Besides its historical sights and paradisical beaches, Vietnam is also an ideal destination for a diving holiday. With more than 3,000 kilometres of coastline, divers can explore the pristine waters and have unique diving experiences all year round. In addition to obtaining a diving licence, you should also apply for a Vietnam visa before you travel.
Preparation: Vietnam visa and diving licence
Vietnam is an ideal and still somewhat unknown year-round diving destination. The months between March and October in particular are great for a diving holiday, as underwater life is abundant and the visibility is also best during this period. One of the preparations you should take into account before starting your trip is getting your diving licence if you do not have one yet. This can be done in advance, but also during your holiday in Vietnam at one of the dive sites listed below. In these areas, there are schools that offer diving courses, rental of diving equipment and excursions.
Another preparation you should make is applying for your Vietnam visa. British and Irish travellers are required to apply for this travel authorisation. Bear in mind that British travellers can stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without needing a visa. The e-visa has a maximum validity of 30 days. This is the same length as the maximum length of stay. This gives you enough time to discover the most important dive sites of the country. To obtain the e-visa, simply fill in the digital form and pay the fee of £49.95 per person. Once your application is approved, you will receive your Vietnam visa by email within 1 week in average.
ha Trang: Moray Beach, Madonna Rock and Whale Island
Nha Trang is the capital of Khanh Hoa province and one of the most popular beach destinations in Vietnam. This coastal town has a large number of diving schools that offer courses and packages for all levels at very attractive prices. One of the highlights is Moray Beach, located in the Hon Mun Marine Park on the island of the same name, which is a 30-minute boat ride from the coast. The shallow depth makes it an ideal area to get some experience under your belt and, as the name suggests, to spot moray eels. You will find beautiful corals and a great variety of fish, such as the scorpion fish (Scorpaenidae) or the clown fish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Another highlight on the same island is the Madonna Rock. The caves of different depths (the deepest is 25 metres) house many species of fish and offer divers a unique adventure. Finally, Whale Island Bay, about 100 kilometres north of Nha Trang, offers a more diverse marine life, from seahorses to manta rays (Mobula birostris) and eagle rays (Myliobatidae).
Hoi An: Hon Mo and Hon Nhan
Hoi An, a lively port town in the middle of Vietnamʼs coastline, has fantastic diving sites on the Cham islands. This area has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for its great environmental value. It consists of 8 islands forming the Cu Lao Marine National Park and can be easily reached by boat from the coast of Hoi An in about 2 hours. The two most notable islands for diving are Hon Mo and Hon Nhan. Hon Mo is known for its variety of hard and soft corals, and you can see seahorses, clownfish and marlins (Syngnathinae) at depths of up to 35 metres. Hon Nhan is a great place to see large schools of fish and thousands of nudibranchs scattered across the 40 m deep seabed. You may see barracudas, crabs, migratory fish (Balistidae) or lionfish (Pterois antennata).
Phu Quoc: Dry Island and Nudibranch Gardens
Phu Quoc is located in the south-west of Vietnam and is the largest island in the country. Apart from being a very popular tourist destination, it offers incredible diving opportunities. One of these is Dry Island, a small island near Phu Quoc with a spectacular coral reef that is home to Mitridae, stingrays, nudibranchs and scorpion fish. On the east coast of Phu Quoc you will also find the so-called Nudibranch Gardens. This dive of 12 metres deep is ideal for beginners. Here you will find everything from nudibranches to bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium).