Scuba Diving in Vietnam

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula, washed by the warm waters of the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Vietnam is often referred to as the Land of Smiles and kind hospitality. The monsoon sub-equatorial climate, the beauty and richness of the underwater world, the turquoise color of the water attracts divers from all over the world. This is the place where Jacques-Yves Cousteau dived for the very first time, who then glorified the beauty of these waters in his films. The coast also became the place where the first corals originated from. There are about 400 species of them now.
Vietnam offers divers many interesting and exciting options. Swimming with turtles, exploring sunken ships, grottoes and caves, steep walls, overgrown with polyps, coral reserves — these are some of them, but by no means all. You don't have to dive deep to see this underwater beauty. You can see the beauty of the underwater world at a depth of 5 m.

Reasons to Visit

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Where to go
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Nha Trang is the most popular resort and area for diving in Vietnam. It is located on the coast of the South China Sea near the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Here, you will find a marine reserve, where you can dive to a depth of 3 to 30 m to see the diversity of the underwater terrain. Nha Trang Bay boasts 12,000 hectares of reef-filled waters with more than 400 species of stony and soft corals and a huge variety of sea creatures. Marine life includes rare and little studied molluscs, moray eels and jellyfish.
Turtle Island is located in the vicinity of Nha Trang. Huge green sea turtles, once on the brink of extinction, now successfully continue breeding. Sometimes you can find a turtle over 100 years old with its shell overgrown with algae. This place is also famous for another unique sea creature — dugong (a kind of a sea cow). Its cry is very similar to a human cry, which is how the legend of the sirens inhabiting these waters was born.
In the south of Phu Quoc Island (Vietnamese: Phú Quốc) there is an "Anemone bay". At a depth of 12 meters, its rocky bottom is completely covered with yellow and red sea anemones, forming real gardens. Explore the ecosystem that has formed on these rocks, and all the grottos and caverns that fish species hide in. It is also home for large turtles, big jellyfish, manta rays, bamboo sharks, catsharks, scorpionfish and small seahorses and nudibranchs.
Off the coast of Con Dao (Vietnamese: Côn Đảo) there is a natural reserve Con Dao National Park. Its greatest prides are the magnificent coral reefs and the variety of seaweed that has become a pasture for dugongs (sea cows). The Park is home to about 1300 species of marine fauna. Visiting certain places requires a special permit and a guide.
Hon Mun Island has clear waters and a magnificent coral reef ecosystem, which is protected by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and also said to be the area with the most marine biodiversity in Vietnam. Popular diving spots are located here. At Madonna Rock, you can discover the incredible tunnels and caves in the rocks at various depths which can conquer the heart of any diver. Coral Garden will surprise you with crystal-clear water and magnificent landscapes, and at Mushroom Reef you can watch flying fish and octopuses scurrying around the underwater rocks.
Memo Notes
Currency VND - Vietnamese Dong
Electricity

Type A - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type C - 220 V, 50 Hz

Type F - 220 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Vietnam

In Vietnam, you can find dive shops almost anywhere. Some are in hotels and others are independent. They provide diving safaris throughout the country. The cost of the tours include meals, boat rental, support and guidance of an experienced instructor. You can find dive shops with English, German, Chinese, Russian speaking staff in Vietnam.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

March is the ideal month for diving. The air temperature in spring is typically a balmy +30... +34 °C, water warms up to + 27 °C. In May, the rainy season begins in the southern part of the country, while it is tourist season in the North.

Summer

It is more comfortable in the central part of the country during the summer period. It's stormy in the South and hot in the North. By the end of summer the sea warms up to + 28... + 29 °C. The hottest month is July with an average daily temperature of + 32... + 34 °C.

Autumn

In autumn the rainy season starts almost all over Vietnam. And only in the North, it is dry and sunny. In October, the country is hit by typhoons. In November, its a period of bad weather in the center of the country, but you can go South and North to catch the sun and sea beauty.

Winter

In winter, the sea temperature ranges from 20 °C in the North to 27 °C in the South. Resort life moves to the southern regions of the country, where the air warms up to 29 °C. In January, the rainy season ends in the North.

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The Best Dive Sites

There is a wreck of a 70 meter long fishing trawler resting at a depth of 40 meters near the island of Con Dao. Its hull and holds are overgrown with algae and corals, which shelter fish and crustaceans.
And Hom Mo in Charm Islands is the really charming site, with hard and soft corals, and small sea creatures, such as pipefish, seahorses and nudibranchs. The depth of the site very from 4 to 35 metres.

Health & Safety

Quality of medical facilities varies enormously depending on where you are in Vietnam. The quality and availability of healthcare is especially poor in rural areas outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Even minor surgical operation may require transportation to a big city hospital. The doctors expect payment in cash before treatment even in case of an emergency. Some hospitals keep in touch with insurance companies, others require upfront payment.
Vietnam is a safe country for tourists. Violent crimes in the country are rare. Petty crimes like bag or purse snatching, pick pocketing and imposing services that you have not requested prevail.

Dangerous Marine Life

Vietnam ranks third highest in terms of global shark attacks. Meeting box jellyfish, or sea wasps can become an unpleasant surprise in Nha Trang (Vietnamese: Nha Trang) waters. They are considered to be the fastest and the most aggressive animals. The amount of venom in one animal is said to be enough to kill 60 adult humans in just 3 minutes. From October to May, the biggest cluster of sea wasps appears in Vietnam.

Eat & Drinks

This unique country is also famed for its food, combining the best of Chinese, Thai and Khmer cuisines. The main products are fish, chicken, pork, vegetables, rice, spices, young bamboo shoots. Pho soup is a very old and popular Vietnamese dish made of sweet pure broth, meat and the soft parts of a burdock. Another must-try in Vietnam is fried rolls made of crabs, pork, eggs, carrots, cabbage, pea pods, mushrooms and herbs, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried in vegetable oil.
Beer lovers will be satisfied with the quality of a local beer. The drink is produced using German and Danish technology of production. Local vodka is made from rice, so it has a specific taste.
Only bottled water should be consumed.