A 2-day-1-night trip to Cu Lao Cham | Vietnam private tour

Central Vietnam has recently become a haunting destination for Vietnam private tours thanks to its variety of landscapes, culture, and cuisine. Interestingly, the famous tourist attractions in the Central are located quite close to each other, thus making traveling more convenient. If you take a trip to Danang & Hoi An, don’t forget to pay a visit to Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) – a hidden charm on the nearby ocean.

Where is Cu Lao Cham?

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Cham Island

Cu Lao Cham belongs to Tan Hiep Commune – a part of Hoi An. The islands are nestled 15 km far from Cua Dai, consisting of 8 small islands and islets. Cham Island has been designated as a UNESCO World Natural Reserve thanks to its breath-taking seascapes and rich bio-ecological systems.

Best time to travel to Cu Lao Cham

Between March and August is said to be the best time to take Vietnam tailor-made private tour to Cham Island. At that period, it is warm with dazzling sunshine and calm waves. The rest period of the year is not recommended because there is a high possibility of storms and the island might be isolated.

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Between March and August is the best time to travel to Cham Island

If you want to both visit the island and admire the lantern night in Hoi An Ancient Town, go on the full moon or on the first day of the lunar month. But please notice that the 14th lunar night will be much appealing than the 15th one.
For those wanting to experience the traditional cultures of the local islanders, travel in festival times: Cau Ngu Festival on the 3rd & 4th day of the 4th lunar month or the death anniversary of Yen ancestors on the 9th & 10th day of the 3rd lunar month.

How to get to Cu Lao Cham?

From Hoi An, travelers taking Vietnam private tour need to get to Cua Dai Pier to buy the canoe ticket to go to the island. The departure time is from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. It would take around 20 minutes to get there.
Another means of transportation is the wooden boat, which only costs you only $1.5/person and $4 when bringing the motorbike along.
Regarding traveling on the island, the most common means is the motorbike. You can bring your motorbike along or rent one at any hotels or hostels on Cham Island. The price is from $4 – $10/day depending on the brand.

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Diving to watch coral reefs

To pay a visit to the nearby islands, travelers need to take the canoes or tenders. All the boats offer coral-reef-watching services.

What to do in Cu Lao Cham?

Cham Island holds an irresistible beauty with several attractions that could easily capture visitors’ heart. Let’s see the must-do activities for a 2-day-1-night trip in this wonderland.

Dive to watch coral reefs

As a World Natural Reserve, Cu Lao Cham possesses an exceptionally diverse ecosystem. The surrounded sea is home to different marine species of significant biological and ecological value. Especially, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful places to watch coral reefs in Vietnam. The transparent sea water has made it ideal to dive and witness the beauty of these colorful coral reefs.
There are also other fascinating recreational activities like swimming, kayaking, water-skiing, boat racing, etc.

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Hai Tang Pagoda

Visit the famous cultural attractions

Cham Island is also a great destination that culture lovers should not miss in their private tours in Vietnam. Here situate many worth-visiting destinations like Cu Lao Cham Museum, the 200-year-old Cham well, Hai Tang Pagoda, and the temple of the ancestor of oat-producing career. Those places are believed to be very sacred. Many people from other regions come here to wish for a happy and successful life.

Get closer to the local life

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Get closer to local life

A trip to Cham Island also enables visitors to get a deeper approach to the rustic life of the ingenuous islanders. You can choose to stay with them in their houses to observe their daily life as well as sample the rustic yet delicious seafood dishes of the locals. Also, travelers can pay a visit to Tan Hiep Market to see how a trading day is like and to buy home some specialties as souvenirs for your family and friends.
Cu Lao Cham is undeniably an untouched paradise in this world. It would be a big loss if the itineraries of your Vietnam private tours do not include this island. Rest assured! The pristine beauty of nature and the friendly smile of the locals here will totally satisfy you.

