Hoi An Coconut Village – A Guide to Cam Thanh Coconut Village

Hoi An Coconut Village boasts of the most interlaced waterway system in the city. Four rivers encircle it and are connected together with smaller canals. Thanks to fertile alluvia and fresh water all year round, palm forests, gardens and rice paddies are well-fed. No surprise that people have been settled down here for over 2,000 years. Up to date, farming and fishing are still the main sources of income to villagers. Owning authentic scenes of rural lifes and unspoiled environment, lots of travelers ride bicycles to explore this green oasis. In the recent decade, organized tourist activities are more and more.

This article is made to provide you everything you need to know about Hoi An Coconut Village, a noise-free piece of countryside. The focuses here are ecotourism and the local community. Since 2009, the village has been a part of Unesco Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An Biosphere Reserve which fosters harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development. We also recommend reading traveler guide to basket boat ride (the best thing to do) in the village. It’s unique in the region, a must in any trips heading over to this side of the city.  

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Contents

About the Hoi An Coconut Village

Overview

Hoi An Coconut Village (or Cam Thanh Coconut Village, Cam Thanh Water Coconut Village, or Cam Thanh Village) is a portion of Hoi An’s countryside 5 km east of the Old town. Near Cua Bai Bridge, it’s surrounded by four waterways including Thu Bon River to the south and De Vong River to the east. Around its hamlets, travelers can see historical buildings, tranquil rice paddies, fishing nets, households producing handicrafts and above all, lush palm groves. The best-known tourist attraction here is Bay Mau coconut forest, nicknamed “Little Mekong Delta ”. An experience on a basket boat there can’t be missed. Moreover, there are many other ecotourism activities to participate in this undisturbed rural land.

Cam Thanh means “wealth and serenity” in Vietnamese. It’s also the name of a 9,4-km2 rural commune, home of 9,452 people.

Local Culture in Hoi An Coconut Village

Hoi An Coconut Village’s inhabitants have many crafts to earn for living, such as weaving fishing nets, making basket boats, producing coconut objects, building houses by palm and harvesting edible bird nests. The last tradition is from 15th century, and now the know-how about it is passed down by different generations of Tran and Ho clans. A temple for worship of first harvesters (ancestors) is built in the middle of rice paddies near the palm forests. On 10th day of 3rd lunar month, commemoration ceremonies are held. Also having a long history, the craft in making buildings by palm is only in Cam Thanh. There are 30 families continuing it at the moment. Collecting the leaf is in the first and sixth lunar months yearly, and then, 11 stages need to be completed to build a house or restaurant.

 

 

Best Time to Visit Hoi An Coconut Village

In the dry season, from February to August, local weather features many sunny hours during the day followed by a high temperature and low rainfall. Travelers often tour around the village and the forest on boats in cooler times, to avoid the midday heat. The best ride is in the early or late hours. During Vietnamese summer holidays (about April, May), it’s great to be away from crowds and noise as well. Before hitting the road, should bring sun cream, sunglasses and water to drink. All activities are available in this period, so it’s the most ideal time.  

In the rest of the year, from September to January, the temperature decreases and rains occur much more. This allows travelers to enjoy a nicer air than previous times, but requires them to check the weather forecast in advance and bring a rain poncho always. The lowest degrees are from November to January, averaging 23oC. Between September and November, tropical typhoons hit the region. As a result, strong winds and gusts, big waves, pouring rains and floods are frequently seen. This period has the worst weather, so lots of travelers often don’t visit or need to research carefully. Because of the confluence of 3 rivers, many parts of Hoi An Coconut Village are flooded. To ensure visitor’s safety, outdoor activities are closed.

 

Hoi An Coconut Village Attractions

Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Bay Mau is a pristine and secondary nipa palm forest in the central and east of Hoi An Coconut Village. The first seeds were brought here around 200 years ago when southern Vietnamese came to live. Now, it grows healthy, spreading over a few hectares near the estuary of Thu Bon River. Riding along the road near Boutique Cam Thanh Resort, travelers will see most water coconuts and many local men going fishing. In 2009, its richness of wildlife here fosters recognition of Unesco for the Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An Biosphere Reserve.

