Self-sufficient Cu Lao Cham travel experience 2023 diving to see corals

Cu Lao Cham – an extremely attractive destination of Da Nang – Hoi An tourism. Not only attractive with the long-standing cultural heritages of the Vietnamese and Cham people. This island also owns a cool year-round climate, a rich ecosystem, and pristine and charming beaches. For all these reasons, it attracts more and more domestic and foreign tourists. If you have the opportunity to come to Quang Nam, next to the ancient Hoi An, do not miss an island that has captivated many beautiful souls. And the self-sufficient and detailed Cu Lao Cham travel experiences below will contribute to you a perfect trip, stay tuned!

The ideal time to travel to Cu Lao Cham

As a fan of sea and island tourism and have also visited many islands in Vietnam, I have experienced that if you want to travel to Cu Lao Cham, you must choose the right time. Accordingly, the period from March to September I find the most appropriate. Because it is sunny at this time, the weather is very warm, especially without rain, which is very convenient for sightseeing and participating in activities on the island.

The sea surface is small and blue, and the water is so clear that you can see the bottom. You will be spoiled for fun from one beach to another, enjoying swimming and immersing yourself in the cool water. Moreover, the weather in this season is also very convenient for traveling by canoe, taking pictures and especially ideal for diving and watching corals.
You should limit traveling to Cu Lao Cham from October to February. During this time, the central climate is quite bad, with a lot of rain, and rough seas and Cu Lao Cham is often isolated from the mainland. The weather is also cold, it is difficult to dive and see the coral and the sea is not clear and beautiful.

What to prepare before the trip to Cu Lao Cham?

This is a very important job. Whether going to Cu Lao Cham or going anywhere, with careful and decent preparation for everything, the trip will be “smooth sailing”. I have made a specific schedule so that I can quickly select the necessary items, both complete and neat. Some “things” you need to have are:
Jacket, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, an umbrella, sunscreen, swimwear

  • A very soft shoe for easy movement, a pair of flip flops
  • Anti-motion sickness medicine, cold medicine, stomach pain medicine …
  • Identity document (if you intend to rent a motorbike to visit the island), electricity, fully charged camera

NOTE: Cu Lao Cham is striving to become a “no plastic bag” island. People note that do not bring plastic bags to the island, but replace them with “eco bags”. If there are too many items, you can buy them at Cua Dai pier, they sell a lot!

How far is Cu Lao Cham from Da Nang and Hoi An?

  • Distance from Da Nang to Cu Lao Cham: Da Nang is about 42 km from Cu Lao Cham including land and sea. Experience after going to Cu Lao Cham by myself, I estimate the distance to travel by road is 27 km to Cua Dai port and 15 km by sea.
  • Distance from Hoi An to Cu Lao Cham: Even though Cua Dai port is in Hoi An, moving from the Old Quarter to the port also takes about 8 km. And adding 15 km by sea, the total distance also takes 23k m.
    With my Cu Lao Cham travel experience, whether you depart from Da Nang or Hoi An or from another place, you still have to go to one of two wharves, An Hoi wharf or Cua Dai wharf, but often people go to Cua Dai port. Greater than.

How to travel from Da Nang and Hoi An to Cua Dai port

To move to Cua Dai port from Da Nang or Hoi An, you can choose many different means. The path is beautiful and flat, so it is easy to move.
◊ TAXI: To me, taxis are only for people with little economic wealth or a large group of people because the taxi price is quite expensive. In return, when you choose this form, you do not have to find your way and are quite comfortable and comfortable. Just go online to search for a taxi in Da Nang or in Hoi An and you will find a variety of car companies and phone numbers for you to contact.

TRAVEL VEHICLES (GRAP): Choose a tourist car if you go with a lot of people and know how to drive. This way is quite proactive in terms of time, and also quite pleasant. But like taxis, car rental is quite expensive!
◊ MOTORCYCLE: For the youngest people who love to travel, riding a motorbike is a good decision. Riding a motorbike, you are free to enjoy the scenery, stop and park where you want, in general, be proactive about both the time and the schedule. It is important to save costs because the daily car rental is only from 100,000 – 150,000 VND/ just car.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you go by all 3 methods above, you should also book a tour ticket to pick up the port in advance for cheap. But going to the service port will increase to about 100k / 1 person.

Traveling by canoe to Cu Lao Cham island

Currently, Cu Lao Cham tourism is mainly traveling by canoe to the island. The time from Cua Dai Port if you go by canoe only takes about 15 minutes, very fast and convenient. In general, those of you who are often drunk, but also feel more secure because you have not arrived in time to get drunk. Canoeing is so much fun, being able to “fly” on the waves, being immersed in nature…

The departure time of the most crowded canoes is usually from 8 am to 9 pm because this time there are many tourists, easy to join groups. After 9 o’clock, few people go, and the canoe is difficult to run. If you plan to go to Cu Lao Cham in the afternoon, you should consider it. Or if you intend to rent a private canoe, I think it is not necessary. Because the cost is quite high compared to joining a group or renting separately, it takes 20-30 people to save.
NOTE: The most difficult thing is the problem of booking canoe tickets. Sometimes they still have to go back to their destination because they run out of tickets or have to wait until noon. It’s best when you don’t have much experience going to Cu Lao Cham, just book a tour, it’s both quick and convenient and I think it’s sometimes cheaper than going on your own.

