Visit Cham Island, stay overnight at a community homestay and enjoy delicious vegetarian and organic food.
What to experience ?
Based in Hoi An since 2005 Karma Waters & parent Tara Co. Ltd. is a small Responsible Tour Operator providing substantial local community & environmental benefits in Central Vietnam.
Cham Island homestay is an initiative of Karma Waters in close cooperation with homeowners, local government, the marine park administration and the local tourism cooperative. The homestays are located in Bai Huong village in the “UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Cu Lao Cham (CLC), Hoi An”. CLC includes seven islands and has a 3,000 year history of human habitation. The small village of Bai Huong has 500 inhabitants, a unique matriarchal culture, and an economy, which exclusively depends on fishing. The population is the unofficial caretaker of the Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve.
Visitors are encouraged to interact with the homestay owners and, if snorkelling, walking, kayaking and day tours will be your daily activities, you’ll be asked to volunteer for teaching English to your host family, or to take part in a beach and village clean-up.
Karma Water encourages visitors to have a sustainable lifestyle. All meals are vegetarian and organically grown. Seafood or meat meals are not available because the owners of Karma Waters are vegans. The aim is to support the conservation of local fish stocks and thus allow the development of the community and environment for future generations.
Private cooking classes are available. You are able to select which items you wish to make from the menu, and then work alongside staff to prepare the dishes together.
Vietnamese fishing communities have a great respect for whales and dolphins and they bury dead whales & dolphins as they would a family member. Most have a whale temple with whale bones. This is unique and it is hoped that the more sensitive tourists will find this interesting as well as respectful of all mammals.
How does it help ?
Karma Waters aims to maximise the economic benefits to the homestay owners. All receive a direct income from hosting visitors, and additionally 10% of total income from the homestay tours are for community programmes. This is to ensure that the community as a whole benefits and not just a few homes. The homestay welcomes only eight tourists per night, in order to provide maximum benefit per tourist ($18 USD/person/day including four meals).
Bai Huong is a fishing village and the primary negative environmental effect comes from fishing and destruction of the marine environment. By offering tourists only a vegan diet (no fish, meat or dairy products), Karma Waters chose not to contribute to the depletion of marine resources now at risk. Additionally all forms of trash (all trash is returned by boats to the mainland) and transport pollution levels (use of slower diesel boats) aim for tourists to have the least possible impact on the local environment.
Listed as “Green Heroes” by www.green.travel Sustainable Travel International (STI) website
63 Cua Dai Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam Province, Viet Nam.
Hoi An, Quang Nam Province