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Cham island is a cluster of eight islands off the Hoi An coast, belonging to Tan Hiep Commune, Hoi An city, Quang Nam Province. From Cua Dai Beach of Hoi An city, you need to travel by boat for about 18 kilometers to reach the clusters of Cham island.

In Vietnamese, we call this cluster Cu Lao Cham. Cu Lao means an island built up by the deposits of soil and rocks from the river or the sea flows. People have inhabited Cham island for about 2,500 years. On Cham island, there are many artifacts proving the existence of the Cham civilization and the Vietnamese people in the past. You can easily encounter buildings that are hundreds of years old. Cham island possesses a large biodiverse area with many flora, fauna, and a rich marine ecology. In 2009, Cham Island Biosphere Reserve was recognized by UNESCO.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Cham Islands is from March until September, due to the sunny weather and great water conditions. If you’re planning to dive or snorkel during your visit, we highly recommend visiting between June and August. There are plenty of dive centres and tour companies offering day trips to Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, where you can find a variety of colourful corals and marine life.

The Cham Islands are inaccessible during the monsoon period, which takes place between October and February. The islands experience strong winds and waves that make traveling dangerous so there are no trips available at this time of the year.

Check the below table for the general idea of Cham Islands weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 24.4 21.2 18.6
Feb 26.6 22.8 19.9
Mar 28.4 24.6 21.7
Apr 31.1 26.8 23.5
May 34.1 28.8 25
Jun 35.2 30 25.9
Jul 34.6 29.4 25.3
Aug 34.1 29.1 25.2
Sep 32.2 27.7 24.2
Oct 29.7 26.1 23.1
Nov 27.9 24.8 22.2
Dec 25.5 22.4 19.9

Cham Islands’s current weather and 7-day forecast


Here are top things to do & see in Cham Islands:

What to See

Cham Island Marine Museum

This museum is the first place you see once you set foot on Cham island. You will learn about the history of the island’s establishment, the traditions and customs of the locals, the festivals, and special sea creatures of this land.

Address: Ong Beach (Bai Ong), Cham island

Cham people’s Ancient Well

The Cham people dug this well about 200 years ago and it still provides fresh water. The architecture of this well is similar to other Cham wells in Hoi An city, which have a pipe shape, a surrounding square base, a square pillar marking each of the four corners, and annular arrangement of bricks. Though it’s been 200 years, this well has never been dry, even in the driest season, say the locals.

It is also named Xom Cam Well (the well of the forbidden village) because it is located in Xom Cam.

Address: Xom Cam Village, Cham island

Hai Tang Pagoda

Hai Tang Pagoda is used to worship the Buddha, Bodhisattva, local god, and sea god in order for the residents to practice Buddhism and pray for their safety and prosperity. It was first built in 1758, 200 meters away from its present location. Due to a destructive storm, in 1848 locals moved it, rebuilt it, and redecorated. Hai Tang Pagoda is at the foot of the west mountain of Hon Lao island, facing a small valley, the only paddy field of Cham island.

Legend has it that a ship carrying many wooden pillars from the north to the south of Vietnam stopped at Cham island but it couldn’t move anymore because of the strong storm. Then, a person entered Cham island to pray, and the God of the Sea told him that the wooden pillars should be used to construct a pagoda on this island. Thus, the crew and locals together built the pagoda and named it Hai Tang Pagoda. Hai means the sea, Tang means Tipitaka, the Buddhist holy books storing words of the Buddha. The name Hai Tang means this pagoda possesses the teaching of Buddha as much as the sea.

Address: Hon Lao Island, Cham island

Tan Hiep Market

Locals usually call this market Cu Lao Cham Market. It’s right next to the pier. You can buy seafood, wild animal meat, and souvenirs. Travelers often buy half-dried cuttlefish to bring back home. Because seafood is fished near the island, it’s very fresh and cheap.

Address: Cham Island Pier

Temple of Bird’s Nest Business Founders

This temple was constructed in the early 19th century to worship the founders of the bird’s nest business and to protect the god of this business. It also worships the gods of the sea, just like Hai Tang Pagoda.

Every year on the ninth and tenth of March in the lunar calendar, locals celebrate to pray for a new harvest of bird’s nest.

Address: Huong Beach (Bai Huong), Cham island

What to Do

Camping on Cham Island

In addition to hostels and homestays, you can go camping on your own to enjoy the wild environment of this island. I recommend going with a group of friends and being well-prepared before camping.

In Bai Ong and Bai Huong you can use the services offered by locals. Otherwise, Bai Bim and Bai Xep are the best choices for those travelers who love enjoying open spaces and wild nature.

