CU LAO CHAM – THE CHARMING GREEN ISLANDS

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Tuesday, 06 November 2012 09:00 Hits:14913

clc811Within 8 small islands stretching along the green bow, Cu Lao Cham is one of many pristine site be put into operation in recent years in Quang Nam. Everybody will be attracted by its beauty for the first time visit. It looks amazing with the green of forest and blue of the sea, the white ribbon of beach sand sparkling under the yellow sunshine, and the blue sky…

Cu Lao Cham is under the administration of Tan Hiep Commune of Hoi An city in Quang Nam province, about 15 km from Cua Dai Beach. Cham Islands (also known by other names as Chiem Bat Lao, Tiem Bich La, Pa-lau-cham) is about 15 km2 with more than 2,900 people living separately from mainland.

Visitors are attracted by its pristine beauty

Cu Lao Cham constitutes a group of 8 small islands namely: the Hòn Lao (Pearl), Hòn Dài (long), Hòn Mồ (tomb), Hòn Khô mẹ, Hòn Khô con (dry), Hòn Lá (leaf), Hòn Tai (ear) and Hòn Ông (east wind). In particular, people mainly live in villages such as Bai Huong, Bai Lang, Bai Huong, Xom Cam, Bai Ong of Hòn Lao.

Cu Lao Cham - The green Pearl

"Cu Lao Cham” weather is cool all year around with four- season-trees covering. With 1,549 hectares of forest and 6,716 ha of natural water, Cham island is extremely rich in biodiversity.

Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area (MPA) is home where hundreds of species of fish, krill, coral reefs, seaweeds, sea grasses and marine species of high value live. It is also home of many rare animals and plants.

Cu Lao Cham currently has 12 species of mammals, 13 species of birds, 130 species of reptiles and 5 species of amphibians, including two species listed in the Red Book of Vietnam's animal which are Salangane and long-tailed monkey. For residents, the image of long-tailed monkeys playing on seashore everyday has been associated with their daily life.

The smooth white sands sparkle under sunshine

Besides a rich ecosystem, the Cham Islands MPA also contains big ancient cultures such as Sa Huynh, Champa, Dai Viet, together with the relics which demonstrate the exchanged relationship between Cu Lao Cham and countries in the region. It was also a parking port for international traders in the Silk Road journey on the sea. Archaeological researches show that over 3000 years ago, this place was inhabited by the ancient inhabitants. This is really an ideal place to explore.

Besides archaeological sites, traditional cultural values and beliefs of the Central Vietnam are fully kept. The religious relics in Cu Lao Cham were mainly built in the 17th and 18th centuries such as Dai Can temple, Thanh Hoang, Tien hien, Than Nong, Xom Cam Well, Hai Tang Pagoda...They are now attractive spiritual destinations for tourist.

Visit to Cu Lao Cham would be much less wonderful if visitors do not enjoy themselves on hammocks on the beach at night time. The rows of firm sea coconut are not only the pillars for hanging hammock, but also the source of natural wind. Visitors will also have exciting experience by trying to be fishermen when dawn gives the first rays of the sun over the vast ocean, the activity that will help visitors understand more about the difficult way of making a living by fishing here.

Coming to Cham Islands, you should not miss the fascinating tour of discovering coral by ship or glass-bottom basket boat. Visitors will see how beautiful and amazing the coral reefs are within 45 minutes floating in the sea. If you want to get more adventure, you should choose diving in order to be closer to the marine life under the ocean.

Today, Cu Lao Cham MPA attracts nearly two thousands of tourists each year. It can be said that tourists come here because of its wild beauty and the ancient cultures.

Awareness of protecting Cu Lao Cham

Cu Lao Cham is attractive not only by its natural beauty, but also the people. The people here are really heartfelt, friendly, hospitable and determined to protect the ecosystem, which holds back anyone’s footsteps when leaving. They are truly “the precious present” of Cham islands.

In recent years we no longer see garbage or plastic bags on the island. From Mid 2009, the residents here have seriously made indication of Hoi An city about stop using plastic bags on the island, as well as preserving environmental hygiene.

Preserving ecosystem of the island is the main duty

This is a practical program to encourage people to say “No” with cutting trees for firewood, say "No" to plastic bags, using plastic baskets for shopping instead, do not catch fish by mine or in the breeding season, and do not diving for taking corals. Each economic and social program is widely announced to people to discuss, get ideas for implementation.

Hoi An City also carried out the campaign of providing 1,300 shopping-baskets to households on the island as well as call people for using leaves to wrap food. More than 600 households here boycott things which are not only harmful to the environment, but also affect badly to the future generations.

In the market, there is even the board with the slogan "Carrying basket to market is housewife’s style" and the illustrative picture "Say NO to plastic bags”. Islanders are supported by the local government and some businessmen in increasing using paper bags. People get paper bags for free every day. Visitors also do not bring plastic bags to the island and are encouraged to use paper bags instead.

The preservation and taking care of environmental hygiene in Cu Lao Cham are helpful messages to partners, tourists. It helps people to understand that every their action, and their behavior, as well as the exploitation must respect and preserve environment on the best way.

To promote the values of Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve, each individual should understand clearly that developing has to be associated with preserving to keep Cham Island for posterity.

Protecting and developing forest has particularly to be done well because forest is not only the precious vegetation but also the lung of the island. Besides, the efficiency of exploiting marine economy should be enhanced, putting tourism field on the top. Together with the preservation and nurturing resources, the local authorities are trying to convert manufacturing fields, avoiding concreting and destroying forests as well as ocean. These are good ways to develop Cham Islands.

Coming to Cham Islands, any visitor wants to be back because of the Islanders’ friendliness. Visitors will absolutely see no pulling or any inelegant words from people here.

This can be the reason why income from tourism of Cham island has been increasing an average of 40% per year and is among the destinations that have the highest rate of returning guests in the country. Although it is just over 15km2 more than 1 mile with 30 minutes by ship from the - mainland.

With the blue sea, the pristine beaches and smooth white sand embracing the islands, together with clusters of sparse houses, the peaceful and rustic lifestyle of people here, Cu Lao Cham has created the unique and impressive painting for each visitor.

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