Vietnam is known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. But there’s one hidden gem that often gets overlooked by tourists: Cam Kim Island. Located just a short boat ride from the bustling city of Hoi An, Cam Kim Island is a peaceful oasis with an abundance of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and delicious food.
In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual journey to Cam Kim Island and show you why it’s worth a visit. We’ll explore its breathtaking scenery, traditional crafts, and local delicacies. By the end of this article, you’ll understand why Cam Kim Island is a must-visit destination in Vietnam.
Exploring the Natural Beauty of Cam Kim Island
Cam Kim Island is a small island located in the Thu Bon River, just a short distance from Hoi An. Despite its proximity to the city, the island is an oasis of peace and tranquility. The island is mostly covered in lush green forests and dotted with small villages and rice paddies. The island’s landscape is diverse, with stunning beaches, winding rivers, and rolling hills.
One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Cam Kim Island is by taking a leisurely bike ride through its picturesque countryside. As you cycle through the island’s charming local villages and farms, you’ll witness the daily life of the locals, catch a glimpse of water buffalo grazing in the fields, and experience the island’s breathtaking scenery up close.
The island’s sandy beaches are also worth exploring. Cua Dai Beach, located on the east side of the island, is a beautiful stretch of white sand that’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is relatively undeveloped, so you won’t find many tourists here.
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Visiting Traditional Craft Villages
Cam Kim Island is known for its traditional crafts, which have been handed down from generation to generation. The island is home to several craft villages, each specializing in a different craft. The most famous of these is the wood carving village, where you can watch skilled craftsmen carve intricate designs out of wood using traditional techniques.
The village also produces beautiful lacquerware and mother-of-pearl inlaid products. The locals take great pride in their crafts and are happy to share their knowledge and techniques with visitors. You can even try your hand at some of the crafts yourself, under the guidance of the locals.
If you’re interested in pottery, head to the pottery village, where you can make your own clay pot and learn about the history and techniques of pottery making. Other craft villages on the island include mat weaving, rice paper making, and silk weaving. Each village has its unique charm and is well worth a visit.
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Tasting Local Delicacies
Food is an essential part of Vietnamese culture, and Cam Kim Island is no exception. The island is home to several delicious local delicacies that you won’t find anywhere else. One of the island’s specialties is Cao Lau, a noodle dish made with pork, fresh herbs, and crunchy noodles. The dish is only found in Hoi An and the surrounding area and is a must-try for any foodie.
Another local specialty is Banh Dap, a crispy rice cracker served with a pork and shrimp dipping sauce. It’s the perfect snack to munch on while exploring the island. For those who prefer sweets, the island’s sugarcane juice is a refreshing treat, and the local coconut candy is a must-try.
Other Activities on Cam Kim Island
In addition to the things we’ve already covered, such as natural beauty, traditional culture, relaxation, adventure, and delicious food, there are plenty of other things to see and do on Cam Kim Island. Here are some additional activities that we recommend:
Visit the Cam Kim Market
One of the best ways to experience the local culture on Cam Kim Island is by visiting the Cam Kim Market. This bustling market is where locals come to buy and sell fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other goods. Visitors can stroll through the market, sample local snacks, and shop for souvenirs to take home.
Take a Cooking Class
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love taking a cooking class on Cam Kim Island. Several local restaurants and cooking schools offer classes where you can learn how to make traditional Vietnamese dishes using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Not only will you get to enjoy a delicious meal, but you’ll also learn a new skill that you can take home with you.
Visit the Thanh Ha Pottery Village
In addition to the Kim Bong Carpentry Village, Cam Kim Island is also home to the Thanh Ha Pottery Village. Here, visitors can observe skilled potters using traditional techniques to create beautiful pottery pieces. You can also try your hand at making your own pottery, with the guidance of a local expert.
Take a Boat Tour
The Thu Bon River is one of the most beautiful and important waterways in Vietnam, and a boat tour is an excellent way to explore it. Visitors can take a leisurely boat ride down the river, enjoying the stunning scenery and learning about the local history and culture from a knowledgeable guide.
