Scuba diving is a must-do activity in Nha Trang if you’re looking to get up close and personal with colourful sea creatures and thriving coral reefs. While Nha Trang enjoys beautiful weather for most of the year, the best time to dive is between the months of April and August as visibility in the East Sea can go up to 30 metres with average mean temperatures that range between 28°C and 30°C.
The majority of scuba diving excursions in Nha Trang take place within Hon Mun Marine Protected Area (MPA), which is a 40-minute boat ride from Cau Da Port. Thanks to its various water depths and swim-through tunnels, you can see a wide variety of small colourful tropical fish, moray eels, and pufferfish as well as thriving coral reefs.
One of the most popular diving sites in the marine park is Moray Beach. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, the area is ideal for divers of any certification level. Moray Beach is also a great place to spot hard and soft coral reefs as well as numerous marine species such as clownfish, black frogfish, pipefish, razor fish, giant moray eels, flying gurnards, and seahorses.
Also located in Hon Mun Marine Protected Area is Madonna Rock, which has a maximum depth of 25 metres with several caverns at varying heights. Accessible only by boat, these caverns provide shelter for the many fish species that breed here. Look out for giant morays, lionfish and scorpionfish.
Due to its popularity, the marine park can get crowded during peak diving seasons. An alternative diving site is located at Whale Island, which is situated 80 kilometres north of Nha Trang. Despite its name, whales are hardly spotted in the area anymore, though there are plenty of interesting species such as trevally, groupers and snappers hidden among the soft coral reefs.
With a maximum depth of 35 metres, Hon Trau Nam is one of Whale Island's most popular dive sites. Expect to spot stingrays and eagle rays cruising along the reefs, not forgetting clownfish, stonefish, and barracudas.
Although there are plenty of dive shops available, some of the most highly recommended dive operators in Nha Trang include Sailing Club Divers (+84 58 352 2788), Angel Dives (+84 58 352 2461), and Rainbow Divers (+84 58 352 4351).
Price-wise, a basic scuba diving trip costs approximately VND 1,250,000, which is inclusive of equipment rental, lunch, hotel transfers, and entrance fee to the marine park. For those looking for more than just a fun dive, there are a few PADI Dive Centres that offer full PADI certification courses from VND 6,000 000 onwards.