If you take a round trip ticket to Cu Lao Cham, then take a canoe back to that canoe (remember to save the canoe owner’s phone number), and if you go one way (usually 1 night out there), remember the time to travel to the mainland. The most crowded is around 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm because at that time the tour groups also come back. But not all ships can go because there are enough people specified they will not put more people on. Ideally, you should ask the people, and ask the owner of the motel you stay in for their help.
Buy a canoe ticket, you just go straight to the wharf, there are many ticket companies there. The ticket price is about 600.000 VNĐ/2 way, going back in the day including the ticket price to the island. If you go one way, it’s about 300.000 VNĐ/way, about 250k/way back. Note that on peak days you should not risk yourself to travel to Cu Lao Cham. Because it is easy to “sold out” canoe tickets because the tour companies have bought them all.

Book a cheap tour to Cu Lao Cham

I share this move with you because recently, I have personally tried it myself. The day tour to Cu Lao Cham has many advantages that you should consider.
ABOUT CONVENIENCE: Needless to say, the tour has a shuttle bus, and there is a guide to guide you in detail and arrange everything, you just have to follow their instructions. The tour also includes lunch at the most beautiful 4-star restaurant on the island with local specialties and delectable seafood.

ABOUT PRICE: With only 620,000 VND/person, the price must be said to be too cheap for a full day of the experience. It will save a lot more than being self-sufficient. Renting a car to move, buying a canoe ticket, sightseeing, eating, and snorkeling can be up to 1 million VND/per person.

You can book the service through the tour operator below:

  • OKTRIP.VN – An Tâm Trên Mọi Hành Trình
  • Address : 46 Ho Tuong street – An Khe Ward– Thanh Khe District – Da Nang City.
  • Whatsapp: (+84) 905.263.008
  • Kakaotalk: vonhan123
  • H/Zalo: 0901.14.24.33
  • Website:

Means of transportation on the island

◊ Rent a motorbike to explore the green island of Cu Lao Cham, you should rent a motorbike, move around the island, and visit tourist attractions for convenience. Car rental here is quite expensive from 150.000 -200.000 vnd/day (this is understandable because it is very difficult to transport vehicles or gasoline to the island). You can book a car rental at Bai Lang, near the pier, or most conveniently, you can ask directly where your friend is staying.

◊Rent a boat to visit Cu Lao Cham
This is a very interesting activity you should try when traveling to Cu Lao Cham on your own. Depending on the type of boat, the schedule is different, and the price is different, but usually, people take a boat with a capacity of about 5 people, and the price for each boat is 350k – 400k. The boat will take you to beautiful beaches such as Lang beach, Kep beach, Chong beach, Huong beach, and Yen island in about half a day.

Where to stay when traveling to Cu Lao Cham | Homestay or motel?

Currently, in Cu Lao Cham, there are only 2 areas where people live, Lang beach and Huong beach, if you want to spend the night you should only stay in one of these spots. However, because the physical conditions on the island are not too developed, apart from a few motels, the main form of accommodation here is still homestay. I did not stay, but I read the reviews of previous people and said that Uncle Long’s Hai Long homestay in Huong beach was highly appreciated. The uncle and aunt are enthusiastic, the room is very clean, and the price is also cheap, about 150.000 vnd – 200.000 vnd/ room / 2 people. If you want, you can contact 0359 960 820 to meet Uncle Long to ask specifically about transportation, accommodation, car rental, boat rental …

In addition, you can refer to some of the following motels:

  • Huynh Van Tri Hostel: Address Bai Lang, Cu Lao Cham – Phone: 0974994189
  • Thu Trang Hostel: Address Bai Lang, Cu Lao Cham – Phone: 0985237941
  • Hoa Bien Hostel: Address Bai Lang, Cu Lao Cham – Phone: 01696037322
  • Ms. Lan: Address Bai Huong, Cu Lao Cham – Phone: 0510 3863822
  • Ms. Hiep: Address Bai Huong, Cu Lao Cham – Phone: 0986651448

What to eat when traveling to Cu Lao Cham?

Delicious dishes on the island For the most convenience in eating, you can contact the owner of the accommodation to order rice for peace of mind. The price of 1 serving is only about 50,000 VND. If you want to eat on your own or enjoy more of the cuisine here, you can refer to some of the dishes below:

  • Squid is 1 sunny: Here the squid has just been caught and dried in only 1 sun, ensuring that when you try it, you will want to buy it to bring back to your family.
  • Rock Crab: This is a big, strong, mountain-dwelling crab with an impressive color different from the crabs I usually see. This crab can be processed into many different dishes and is often bought by tourists to the mainland.
  • This snail rarely, when soaked for a few hours, only catches a small amount, so the price is a bit high, but when you enjoy it, you will be addicted right away, it is worth the “great money”.
  • Forest vegetables: When quite a lot of protein-rich dishes become cold, Cu Lao Cham forest vegetables are the dish that most tourists choose. Boiled or stir-fried wild vegetables are the most enjoyed. It’s a strange taste is easy to eat with chili garlic fish sauce, and is very delicious.
  • Little hemp leaves cake: You will find them selling a lot at the piers on Cu Lao Cham. The cake is wrapped with forest leaves that have a different aroma and are unique to this place.
  • Grilled oysters: This is also a popular dish, often served on the menu at restaurants. Sweet oysters combined with onion fat and roasted peanuts are very delicious.

