Hoi An ancient town is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Central Vietnam. Not only is this city famous for its ancient streets with antique yellow houses in Japanese style but Hoi An also consists of various places of interest that give visitors wonderful moments when they see themselves in nature. Cam Thanh Village is a destination like this. An eco-tour to Cam Thanh will be an ideal journey for the weekend with your friends and family.
- Location: Cam Thanh Village, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province
Opening hours: 24/24 daily
I. Overview of Cam Thanh Village
Cam Thanh Village is about three kilometers to the southeast of Hoi An old town. The most well-known feature of this village is the 84-hectare palm forest, also known as Bay Mau palm forest. The forest is an unique trait of Cam Thanh Village, which has attached to the daily life of the locals there for more than hundreds of years.
Thanks to Bay Mau palm forest, the residents in Cam Thanh Village have developed traditional handicrafts, which creates products serving their life as well as souvenirs for tourists coming to Cam Thanh Village. In this landscape, you will have an opportunity to experience the culture with friendly people, admire the immense palm forest and enjoy creation activities with your group. A visit to this village is an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life in order to discover a new destination.
II. Best Time to Visit Cam Thanh Village
The period between February to September is the best time to visit Cam Thanh Village, in particular, and Hoi An, in general. At that time, the weather is quite favorable for discovery activities, especially in summer time from May to August. You should not visit Cam Thanh Village from October to December, because that is the rainy and stormy season and the floods may interrupt your journey.
III. Highlights of Cam Thanh Village
Cam Thanh Village is to the southeast of Hoi An City and located downstream of Thu Bon river and Cua Dai beach. The water of Thu Bon estuary is quite salty, which is a favorable condition for coconut-palms to exist. In comparison to other surrounding villages, Cam Thanh Village owns the largest area of coconut-palm forest. The forest distributes mostly in the hamlets of Thanh Tam Tay, Thanh Tam Dong, Thanh Nhat, Thanh Nhi and Van Lang.
Due to the seven-hectare area of the forest in the past, it was named Bay Mau palm forest. The forest is not only valuable in terms of ecology but it also provides necessary materials for building houses and making handicrafts, which contributes to the better living standard of the locals.
The mase system of canals and rivers in Cam Thanh Village allowed this land to develop trade on boats with other regions from early days. According to some historical documents, the coconut-palm planted in Cam Thanh Village nowadays was brought from Dong Nai and Long Xuyen from the Mekong Delta by the peddlers. At first, the purpose of these coconut trees were to prevent the sea waves from harming the village; then, the villagers gradually utilized the coconut trees in their daily life.
Not only that, during the war against the US army, Bay Mau palm forest was also a revolutionary base; it protected the North Vietnamese soldiers and contributed to the reunification of Vietnam in 1975.
Coming to Cam Thanh Village, the first impression you may have is the overwhelmed feeling by the lush green color of the coconut forest. The deeper you go inside the village, the more excited you will feel. Walking along the winding roads on the bank of the river, you can see the coconut tree quietly sending its gleam to the clear water.
On the river, the small bamboo crafts flow on the sluggish river, creating ripple waves and murmuring sound. Sometimes, a bird from a nearby bushes breaks the silence by its singing. All the things in Cam Thanh Village meet each other in harmony to leave a long-lasting impression on every visitor coming to Cam Thanh Village.
Traditional handicrafts is one thing that you should not miss when coming to Cam Thanh Village. According to the elders, the handicrafts has identified itself with the life of the villagers since the beginning of the 19th century. About 60 years ago, there were dozens of families in Hoi An making handicrafts from coconut and bamboo trees for sale, not to mention those who made handicrafts to use in their families.
The development of science and technology sometimes pushes the handicrafts of people in Cam Thanh Village to the verge of disappearance. However, in recent years, thanks to the increased number of tourists coming to this village to experience the local life, the local residents have paid more attention to the handicrafts and restore their traditions.
