After 2 years of taking the Open water diving licence (the basic licence in diving which allows you to go to 18m deep as a maximum), I have never dived in Vietnam, even though I did more than 10 dives in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippine and Sri Lanka. This time I followed an extremely young group of friends in the generation of 8x & 9x to experience diving in Mun island, located near Nha Trang of Vietnam.
We luckily had a beautiful sunny day with clear blue sky, calm and warm sea. Large yellow coral reefs were shinning at a depth of 12m under the bright sunlight. It was so relaxing and joyful when diving among the cliffs, admiring colorful flourish marine life, then nervously crawling into a narrow cave, dumbfounded by a big herd of black fishes inside, and anxiously swimming through them to get out.
It should have taken only 1 hour and 30 minutes to go from Saigon to Nha Trang, not almost a day as my case. My flight departed on time at 9:00 am, when it got close to the destination, the captain announced that Cam Ranh Airport was temporarily closed for military maneuvers. Therefore, instead of landing at Cam Ranh airport, our aircraft was forced to fly back to Saigon. After many times going back and forth between the lounge and the bus, going up and down the plane, my flight successfully took off again at 3pm, and I finally arrived Nha Trang when the city was lighted on.
Our group consists of 5 people, in which two have Open water licence, 1 with Deep dive licence (can go upto 40m) and 2 newbies. After a light breakfast at the hotel, we were transported to Cau Ca port to board a boat. The dive site of the day is Hon Mun, a small island located about 12km from the coast of Nha Trang (50 minutes by boat). Being the first marine protected area in Vietnam, Hon Mun is considered a famous diving spot in Nha Trang thanks to its multicolored corals and the abundance of sea creatures as the result of having the intersection between hot and cold sea currents.visibility amazing. We saw lots of small fishes and colorful tiny sea-worms. We excitedly diving through the rugged jagged cliffs, covered with moss and countless sea creatures. The distance between cliffs were sometimes quite narrow, making me nervous to manage myself not touching them. The most spectacular thing in this first dive was the big herd of fishes in a small cave. I was really overwhelmed to see thousand of fishes squeezing into a narrow reef slot. Perhaps, it was their most ideal hiding place to avoid human catching.
After the first exciting dive, we returned to the ship, took a short break and enjoyed snacks for about 45 minutes. The second dive was the coral reef near Hon Mun with a depth of only 12m, famous for a variety of colorful corals and small fishes. The large yellow coral reef became brilliant at a depth of 12m under the sun. Here and there, there were blue, purple and pink corals.There are no big fish in Mun island. Except the big herd of small fishes in the cave, other small fishes I saw in 2 dives weren’t in a big quantity. Local divers said that they were all “swimming” to the restaurants in the region. For this, Vietnam needs to learn from neighboring countries as they have applied very strictly fishing regulations and environmental protection policies.
Hon Mun’s underwater scenery is not as spectacular as other places I have dived. However, scuba diving in Hon Mun can be considered as “worth what it cost”. The sea water is generally warm, though we may occasionally encounter the cold flow. The current is not strong, hence it’s suitable for new divers or those who want to learn diving. The cost for a diving day is only 50-60% compared to nearby countries, so that you can have more dives as the opportunity to practice your diving skills. If you want to get a diving licence, the cost of an Open water course is also cheaper and less time consuming than other countries.
In addition, Nha Trang food is very delicious and tasty, not only fresh seafood, but also seafood pancakes, noodles of mackerel head, fish ball soup and colorful sticky rice. Moreover, Nha Trang also has excellent desserts such as avocado ice cream, variety of sweet soups and fruit smoothies …. Oh, mentioning that make me craving and wanting to eat all of them again.Travel essential information
- The cost of a diving day (2 times) for Open water diver is 1.2 million VND, including round trip transportation from hotel to the port, boat to the dive site, the renting cost of diving equipment, local dive guide and snacks between 2 dives
- Time and Cost for 1 Open Water Scuba Diving course (down to 18m): You will need 3 days to study diving principles, practice at the pool and 4 dives at sea. Package cost for this course is about 7 million VND.
- Conditions to learn diving: those who love and feel comfortable in the water, have basic swimming ability, stable heart can learn diving.
Traveled on Apr, 2019