During the French and American wars, communists made full use of its maze-like, muddy and shallow waterways to hide. And, they left when the final campaign occurred (to liberate and unify the country). Foreign troops tried many methods and many times, to seek the hiding places but failed. In history books, this area is called “Bay Mau Coconut Forest Revolutionary Base” and inscribed as a heritage site. Read further details in our travel guide to basket boat ride. In which, travelers are conveyed to explore the forest.

Locals call Bay Mau coconut forest because it extends 7 mau (a unit of land area of 35,000 m2).

Taboo Bamboo Gallery

Tan, the owner of this gallery is a skillful artisan who is passionate in making creative things using bamboo. His artworks are house furniture, vehicles, souvenirs, and so on. A visit here allows one to know better the traditional handicraft of the village. No entrance fee is required, so feeling free to stop and see. If would like to create your own, workshops are available to give materials and instructions. Stroll down to know details in “Activities in Hoi An Coconut Village”. 

 

Activities in Hoi An Coconut Village

Basket Boat Ride in Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Basket boat ride to discover palm forests is the most popular activity in Hoi An Coconut Village. It’s a unique experience in which travelers not only see a strange landscape at home but also have a chance to know better local life. Firstly, moving around on a round boat which fishers use daily to access shallow, hidden places to catch fish. Keeping the balance, rowing and spinning (dancing) are what they’re masterly. In the cruise, the rider shows how to catch small crabs by the rod, fish by the net, and make an origami by palm leaf. Passengers are allowed to try the catchings by themselves, with instruction from locals. Absolutely, there is lots of fun on the water before landing. For further information (ticket, prices, how to book, tips, etc), read our guide to basket boat ride.

Vietnamese Cooking Class

On the ground, travelers can book a cooking class to learn Vietnamese food recipes and then taste them. It’s provided in many basket boat tours around the village. The earliest-established school is Thuan Tinh, isolated in a palm oasis to the east of where tourists often go to. It’s founded by Uncle Thai, an overseas Vietnamese who first arrived at Hoi An in 1995 and has loved it since then. Now, his business organizes two classes daily: the half-day and the sunset. The 5-hour class can start from morning or afternoon (often at 8:45 or 11:45 a.m), costing 910,000 VND. Four delicious dishes are taught. The sunset tour begins at 4 p.m and costs 610,000 VND. Compared to the longer ones, this option features a cruise to view sundown, and an opportunity to dine out in such a calm atmosphere at night.

In the tourist hub, the Hoi An Eco Cooking Class is a local family-run, providing only a guided half-day experience. It begins at 8:30 a.m from the hotel in Hoi An center. Then, travelers have a traditional market visit and round boat ride before learning. There are 7 different dishes instructed to make, including a vegetarian menu. The price is 32 USD. Like an afternoon class, the market visit is cut and the tour guide will be in the lobby at 12 p.m.

In a back street, the Sabirama Cooking Tour organizes 5-hour trips, from 8 a.m or 1 p.m. It includes a market tour, Thu Bon River cruise, basket boat ride, buffalo cart ride, foot massage and 5 recipes to learn. The cost is 40 USD for adults, 10 USD off for childrens from 5 to 11 years old, and free to kids under 5.    

Taboo Bamboo Workshop

This is the only handicraft workshop in Hoi An Coconut Village. It’s headed by Tan, a local young man whose passion is inherited from his father and grandfather. Under his instructions, travelers can make a bamboo object by themselves from scratch and bring it home as a wonderful souvenir. It’s highly recommended to prepare an idea in advance. The experience begins with a visit around Tan’s studio where he exhibits his own creations like house furniture, buggy, and more. All levels of skills, experience and ages are warmly welcomed. The cost is 99 USD.

Note: It takes much time to complete your first own bamboo product in Vietnam. Make sure that you have time enough to get a must-do basket boat ride. The last departure should be 45 minutes before sunset.

Local Massage

A massage by a local therapist is possible to seek in households around Hoi An Coconut Village. It’s usually a part of basket boat tour options, with learning Vietnamese cooking recipes. Foot and body treatments are most popular, which female villagers do the best. In a calm rural setting, this reward should be in the list of things to do. Compared to the Old town, the prices here are cheaper.  

