Known for its incredibly rich culture, globalised national dishes, affable locals and tourist-grabbing natural beauty, Vietnam is one of the most talked about destinations of the century. Whilst the world has had its eyes on the beauty of the country’s topside, few have ever peeked below the waves. To get you ready to breach below these relatively untouched waters, we introduce you to the top seven sites you should try:
Moray Beach, Nha Trang
Glide down to critter heaven and ride the current through an abundance of nudibranch species and corals. A far-flung hidden gem of the South China Sea, Moray Beach hosts many species such as scorpionfish, clownfish, and black frogfish. For divers that dare to enter the Moray Cave, they will be rewarded with seeing pipefish, razorfish and the beautifully odd-looking devil scorpionfish.
Ho Trau Nam (Three King Island), Whale Island
Named from the three rock pinnacles that break the water’s surface, Ho Trau Nam is frequently visited by manta, eagle, and sting rays. Look down and you’ll see the bottom coloured in yellow, white and purple soft corals and gorgonians that intertwine like pipework on the ocean floor.
Nudibranch Gardens, Phu Quoc
Tucked away on the East Coast of Phu Quoc, Nudibranch Gardens is a great dive for those fascinated with seeking out the smaller marine creatures. You’ll find nudibranchs and bamboo sharks hiding under rocks, and many hard coral species and sea anemones standing like mini-mountains on the ocean floor.
White Rock, Whale Island
One of the furthest sites from Whale Island, White Rock offers grand walls that drop from the surface down to the depths of 40 metres with several huge pinnacles emerging from the depths. The bottom of the site is a forest of black coral and gorgonian, haunted by huge black rays.
Madonna Rock, Nha Trang
There are several caverns situated at various depths, providing shelter for many fish species that breed here. In the caves and swim throughs you can find millions of small glass fish, flatworms, shrimp species, and ornate ghost fish.
Hon Nhan, Hoi An
A fantastic place to capture large schools of fish and thousands of nudibranchs that are scattered all over its 40 metre deep seabed. Find pipefish, seahorses, clownfish, barracudas, ribbon eels, crabs, triggerfish and lionfish weaving through the high-rise coral skyline.
Hon Ko (Dry Island), Phu Quoc
From above the surface, the few rocks sticking up out of the water may not look like the pillars of an incredible reef system below. But peeking beneath the waves will reveal a home of mitre shells, rays, bamboo sharks, nudibranchs, catfish and scorpionfish – all calling Hon Ko their abode.