Attend a Traditional Music Performance
Music is an important part of Vietnamese culture, and Cam Kim Island is no exception. Visitors can attend traditional music performances, which feature local musicians playing traditional instruments and singing songs that tell the stories of the island’s history and culture.
Things to Expect at the Cam Kim Island
Here are some things to expect at Cam Kim Island:
- Natural Beauty: Cam Kim Island is known for its natural beauty, with lush green forests, rice paddies, and pristine beaches. The island is home to many plant species, and visitors can explore the island’s flora and fauna on foot or by bike. The island also offers stunning views of the Thu Bon River and the surrounding countryside.
- Traditional Culture: Cam Kim Island is home to several traditional craft villages, including the famous Kim Bong Carpentry Village. Here, visitors can observe skilled craftsmen using traditional techniques to create beautiful wooden sculptures and furniture. The island also has several other craft villages, where visitors can learn about traditional pottery, weaving, and mat-making.
- Relaxation: Cam Kim Island is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The island’s tranquil environment, beautiful scenery, and laid-back atmosphere make it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the stresses of daily life. Visitors can spend their days lounging on the beach, exploring the island’s natural beauty, or simply relaxing at one of the island’s many cafes or restaurants.
- Adventure: For those looking for a bit of adventure, Cam Kim Island offers several exciting activities. Visitors can explore the island’s lush forests on a hiking or biking trail, kayak down the Thu Bon River, or try their hand at traditional fishing techniques. The island also offers several water sports, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.
- Local Cuisine: Cam Kim Island is known for its delicious local cuisine, which is a blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as Cao Lau, a savory noodle dish that is unique to the Hoi An area, and Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich that is popular all over the world. The island is also known for its fresh seafood, which is caught daily and served at many of the island’s restaurants.
- Friendly Locals: One of the things that visitors to Cam Kim Island often remark on is the friendliness of the locals. The island is home to a tight-knit community of people who are proud of their culture and happy to share it with visitors. Visitors can expect to be greeted warmly by locals, who are always happy to offer tips and advice on the best places to visit and things to do on the island.
Travel Tips About Cam Kim Island
If you’re planning a trip to this stunning destination, you’re in for a treat. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your time on Cam Kim Island.
- Getting to Cam Kim Island: Cam Kim Island is located just a short boat ride away from the ancient city of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can easily arrange a boat tour from Hoi An that includes a stop at Cam Kim Island. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle or motorbike and cross the Cam Kim Bridge to the island.
- Accommodation options: Although Cam Kim Island is a relatively small island, there are several accommodation options to choose from. If you’re looking for a more authentic experience, consider staying in a homestay with a local family. Alternatively, there are several hotels and resorts on the island that offer comfortable accommodations and beautiful views.
- Explore the island by bike: One of the best ways to explore Cam Kim Island is by bike. You can rent a bike from one of the many rental shops on the island and explore at your own pace. The island is relatively flat and has several paved roads that make for a smooth ride. You can also explore the island’s lush countryside and rice paddies, and visit local villages to learn more about the island’s rich culture and history.
- Visit the Kim Bong Carpentry Village: Cam Kim Island is famous for its traditional carpentry industry, and a visit to the Kim Bong Carpentry Village is a must-do activity on the island. Here, you can watch skilled craftsmen create beautiful wooden sculptures and furniture using traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations. You can also purchase souvenirs to take home with you.
- Try the local cuisine: Cam Kim Island is home to several delicious local dishes that you must try during your visit. Some of the must-try dishes include Cao Lau, a savory noodle dish that is only found in Hoi An and its surrounding areas, and Banh Mi, a delicious Vietnamese sandwich that is popular all over the country. You can also sample fresh seafood at one of the island’s many seafood restaurants.
- Relax on the island’s beaches: Cam Kim Island is home to several stunning beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. An Bang Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, and it’s easy to see why. The beach is clean and well-maintained, and the water is warm and inviting. You can also visit other beaches on the island, such as Cua Dai Beach and Ha My Beach.
Cam Kim Island is a hidden gem in Vietnam that’s just waiting to be discovered. Its natural beauty, traditional crafts, and local delicacies make it a must-visit destination for any traveler. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Hoi An or want to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture, Cam Kim Island has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!