Asia Dive News : Vietnam's undiscovered dive spots
The enchanting island of Cham, located 9 nautical miles east of the Quang Nam Province, Central Vietnam, is surrounded by shallow waters that are brimming with life as it is located at the mouth of the Hoi An river and is not too far away from deep waters.
This scuba diver’s paradise has an excess of colourful coral reefs and sandy bays. Cham Island is a snapshot of Thailand from a different time in history. In actuality, a total of eight islands in the “Cham Islands” archipelago exist. Scuba divers and snorkelers alike come here in order to check out big game fish, barracuda, impressive rock formations, wall drop offs, underwater caves, soft coral, ribbon eels, eagle rays and whale sharks.
The coves and inlets on the island offer very dynamic dive sites ranging from shallow 6 metre reefs to depths as far as 60 metres.
The landscape, flora and fauna offer the perfect conditions for plentiful marine ecology. An estimated 135 species in 35 genera of corals as well as 202 species of fish, 84 species of molluscs and 4 species of lobsters …and, have we already mentioned, whale sharks!!! Of course, you will also find groupers, snappers, craps, shrimps, clams and other valuable marine products in the waters that surround the island.
Getting there is a bit of a challenge. The monsoon season, September through December, makes the Cham Islands practically inaccessible. The weather conditions cause multiple swells, massive waves, flooding and lots of rough waters. Many of the Vietnam vessels do not adhere to international standards and could potentially capsize if found in at sea during the monsoon season. On the other hand, Vietnam remains a developing country so the cost of living is fairly low. If you take a ferry from Hon Lao, the largest island, to Cua Dai beach, located on the mainland, it will costs only 30,000 Vietnamese dollars (VND), which is roughly a few euros at best.
Fees and permits are usually issued from Cu Lao Cham and cost roughly 30,000 VND.
If interested in visiting Cham Island, please contact one of the following dive centres for more information:
Rainbow Divers- +84 (0)914224102
Cham Island Dive Centre +51 (0) 912 0782
Blue Coral Diving +51 (0) 627 9297
Source: Diving Discoveries