IV. What to See and Do in Cam Thanh Village?
1. Exploring Bay Mau Palm Forest
Bay Mau palm forest is the most famous destination for tourists coming to Cam Thanh Village. This forest contains both cultural and historical values that become an essential part in the life of all people living in Cam Thanh Village.
To explore the forest, you should go on a coracle called “Thung Chai” rowed by the locals. Every area you pass by, you will be told an interesting story about its outstanding traits. Listening to the sound of the water and forest, you may feel like in a wonderland where everything has its own song.
Editor’s note: A tour guide can be very helpful if you do not understand Vietnamese. A journey with a guide is much more convenient for you to completely enjoy your trip.
2. Experiencing Handicraft Career
From coconut and bamboo trees, with the skillful hands, the craftsmen in Cam Thanh Village create various handicraft products. Most handicrafts in Cam Thanh Village are to serve the needs of the local residents, but you still can find some small souvenirs made of bamboo or coconut trees to bring home for your relatives.
Besides, it is easy to see the handicraft items in Cam Thanh Village, from the basket boats on the river to the thatched roof of houses or restaurants, which give you an experience like back to the past.
Editor’s note: You can also make handicraft items yourself with the instruction of the craftsmen. That is such a memorable experience.
3. Enjoying the Life of a Villager
When going on an eco-tour to Cam Thanh Village, you will get an opportunity to experience the daily activities of a local. Riding a buffalo, working in the fields, catching fish and harvesting vegetables are interesting things you should not miss in Cam Thanh Village. You for sure will get an unforgettable time with these activities with your friends or family there.
Editor’s note: If you want to enter a local house to admire its architecture, don’t hesitate to ask the owner for their permission. You may be able to stay in their houses as a guest for some days.
4. Trying Local Specialties
Hoi An in general and Cam Thanh Village in particular are well-known for its special cuisine with mouth-watering dishes attracting all travellers. It is such a pity if you come to Hoi An without having a try on its typical foods.
Quang noodles, Hoi An cao lau, rolled rice paper with pork, Banh Xeo and grilled meat are some on the list of delicious specialties you must try when coming to Cam Thanh Village. The flavor of these dishes is the combination of all available ingredients, leaving good impressions on those who have tried it.
Editor’s note: You can enjoy the food either in a restaurant in Cam Thanh Village or in Hoi An Ancient Town. Choose which place is the most convenient for your itinerary.
V. How to Get to Cam Thanh Village?
As mentioned above, Cam Thanh Village is only about 03 kilometers from Hoi An Ancient Town. To reach Cam Thanh Village, you can choose to go by bike, by motorbike or by taxi.
From the center of Hoi An Ancient Town, you follow the road leading to Cua Dai estuary until you see the sign post to Bay Mau palm forest. That is the road to Cam Thanh Village.
It takes you only 6 minutes to reach this village by car or by motorbike, and 12 minutes to go by bike. You are advised to hire a bike to get there in order to fully feel the atmosphere on the way you go.
Besides, you can take a boat from Hoi An Market to reach Cam Thanh Village by waterway.
VI. Extra Tips
- It would be better for you to participate in the outdoor activities in Cam Thanh Village with the guide of the locals to ensure your safety.
- Ask the locals for their permission in case you want to experience making handicraft yourself.
- If you visit the village in summer, don’t forget to wear a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin. The sunny days there are extremely hot.
- Don’t arbitrarily leave your group when discovering Bay Mau palm forest or you may get lost.
- Remember to keep the environment clean; don’t discharge garbage on the ground or into the river.
Located on the side of Hoi An Ancient Town, Cam Thanh Village with all its unique traits has attracted many visitors coming to explore the natural beauty as well as the rustic life of the villagers. Although time passes, the traditional values are still preserved in each handicraft product, each coconut tree and each family. Should you have a chance to Hoi An, don’t forget to pay a visit to this wonderful landscape!