Kayaking and Standup Paddle Boarding

Not far from the area of basket boat tour organizers, travelers can find rentals and tours in the base of Hoi An Kayak. 2-hour rental of standup paddle boards costs 15 USD, and each late hour is charged 5 USD. Prices of a single kayak rental is the same, and for a double one, the cost for two first hours is 20 USD. About the tours, there are 4 packages: the sunrise, palm forest and craft village, local life experience and the sunset. The second begins at 8:30 a.m and ends 3 hours after. In its itinerary, the guide makes the way to Bay Mau coconut village and then an island village where a mini class about making sedge mat occurs. Its price is 32 USD per person and if booking more than 5 people, 3 USD down. Should come between 8 a.m and 4 p.m if hiring something. See more information in hoiankayaktours.com.

Touring around a Bicycle

Hoi An Coconut Village is the destination of many bicycle tours (from Tra Que village or the Old town). Meaning that riding around it is also an interesting experience. Following back roads, travelers will see small, tranquil hamlets surrounded by green gardens, rice fields and palm groves. It’s a chance to see different slices of local daily life and capture them with the camera. There may be farmers working in the paddy with beloved buffalo or herding a flock of ducks, fishers catching fish on the rivers or going fishing by the shore, women cutting the palm leaf and drying them on roads, and so on. In the late afternoon, the rider can break with a killer sunset view. Bicycle rental is available in the village to book if don’t have one.

Watch Sunrise and Sunset

Cua Dai Bridge near the Coconut village is perfect to witness both sunrise and sunset. Thanks to its location and height, from its sidewalks, viewers can marvel at a brilliant scene of Mother nature when the sun rises and falls. In the early morning, it’s possible to expect a golden sea and river dotted with moving fisherman boats and purple Cham islands. This is one of the most iconic sunrise moments that all photographers want to capture. At the end of day, the best disappearance on the earth is showcased. The organish sun goes below the horizon where mountains of the My Son Sanctuary stand, minute by minute. During it, unspoiled islands and the delta are extremely serene. Sometimes the peacefulness is broken for a while by boats cruising downstream.

Note: The winds are quite strong on top of the bridge, ensuring that your belongings are not swept away. 

 

 

What to Eat in Hoi An Coconut Village?

Most basket boat organizers provide a meal with Vietnamese foods in the packages. But if without, it’s easy for them to arrange for travelers. An announcement in advance is needed to give them time to prepare and serve the best. Booking a cooking class? Besides the dishes for learning, some additional ones are added on the table to ensure the learners get full. More special, travelers will taste what they just made and share how they feel to other members of the family. Going further, the kitchen of the Red Circle Restaurant caters up something different like pizza, curry, etc in addition to local foods and Vietnamese classics. Up north, the western food menu and lots of rescued cats can be seen in Jack’s Cat Café (the new location). Your meal here is more fun! 

3,5km via Vo Chi Cong Rd, travelers have many seaside, riverside restaurants to savour scrumptious fresh seafood dishes in Cua Dai Beach. See more information here.

How to Get Hoi An Coconut Village & Parking

Hoi An Coconut Village Location

Taxi and Car

Distance from Hoi An centre to the Coconut Village is 6 km, so it takes around 10 minutes by taxi or car. The travel time is the same if travelers depart from An Bang Beach. If the hotel is in the Cam Chau and Cua Dai Beach areas, it’s shorter. 80,000 VND is the cost for a 6-km ride. As the most convenient vehicle to take, taxis pick up passengers in every corner in Hoi An and in the village, there is no difficult to find one too. Private car rental is suitable for a long trip with multiple destinations. For example, the experience around the countryside of Hoi An, to Marble Mountains or My Son Sanctuary.  

Motorcycle and Bicycle

These non-motorized vehicles are most used in Hoi An, to get around the city. Bicycles are free in nearly all of local accommodations and about the motorcycle, a rental is easy and inexpensive. From the Old town or An Bang beach, the distance is 6 km, meaning that the riders will spend 10 minutes with a motorcycle. It’s 15 to 20 minutes if taking a bicycle. Tran Nhan Tong and Vo Chi Cong are two quickest roads respectively. Many travelers choose to ride across the north countryside (surroundings of Tra Que herb village) before arriving at the village. Booking a guided tour if expecting to tour on the best back roads and have a rural life experience.

