|With pristine scenery and white beaches, Cham Islands has been dubbed as a pearl. (Photo: Viet.ngoc.nguyen)
Cham Islands (Cu Lao Cham) off Hoi An city, central Quang Nam province, is dubbed as a pearl thanks to its pristine scenery and white beaches. Visitors to Cham Islands are also mesmerized by its diverse range of coral species.
|A peed boat carries visitors to Cham Islands. (Photo: danangaz.com)
A short distance from the heart of Hoi An City by boat, the Cham Islands comprises a cluster of eight islets forming a part of the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, a World Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO.
The eight islets are Hon La, Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon Kho Me, Hon Kho Con, Hon La, Hon Tai, and Hon Ong. Hon Dai is the largest and hosts one of the most breathtaking coral reefs in the area. Hon Dai and Hon Tai are ideal for coral diving.
|Cham Islands is a cluster of eight islets. ( (Photo: danangaz.com)
Surrounding these small islets are 300 different coral species clustered in colorful reefs observable through the clear, emerald-green water.
|There are 300 different coral species clustered in colorful reefs observable through the clear, emerald-green water. (Photo: Wygo.club)
The best time to explore Cham Islands is from March to August when the weather condition is favourable to see colorful coral species. During the remaining months, the islands would be isolated by storms. Tourists often dive at noon or in the afternoon when the sea water is clear, making it easier for them to see the coral.
|Tourists often dive at noon or in the afternoon when the sea water is clear, making it easier for them to see the coral. (Photo: Joe_komodo)
Putting on a diving suit and oxygen tank provided by tour organizers, visitors can dive into the refreshing water for a closer look at the coral.
Concealed behind schools of brightly colored fish, the coral reef appeals to the eyes as though it were a lady shying away from human admiration.
From Hoi An City, tourists can sign up for day tours to visit the Cham Islands at VND150,000-VND 1.4 million (USD 6.48-60.47) per person, or they can hire a boat from locals at a negotiable price.
There are around 3,000 residents living on the islands at present. It welcomed only 15,000 tourists in 2009, but the figure had risen to 415,000 by 2018. There are no poor households on the islands and annual average per capita income stands at 42 million VND (1,800 USD).
Cu Lao Cham is clear evidence of the possibility of harmonious links between nature and human beings./.