About Hoi An
Once known as Faifo and with more than 2000 years history, Hoi An was the principal port of the Champa Kingdom which controlled the strategic spice trade from the 7th to the 10th century and was a major international port in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century Hoi An was considered by Chinese and Japanese merchants to be the best destination for trade in all of South-East Asia. Hoi An’s influence declined in the 19th century, mainly due to the silting up of the Thu Bon River, when sea trade shifted to Danang.
Today Hoi An is a tourists dream. The UNESCO listed ancient town with its famous Japanese Bridge and heritage architecture is a must for photographers and romantics. A shoppers paradise, wander the walking streets and small laneways to find a myriad of tailor shops, gift boutiques, handicrafts, antiques and art galleries. Try local street foods famous with the locals, or spoil yourself with fine dining. The choices seem endless. Stunning beaches give locals and tourists relief from the heat in summer months. Or visit Cham Island for more tropical beaches, SCUBA diving, snorkeling and authentic fishing villages. Go for a bicycle ride around Tra-Que Herb Village, or venture further through the rice paddies by car, jeep, motorbike or boat and visit the Champa Temples at My Son. If you prefer mountain landscapes, take a day trip up to Bana Hills or Son Tra Peninsula for stunning scenery. For more intrepid travellers, try exploring the Ho Chi Minh Highway in the Truong Son Ranges, and visit the local ethnic minority villages and beyond.
About Cham Island
The South China Sea, in Vietnamese ‘Bien Dong’ – The East Sea, encompasses a portion of the Pacific Ocean stretching roughly from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca to the Strait of Taiwan. The area includes more than 200 small Islands, rocks and reefs, with the majority located in the Paracel and Spratly Island chains. According to studies made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Philippines), this body of water holds one third of the entire worlds’ marine biodiversity.
The East Sea is ruled by two dominant winds: North/North East from end of September to March and South/South West for the rest of the year. North winds are the winds of the rainy season in Central Vietnam. They bring cold air, cold water and rough seas and are the reason Cham Island is not always reachable by boat from October to March. March marks the change of wind direction and the sea flattens down and the water warms. In the old times, Cham Island and Hoi An was an important stop over on the silk marine route not only for trading, but also as shelter from Typhoons and storms. Even today small coastal cargo ships find shelter at Bai Lang when storms approach.
During the centuries a small Vietnamese community established itself on Cham Island. Apart from fishing, the islands are known for Swallows nests. The annual Swallow nest harvest is reported to be about 1.4 tonnes. Until 1960 there were no more than 200 people living on the Islands, but this number increased due to the re-unification war (1963-1975). Currently there are about 3,000 people living in the fishing villages of Bai Lang and Bai Huong.
How to get here
Meet us at DIVE BAR in Hoi An.
The Cham Island Dive Center booking office, dive school and dive shop is located at our DIVE BAR and restaurant located in Hoi An Old Town, Vietnam. We are 30km from Danang Airport. Information and booking for PADI dive course, diving day trips, snorkeling tours and overnight tours can be found here, or you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re not far from the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. Our address is:
88 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hoi An.
Tel: +84 (0)235 3910782