It’s super easy to access! With international airports in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you can hop on a plane and find yourself in this captivating land in no time. Many visit Vietnam for the food, temples and vistas. But we are here to go scuba diving in Vietnam!
But what makes Vietnam truly special for scuba diving? It’s not just the incredible biodiversity and picturesque landscapes; it’s the warmth and friendliness of the locals, the welcoming dive centres, and the sense of adventure that permeates every dive.
In this Vietnam scuba diving guide, I’ll take you on a journey through the top scuba diving destinations in Vietnam, unveiling the hidden gems and must-visit dive sites. So grab your gear, dive into the excitement, and get ready to embark on an underwater adventure you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Vietnam is calling, and the underwater wonders await!
Related read: Vietnam 3 Week Itinerary: From North to South
How is scuba diving in Vietnam?
Scuba diving in Vietnam is a great experience. First off, let’s talk about the underwater landscapes. Vietnam boasts an impressive coastline that stretches for thousands of kilometres, offering a diverse range of dive sites. From vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life to dramatic rock formations and submerged forests, the underwater scenery is simply mesmerizing. You’ll find yourself surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours as you explore the depths.
Now, let’s dive into marine biodiversity. Vietnam’s waters are home to an incredible variety of marine species. From playful tropical fish to majestic sea turtles and even rare creatures like dugongs and seahorses, there’s always a delightful surprise waiting for you beneath the surface. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply enjoy observing marine life in its natural habitat, Vietnam’s underwater world will leave you in awe.
One of the fantastic aspects of scuba diving in Vietnam is its accessibility. There are numerous dive center’s and resorts catering to divers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros. Whether you’re looking to obtain your diving certification or embark on thrilling guided dives, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your needs.
Oh, and did I mention the water conditions? They are often favourable, with good visibility and pleasant temperatures. This means you’ll have clear views of the marine wonders around you, making each dive even more breathtaking.
But it’s not just the diving itself that makes Vietnam special. The diving community here is warm, friendly, and passionate. You’ll meet fellow divers from all over the world, share stories, and create lasting friendships. Plus, the dive operators and instructors are knowledgeable and experienced, ensuring your safety and enhancing your overall diving experience.
What are the best scuba diving spots in Vietnam?
Nha Trang, situated on the south-central coast of Vietnam, is a scuba diving hotspot that never fails to impress. The best time to visit Nha Trang for diving is from February to October when the weather is warm and the sea is calm. During this period, you can expect excellent visibility and water temperatures ranging from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Nha Trang is known for its colourful coral reefs provide a backdrop for encounters with clownfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish. Look out for schools of barracudas, trevallies, and snappers gracefully swimming by. If you’re lucky, you might even spot hawksbill turtles gliding through the water.
Apart from scuba diving, Nha Trang offers a host of other activities to enjoy. Soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches, explore the vibrant local markets, or take a boat tour to nearby islands. Don’t miss a visit to Vinpearl Land, a popular amusement park and entertainment complex.
Some of the best dive sites in Nha Trang include:
- Mun Island: A marine sanctuary known for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Keep an eye out for pufferfish, moray eels, and even reef sharks.
- Hon Mun Marine Protected Area: Dive into an underwater paradise teeming with colourful fish, intricate coral formations, and the chance to spot stingrays and turtles.
- Whale Island: Just a short boat ride from Nha Trang, this secluded island offers fantastic diving opportunities with a focus on relaxation and tranquility.
Phu Quoc, is an island paradise off the southwestern coast of Vietnam that beckons scuba diving enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. The best time to visit Phu Quoc for diving is from November to May when the sea is calm and the visibility is at its best. During this period, water temperatures range from 26 to 29 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for underwater exploration.
Phu Quoc is home to an array of tropical fish, including butterflyfish, parrotfish, and angelfish. Keep your eyes peeled for encounters with seahorses, lionfish, and even majestic rays gracefully gliding through the water.
Beyond scuba diving, Phu Quoc offers a myriad of activities to enjoy. Explore the island’s pristine beaches, visit the Phu Quoc National Park, or take a boat trip to the nearby An Thoi Archipelago. Don’t forget to indulge in the island’s famous seafood and visit the lively night markets.
Some of the best dive sites in Phu Quoc include:
- Turtle Island: Dive into an underwater wonderland where you can spot sea turtles, rays, and an abundance of colourful coral reefs.
- Finger Island: Explore a dive site characterized by unique underwater pinnacles and caves, providing a habitat for diverse marine species.
- An Thoi Archipelago: Embark on a diving adventure among 15 islands, each offering its own unique underwater landscapes and captivating marine encounters.
Discover the untouched marine wonders of the Con Dao Archipelago, a hidden gem off the southern coast of Vietnam. The best time to visit Con Dao for diving is from March to September when the sea is calm and the visibility is optimal. During this period, water temperatures range from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius, providing the perfect conditions for underwater exploration.
Here you’ll encounter hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, and schools of barracudas. Marvel at the vibrant coral gardens that dot the underwater landscape.
