Vietnam is well-known for its tourist-grabbing natural beauty, affable locals, globalised national dishes and incredibly rich culture, but is also a wonderful place to go diving. Vietnam has a languid coastline that stretches 3,260 km (longer than Thailand) to offer divers year-round opportunities to peek below the waves.
Let's take a look at three great places to go diving in Vietnam:
Nha Trang is among the most popular places to visit on the Vietnam tour to experience scuba diving. Any travellers staying in Nha Trang have nearly 20 different diving operators to visit who offer a wide range of packages and courses for the novice to skilled divers. Plus, the majority of dive packages in Nha Trang are available at very affordable prices. In fact, the PADI courses in Nha Trang are likely to be the cheapest in the country.
A stay in Nha Trang can appeal to tourists looking to start their scuba diving adventure and gain the relevant open water certificates. The local currents are friendly, the waters are clear and the average water temperature is in the region of 28° C. Diving in Nha Trang is great for furthering experience and perfecting skills, but not so appealing for those looking to be mesmerised by the local marine life.
Dive locations in Nha Trang include:
Hon Mun Marine Park: an established scuba diving location for divers at any skill level and rich in reef life. Moray Beach is a great spot for training dives with is sandy and shallow bottom, as well as seeing moray eels. There are plenty of coral to see and marine life, such as black frogfish, clownfish and scorpionfish. Madonna Rock is a further spot with multiple caverns at different depth ranges that give effective shelter for breeding fish.
Whale Island: idyllically nestled in Van Phong Bay, Whale Island is a sheltered and beautiful bay that offers the varied spectrum of marine life. Whale Island is a perfect island getaway that is complete with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. It is located about 90 minutes north of Nha Trang. Stonefish and seahorses are likely to be seen hidden in one of the many pinnacles that surround the island. Other wildlife includes the string rays, manta rays and eagle rays that divers will encounter when exploring the deeper waters. Tourists visiting the island between April and July on the Vietnam holiday may encounter whale sharks and whales who visit the local archipelago area to feed on plankton and krill. White Rock and Ho Trau Nam (Three King Island) are among the best dive spots in the vicinity of Whale Island.
Nha Trang Bay
Nha Trang Bay spans an area of nearly 12,000 hectares that incorporates the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area. The reef-filled waters are perfect for both skilled and beginners learning to dive, which is mostly due to the relatively shallow waters in the region. Divers will get to see a varied range of marine life from the pufferfish and moray eels to the tropical fish like the boxfish and butterfly. July and August is a great time to visit for perfect all-round visibility.
Hoi An has a coastline that is teeming with tropical fish and coral which means these warm waters make are perfect destination for snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities. With its towering pinnacles and deep dive sites, the Hoi An diving adventure is certain to appeal to every diving enthusiast.
Dive sites in Hoi An include:
Hon Mo is a favourite dive site appreciated by travellers on the Vietnam travels for a variety of reasons. For instance, the plentiful and mysterious marine life is great for the enriching snorkelling or diving session, but the fine sandy beaches are very relaxing after exploring the soft and hard corals. The dive waters are practical for divers of any skill level with the depth ranging from 4 to 35 metres. Beyond the impressive range of corals, the waters are populated by nudibranchs, sea horses, clown fish and trumpetfish.
Hon Nhan is an ideal dive site for the intermediate to skilled divers. The water depth is in the region of 40 metres and rich in nudibranchs that litter the seabed in their thousands. Plus, there are plenty of schools of fish and a high-rise coral that is teeming with triggerfish, ribbon eels, barracudas, seahorses and pipefish. Hon Nhan can easily make a top-notch and incredible diving experience.
Phu Quoc is appreciated for its healthy water, abundance of marine life and coral growth, but visibility isn't the best which mostly relates to the run-off water from the Mekong. Dive sites in Phu Quoc are perfect for virtually every diving from those intended for the beginners to those that are more challenging.
Dive sites in Phu Quoc include:
Dry Island (also known as Hon Ko) is a breathtaking reef system that is hidden between the waves. Exploring the local waters gives access to a region bursting with life with its marine life consisting of bamboo sharks, rays, catfish, nudibranchs and miter shells. Also, there is the possibility of seeing butterfly fish and parrot fish that visit the remote island for its abundance of food.
Located in the north of Phu Quoc is Nudibranch Gardens, which has dive sites populated with untold numbers of colourful nudibranchs and other smaller fish species. The dive site is relatively shallow in areas, but there are deeper sections with rock formations and larch coral that are spacious enough to let bamboo sharks lurk beneath. Regardless of the skill levels, a visit to the Nudibranch Gardens on the package holidays to Vietnam can make a very exciting diving spot.
Best time to scuba dive in Vietnam
The calmer currents and better visibility are witnessed through the main diving season, which takes place between March and October. However, the majority of dive sites are open and accessible year-round. Also, the weather can vary drastically from one location to the next so it helps to check the condition before venturing out to visit a diving spot.