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Top 5 wild beauties of Thanh Hoa Province

Mentioning of Thanh Hóa Province, the first image that comes up to your mind is probably Sầm Sơn Beach or Thanh Hóa’s fermented pork rolls! It is sad that despite the place is a truly a potential destination for tourism, its beauties have yet to be discovered to the fullest. If you are having the intention of visiting Hanoi this season, just drop it off from your mind because you will not want yourself to be crispy fried under the 40-degree heat! Therefore, it would be a better idea to participate in one of our tailor-made private Vietnam tours to stay away from the crazy heat of the citadel and find yourself a good place for exploring. And you know what? Thanh Hóa is just a perfect example!

1. Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Thanh Hóa is a Northern Province of our country and for that reason, it owns a diverse natural system that you can just find in every season. Since it has such a great gift of nature, Thanh Hóa is not only famous for nem chua or Sầm Sơn but you will be even more amazed when finding out the wild beauties here are just as amazing as any other places across Vietnam. And in one of our tailor-made private Vietnam tours, you will once again be amazed by the resplendent Pù Luông Nature Reserve, which is one of Thanh Hóa’s top beauties that you will definitely want to come at least once in your life!

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The peaceful Pu Luong

Not knowing exactly how many times people have mentioned of Pù Luông as the one-of-a-kind beauty and as their humble pride, Pù Luông has never been out of heat. Not exaggerating when saying it is one of the most worthy-of-living places in the world. Pù Luông is especially beautiful on the golden grain season from September to October when the place is covered in such vivid golden cape of sunbeam harmonizing with the eye-catching yellow of the ripe grain. If you are someone who loves how the wilderness exists amongst us as well as the complete tranquility of life, Pù Luông Nature Reserve is just the place for you. Usually, people would like to enlist on Vietnam day tours to discover Pù Luông because the place is very huge and hardly can you just spend a day here.

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Water spinners – the wonderful feature of Pu Luong

Pù Luông is the inhabitance of the Thái ethnic minority and its name was also given by them, the oldest Thái – the ancestors of the contemporary Thái Tribe. According to the regional language, Pù Luông means “the highest mount of the area” and it is not wrong at all giving the place such a name. Pù Luông was once recognized by the UNESCO as the biggest Nature Reserve of the North with the mount’s height of 1.700 meters and its wilderness is still perfectly preserved until this very moment.

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The interesting Puluong Treehouse

It can be said that Pù Luông is a mini version of a society or probably a giant model of the greenhouse since people have their own way of living in the place. Pù Luông, despite being a nature reserve, it is a complex of many different sections including the living space as the villages for the locals, wild forests, breathtaking mountain ranges, and impressive infinitive terraced rice fields planted by its people.

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The breathtaking Kho Muong from up high

On your way discovering Pù Luông on tailor-made private Vietnam tours, you will also encounter another place known as Kho Mường – village of the Thái. The place is situated in a quite crooked and dangerous topography at the top of Pù Luông Mount. However, it will be such a wonderful experience spending a day at Kho Mường Village. Not only Pù Luông but Kho Mường has its own history. Actually, the contemporary Thái living in Kho Mường do not own this place as their motherland since their ancestors were the immigrants about 300 years ago. They were the hunters of Lũng Cao – a nearby place to Kho Mường, on their way to hunt had discovered this amazing place and decided to stay here for a living because they saw such promising potential emerged from the area. And definitely, they were right! Kho Mường lies in the core of Pù Luông Nature Reserve and is regarded as the heart of the place. On arriving here, you will also have a chance to explore other tremendous destinations such as the Bat Cave, Hiêu Waterfall, and the crowded Đòn Street Market gathering at every weekend. Apart from Kho Mường, Cao Hong or Kịt is also a very great choice of experiencing the daily life of the locals. Therefore, taking a Vietnam private tour is also a good choice to discover the place.

