The S-shaped country is famously endowed with long stretches of unspoiled coastline and a huge number of islands and bays, making it a perfect diving destination for adventurous tourists. Even if you are just a normal visitor who enjoys spending time on idyllic beaches and admiring the natural beauty of the ocean only, 30 minutes of scuba-diving to explore the stunning underwater life will definitely make you amazed.
Diving experience is normally offered to tourists within their travel to Hon Mun in Nha Trang Bay, or Cham Island near Hoi An ancient town. Less visited sites include the untouched waters in Con Dao and Phu Quoc Islands, which are more appealing to dedicated divers. These destinations are accessible throughout the year; however, the best time to visit the beach, admire the natural beauty of various bays and islands is from March to October, when the sea is calm, clear and there is less odd heavy rain. Accordingly, these eight months is also the ideal period for diving activities.
I and my friends once went diving near Hon Mun and was already overwhelmed by the marine world there. As first-time and amateur divers, we were supported by experts, one by one, to guarantee safety and reduce our anxiety. Before going into the water, we had to put on specific diving suits and other necessary apparatus, including a pair of googles catering for even short-sighted eyes. After being well-prepared on boat, we were brought into the water with experts right behind, who taught us how to breathe using the scuba tank and how to send signals under the water. For example, OK sign is for telling that everything is fine and the expert can take us even deeper into the sea; but if you feel uncomfortable and a bit scary, put your thumb up and they will take you up. It took us approximately 10-15 minutes to get used to the surroundings and using the apparatus.
We were a bit nervous at first, but once breathing skill is mastered, we had a really great time discovering sea creatures underlying the water surface. Colorful hard and soft corals, small seahorses and clownfish all came into our sight and I even tried to touch some. Let imagine you are brought into the 10 meter-deep water and look at such beautiful sea creatures as corals, rays, catfish and clownfish with your own eyes. It is an inexpressible joy when all the footages you normally see on National Geographic Channel now appear right in front of you, and you even have the chance to play with those living things.
So if you ever come to Vietnam to enjoy the beautiful beaches and islands, do not forget that there is one experience worth-trying than any other activities, the one that gives you the feeling of being in a National Geographic documentary about marine life!
By Nguyen Nguyet Minh, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam