An town. It was said that bird’s nest is Hoi An’s main product and it is exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.

Visitors can reach Cham island by tour boat or by high-speed boats from Hoi An’s Bach Dang Dang quay on a one-day or overnight tour.

The tour schedule is set as follows: At 8 p.m., visitors board the tourist boat at Bach Dang quay Bach Dang Street, Hoi An. The boat then advanced toward Cua Dai beach in one hour and stopped there for 15 minutes for receiving more guests boarding to Cham Island.

Sitting on comfortable chairs on the boat, visitors can get a good view of the sea where many small islands rise from the sea with several ranges of beautiful standing sea-pine.

At 10:30p.m., the boat reaches Cham Island. Visitors can walk by foot or ride pillion on a motorcycle to the guest’s houses or to a small hotel nearby where they can stay overnight. For lunch, there are several local specialties in the restaurants for the visitors to choose from such as shell-fish and other sea foods. On Cham Island, a shellfish called vúu nàang (the female shell’s breast meat) is served. Visitors will not forget the taste of it. This shellfish is baked over a coal fire and served with rau rung (a kind of vegetable in the forest) and salt, pepper and lemon slices. Beside this special shellfish, many other kinds of shell fish such as oc mat trang (moon’s face shell), oc sen bien (sea escargot) are served.

Visitors can go back to Hoi An at the end of a short tour at 12:30 p.m. on the same boat if they want.

In the afternoon, visitors can swim at Bai Ong Beach (whale beach), a desolate beach where they can contemplate a beautiful sunset on the sea.

At night, visitors can stroll along the seaside or sit in small chairs with a cup of coffee by their side and look over the sea by night. Hundreds of fishing boats with glittering lights on them appear before them from afar on the sea. These boats come back to the seaside the following morning with plenty of fresh fish in their holds. After that, the fish will be put on sale at the local markets.

On the second day, visitors can view the whole of Cham Island by taking a boat around the island. Starting from Bai Lang (Lang beach), they will visit next Bai Chong, Bai San Ho (coral beach) and finally Bai Huong. At the coral beach visitors can enjoy the seabed dive where they will discover the coral world in the deep sea.

It was known that a five-star hotel is now under construction at Bai Chong beach and planned to put in operation in the year 2010.

The tour ended at Bai Huong beach. Visitors will go back to the mainland by boat at 12:30 p.m. the following day.

Visitors can book a tour of Cham Archipelago at any travel agent in Hoi An town. A ticket is VND40,000 (US$2.40) (round trip)

Source SGGP

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