Diving in Vietnam is getting more and more popular among diving communities. It is one of the newest dive destinations worldwide. Diving in the country started around the 90’s when PADI members (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) began offering courses around the state.
The Vietnamese’s diversity in underwater corals – more then 300 spices, animal life and reefs, contribute for the popularization of this sport around the globe. There are about 20-30 diving centers in Vietnam scattered around 8 major locations. The proximity to countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, all developing countries, is another great aspect for the development of diving activities in the area.
The most famous dive destinations around the country are: Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Whale Island, Con Dao Archipelago, Cu Lao Cham Marine park and more. Whale Island is probably the most famous of the Vietnamese dive spots, but as long as you don’t mind diving at slightly lesser known locations, you’ll be able to find some great deals on hotels in Nha Trang and Hoi An. The name should not fool visitors, although called whale, whales are rarely seen or even sharks. There are various depths from 10 to 40 meters. It is a suitable destination for novice and experienced divers. The Con Dao archipelago is a mere example of nature preservation. Over 250 000 turtles has been released to sea and many mature turtles have been marked and are under the protection of the law.
Diving either on the south or the north of the country is pretty similar. The season starts early May and continues to September with visibility up to 40 meters, still water and average water temperature of around 27C. Then from November to March is the low, rainy season and visibility is limited up to 5-10 meters, even some diving centers are closed between November and January.
For all adventurous and experienced divers a very popular site is the Three Kings or Hon Trau Nam. The divers can experience labyrinths, dive in caves, meet various sea slug spices. One can actually encounter whale sharks, sting rays or even manta ray. It is probably the most beautiful destination to visit in southern Vietnam.
Whale Island also offers to its visitors the chance to experience night dives with depths of up to 12-15 meters. Night diving reveals a great number of fishes that usually hide in corals during the day, and only come out of their holes at night. A variety of sea horses, crabs, shrimps and more are to be seen sleeping in the ocean. Besides these night dives, experienced divers are able to visit neighboring wrecks and sunken ships known to local guides.
Some people say that the best diving destination in the world is the red sea, and they will probably be right, but Vietnam has great potential. Actually when talking about diving, Vietnam may not be the first place to come to mind but with its warm tropical waters, diverse natural ecosystem, hospitable local people and almost year round diving locations, it is a place worth considering when making you diving vacation plan.