Cam Kim Island: The Peaceful Countryside of Hoi An

For those who love countryside, Cam Kim island shouldn’t be missed in Hoi An. It’s a peaceful, non-touristy river island surrounded by the Thu Bon river that is not far away from the Ancient town. Here, rural villages are embraced by rice fields and vegetable, fruit gardens. Until 2016, there was no bridges which connect it with the city, making it nearly isolated. Local people had to use boat to come to the other side. This isolation fenced urban extension and tourist developments from Hoi An. By that, traditional ways of life, culture, belief and crafts are well preserved. Today, travelers around the world like to go to Cam Kim island to know about these authenticities.    

This article provides everything visitors need to know about Cam Kim island, the second largest river island of Thu Bon river. The famous carpentry village of Hoi An is here.

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What is Cam Kim Island?

Cam Kim island is a non-urbanized river island to the south of Hoi An ancient town. It covers an area of 15km2, corresponding Cam Kim and Duy Vinh communes. This is known for serene pieces of countryside with Vietnamese villages, rice fields, fruit gardens, coconut forests, craft communities and waterways dotted with fishing nets. Local people here have been living by unchanged lifestyle and cultural traditions. Besides farming, many households make something to improve the income, such as rice papers, noodle sticks, sedge mat, rice wine, bamboo sculptures. Wood carvers in Kim Bong carpentry village of Cam Kim island are owners of intricate wooden constructions in Hoi An old town world heritage.

The best way to explore Cam Kim is by a bicycle. Although it’s not difficult to have a self-organized ride around it, a guided cycling tour is still recommended. With a local guide, travelers will cycle on backroads and peaceful laneways, and see hidden gems along the route. Furthermore, he/she takes travelers to the house of local families, to know about their life and join hands in their work. 

How to Get to Cam Kim Island

Car, Taxi and Electric Shuttle Bus

Thanks to the new Cam Kim bridge (inaugurated in 2020), Cam Kim island is accessible by cars. From Hoi An centre, travelers need to go westwards to Thanh Ha pottery making village and then across the bridge. Kim Bong Tay road leads further inside villages and their surrounding rice fields.

From the Ancient town (the Protestant church), the distance to the new Cam Kim bridge is 2 km. It’s 6 km and 9 km from An Bang beach and Cua Dai beach respectively. Taxi fare is metered, around 15,000 VND. The price of the electric shuttle bus is little different, and it depends on number of passengers and the distance. Under 5 people, travelers pay the same to group of 5. 

To get a taxi from the town to the island, it’s not difficult, but the way back, it’s needed to wait to get one. Telling local people to help when don’t know how to call a car. For that reason, we advise booking a private car to go anywhere with a fixed cost (and the driver is always there). Contact us in whatsapp +84968009827 or for further assistance.

Motorbike and Bicycle

If enter Cam Kim bridge by a scooter or bicycle, travelers have two options: Cam Kim ‘iron’ bridge and the new Cam Kim bridge. Each has their own pros and cons.

From Hoi An center (or Hoi An old town), the Iron bridge is nearer than the other. So, travelers will ride or cycle in a shorter distance, and definitely time is saved. But this bridge is potentially dangerous because the surface is quite slippery and has bumpy metal pieces. When it rains, it’s rainy or during high traffic hours, those who have not much experiences or skills may not keep a safe ride until the end. Please be aware and careful! Many people like to walk because Cam Kim metal is not too long (only 600 meters).

The new Cam Kim bridge is better for safety. It’s a modernly designed contruction with an own lane for bicycles and motorcycles. Its width and surface quality are good enough for all ages, experiences and skills. From the town, travelers need to go on Hung Vuong St until seeing a traffic light (under the bridge, by entrance of pottery making village). After that, turn right, turn left and ride over the bridge to Cam Kim island (Triem Tay village in particular).  