Sea Trekking

You don’t have to know how to swim or dive to take a sea trekking tour! All you need to do is wear a functional hat and walk to the sea. Sea Trek Vietnam offers this service. This service is for people ages eight to 80. You also don’t have to practice before walking five meters under water. The beauty of schools of fish and the coral reefs will surprise you immediately.

Sea Trek Vietnam

Address: 160A Nguyen Duy Hieu Street, Hoi An city (you have to contact them before going to Cham island.)

Contact: (+84) 905 958 528 or (+84) 979 637 651


Snorkeling gives you the chance to observe the colorful coral reefs of Cham Island Biosphere Reserve. Most of the tours to Cham island offer snorkeling, but you can also go by yourself easily. At the island pier, you can buy a ticket to go snorkeling with full equipment and also a guide. The price is about 200,000 VND.

Every year, more and more people visit to go snorkeling and destroy the coral reefs, diminishing the biodiversity of Cham island. Therefore, you should not do any harm to the coral reefs and refrain from touching the beautiful corals to protect the biodiversity. In fact, this is also against the law!

There are no resorts or five star hotels on Cham Island. The main accommodation options are hostels and homestays located primarily along Bai Chong Beach. This only shows that Cham Island has not been exploited for tourism, it still retains its unspoiled beauty. The price varies from around 50,000 to 100,000 VND per person, or 150,000 to 200,000 VND for a double room.

Recommended homestays

  • Trang Vu Homestay Cu Lao Cham
  • Tám Thọ homestay
  • Tuan Thanh Homestay
  • Hammock Homestay
  • Cham Island Homestay Lau Thu
  • Hiep Tung homestay

Come to Cham Island, eating Seafood is the first thing you should think. The seafood is fresh and delicious, especially so cheap and processed on the spot.

When joining the Cham Island tour, they must think: This place is definitely seafood, species are very delicious. We share with you this is only 80% true. In addition to seafood specialties, come to Cham Island you will be enjoyed other specialties besides seafood. Let’s go explore to Cu Lao Cham, what delicious food?

  • Nests
  • Stone Crab
  • Abalone
  • Sea urchins
  • Lobster
  • Jungle vegetable
  • Quang Noodles
  • Husband and wife cakes

The best dishes of Cham Island are waiting for you. What are you waiting for, booking Cham Island tour 1 day to enjoy.

How to get to Cham Island

There are 3 ways to get to Cham Island. Either by ferry, speed boat or package tour. However, the package tour is the most common option because you will have more time to discover the island than the other option.

With the other options, be careful because if you are late for the boat getting back to the mainland, then you will be stuck on the island.

+ Public Ferry Hoi An to Cham Island

The public ferry is a much slower mode of transport than the others, but it’s also one that is much kinder on your wallet—and your stomach. It travels to the Cham Islands once every day, and it can be caught from two locations, An Hoi and Cua Dai Pier. It is recommended to go the An Hoi Pier if you’re traveling as a group of three or less.

If you’re traveling with three or more people, we’d suggest catching the ferry at Cua Dai Pier. You’ll have more time to get your things together in the morning, and it will be the same price if not cheaper than catching the ferry at An Hoi.

+ Hoi An to Cham Island by Speedboat

Traveling by speedboat is the fastest way to reach the islands, taking only around 20 minutes. The average price is around 300,000 VND (13 USD) for a one-way trip. While you can book directly with captains at Cua Dai Pier, Hidden suggests going through your hotel or a travel agent. So this way you have a business to go back to if any issues should arise.

To return to Hoi An from Hon Lao, there are a few agents in Bai Lang that will arrange a ride for you. Depending on the time of day, the price may vary on what boats are available.

Please note: Be aware that as the day moves on past 1:00 p.m., the chance of getting a speedboat back to the mainland will begin to dwindle. Getting one after 3:00 p.m. is rare. Plan your trip accordingly.

+ To Cham island by tour packages

This is the most common option. The tour packages normally include snorkeling, visiting beaches, a stop at one of the two villages, and a lunch. It provides you with multiple snorkeling spots and ample time to soak up some rays on the beach after the other tour groups head back to Hoi An.

Getting around

If you plan to stay on Hon Lao, please note that tourists are not allowed to rent a scooter here. The reason given is that the roads are too dangerous, but more likely is because the island also has a military base. Some homestays have no problems with renting out a motorbike to you. The cost is around 200,000 VND a day.

Another way to to hire a motorbike driver for a day who will drive you around the island. There is only one road around Hon Lao island with stunning views of the ocean and the neighbouring islands.

Contact us to get more information


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