To anyone coming to Hoi An for a visit, Cam Thanh Coconut Island – a private mangrove waterway is an emerging destination that you should not miss. Coming here, tourists will be warmly welcome and support to experience the normal lifestyle of a farmer in the countryside of Vietnam, as well as enjoy the true beauty of nature with many interesting activities like riding the basket boats, crab fishing or watching rowing basket boat performances done by the local rowers.
Table of Contents
I. Where is the Hoi An Coconut island?
Located in Cam Thanh commune, the water coconut wood accounts for around 7 hectares, which is a relic of a film revolutionary base in time of the Vietnam War between the U.S Army and Hoi An residents. Traveling there will take a very short amount of time because the island is just 5 kilometers away from the Hoi An Ancient Town, which makes Cam Thanh Coconut island a perfect day trip for any tourists visiting Hoi An.
This is truly a wonderful place for any tourists, either domestic or foreign to immerse themselves in the raw beauty of nature and experience a typical lifestyle of the rural area in Vietnam.
II. What makes Hoi An coconut island so special?
Those who visit Cam Thanh for the first time, the first impression is hard to fade most certainly the forest of hundreds of hectares of coconut. It stretches near Cua Dai and gives an impression as Mekong Delta in South Vietnam. The only difference between them is perhaps the means of transport used. In the Mekong delta, people travel on wooden boats, while visitors use basket boats (Thung chai) to go to the coconut forest in the Bay Mau forest. It is exciting while sitting in a basket boat weaving under coconut trees. You will also see the beautiful scenery of a rural water region that makes visitors feel interested in this place.
The huge number of coconut trees was the result of South-Western immigrants. Thankfully, the natural condition of soil and water in Cam Thanh, Hoi An completely match the foreign tree, thus from just a small area of a few hectares, the area slowly grows into a dense and huge forest with space up to over 100 hectares. From generation to generation, the forest has been protected people in Cam Thanh villages from sea waves and become home to several kinds of aquatic species on this small island.
Cam Thanh has been a big seafood provider in the Central Vietnam area, where tourists can witness and learn some Vietnamese traditional fishing techniques and how to ride the unique bamboo basket boats while riding alongside the now peaceful and coconut-palm waterways of a past war relic.
III. Best time to travel
The best time to travel to Coconut Island of Hoi An is from February to April, May to July or you can visit this lovely place in August in the coconut ripening season
From February to April, the weather in Hoi An is perfect for most outdoor activities because the springtime is cool and not-too-humid.
From May to July, the summertime is perfect for tourists to visit all the beautiful beaches in Hoi An and the Cam Thanh Coconut island as well.
August is a good time to spend a day trip in Cam Thanh, too because the scenery of a huge coconut tree in ripen color is something you rarely see. Tourists should avoid traveling to Cam Thanh between September and November since it is the rainy season with a high rate of typhoons, storms, and floods with the high water level.
IV. How to travel to Coconut Island
There are many means of transportation that you can use to travel to Cam Thanh Coconut Island, namely
- Taxi or private van: If you travel with kids or with a group of friends, this is the best way
- Bike or motorbike: You can easily rent bikes or motorbikes to travel to Cam Thanh on your own because this place is not so far from the center of Hoi An. The local living alongside your road is very friendly so nevermind asking them for directions.
- Boat: You can travel alongside the Thu Bon river by boat and you will reach the village from bach Dang Wharf or Hoai River Wharf
The best way for tourists to explore this lovely land is to use the basket boat, generally known as “Thung Chai”. This is originally used by fishermen in Central Vietnam to carry fish, oil, wood, food and other necessities on a boat trip for fishing. Because most basket boats are very mobile and convenient, it can easily transport people from big boats to the narrow riverside or to lands. The shape of Basket Boat can be maintained up to 6 months, depending on how much it is used and cared for. The safe capacity for foreign tourists is normally 5 adults per boat, including the local rider.
V. Must-try activities in Cam Thanh Coconut Island
Visiting here, tourists will have the chance to explore the ecosystem of this specific wetland, learn about the daily rural life in the Center of Vietnam, how a fisherman and his family earn money and live. You will be guided through the whole tour and have the first-hand experience of how a round net or cast network, how to ride a basket boat and rowing the boat themselves to visit the beautiful channel, aesthetic scenery of a thick coconut forest and the tranquility of a typical rural village in Vietnam.