Boat Ferry to Cam Kim Island

Travelers can get to Cam Kim island by boat from Hoi An ancient town. It’s needed to go to Bach Dang pier (near the Central market) first and here, boat ferry is mostly available in the morning. The fare is around 20,000 VND per person. It’s possible to bring the bicycle in the boat, with a small extra fee. The ride is only 10 minutes long. After landing on the island, visitors have the chance to visit Kim Bong carpentry village and learn about a local traditional handicaft. 

From the lunchtime, it’s more difficult to see the boat ferry. Instead, people have to pay for a private boat to reach Cam Kim island. The price is from 200,000 VND.

If aim to explore Cam Kim island by a bicycle, using a boat ferry ride to Cam Kim island makes the trip shorter and more interesting. We recommend riding to the island by the Iron bridge (from An Hoi island) and back to the town by boat later. A boat is always there (locals call ‘Cam Kim pier’ or ‘Kim Bong carpentry village pier’). Don’t forget visiting the carpentry village!

What to See and Do in Cam Kim Island

Kim Bong Carpentry Village

Kim Bong village is the most famous village in Cam Kim island. Here, traditional handicarft in wood carving and boat building have existed from 16th century. Local artisans constructed the Japanese covered bridge, wooden temples and houses in the Hoi An ancient town. Today, the next generations assist the government to restore and preserve these cultural heritages. The village is accessible by all road vehicles and the boat.

If plan to go to Cam Kim island, Kim Bong carpentry village is a must see. Visitors will see artisans at work, a variety of products, shops and have a chance to join hands in local daily work. For further information, please browse   

Tra Nhieu Fishing Village

Tra Nhieu fishing village is in the westernmost tip of Cam Kim island. Local people here are fishermen who catch fish in Thu Bon river or the sea. To see ther boats, their daily life and work, travelers should to go to the dock (location on Google maps: 15°51’24.1″N 108°20’57.4″E). Fishing nets are also set in nearby waters, and that’s great to photograph. By the dock, there is a boat-like temple where people worship the whale and pray for bumper harvests of fish. 

Tra Nhieu Coconut Forest

The coconut forest of Tra Nhieu fishing village is untouched and not affected by tourists. Here, a basket boat ride is also available in which travelers go along a peaceful river lined by lush palms. The boat is exclusive to the Central Vietnam region. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 or to book this experience. It’s definitely not chaotic and noisy like the one in Cam Thanh village.  

Rice Fields

Between villages of Cam Kim island, there are extremely large and breezy rice fields with farmers and water buffalos. Two crops here yearly, one in the spring and one in the autumn when it’s sunny. While going cross on peaceful roads through these paddies, travelers can smell grassy and sweet fragrance when the rice is ripe. It’s interesting to see locals harvesting and processing the rice (such as packing, sun drying), raising ducks or burning the straw later. Good-quality rice in Cam Kim island is the favourite for chicken rice makers in Hoi An old town. 

Rice Paper and Noodle Maker Houses

Islanders use the rice they grow to produce rice papers (both fresh and dried) or noodles (Mi quang noodles). Visitors can visit a local family to see how they make them traditionally and join hands later to make the first rice papers ever. Fresh rice papers will be placed on bamboo trays later to dry in the sun or be cut to have noodle sticks for cooking. In Cam Kim island bicycle tour, this experience is included, and more than that, the host family also prepare a noodle dish for the guests. 

Sedge Mat Maker Houses

Local inhabitants of Cam Kim island make colorful mats by sedge – a grasslike plant grown in swamps. Vietnamese people will use the mat for sleeping, sitting in daily meals or drinking tea with the guests, or eating in a party with friends. Absolutely, artisans collect the sedge and process them by hands once use them to weave the mat. Stages to complete one mat are told by the guide in bicycle tours to Cam Kim island from Hoi An. Like rice papers making, the family members are happy to show and teach the new comers their work. This experience is unseen in any classic tours and trips around the city.

Cam Kim Market

Although small, this market still is interesting to visit and see local products and photograph. It’s within Kim Bong carpentry village and not far way from the boat station where boats from the town dock.

