Nha Trang is the biggest area for diving in Viet Nam. It all started inthe mid 90’s when a certain PADI Course Director – Jeremy Stein – who took thetime to develop the diving industry in Nha Trang and opened the first PADIcentre here. He has constantly been promoting diving here and in several otherlocations around Vietnam since. Diving is available all year round, but is better during the Dry Season – April through to October. Most diving takes place around Hon Mun Island, some 45 minutes by boat. This is the local Marine Park Area.
There are now some 11 dive operators in Nha Trang and it is advisable to shop around before you choose which operator to go with. Some hotels will tryto book trips for you or tell you bad stories about some operators. Go to the dive centres and speak to them face-to-face; all are located in the centre of the tourist area. Be careful, some will operators will promise you the world, but shopping around will wean these cowboys out.
Hon Mun Island has some 9 dive sites – this has been restricted lately dueto local corruption on behalf of the Marine Park Authority and Army. There are also some deeper sites further away. Access is generally by speedboat, but the better centres will hire out larger boats for bigger or private groups.
The diving around Hon Mun Island is mainly coral-reef and muck diving, with access to some small walls if conditions are right. Diving here is mainly macro diving, don’t expect to see any big sharks, turtles, big rays. The reefs are inexcellent condition, and some of the more common marine life you can spot includes, Lion Fish, Scorpion Fish, Nudibranches, Crustaceans, Cuttle Fish, MorayEels, Frog Fish, Pipe Fish, the occasional Sea Horse and Octopus.
If you are looking for diving that is a little less crowded, then head to Van Phuong Bay. Most operators will arrange day trips there for large groups. Only Rainbow Divers can arrange accomodation on the only resort there, Whale Island. Unfortunatley the Whales are long gone, but the diving can be excellent. Rainbow runs diving and snorkelling trips from Whale Island resort every day and can also run a full range of PADI courses. You must be staying at the resort to go diving.