Friday, May 29, 2015

Cu Lao Cham island

Cu Lao Cham is an archipelago which is 15 kilometers from Cửa Đại beach in Hoi An city. This place was recognized as the World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2009. Cu Lao Cham attracts numerous visitors each year due to its pristine beaches and stable travel services. If you have a chance to visit  Hue, Danang, Hoi An , don’t forget to spend one day enjoying the beauty of Cu Lao Cham.

You can travel to Cu Lao Cham on your own or on a one day package tour. If you have not much time, it is advisable for you to go on tour and if you wish to explore and relax, a two- day route on your own is a perfect suggestion for you.

When should we visit Cu Lao Cham?

The best time frame to visit Cu Lao Cham is probably from March to August each year. Warm sunlight and calm sea are the reasons why. In the other months of the year, the island is isolated and unreachable by boats due to storms.

If you want to discover religious culture of the residents here, you should choose to go when there is a festival such as Cau Ngu festival (April 3th – 4th according to Lunar calendar) or Gio To nghe Yen ceremony (March 9th – 10th according to Lunar calendar).

Camping on Cu Lao Cham island

Besides homestay, another option for you if going on a big group is camping. Camping at Bai Ong, Bai Huong areas, you will be offered a lot of supporting services. But if you prefer an open space, Bai Bim and Bai Xep are the perfect places.

Camping at Bai Bim, you can contact Mr. Cữ to hire boats. He will show you Bãi Lê – a perfect place to camp. Give the bodyguards 200.000 Vnđ and you can camp and play freely.

If you wish to camp at Bai Xep, follow the concrete road on the right of Tàu bridge, along the cliff and you can find the trail leads to Bai Xep.

House museum of Cu Lao Cham beach

The first destination when you arrive on Cu Lao Cham pier is the House museum of Cu Lao Cham beach. You can learn about the history, customs and festival of the archipelago here.
Chăm ancient well.

The other name of the well is Xom Cam. The 200 – year old well is located 500 meters from Tien Sa Huynh relics (Bai Ong) and 300 meters from Bai Lang archaeological relics. The structure of the well is typic for the other Cham wells in Hoi An.

The residents in Bai Lang hamlet say that Xom Cam well is a source of water for people living here. The most special thing is that the well never runs out of water even if it is the driest season.

Hai Tang pagoda

Hai Tang pagoda is a religious architectural work which worships Buddha and divine. The pagoda meets the religious meets of the fishermen on the island and the merchants from other place. Mechants visit here to pray for business to prosper.

The pagoda was built in 1758 at the position which is 200 meters from the current one to the North. Afterwards, the pagoda was severely damaged by storm so to make it comfortable for worshipers, the pagoda was moved to the current location.

There is a myth associated with the pagoda. It is said that the pillars was made in the North and delivered to South by boat. But when arriving at Cu Lao Cham, the boat had to anchor near the shorelines because of the dark sky. The next day, the boat continued its journey but the sea suddenly goes wild. It is believed that all of these things were not just coincident and the pillars had to be left at Cu Lao Cham to build a pagoda.

Tan Hiep market

It would such a pity to travel to Cu Lao Cham without visiting Tan Hiep market. The market is located right at the port and offers a wide range of sea specialities and souvenirs. Tourists often buy one – sun – dried squid here.

Than Yen Sao shrine

Situated at Bai Huong, the Shrine was built in the early 19th century and dedicated to Than Yen Sao. Every year, on March 10th according to the Lunar calendar, the residents and those who rely on edible bird’s nests to earn a living come to the shrine to pray for prosperity.