Cam Kim Island Bicycle Tour

This is the best tour to Cam Kim island, a non-touristy countryside. From the beginning to end, it shows the authentic life and work of local inhabitants. After meeting with the guide, travelers will cycle across an iron bridge to land the island and then through transquil villages, rice fields, vegetable and animal farms, and go pass by temples, fishing dock, street markets. From place to place, backroads where traffic is minimum or dies are chosen to make sure that travelers can avoid the noise and pollution. Of course, stops to take photos and see exotic things are possible. 

Different from other trips, Cam Kim island bicycle tour introduces travelers local families. In each household, the guide will tell stories about their daily life, work and culture. In one house, family members show the guests how to make fresh rice papers and noodle sticks. A delicious noodle dish cooked by the mother is given later, called Mi quang noodle. In the other houses, the mother and the daughter produce sleeping mat by sedge, or the father cristyllizes the rice wine. All of them are happy when foreign friends join their work, and to teach how to do it right.

In the end of the tour, Kim Bong carpentry village and a boat ferry to get back to Hoi An may be in the itinerary. See full details in Cam Kim island bicycle tour.


Other Islands in Hoi An

An Hoi Island

This is another river island of Thu Bon river, but smaller than Cam Kim island. Its area is 2,5 km2. It’s home to fishing villages and today, the busiest night market – the Hoi An night market, Nguyen Phuc Chu pub street, or the Hoi An lune center for the performing arts. The Hoi An ancient town world heritage is just opposite to An Hoi island, and the border is the Hoai river.

Cam Nam Island

Cam Nam island is a long river island southeast of Hoi An ancient town. It’s connected with the rest of the city by the Cam Nam bridge spanning the Thu Bon river. This is home to nearly 6,500 inhabitants who are farmers, fisherman, and small business owners. The specialty food here is hen xao – ‘the stir-fried baby clams’ eaten with rice crackers and anchovy sauce, or che bap – ‘the corn sweet soup’. Baby clams are catched in neaby waterways and the corns are growned in fertile mudflats along the southern edge of the island. 

Cam Nam means ‘the wealthy land to the south’ in Vietnamese language.

Cham Islands

Not far from Hoi An, Cham islands is a group of 8 islands and islets, including Hon Lao (largest), Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon La, Hon Kho Me, Hon Kho Con, Hon Tai and Hon Ong. All of these feature a rugged, rocky coastline with small white-sandy beaches, forests on the top, and surrounded by coral reefs. The archipelago is designated as a national marine park, and a Unesco world biosphere reserve in 2009 thanks to its rich biodiversity. Read more details in our comprehensive guide to Cham islands in

Cham islands is popular for day trippers. They will reach this archipelago and back to the mainland by speedboat. Activities are visiting the main village (seafood market, temple, well, museum, etc), seeing the underwater life by a snorkel, relaxing on the beach or playing water sports (usualy optional). Lunch is served in a beachfront restaurant. See more information in Cham island tour from Hoi An.  

Beside that, for travelers who love diving or sea trekking, Cham islands is also ideal during the summer (estimated February to September). 

Con Hen Islet

Con Hen islet or ‘the Clam islet’ is a small island on Thu Bon river, between the city and Cam Nam island. Its name links to local tradition in collecting baby clams and cook a specialty dish later. Today, it turns into a complex of an amusement park (called ‘Hoi An impression theme park’), a resort, and an outdoor amphitheather for ‘Hoi An memories show’ – Vietnam’s largest art visual performance. The show price is from 600,000 to 1,200,000 VND. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 or to get a cheaper price and receive E-tickets immediately. 

Go Noi Island

This is the largest river island of Thu Bon river but least known by tourists. Travelers who cycle or ride the scooter through it to escape the bustle and bustle, on the way from Hoi An to My Son. It’s hometown of many national heroes in the French and American wars. Local specialty is the voal meat which is used to make ‘be thui’ (the roasting voal wrapped with rice papers and veggies, anchovy fish sauce as dipping sauce). 

Cam Kim Island on Google Maps

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