If you are hoping for a real local experience in Hội An, just spend a few days in Cam Thanh.
Cam Thanh is one of the prettiest districts in Quang Nam, surrounded on four sides by deep green rivers lined with nipa palms. Across Cam Thanh a network of small lanes cuts through lush rice fields, passing humble workshops, flower-filled gardens, and roadside eateries. Cam Thanh is the perfect place to stay close to nature and see rural life firsthand. Here are a few highlights.

Cam Thanh rice fields - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Cam Thanh rice fields

Cam Thanh’s rice fields are the heart of its community. Farming families work the fields year-round, plowing with water buffalo, transplanting young shoots by hand, and harvesting the golden yellow grains. Many fields have special burial areas for farmers from generations past. Ride a bicycle in the early morning or late afternoon to take in the full spectacle.

Bay Mau nipa palm mangrove forest - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Nipa palm mangrove forest

Bay Mau is a unique mangrove wetland in Cam Thanh. The forest was first planted in the 18th century with young nipa palms from southern Vietnam. The plant took root and flourished in Cam Thanh, creating a large mangrove forest right by the sea. Clamber into a round basket boat, known as ‘thúng chài’, for a tranquil hour of gliding under the palms and over the water.

Countryside dining in Cam Thanh - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Countryside dining

Cam Thanh is made up of farms, vegetable gardens, and seafood ponds, so you can expect to eat well. In the morning look for small eateries serving bánh mì, bún chả cá (fish cake soup) and mì Quảng. Later on, treat your tastebuds to summer rolls, tamarind prawns, and chicken with lemongrass and chili. Eat it all with hot rice and stir-fried morning glory the way the locals do.

TIP: The Field Restaurant is a sensational spot to try countryside dishes. The restaurant is situated in the middle of the rice fields, and the kitchen follows a sustainable, zero-waste model.

Kayaking in Cam Thanh - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Kayaking excursions

There’s nothing better than pushing off from the shore in the early morning in Cam Thanh. Soon you’ll be gliding across a panorama of river scenery: small sampans, wide fishing traps, flocks of herons, and brightly painted boats. The Thu Bon River near Cam Thanh is calm and perfect for kayaking or SUP. Being on the water gives a view into local life that simply can’t be seen on land.

TIP: Hoi An Kayak Tours runs sustainable, community-based tours on the waterways of Hội An. Guided tours start from the riverfront in Cam Thanh – each one promises several hours of fun and memorable moments for nature lovers.

Vegetable gardens and cooking classes in Cam Thanh - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Vegetable gardens and cooking classes

The Thanh Dong Organic Farm is the first organic farm in Hoi An. This green oasis is the work of 10 local families, who have followed an organic farming model since 2014. Inside a boundary of tall elephant grass, you’ll find row after row of healthy vegetables, fruits, and herbs sprouting from the soil. The farm’s cooking class uses just-picked produce to prepare tasty Vietnamese dishes.

Local home stays and villas in Cam Thanh - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Local home stays and villas

Finding a beautiful place to stay is easy in Cam Thanh. Choose a room with a view right onto the rice paddies and wake up to the sight of ducks and water buffalo outside your window. Many boutique hotels have rooms on the riverbanks, where tiny sampans row by on the way to the market. Most homestays and hotels offer free bicycles for DIY tours of the neighborhood.

TIP: An Villa is a secret sustainable oasis with nine gracefully appointed rooms nestled in a tangle of palms, vines and flowering plants on the edge of a glimmering pond.

Historic tombs and temples in Cam Thanh - Hoi An - Quang Nam

Historic tombs and temples

Around Cam Thanh you’ll notice colorful temples and shrines tucked along the sides of the roads, and tombs set in expansive rice fields. Most of the tombs are those of local farmers and village leaders, however some are said to be royal tombs, and others are tombs of Japanese who lived in Hoi An. You can also visit the temple of the nest-gatherers in Cam Thanh, and the temple to the Whale God, which is a place of worship for Cam Thanh’s many fisherfolk.

TIP: Purchase Tim Doling’s extraordinary book ‘Exploring Quang Nam’ for detailed information on historic sites, and specific tour routes around Hoi An and Quang Nam.

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