Diving Nha Trang

After so much diving in the Philippines, I couldn’t suddenly go cold turkey, so I decided to do some dives in the islands off Nha Trang, which is generally considered Vietnam’s top underwater destination. As Thomas had a cold, I was on my own this time – or so I thought. It seems that the inexpensive $20 dives attract a lot of attention from backpackers passing through. The boats and the sites were packed. At points, it felt a bit like an underwater traffic jam as divers lined up for swim-throughs.

Despite the crowds, I enjoyed the dives which featured some beautiful pastel corals, impressive schools of barracuda, a huge cuttlefish, a spectacular spotted moray, and my first octopus in over a year. But the piece de resistance was a foot-long sea centipede spotted by my Icelandic divemaster, Einar. Although I was Einar’s first customer as a certified divemaster, our dives were quite good by Vietnam standards as he had a real knack for bumping into good sea creatures. (That should take you very far, Einar. :) )

I say “good by Vietnam standards” because the underwater scene here can’t quite compete with those further south, although I heard rumors that more distant sites accessible by specially chartered speedboats were good for macro diving. Unfortunately, these sites are much more expensive to access. All in all, I would recommend a couple of dives for those passing through rather than a dedicated dive vacation.

Nha Trang Diving Tips

The dive shops here generally appeared far more professional than those in the Philippines and safety precautions were taken quite seriously, making Nha Trang an excellent option for inexperienced divers or those wishing to take a course. I dove with Octopus Divers (Sailing Club Divers), which ran like a well-oiled machine. As Octopus does a lot of divemaster training, you are likely to have a newby divemaster rather than a more experienced underwater guide. Experienced divers looking to do some serious macro diving might prefer the well-recommended, more expensive Rainbow Divers. The people at Coco Dive Center were very nice, however divers should be aware of the fact that they are not an authorized PADI dive center.

Also check out this page of recommended dive sites in Vietnam.

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Topics: Travel Tips, Underwater World, Vietnam, Wildlife | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Diving Nha Trang”

  • avatar Gary
    October 24th, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Hello felt compelled to write this after sitting back and watching the same tactics used by competition in Nha trang for te last 5 years now.

    Being an authorised Padi dive centre , means nothing more than a dive store have not elected to pay yearly fees to a privately owned and run Australian company. Padi do not set the global standard in diving this is done by independent bodies such as ISO and RSTC.
    All the staff at Coco for example are able to and allowed by padi to offer padi training courses. The fact they do not sign up for a resort membership is spouted by competition to make themselves look better, often to poor unsuspecting tourists.
    Look around many stores do not offer padi or pay to use their logo globally, including many of the highest quality dive centres and government agencies.
    Publishing such statements unfortunately does nothing more than harm a business.

  • avatar Tony
    October 24th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    The answer to that is quite simple. Take the PADI signs down. When I was at their shop in Nha Trang, there were PADI materials everywhere. If a customer sees the logos and discovers a warning about your shop on the PADI website, they are going to worry about that, as they should. Plus, many diveshops opt to stop paying PADI resort fees as well, yet the Coco diveshop was one of only a handful of diveshops specifically mentioned by name on the PADI website. (I noticed the warning on the PADI website, I didn’t get it from competitors.)

    Any reasonable diver is going to see that warning and wonder why it is there. It may be unfair, but any serious diver is going to skip the drama and head to another diveshop without warnings.

  • avatar Mark
    March 30th, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I agree with both comments ..true the more you pay the higher ranking you get with padi ….when learning to dive it comes down to 3 things one the instructor ….2 how good the gear is….. 3 safely …. simple as that ….

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