Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) – Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know

Cu Lao Cham is a destination that attracts thousands of tourists every year. If you are also passionate about pristine natural scenery, you cannot miss this place!

If you want to fully embrace the charming seascape of the central region of Vietnam, Cu Lao Cham Island is an unmissable destination. With its pristine and wild beauty, Cu Lao Cham attracts visitors from all over the world. It is a place where you can temporarily leave your worries behind, embrace the fresh energy from the green nature, the clear blue sky, cool water, and, of course, listen to the mysterious legends of the locals. Another advantage of Cu Lao Cham is its proximity to Hoi An and Da Nang, making it convenient for you to combine your trip within one or two days.

Where Is Cu Lao Cham ?

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Cu Lao Cham is also known as Chiem Bat Lao. This island has an area of about 15km2 and a population of over 2950 people living in Hoi An city, Quang Nam province, located 15km east from the mainland. Cu Lao Cham is the main island with the largest area, surrounded by 8 other small islands in the shape of an arc. Because it is still quite pristine, the ecosystem here is very rich.

Starting as a deserted island, in 2009 Cu Lao Cham was recognized by UNESCO as one of the world’s biosphere reserves. Since then, the island has been licensed for tourism development and promotion. With its rare natural beauty, Cu Lao Cham has become an attractive tourist destination in Da Nang and Hoi An.

Cu Lao Cham Ticket Prices

Cu Lao Cham is often included in island tours in Da Nang and Hoi An. The price of Cu Lao Cham tickets from Cua Dai port is 450,000 VND/person, including the following items:

  • Cu Lao Cham entrance fee: 70,000 VND/person.
  • Ecological fee in Cu Lao Cham: 20,000 VND/person.
  • Canoe price: 200,000 VND/person/trip (departure at 8:30 AM daily in both directions).
  • For guests who choose to travel by wooden boat, the price is 150,000 VND/person/trip (departure at 8:00 AM daily).
    (*) The ticket price for Cu Lao Cham above is for reference only. Service costs may vary depending on the time of purchase or visit.

Budget-friendly and convenient Cu Lao Cham tours for travelers

As a famous destination near Da Nang city, Cu Lao Cham tours have developed significantly in recent years. Depending on their preferences, travelers can choose to explore only Cu Lao Cham or combine it with other destinations such as Hoi An, Da Nang, Son Tra Peninsula, etc. The more they travel, the more they save. The only drawback is that travelers may get confused among the options or (worse) choose the wrong price level. When choosing a Cu Lao Cham tour, it is recommended to prioritize itineraries that explore nature while still leaving room for cultural experiences. This way, travelers can have a comprehensive and exciting view of Cu Lao Cham after their trip.

Weather in Cu Lao Cham, Quang Nam

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

The best time to visit Cu Lao Cham is from March to August when the weather is warm and sunny, the sea is calm, and there is little rain, making it ideal for outdoor activities. The rest of the year is usually stormy, with rough seas and big waves, so there are no boats taking you to the island. If you want to combine a trip to Cu Lao Cham with a tour of Hoi An, it is recommended to go on the full moon day of the lunar calendar to admire the sparkling lanterns and enjoy the romantic atmosphere.

Experiences for Self-Guided Travel to Cu Lao Cham

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Are you planning a self-guided trip to Cu Lao Cham? Your trip will be much smoother if you prepare some experiences and tips beforehand. Here is some useful information that will surely come in handy:

Transportation to Cu Lao Cham

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Since Cu Lao Cham is an island located 15km away from the mainland, there are two main means of transportation to get there: canoe and wooden boat.


Canoes are suitable for those who love adventure and enjoy the thrill of riding the waves. The advantage of traveling to Cu Lao Cham by canoe is that it saves time – it takes only about 20 minutes. However, the cost is quite high, around 200,000 VND per person, so you should consider it carefully.

Wooden boat

A wooden boat provides a gentle and relaxing ride on the sea, allowing you to admire the beautiful scenery during the journey. It is cheaper than a canoe, costing only 150,000 VND for Vietnamese people and 200,000 VND for foreigners. However, it may not be suitable for those who easily get seasick, and the travel time is slower. Note: If you want to bring your motorbike to the island, you will have to pay an additional fee of 50,000 VND per vehicle.

Essential Items to Bring When Visiting Cu Lao Cham

On Cu Lao Cham Island, there are plenty of exciting recreational activities to enjoy, so you need to prepare your luggage carefully for a convenient trip. In addition to personal items, you should bring the following necessary items:

  1. Beachwear
  2. Hat and sunscreen
  3. Seasickness medicine, stomachache medicine, headache medicine
  4. Personal papers (to rent a motorbike to explore the island if desired)
  5. Personal medical kit to prevent unexpected injuries.

What to Buy in Cu Lao Cham ?

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

The specialties in Cu Lao Cham are countless, not only the food but also the decorative items that make visitors fall in love and can’t leave. You can’t miss these 5 specialties in Cu Lao Cham when you visit here.

1. One-Sun Squid: This type of squid is sun-dried once and grilled to be very crispy and fragrant.

2. Nipple Snail: This may be the first time you hear this strange name. Nipple Snails only appear on full moon days. They have a cone-like shape that looks like a young girl’s breast. Nipple Snails can be cooked into many delicious dishes with a sweet and unforgettable taste!

