Diving Vietnam

Underwater marine life and dive sites of Vietnam
By Scott Gietler

Vietnam has a lot of coastline, and has many dive sites.  The main diving areas are Nha Trang, Hoi An and Phu Quoc. There are not a lot of big fish, but the dive sites are rich in soft corals, gorgonians, black coral, small fish, nudibranchs, seahorses, frogfish and other macro subjects. I suggest using a good dive guide who knows where the best areas are for macro life.

Vietnam may not have the best underwater photography opportunities, but it's rich culture, history, great people and natural beauty make it a very worthwhile travel destination.


Diving Nha Trang, Vietnam


Here's a report from a diver I trust who went to Vietnam:

For Vietnam, I dove in Phu Quoc and Nha Trang. Phu Quoc is not very interesting for diving, quite shallow; quite low viz and very few fish due to massive overfishing. Still a nice island with quite wild parts and if you like Nuoc Mam, this is the best place to buy some. Nha Trang is much nicer for diving and I really liked it, good viz and a good diversity of fish. I also like the atmosphere of the city. More remote is whale island north of Nha Trang, but when we were there the moonsoon was making diving very difficult. Two diving operations I may recommend:

- On Phu Quoc Searama www.searama.com
- In Nha Trang : Angel Dive www.angeldivevietnam.info


Both are operated by French staff and very nice (good ratio of guide to divers and very safe and friendly). One point also about Vietnam is that diving is quite cheap especially in Nha Trang.


Here's his vietnam photos.


And here's an opinion from a great underwater photographer visiting from a nearby country:


On the downside, the diving in Vietnam is very hit and miss. No where near as good as say Indonesia, Bali, Sulawesi, PNG as it's very macro-orientated with no fish bigger than ~20cm. If you love macro and hunting for nudibranchs then you will like Vietnam, it's definitely not the place for good vis and nice corals! I liked the diving as I'm into nudibranchs and critters but then I  went to Lembeh and Bali and they were so much better. Best place I dived in Vietnam was Whale Island, a small resort about 3 hours north of Nha Trang. Diving was average except for the one dive site called Electric Nose which was awesome for nudies. but Nha Trang is like diving with about a million other people as it is where all the backpackers are. I highly recommend Rainbow Divers, they were excellent.


Underwater photography from Vietnam

Photos by Caroline Istas


cuttlefish in vietnam




underwater photo from vietnam



underwater photography from Vietnam



vietnam underwater photo



nudibranch from underwater in vietnam


ghost pipefish, vietnam


Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Santa Monica, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.


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Diving Vietnam has been very

Diving Vietnam has been very close to my heart. I did over 120 dives in Nha Trang and muck dives are fantastic. I actually found my first hairy frogfish during a night shoredive in Nha Trang. I really tried to do Hoi An but the operators there are kinda maybe, still have the hippie mentality, not returning email queries or phone calls. for what its worth, made a site on my adventures in Nha trang Vietnam, tourist diver perspective.

Beautiful pictures!

Beautiful pictures!