There is a wide range of activities that tourists should not miss:
1. Go sight-seeing
After many ups and downs in history, the coconut forest of Hoi An can still remain its beauty and peace, contributing to Quang Nam eco and cultural tourism. The scenery of nature in Cam Thanh is really beautiful, with some mysterious vibe from its coconut waterways of the past war, the tranquility under the coconut palm forest and drink some cool fresh coconut water.
2. Learn to use the iconic basket boat
Tourists can learn from the local farmer how to paddle the bamboo basket boat or join a basket boat race as part of the tour to Cma Thanh Coconut Island. You can go fishing or catching crabs or coconut mussels in these boats – an activity that many foreign tourists enjoy.
3. Have a cooking class conducted by a famous local chef
The green “lung” of Hoi An – Cam Thanh coconut forest is also the home to many marine species namely shrimp, crab, and mollusks. You can enjoy these meals cooked by the locals, or learn to cook them yourself. One of the most popular things in Cam Thanh is cooking class, offered by many restaurants. You can bring your whole family here and everyone can find the activity that best suits them
4. Experience how to be a farmer in rural Vietnam for one day
This very interesting activity in Cam Thanh eco-village can give you the most realistic impression of rural life in a developing country. You can set foot into the field to pick vegetables and grow water rice – one of the main export products in Vietnam. You can also catch fish, learn to make funny figures from coconut leaves. You will also have the chance to ride the water buffalo in the field like an authentic Vietnamese farmer!
Besides, your local guide or rider of the basket boat will give you many souvenirs to bring home with, all of which is a handcrafted gift made of coconut leaves such as ring, watches, glasses or small animal figures, etc.
Although most trips to Cam Thanh coconut forest is mostly day trip with a short amount of time, you can try all these activities in just one day, or stay in one of many lovely villas or hotels in Cam Thanh village.
VI. Tips for your trip
There are some tips you should take serious notice if you want to have a nice, safe and enjoyable trip to Cam Thanh coconut forest:
- Visiting the water coconut forest before 4 pm is not recommended because it is too hot. Thus, after 4pm, you will have the chance to see the sunset down the river, which is a stunning and breathtaking view.
- The best time to have a boat trip is after 4pm – the last shift in the day. Your local rider will not be rushed, thus giving you more time to explore this lovely scenery than the standard 30 minutes.
- You should order lunch from houses in the villages to try authentic food from rural areas. You just need to inform them of the number of guests and diets if any.
VII. Nearby tourist attractions that worths visiting
- My Son Holy Land Tour from Hoi An
Located 75km from Hoi An, My Son Holy land used to be the capital of the Cham civilization, who ruled Central Vietnam in the 13s century. This place is one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam with complexes and holy sites built according to Hinduism – the primary religion of Cham people. With 70 ancient Hindu-like temples, this place is one in five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam – a big MUST for travelers who are truly into architecture and ancient civilizations.
- Farmer to Fisherman in Hoi An town
This tour will take you to the most beautiful scenery in the countryside of Hoi An so you can have the chance to explore the road, see typical sights of the rural area in Vietnam like water buffalo, rice paddy fields, organic vegetables, and local farming people. However, the main purpose of this tour is helping foreign tourists explore and understand the local fishing life of Vietnamese fishermen. Tourists can learn to use the fishing nets, ride the buffalo or learn how to use the round basket boats to visit a water palm coconut paradise while learning about the history of the region
Vietbiz Travel’s Farmer to Fisherman tour is a special and unique way to help foreigners understand Vietnam through a realistic and unique cultural window. You will experience no touristy crowd, no scammer but only friendly Vietnamese along the country roads that you cycle and discover all manner of photo opportunities because in this aesthetically beautiful place, your photo opportunities are endless.
- Hoi An Ancient Town
You can not miss visiting the ancient town of Hoi An once you are here. In the 18th century, this small and lovely town was an international port for traders all over the world including Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab. The most popular products at that time are high-end silk and ceramic, which are still very favorable in Hoi An today.
Hoi An is now one in five UNESCO’s World Heritage designated sites in Vietnam.
- My Khe – Danang
Da Nang is just 30 minutes away from Hoi An, and it will be such a shame if you visit Hoi An but miss this dynamic getaway for a beach vacation.
In this beach city, you can experience all kinds of watersport, from water-skiing, snorkeling, trim ran sailing, to golf-driving and even fitness classes on the beautiful shore of My Khe beach. Named among the most livable cities in Viet Nam, Da Nang is a tourist destination that no one should miss when coming to Vietnam.