3. Abalone: Cu Lao Cham has a lot of Abalone, which live by sticking tightly to underwater rocks on the beach, making it difficult to separate. Abalone meat is crispy, sweet, and can be cooked into many dishes such as garlic stir-fry, steamed with ginger, stir-fried, etc.

4. Wild Vegetables: There are 16 types of wild vegetables in Cu Lao Cham with the taste and aroma of medicinal herbs growing at the foot of the mountain. If you want to eat wild vegetables, come to Cu Lao Cham in early summer because this is the harvest time for vegetables. Boiled vegetables served with dipping sauce are not only delicious but also good for health.

5. Souvenirs: The souvenirs in Cu Lao Cham are diverse, from bracelets, wind chimes, bags, etc., all made from seashells that are very unique and eye-catching.

What to Do in Cu Lao Cham?

It is not by chance that Cu Lao Cham has become a tourist destination attracting visitors from everywhere. Here, there are diverse entertainment and recreational activities along with beautiful sea and island landscapes like in a dream!

Bai Ong Beach

Bai Ong Beach is one of the four most famous beaches here. In the past, it was a place of residence for the ancient people of Tien Sa Huynh with a history dating back more than 3000 years. Nowadays, this area is still preserved to serve scientific research projects. Therefore, Bai Ong Beach in Cu Lao Cham is not only a beautiful scenic spot but also a destination that carries the cultural and historical significance of Vietnam that deserves respect. As a famous tourist destination, Bai Ong Beach is integrated with various entertainment services to serve tourists such as swimming, coral diving, giant floating houses, restaurants, picnics, etc.

Fishing in Cu Lao Cham:

If you are a skilled fisherman, how can you miss the recreational fishing activities in Cu Lao Cham? Rent a fisherman’s boat, they will prepare fishing equipment and bait for you. With the enthusiastic guidance of the boat owner, you can freely fish and bring back your “trophies”. In addition, you can take a boat tour around the large and small islands to admire the beauty of this place. At night, there is also a squid fishing activity by a basket boat for you to experience something extremely new. Fish and squid will be taken to processing shops for you to enjoy right on the spot. What could be better than that?

Bai Xep Beach

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Bai Xep Beach impresses tourists with its pristine beauty and tranquility. This beach is home to rare and precious coral species that are being preserved. The seawater is so clear that you can observe the bottom even when standing on the shore. This is also an ideal destination for exciting coral diving activities in Cu Lao Cham.

Bai Bac Beach

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

This is a beach located far from the central area of the island, so it is still quite pristine. There are resorts and small restaurants serving tourists here. You may not know, this place is chosen by scientific researchers to preserve rare sea turtles and in the future will develop a form of visiting turtle eggs hatching similar to Con Dao.

Bai Ruong Beach

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Bai Ruong Beach is located between Ong Beach and Bac Beach. This beach is quite small, so it is not exploited for tourism. However, because of this, those who love adventure tourism can set up tents and organize picnics here.

Cham Ancient Well

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Cham Ancient Well in Xom Cam is located at the intersection of the roads in the Xom Cam residential area. About 500m to the northeast is the ancient relic of Tien Sa Huynh of Ong Beach, and about 300m to the southwest is the archaeological site of Bai Lang. The structure of the Cham ancient well has a characteristic style similar to many other Cham wells in Hoi An.

Residents of Bai Lang village say that the Xom Cam well is a plentiful source of water for people in the area. The special thing is that the water from this well never runs out, even during the dry season with the lowest rainfall.

According to many locals, the water of Cham Ancient Well in Xom Cam is extremely effective in treating seasickness. If anyone is traveling from the mainland to Cu Lao Cham and gets seasick, they can take water from this well and boil it with herbs growing in the forest of Cu Lao Cham, and drinking it will cure seasickness right away.

Scientists have not yet determined the exact age of Cham Ancient Well. However, through comparing and cross-referencing evidence from ancient sources, experts believe that Xom Cam well may have been built over 200 years ago.

Cham Island Marine Museum

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Cu Lao Cham, like other biosphere reserves in Vietnam, has beautiful beaches, pristine scenery, and abundant seafood. But what leaves an impression on tourists is that the locals here know how to exploit the inherent advantages of their living area.

The Cu Lao Cham Marine Museum is always the first stop for tourists when they first arrive at the port. Although the museum is not large, with an enthusiastic voice full of pride in the history of Cu Lao Cham, you will be drawn into the timeline of those years. From the history of formation, traditional customs of islanders, festivals, or precious products of the sea in this area will surely give you a surprisingly interesting experience.

Sea trekking

Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) - Day Tour & Self-Guided Travel Tips You Should Know.

Sea trekking is an exciting activity in tours. You will admire the enchanting beauty of coral reefs and diverse sea creatures – things that are usually seen only on screens. You can completely rest assured because coral reef diving is very safe, with the guidance of professional divers, so you don’t need to worry!

After this exciting introduction, are you eager to pack your bags and come to Cu Lao Cham right away? There are thousands of exciting things at Cu Lao Cham waiting for you to discover.

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