Cam Kim Island
What we say:
Cam Kim Island can be visited by taking a ferry from the pier just to the east of the market along Bach Dang. Departures are frequent — a lot of people live on the island and this is their only way to and from Hoi An town.
Locals pay 3,000 VND, but foreigners get charged more — be sure to ask the price and haggle down to no more than 10,000 VND. You can take a bicycle or motorbike with you (for which you pay more) and this is highly recommended if you plan to do anything more on the island than visit the wood-carving shops.
Once you get off the pier on Cam Kim, follow the pier road and turn right to find the wood-carving shops, with artisans at work and merchandise on display. It's a part of many guided tours, and a fun place to visit on your own. Each shop has its own unique style so you'll benefit from seeking out more than one, especially if you're planning to buy. There is some virtuoso wood carving on display here, which is not to be missed.
If you bring along a bike or a motorbike, you're in for a treat. Cam Kim is a beautiful, rural island that is almost completely free of tourists. There are plenty of picturesque pathways to explore, along with some amazing bamboo bridges (nicknamed monkey bridges). They look rickety, but they are as strong as can be, and yes you can ride a motorbike across them. Some of the larger ones charge a toll, which should be about 2,000 VND, but expect to pay a little more.
We wish we could give you a detailed itinerary, but the best of Cam Kim island is incredibly difficult to experience without a guide. If you're interested in a very unique and enjoyable daytrip, we recommend you take a guided bike tour: try Sleepy Gecko or Heaven and Earth Tours.
Sleepy Gecko Chillout Bar: To 5 Thon Xuyen Trung, Cam Nam Island, Hoi An. T: (0908) 426 349. http://www.thesleepygecko.com
Heaven and Earth Tours: Nguyen Hoang St (by the lantern market), An Hoi, Hoi An. T: (0510) 386 4362, (0126) 842 2260. http://www.vietnam-bicycle.com
Read 2 opinions from Travelfish readers
Our favourite morning in Vietnam
17th April, 2012
The bike tour of Cam Kim Island was a sunny, cheap, relaxed and interesting way to spend a morning away from the pushy tailors. We are a group of 3 students (22-23). After booking our places by email, we hired bikes ($1) and met our young student guides at 9am. We caught a local commuter boat across to Cam Kim Island which was scenic in its own right. On the island we visited local boat builders, bed weavers, noodle makers, rice paddies, local houses and a temple. It gave us our first and only real insight into the lives of local villages in Vietnam. Above all it was very relaxing biking around a scenic little island in the sun chatting away to our guides.
Tour time: 2 hours
Total cost: $3 ($1 ferry, $1 gratuities to locals, $1 bike hire)
Don't miss Hoi An Free Tour
Cam Kim Island reviewed by christineong (3)
Written on 17th April, 2012, rated Visited here in February, 2012
Beautiful village! Truly Vietnamese experience
26th September, 2011
We had a wonderful morning with Vinh- a young boy studying tourism at the University - from Hoi An Volunteer Students and we highly recommend them. We did a 3 hours bicycle tour which went by very quickly. It is great way to see some of the villages in Hoi An. Plus, you get some classic insights into the lives of young people in Hoi An. His English is quite good. The only cost was for us to pay the ferry boat (10,000 VND/ pax, bicycle for rent full day: 20,000 VND, Total: 30,000 VND or 1.5 USD). We were so glad to know them as they made our trip meaningful!!!
Cam Kim Island is a beautiful slice of rural life a short ferry ride from the centre of Hoi An. Not far from Hoi An’s central market, packed wooden boats constantly shuttle people, bicycles, motorcycles and produce across the Thu Bon River between the old town and Cam Kim Island. It’s a great place for an early morning or late afternoon cycle.
From the docks, we took the ferry to Cam Kim Island. The ferry boats are terrifically simple, just wood boards and peeling paint. The ferry had a small space under a platform for people to sit and on top it is full of motorcycles and bicycles and packed with people. The ride to the island took about 10 minutes.
Despite the shelter, most women were in standard Vietnamese vampire-ninja wear, all hats and long sleeves and gloves and masks - anything to avoid a tan. It‘s quite interesting and strange for us.
Cam Kim Island reviewed by jenniferong (1)
Written on 26th September, 2011, rated Visited here in August, 2011
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