The large island consists of eight islets, 20 kilometres off the coast from Hoi An Ancient Town in Quang Nam Province. Cu Lao Cham Island has wonderful sand beaches, forested hills and the sea. With primitive landscape, the island is ideal for camping, swimming and scuba diving to enjoy the corals and beautiful marine life.
At the summer, if you reach for the island by normal boat, it takes 2 and half hour, but only 30 minutes by speed boat. There are 10 guesthouses for tourists who don’t want to spend the night in a tent on the beach. Transport from the mainland to the islet is quite comfortable.
The island comprises an archipelago of one large island and seven smaller islands. The largest island – Hon Lao, covering 1,317 ha, is circle shape at the high of 500m. There are nice beaches at Bim and Ong beach. The topography of Cu Lao Cham Island is dominated by two peaks: a 517m peak in the centre of the island and a 326m peak at the western end. Natural forest here covers 532 ha of the nature reserve, equivalent to 35% of the total area, while plantation forest covers a further 30 ha.
The island is a place where shelter for value swallow birds. The natural vegetation of the islands is lowland evergreen forest, that is natural with a lot of woods and rare animals.
Scientists report the occurrence of macaques Macaca sp., monitor lizards Varanus sp. and pythons Python sp. To date, 265 vascular plant species have been reported from the nature reserve. Furthermore, a species of swiftlet Collocalia sp. is reported to nest on Hon Kho within the nature reserve.
Cu Lao Cham is also home to salanganes, birds whose nests have long been considered a delicacy by aristocrats and the wealthy. The nests may cost as much as US $4,000 per kilogram. In a beautiful day, tourists are able to see cliffs where salanganes build their nests and talk with salangane-nest takers.
Around the island has a lots of color corals under the water. Situated in a salty-water area, this square-bottom well, amazingly, provides clear fresh water all year round. Enjoyable extras include white-sand, pristine beaches and captivating attractions evocatively named Bai Ong, Bai Bim, Bai Chong, Bai Bac, Suoi Tinh, Cau Mo, Suoi Ong and so on, where tourists can relax, go hunting, fishing even fishing octopuses.
Visiting Cu Lao Cham, you also have chances to view the sea swallows’ nests clinging to the towering cliff. Cu Lao Cham wins kudos for its seafood and delicacies (octopuses, lobsters, fish’s fin, abalone, kaki, hind, cholonia’s eggs, bird’s nests) and fascinating souvenirs (pearls, conches, tortoise-shells).
Moreover, you can take a tour to Lang beach for seeing some interest places as such Au Thuyen-a shelter for boats at bad weather, a 100-year Tay Tang Pagoda remarking the Puddhism that came here for long time ago, Ong temple – a place worshipping a big fish burried here.