FREE Shipping for Orders above $25 (Singapore)


Could this be the page you are looking for?  Do those numbers point to the right place?  Did you remember to put in the N and the E?

Yes, congratulations, you have figured out where you will be going in October.  Future posts (definitely on July 15, August 15, September 15) will also be found here so check back periodically.  Some will be letters from your (fictional) UN colleagues that are there right now, others will be warnings as well as new discoveries about the treasure you need to secure on behalf of the UN. Whatever is posted, all will be useful for when you finally go and meet your (fictional) host families.

In the meantime, here's a little bit more about the place you will be going to and why the UN has sent you and your team there.  

Cu Lao Cham Marine Park 

Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the Cham Group of Islands is roughly 17km east off the ancient port city of Hoi An, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site as many of its well preserved buildings date back to the 18th Century and show a fusion of cultures from around the world.  

In 1993, a fishermen started finding small ceramic ink pots in his net while fishing off of the port city of Hoi An in Central Vietnam in an area they call the Dragon Sea.  He would return to the site, no longer fishing for fish, until other fishermen started noticing his hoard.  They are not flipping and flopping around.  Soon, they would be all at it.  

shipwreck ceramics

At a depth of 70 metres, far below what recreational divers can manage (12 metres) before needing special equipment and training, the fishermen were unable to get much until other very greedy ones started using steel rakes to dislodge the mounds of ceramic. Here's more on that story.  Thankfully, most of the ship would remain intact until professional salvaging companies were brought in by the government.  The find would yield one of the largest collections (250,000 pieces of what is believed to be about 1 million) of 15th century (Ming Dynasty) Vietnamese ceramics from the Red River Kilns. 

tiny pieces


Amazingly, in this photo/video essay by BBC called "The Wreck Detectives", they show that the area will most likely yield a lot more wrecks as it is, as the locals name it, a shipwreck cemetery so that one of the eight islands of Cham Marine Park is called "Tomb".

Key Trading Routes and Wreck Sites

As many Portuguese, French, British and Dutch ships also passed through these waters with two Dutch ships recorded as having been wrecked in a storm and sunk on 26 Nov 1641, the entire coast of Vietnam could be where many ships still lie.

And in fact, as evidenced by the Belitung Shipwreck in Indonesia, Arabic & Indian traders were here even earlier, active since the Tang dynasty (618 - 907) and possibly earlier.  Local collector Lam Du Xueh believes his timber is from that era and marine archaeologists who have looked at it believe he is right given the construction of the boat & the materials used.

ancient timber

Read more on the coast of Vietnam being a graveyard for ships and the local Fishermen, Collectors, Marine Archaeologists and Treasure Hunters who go diving in its waters in BBC's "The Wreck Detectives" when you have time.  It is a fascinating world.

For now, if you've made it all the way down here, head back to equipping yourself with the Mental Tools needed for your UN mission to be a success.