2. Cloud Fall

Needless to say, the Cloud Fall is commented as the most beautiful fall in Thanh Hóa Province, located Thạch Lâm Commune of Thạch Thành Suburban District. Actually, in Thanh Hóa, you can find many other delicate waterfalls such as the Hiêu. Many tourists find to this place because of the curiosity to see the fall where everything is “frozen”. However, if comparing the Cloud and the Hiêu, which are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Cloud seems to be more in favor of the tourists for the “grand prize”. In fact, the Cloud Fall has just been discovered quite a time recently, after the Hiêu, which has long been a must-visit in the bucket list of many travelers. What draws the attention of tourists traveling on tailor-made private Vietnam tours is the wilderness that has yet to be passed on the hands of human and is now well preserved. The fall turns head of any people from a lone traveler to a professional geologist.

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The heavenly beauty of the Cloud Fall

The name has spoken well for the shape of the fall itself. Probably this name was given to this natural fall by the people who discovered it based on the aesthetic arrangement of the underneath rock surface of the fall. From every angle, the fall looks as if a pile of white clouds, layers and layers mixed together as a united group but each of it bears its own distinctive beauty. The fall runs through the year though August is the most perfect time to catch fully the aestheticism of the place. The fall is about 400 meters long and it actually bears such unique shape because it is constituted of different small falls that lie on one another.

3. Ho Empire Citadel

If you are a history lover or simply want to be an amateur explorer who craves for intriguing mysteries and historical relics, Ho Empire Citadel is definitely where you must go. Recognized by the UNESCO in 2011 as a world heritage, Hồ Empire Citadel is now one of the rare ancient stone constructions around the world. Besides the name Thành nhà Hồ (Hồ Empire Citadel), the place also owns four other names: Tây Đô, An Tôn, Tây Kinh, and Tây Giai. This used to be the citadel of the ancient Đại Ngu Country (Đại Ngu is actually the former name of Việt Nam under the rule of Hồ Empire). From Thanh Hóa City, it takes about 2 hours to get to the citadel since the distance is about 45 kilometers.

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One of the four gates

The place was built around 1395 under Trần Empire by Hồ Quý Ly, who later on created Hồ Empire. According to the old documentaries, the citadel was built in such a rush within just three months due to military affairs. Until present, all compartments and rooms inside the citadel have been destroyed and just left alone the four main stone gates surrounding the inner space. If you have watched documentary films about building the pyramids, you will know that they used no support such as cement in construction. This stone citadel was also similarly built. That is why the place is so appealing to tourists. Or else, they will not come here just to gaze at those stone gates for nothing!

4. Thai den Villages

If you are wondering about what to do this summer, follow us in one of our Vietnam tailor-made tours to Thái đen Village is not a bad choice. Thái đen Village or Bản Thái đen in Vietnamese calling is a place where most of Thái people gather. In another way, it is the separate living space of the Thái in Thanh Hóa Province.

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One of Thai Villages

Thái villages are all over the place in Thanh Hóa. Usually, they mostly live in Quan Hóa, Quan Sơn, Bá Thước, and other places in the province. The most pre-eminent feature to recognize the Thái that is they usually build their wooden houses along the streams, especially Mã River. Bàng Village in Quan Sơn is an example of a Thái tribe. The people here are 100 percent Thái đen people. Communal house is one of their unique cultures in which many both mainstream and regular activities occur, such as “ngủ thăm”.

5. Tien Son Cave

Tiên Sơn Cave in the eyes of tourists is just like a heavenly stone cave created on Earth. Actually, at the first glance, Tiên Sơn bears quite many resemblances as that of Hạ Long Bay. However, the cave itself is situated about 200 meters from the ground. Therefore, if you want to visit Tiên Sơn, you will have to test your legs by climbing up such long stone stairs without any support such as the elevator. In exchange, the journey to Tiên Sơn is also an unforgettable part of the whole trip since you can contemplate many other thrilling beauties such as the peaceful village and tranquil nature from such height. Another thing is that you should distinguish Tiên Sơn Cave in Thanh Hóa with the one in Quảng Bình. Despite sharing the same name, Tiên Sơn Cave in Thanh Hóa is located in Vĩnh Lộc Suburban District and is different from that of Quảng Bình.

