Cham Island

The next morning I had breakfast in the charming reception area/breakfast room/bicycle parking.

The home-made Pho Bo was ok but the ice coffee energizing. Just what I needed for the day. Pickup for my day was at 8am and they arrived right on time.

I had a snorkeling trip to Cham Island with an overnight stay in a tent planned. This lovely idea came recommend by Dudley, a South African guy I had met in Hanoi. He had showed me pictures and told me so much about his beautiful experience that I instantly decided to go there as well. We arrived at the port, boarded our ship and left for the island.

  

We had two snorkeling stops before we arrived at the island. I wasn’t really into it, just came on this trip to have a transport to the island without organizing one myself. As it turned out, I was in for a surprise.

At the first stop I jumped in the water with everyone else and was instantly enchanted. Once my head was underneath all noise except my breathing was gone. And so many colors left and right. I didn’t know that sea stars were blue, I always thought they were red. Little fish were surrounding me and if I stayed motionless they were swimming really close. They came in all colors and sizes though and if a ray of sun caught them from above they seemed to sparkle. The water was clear and just by turning my head I would see something new.

Around 2pm we had lunch on the island which would be my home for the day. Before the arrival I could still smile.


The boat left at 3:30pm and I started to explore my surroundings. My tent had been put up and the beach was amazing.

  

At the back of the tent you can see the washroom, just not for me to use though. They were currently undergoing constructions and could not be used. For a shower I could use the basin in front of the washroom which was filled with water and these were the toilets.

Not at all what I expected (here we go again with the expectations) after what Dudley told me. I had a quiet afternoon on the beach, reading my book and watching the locals play volleyball.

  

Dinner was also a quiet and simple affair and afterwards I took my water and my beer to the beach to wait for nightfall and the stars.

  

I was looking forward to listening to the waves and watching the stars. Turned out that I would listen only to really bad karaoke from a large Chinese (or Korean) group a little further down the beach. Dudley had warned me that there might be other people staying over night but that the noise would die down around 9pm. Not in my case. When I called it a night at 10:30 they were still going strong.

Besides the ‘music’ I had to fight against an onslaught of mosquitoes which I clearly lost. I just wanted to sleep in my mosquito proof tent. Which it was but without a mattress the sand was harder than I had thought and at 5am I was up again. The lonely night on the beach had been very different from what I imagined.

Once I was up I went for a swim. No point in wanting a shower when none could be had. The sea was doing the trick as well. The water was refreshing and best of all I had it to myself. After the swim I used the basin water to rinse the salt of, changed in my tent and was waiting for my hosts to get up and have breakfast.    

The breakfast was a fried egg and a small baguette, so I left the beach in search of coffee.

  

The small village had a maritime museum and next to it a coffee place where I made my first stop. After two cups I felt ready to explore the village. Also the first day tourists arrived and I wanted to move out of their way.

  
  
  
  

After the market and the temple I felt I had seen the highlights of the village and was ready for another coffee stop. I found the right place at the end of the village near another beach. The round bamboo cups that you can see here were boats.

  
  

I sat down at the end of the road for coffee and enjoyed island life for a while.

  

While walking back I got tempted to try some seafood I didn’t know. I went for the sea urchin.

  

I couldn’t tell you what it tasted like but the sauce of chives and peanuts was lovely. While checking out more sea creatures and stalls along the beach, I met a female biker who offered to take me around the island.

  
  
  

After this picture my phone died on me and I contended myself with watching the instead. Not that there was a lot more to see but it was beautiful in a simple way.

Around 1:30pm I was back at my beach and waited for the boat. I had lunch with the new arrivals and at 3:30 we headed back to Hoi An. I was back at the Quynh Nhan Homestay at 5:30 and the first thing I did was have a shower. Yours, Pollybert

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