While Hoi An may be famed for its Ancient Town, many don’t realise it’s also the ideal base to go snorkelling at the nearby Cham Islands; here’s what you need to know.
Planning a Trip
Those staying at hotels in Hoi An can sign up for day trips to the Cham Islands which include transfers, snorkelling equipment and lunch. Usually, boats depart from Cua Dai harbour or beach within easy reach of Anantara Hoi An Resort. Alternatively, you can take a public ferry to the islands, though boats can get crowded.
What to Expect
Amongst the best places to snorkel (and scuba dive) here is the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Some tours offer snorkelling around the Hon Tai, Hon Dai and Hon Mo islands and you can look forward to seeing all manner of colourful corals and marine creatures that will leave you in awe.
Made up of eight islands, Cham Islands offers more to do than snorkellinfg or diving. It’s also a popular place for sunbathing on idyllic beaches, swimming and water sports like jet-skiing and kayaking. The island of Hon Lao is home to beaches like Bai Ong, Bai Bac and Bai Cong, while you can visit fishing villages too.
When to Go
There’s a specific period to visit the Cham Islands; March to September is generally the best time for snorkelling and diving here when seas are relatively calm and visibility is great too. From October to February, the arrival of the monsoon leads to storms and rough seas that make conditions unsuitable for such activities.