Diving & Snorkelling
Unsurprisingly divers and snorkellers are some of the main visitors to the Cham Islands. While the diving isn’t world class (visibility can be poor and overfishing is a problem), it is intriguing: five species of lobster, 84 species of mollusc and some 202 species of fish are endemic to the Chams. Dive trips and overnight stays can be arranged through dive centres in Hoi An, such as Cham Island Diving Center. A full-day trip that includes snorkelling, a short hike, lunch and beach time costs US$40. An overnight option incorporating beach camping is around US$80.
The Chams have simple guesthouses and a more comfortable recently-opened guesthouse. If possible, we recommend a few nights at the Bai Huong homestay programme to experience the best of the islands. Dive operators in Hoi An can also arrange overnight camping stays. Currently holders of passports from China or Hong Kong are not permitted to stay overnight on the Cham Islands.
There are a few restaurants in the main village of Bai Lang. While tiny Bai Huong has only a couple of coffee shops, you are most likely to eat with your homestay here.
Tour agencies charge US$30 to US$40 for island tours, but most day trips are very rushed and give you little time to enjoy the Chams. Speedboats are often crowded, time for snorkelling limited, and the coral and marine life on display only average. Day trips by tourists staying in Danang are also becoming very popular. For the best one-day experience, book with one of the specialised dive operators in Hoi An. They can also arrange overnight camping stays.