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Diving in Phú Quốc

Only opened for diving in 2002, Phú Quốc’s best diving is still being discovered, but it’s already known to be perfect for beginners and, at the same time, offers challenges for macro-lovers.

Diving in Phú Quốc

Quick facts

Diving in Nha Trang takes place in two main areas.

To the northwest of Phú Quốc, there are a series of dive sites that offer the ultimate conditions for those just learning the sport. The waters here are clear and calm, sheltered from the strong currents that affect other areas around the island. Marine life in these dive sites includes a variety of hard and soft corals and colorful reef fish.

The 15 islets known as the An Thoi Islands off the southern tip of Phú Quốc provide a more challenging environment for divers. From October to May, the currents and visibility here are highly changeable. While you probably won’t spot any big sharks and mantas, the currents do allow for some larger life such as bamboo sharks or blue spotted rays. The area is better known for its macro life and its reef system which is making a recovery from decades of dynamite fishing.

In Phú Quốc, the excitement of discovery still exists. New sites are found every season. Furthermore, getting your Open Water certificate here just makes sense. It is an affordable option with plenty of easy, shallow dives and beautiful reefs with colorful marine life to keep your eyes interested.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

Marine life in Phú Quốc is better than elsewhere in Vietnam. The area is still recovering from the effects of dynamite fishing, however the government is slowly creating a protected marine park around the An Thoi Islands to ensure a healthy reef for future generations.

In addition to a plethora of hard and soft corals, divers can expect to see a variety of reef fish, nudibranch, cuttlefish, octopus, scorpion fish, crustaceans, pufferfish, anemones, damselfish and moray eels.

Pelagic life in Phú Quốc is a bit lacking. However, bamboo sharks, sea snakes and blue-spotted stingrays are occasionally seen.

While the amount of life you see in Phú Quốc may not be much, you always have the chance of seeing something new in the uncharted territory. You will certainly be busy filling in your log with the ID book in hand at the end of the day.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

Phú Quốc, a large tropical island in the south of Vietnam, is the newest destination for scuba diving in the Southeast Asian country. With a growing protected marine park and dive sites featuring calm currents and interesting marine life, this Vietnamese island offers is one of the best places in the region to get certified or earn an advanced certificate. It also gives divers the opportunity to ‘go where no man has gone before.’

The island is located at 10 degrees north of the equator and therefore has a tropical climate that creates ideal diving conditions for most of the year. The average air temperature holds steady at about 88°F (31° C) while the average water temperature ranges between 82 - 88°F (28 - 31°C). Diving season (dry season) lasts from October to May with the best conditions occurring from October to April. During the wet season (July to September), the island is still open for diving, but visibility may be worse.

Because of Phú Quốc’s hard-to-reach position, it has been relatively unvisited by tourists until very recently. Many dive sites are still being discovered, but currently there are a group of sites to the northwest of the island that go to 30 feet (10 meters) and have virtually no current, perfect for those just finding their first bubbles. To the south of the island, the An Thoi Islands offer more of a challenge. From May to October, currents are variable here and a variety of macro and pelagic life can be seen. Accommodation is becoming more plentiful. A good variety of budget, mid-budget and high-end hotels is also available.

When high season and diving season overlap (November to March), the country of Vietnam can get quite crowded and diving in other areas, such as Nha Trang, can be unbearable. While Phú Quốc also sees an uptick in visitors, it is not nearly as crowded as other places. However, your best bet is to utilize the shoulder season, October and April-May. During this time, discounts are available on diving and accommodation rates.

Other attractions

Because Phú Quốc is a new destination in Vietnam, it is not as crowded as the mainland. This works out to your benefit as there is still loads to see around this tropical paradise. Hiking across the island or driving around it will give you a good idea about the local environment. The island hosts beautiful beaches, gushing waterfalls, colorful fishing villages and a variety of farms. At night, you can take a squid fishing excursion or simply watch the sun set behind the lighthouse while dreaming about your next dive.

Getting there

Most journeys to the south of Vietnam begin at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (Ho Chi Minh). From here, most tourists catch a domestic flight to Phú Quốc Airport in Dương Tơ. Although some flights originating in Singapore and Cambodia fly directly to Phú Quốc.

Alternatively, visitors can catch a local or fast ferry from Rach Gia. These take one and a half to two and a half hours.

Once on the island, a variety of minibuses, motos and taxis are available for your convenience.

UTC+07:00

Time zone

VND

Currency

+84

Calling code

220 V

Electric volt

A, 

C, 

D

Plug type

PQC

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.