Bus

Check the information of the shuttle bus in your hotel before thinking of other ways to get to the Coconut Village. If not available or in the itinerary, you can book a ride from the Hoi An Shuttle Bus. This business runs from July 2019, and now provides two kinds of electric buggy: 6 seats and 8 seats. A ride less than 3km costs 50,000 VND or 10,000 VND pp if the group has more than 5 members. Passengers will pay 100,000 VND or 20,000 VND pp for a distance from 3 to 5 km. Longer rides charge 100,000 VND and 30,000 pp but the booking is accepted if the destination is within Hoi An city. Call +84905663616 or leave a message on Facebook @hoianshuttlebus to reserve.

From Da Nang

Hoi An Coconut Village is 28 km south of Da Nang center. It takes travelers 40 minutes by car and some extra minutes if getting to by motorcycle. The shortest (quickest) road is the Coast Road. From Da Nang, after arriving at the traffic light in An Bang Beach, continue riding straight and turning right at the second light. Following Vo Chi Cong Rd until another traffic light, turning left. Ticket booths and basket boat tour providers line the road. No public transportation in this route.   

Parking

Travelers can choose to park their own bike in the public parking lots near ticket kiosks or in a local house where they book tours. It’s free in second place, and 5,000 VND in the others.

Things to Do near Hoi An Coconut Village

In the early hours of each morning, Duy Hai fish market opens. There, travelers can see bustling scenes between fisherman boats (sellers) and buyers (traders and restaurant owners). Because newly arrived, fishes and a variety of other fresh seafood are seen. Living ones are not rare to buy, especially in the seasons. At the same time with sunrise, photographers come here many times to capture wonderful moments of people and nature. In the surroundings, travelers can try authentic local breakfast dishes. After that, Cavalry Coffee is a nice stop to have a coffee boost before explorations around the palm village. Other stunners are An Bang and Cua Dai Beach, Tra Que vegetable village or the Vinpearl Land Amusement Park.

Hoi An Coconut Village Tours

Lots of travelers choose an organized tour to Hoi An Coconut Village because of many benefits. Firstly, it includes a roundtrip transfer from the hotel and that one is cheaper, quicker than a do-it-yourself ride (sometimes). All highlights in the village are covered, from basket boat ride, local massage to learning traditional food recipes. In many packages, other countryside (ecotourism) experiences like buffalo cart ride, how farmers work in the field or fishers in the river. By that, travelers can get insight into the lives of local villagers. A cruise on the Thu Bon River or a bicycle journey are other additions. The best tour is best fitted to your travel plan (time), liking and budget.

These are featured tours/experiences you may be interested:

  • Half-day Hoi An coconut village experience
  • Full-day Coconut village and Hoi An old town walking tour
  • Full-day Coconut village and Marble Mountains
  • Full-day Coconut village and My Son Sanctuary
  • Full-day Coconut village and the Bests of Da Nang

 

Accommodations in Hoi An Coconut Village

Boutique Cam Thanh Resort

Location: Near Tran Nhan Tong-Vo Chi Cong crossroad – Contacts: Tel (+842353947999), Email (sales@boutiquecamthanhresort.com), Facebook (@boutiquecamthanhresort).

Surrounded by coconut palms, this resort now provides three types of accommodation: the Superior, the Family and the Villa. All are fully equipped with modern amenities and. By a swimming pool, the superior option has a queen bed and traditional decorations under a thatched roof. There are 6 rooms with the same standards available if the guests require an extra queen bed. Dedicated to family stays, the second accommodation option is only one. It’s furnished by 2 comfy queen beds and all essentials. Each of 10 villas feature two bed rooms, a private and spacious bathroom, with a clean-water pool just at the doorstep. In addition, the guests can enjoy other facilities and conveniences: free bicycle, pool beds, spa, bar, restaurant, tours, airport transfer and more. See more information at boutiquecamthanhresort.com.

Hoi An Coco River Resort & Spa

Location: 999 Tran Nhan Tong St – Contacts: Tel (+842353930777), Email (gm@ancienthouseriver.com), Facebook (@hoiancocoriverresort).

Between a main road and Thu Bon River, this 4-star hotel owns the best rooms to stay overnight and relax in the area. Each features a Hoi An local style design with the sunny balcony overlooking lush gardens and blue swimming pool beside sun beds and jacuzzi tubs. Its inner spaces are equipped with a comfortable bed, clean and spacious bathroom, and all necessary amenities. Near the river, the guests can enjoy tasty Vietnamese foods in a thatched-roof restaurant, located amid a palm forest. Furthermore, river tours, day trips and transfers are available to book in the reception.

 

Hoi An Coconut Village Map

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