Follow these instructions for a flawless day in tropical paradise:
1. Get up crazy early. Hop on your motorbike and drive south out of Danang, past the Marble Mountains, down toward the sweet city of Hoi An.
2. Stop at the designated gathering place and meet up with your friends who have graciously planned all the logistical details of the day's outing.
3. Give thanks for said friends.
4. Travel on to a marina. Park your bike for the day and sail off across the Sourh China Sea. Don't mind the bumpy ride - the local skippers are just trying to have a little fun with their boatloads of tourists.
5. Disembark at the first landing and step out into an uninhabited tropical paradise.
6. Oops! Just kidding. Out first stop actually delivered us to a tiny fishing village where a group of women gathered in the shade at the shore to rig some bait pots. We watched in polite silence and I felt as intrusive as if I'd shown up uninvited in a stranger's kitchen.
But we were accepted and mostly ignored. Within a few minutes, we wandered back to the huge cement pier and waited for our boat to fetch us.
7. Climb back in the boat as instructed and zip around a corner of the island. This time, we really were delivered straight into the arms of our very own private, secluded and utterly gorgeous paradise.
Golden sands and clear blue waters greeted us, lush green jungle lay all around. As far as I could tell, there are no inland roads on Cham Island. This cozy charmed spot was accessible to only us, and the other few boatloads of visitors who came and went during our day.
8. Once settled on the island, relax and enjoy.
We napped in the shade.
We took a lot of photos.
9. When day is almost done, gather up your gear, brush the sand off your sunburned skin, and venture back into the boat for the quick return trip.
10. Drag your weary little self off the boat, up the stairs and back to your motorbike. Enjoy the sweet ocean breezes as you zoom back through the night to Danang, and treasure the golden memories of your day in tropical paradise.