The Cham Islands are a group of eight islands off the coast of central Vietnam (visible from the beaches of both Da Nang and Hoi An) and are surrounded by a bountiful array of reefs and sea life. Thanks to a thoughtful gift from our dear friends Janette and Matt, we signed up for an underwater excursion around the islands that would conclude with a family-style lunch on the beach courtesy of Blue Coral Diving.
We were picked up by a shuttle van directly from our lodging at Rice Field Homestay in Hoi An, then transported to a double-decker boat that carried us along with about twenty other international passengers to the islands. While the boat ride left some of us feeling a bit green (you can guess which one of us was silently suffering in the video below), the 9-mile journey was thankfully over in fewer than 40 minutes.
Blue Coral Diving caters to first-time and experienced SCUBA divers as well as snorkelers and provides safety training and all of the equipment needed for underwater adventuring. We’re keen to learn to SCUBA dive at some point while we’re in Vietnam, but on this occasion, we wanted a relaxed afternoon, and so opted for self-guided snorkeling.
Mark was the first to jump. It was a harrowing ordeal…the boat’s deck felt like it was at least 10 feet from the surface, but Mark braved it like a boss and penciled into the South China Sea. Unlike Mark (and other rational people), Robin actually enjoys heights, and so relished the heart-quickening plunge.
Once reunited in the water, we flippered to the reef, GoPro in hand. We were sooo excited to capture dazzling underwater footage for all of you, but alas, our videos don’t do the Cham Islands’ reefs justice. First, we were heartbroken to discover that the GoPro had turned itself off after only a few minutes into our recording. We’d thought we’d captured the colorful tropical fish, eels, blue starfish, mini jelly fish, and massive silvery school of fish we’d encountered, but alas…nope. Further, the video we did record was made super-shaky by our swimming. As a result, we apologize that our snorkeling montage below may truly make you feel as if you are there in the water with us—motion-sickness and all!
But truly, it was a delightful day full of beautiful sights, lovely people, and great food. We highly recommend you visit the Cham Islands (recently nicknamed “Seizure Islands” in Mark’s honor by a friend from the PMA, but more on that later…).
You can view our photos HERE.