What places should not be missed when traveling to Cu Lao Cham?

Some people have no experience, especially those who go for the first time like me, surely when coming to Cu Lao Cham, they will not be able to help but wonder what Cu Lao Cham has. Here are some tourist attractions that you should visit to visit, learn and take pictures of:

♦ Lao Cham Beaches In Cu Lao Cham, there are many beautiful beaches with clear, blue water such as Ong beach, Lang beach, Xep beach, Chong beach, Huong beach, etc. cool water, dispel the heat of the sweltering summer and enjoy the fresh air. Note that Bai Huong alone is moored with many rocks, so it is not suitable for swimming!

♦ CO LAO CHAM SEA RESERVATION Immediately after leaving the Harbor Bridge, you can come here to visit. Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area is a place to give you a comprehensive view of the life, culture, and customs of the ancient people living on the island. Because in the museum displays a lot of artifacts related to the island’s history and traditions.

♦ CAMPA ANCIENT FIRE This is an ancient relic of Tien Sa Huynh which is also a place to supply fresh water for the whole island whether it is the dry season or the rainy season. Champa ancient well Cu Lao Cham is located in the residential area of Cam hamlet, built in the style of an ancient well of the Cham people. I see that whoever wants to have a lover, boys take 7 sips, girls take 9 sips; Who wants to escape loneliness, take 3 sips…

This pagoda is located in the west, at the foot of Hon Lao mountain. Not as large and superficial as the temples on the mainland, Hai Tang Pagoda stands out with the set of the Three Worlds Buddhas and the statue of Shakyamuni sitting on the Lotus. This place represents the beliefs of the ancient people with unique and sacred architecture associated with mysterious legends and this is also the tourist attraction of the temple.

Located right next to the pier area is Tan Hiep market, also known as Cu Lao Cham market. This is the main trading place on the island. When visitors come here, they can choose and buy any specialties, the freshest seafood, and souvenirs as gifts at quite cheap prices.

In addition, if you have time, you can also visit the Temple of Profession Yen, Chong Communal House, Eo Gio Cu Lao Cham, Ong Ngu mausoleum, etc.

Cu Lao Cham travel experience | Interesting experiences on the island

Although the island is small and still quite wild and isolated, Cu Lao Cham is still attractive enough for tourists. In addition to the famous attractions, there are countless other interesting experiences waiting for you to explore such as:
Diving to see the corals of Cu Lao Cham

In addition to swimming, usually, when renting a boat to visit the island, they will always come with a diving service to see the coral. When participating, you will be fully equipped with life jackets, diving goggles, and instructions on how to breathe and how to aim. So rest assured that whether you know how to swim or not, you can still comfortably admire the beautiful coral reefs and marine life below.

Walk under the sea to explore the vast ocean
In addition to diving to see shallow corals, whether traveling to Cu Lao Cham on your own or on a tour, you can still participate in deep diving activities to see 10m coral or walk under the sea to see corals. These 2 activities have different ticket prices. For the sea walking tour, you will be equipped with a special hat to help you breathe in the water environment. With the guidance of a guide, you will freely explore the world of the ocean.

Visiting the small islands in Cu Lao Cham
Not only is there a Cham island, there are also 8 other small islands for you to explore. You can rent a boat on your own to visit the beauty of these natural unspoiled islands. The rental price is about 600k boats, specified in a certain number of hours. You can combine groups to save more.

Camping and stargazing at night on Cu Lao Cham island
In Cu Lao Cham at night, young people often rent arches to sleep at the beach, from 9pm to 10pm, there is a fun festival to exchange and campfire organized by young people. Playing here in the evening is quite fun and bustling, at night watching the sky here and the stars on the island – a scene that can be said to be too great for young couples who want to have a romantic feeling together. It will be unforgettable in life if those who have been here and experienced that interesting thing.

NOTE: When you stay for 1 night, the next day the sea is rough and you have to stay out there. Should be balanced if you do not have an early flight back the next day.

Experience and some general notes when traveling to Cu Lao Cham

Cham Island is very beautiful and extremely worth going to, so if you are self-sufficient and traveling to Da Nang, remember to stop by. Here are some of my own experiences as well as some notes you need to remember when going to Cu Lao Cham on your own:

  • If you have time, you should stay one night in Cu Lao Cham, and rent a motorbike to go around the island.
  • Do not bring, or use plastic bags when going to Cu Lao Cham island.
  • Bring a waterproof camera bag or a waterproof phone, to take pictures while swimming, or snorkeling.
  • Families with small children or the elderly should consider going to Cu Lao Cham, if going, it is best to book a tour for peace of mind.
  • If you have little time to go back in the day and want to save money, it is best to go on a tour.