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The greatness of Tien Son

The whole Tiên Sơn itself is a very huge complex of natural limestones and stalactites. You will be impressed by its depth with more than 400 meters of walk path and the 10-meter deep cliff. However, the cliff area is too dangerous for any of the tourists to take a closer look. The journey to Tiên Sơn will be a memorable one if discovering and conquering wild beauties are just what you love. Or else, you can still have an enjoyable journey sinking in the elegance of nature just like this.

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Winter Wonderland in Northern Vietnam

Vietnam like many other Southeast Asia countries is usually well-known for its tropical weather, which is hot and humid. Vietnam might not the best idea for those who love the typical white winter in the West. However, it’s much more than that.

What can a tropical country offer in a winter holiday that in late 2017, the US National Geographic Traveller magazine has listed Vietnam as one of the best destinations for winter trips? Feeling a little curious? Good, you’re ready to go.

Winter in Vietnam usually starts around mid-December, lasting until late March. Due to the geographical features, the temperature in Northern Vietnam is much lower than other parts of the country which brings out a true feeling of the winter, especially mountainous areas. Those mountainous regions like Lang Son or Ha Giang are very suitable for Vietnam tailor-made tours.

Going on a trip to a highland of a tropical country in winter will open the door to numerous wonderful experiences.

The most famous destination for many tourists coming to Vietnam must be Sapa – a top star in every Vietnam tours. Sapa is a beautiful town in Lao Cai Province which is nearly 100 miles from Hanoi. Sapa is well known for its verdant rice terraces, terrific hiking trails and ancient village tribes in the mountains and of course the rooftop of Indochina: Fansipan Mountain.

Sapa in winter

Sapa in winter

Fansipan Mountain, at 3143 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in Indochina. It’s one of the most popular trekking tourist attraction in Northern Vietnam. A trekking trip to Mt Fansipan takes a minimum of three days to get to the peak and back. The cable car is now available, offering a journey of 15-20 minutes for over USD 30. 

When you come to Lang Son, another place that you shouldn’t miss is Mau Son Mountain. Mau Son Mountain is considered a paradise for ‘snow hunters’ in many tailor-made private tours in Vietnam. With an altitude of 800-1,000 m, it is one of the coldest regions in Vietnam. Apart from snow, Mau Son has offered many other interesting attractions such as Tam Thanh cave, To Thi Mountain, and Ky Cung temple and many mouth-watering local specialties like roasted sucking pig or grilled chicken with honey.   

Mau Son Mountain

Mau Son Mountain

Moving further to the north, you will have a chance to discover Ha Giang, the rooftop of Vietnam. Ha Giang province delights visitors with its spectacular views of ice-crusted forests and mountains carpeted with snow. 

If you have visited the Old Quarter in Hanoi or Hoi An, then you should definitely visit the Dong Van Old Quarter which is the most popular overnight stop in Ha Giang. The most exciting activity that almost every tourist coming to Ha Giang has to do is snow-watching at Dong Van Karst Plateau. Ha Giang is famous for being the homeland of many stunning flowers. In winter, you will have the chance to admire the beauty of peach blossoms, plum blossoms, rapeseed flowers and the famous buckwheat flowers.

Buckwheat Flowers in Ha Giang

Buckwheat Flowers in Ha Giang

If you’re going to visit one of those places, bear in mind some of the useful tips below.

I recommend to planning your trip between December and late January to enjoy the most typical winter of these wonderlands. This might be also the peak season of domestic tourism so be wise and book everything in advance. You can contact some reliable Vietnam tour operators and they could help you out.

The temperature in these mountainous regions in winter can drop to between 0-5 Celsius. The number one thing to remember is winter clothes like coaches and sweaters. The gap at night and day temperature could be really big, so you have to be well prepared for this.

If you’re going on a trekking trip, bring a couple of rain boots. There is a chance of sudden rain and it could be really slippery. Climbing in winter months, from October to March is preferable than summer, around June and August, which sees heavy rainfall.

Though there seem to be many things to prepare for a trip, just don’t forget to enjoy yourself in those gorgeous winter landscapes and have a safe and sound trip.