In addition to scuba diving, Con Dao offers a range of activities for nature enthusiasts. Explore the pristine beaches, hike through the lush forests of Con Dao National Park, or take a boat tour to explore the surrounding islands. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the island’s history by visiting the Con Dao Museum and the historical prisons.
Some of the best dive sites in Con Dao include:
- Bay Canh Island: Dive into crystal-clear waters to witness an abundance of marine life, including turtles, rays, and colourful reef fish.
- Hon Tai Island: Explore the dramatic drop-offs and vibrant coral gardens that attract a diverse range of marine species.
- Con Son Bay: Embark on a diving adventure along the bay’s coastline, encountering stunning coral formations and an array of marine life.
Whale Island Vietnam
Escape to the tranquil paradise of Whale Island, a hidden gem near Nha Trang that offers a serene diving experience away from the crowds. The best time to visit Whale Island for diving is from February to October when the weather is favourable and the sea is calm. During this period, water temperatures range from 27 to 30 degrees Celsius, providing a comfortable environment for exploring the underwater world.
In the months of April to July you can spot whales here! Apart from that discover a kaleidoscope of colours as you swim among schools of tropical fish, encounter fascinating nudibranchs, and admire the intricate coral formations that dot the underwater landscape.
Whale Island offers a tranquil retreat where you can unwind and connect with nature. Relax on the island’s pristine beaches, go snorkeling to explore the shallow reefs, or take a kayak and paddle around the turquoise waters. You can also engage in activities like fishing, or beach volleyball, or simply enjoy a rejuvenating massage by the sea.
Some of the best dive sites around Whale Island include:
- Moray Beach: Dive into a world of vibrant corals, home to an array of marine creatures such as moray eels, lionfish, and schooling fusiliers.
- Hon Tai: Explore a diverse dive site with a mix of hard and soft corals, where you can encounter stingrays, sea turtles, and anemonefish.
- Hon Heo: Discover a beautiful underwater landscape with stunning coral bommies and the chance to spot elusive seahorses.
Welcome to the Cham Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve nestled off the coast of Hoi An, where the wonders of the underwater world await. The best time to visit the Cham Islands for diving is from April to September when the sea is calm and the visibility is excellent. During this period, water temperatures range from 26 to 29 degrees Celsius, providing ideal conditions for diving.
Here you can encounter sea turtles, seahorses and frogfish. Apart from the beautiful coral life.
When you’re not busy exploring the underwater realm, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy on the Cham Islands. Take a stroll along the pristine beaches, visit the local fishing villages to experience the island’s culture, or go hiking through the lush forests to discover hidden viewpoints. You can also indulge in delicious seafood freshly caught by the local fishermen.
Some of the best dive sites around the Cham Islands include:
- Hon Dai: Dive into a vibrant reef with a variety of hard and soft corals, and keep an eye out for hawksbill turtles and nudibranchs.
- Bai Bac: Explore an underwater playground where you can spot schools of snappers, angelfish, and butterflyfish amidst stunning coral formations.
- Hon Tai: Discover a diverse dive site with dramatic rock formations and an abundance of marine life, including octopuses and cuttlefish.
Hon Mun Marine Protected Area
Welcome to the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area, the first marine protected area in Vietnam, located near Nha Trang. This pristine underwater paradise is a haven for marine biodiversity. The best time to visit the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area for diving is from April to September when the sea is calm and the visibility is at its best. During this period, water temperatures range from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius, providing optimal conditions for diving.
Diving in the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area offers a captivating experience with its thriving coral reefs and diverse marine life. Spot schools of tropical fish, and keep your eyes open for the occasional sighting of reef sharks and turtles.
Besides scuba diving, the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area offers additional attractions and activities. Take a boat tour to explore the surrounding islands, go snorkelling to admire the underwater beauty from the surface, or simply relax on the stunning beaches that dot the area. Don’t forget to visit the Marine Conservation Center to learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect this remarkable ecosystem.
Some of the best dive sites within the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area include:
- Madonna Rock: Dive into a vibrant coral garden that is home to a plethora of marine life, including damselfish, triggerfish, and nudibranchs.
- Moray Beach: Explore a diverse dive site with rocky outcrops and large barrel sponges, where you can spot moray eels, lionfish, and schools of fusiliers.
- Tiger Wall: Descend into the depths and discover a wall covered in gorgonian sea fans, offering a chance to encounter larger pelagic species such as barracudas and trevallies.
That was my list of the best places to go scuba diving in Vietnam.
But scuba diving in Vietnam is not just about what lies beneath the surface. It’s about the thrill of exploration, the joy of discovering hidden shipwrecks, and the excitement of encounters with elusive species.
When you’re not immersed in the underwater wonders, indulge in the rich Vietnamese culture, savor the tantalizing flavors of local cuisine, or bask in the warm hospitality of the locals. Vietnam’s scuba diving destinations are a gateway to adventure, where you can create memories that will last a lifetime.