The Underwater World of the Chàm Islands
The Chàm Islands, or Cu Lao Cham, as they are known locally are a group of eight islands, one hour’s ride in a wooden junk – or 30-minutes by speedboat – off the coast of Hoi An city in the South East Asia Sea. For travelers to Vietnam, they are a perfect destination for a day trip, especially if you are visiting historical Hoi An.
Lying in the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park and also known as Cham Islands Biosphere Reserve, this coastal ecosystem was recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO IN 2009, due to its rich biodiversity value.
Covering an area of over 5,000 hectares with 165 hectares of coral reefs and 500 hectares of underwater plant life, the waters around the islands hold more than 130 species of corals and over 80 different kinds of shellfish.
This makes the islands an ideal spot for snorkelling and for diving to observe some of the world’s most spectacular coral reef formations. Visitors can also relax on the beach, swim in the clear blue waters and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch or BBQ on the beach.
About 3,000 people reside on the main island of Hòn Lao (pearl), with most residents eking out a living as fishermen. The islands’ rich aquatic resources means there is a bounteous source of seafood available in many of the local restaurants on Hòn Lao, making it a real attraction for seafood lovers.
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