Although, in diving circles, particularly for its lack of the very large fish species, Vietnam is not usually regarded as a major diving destination. However, over half the World's coral species are to be found here, and there are nonetheless some very worthy dives for those visiting the country to indulge in some underwater exploration during their holiday or, for novices, the opportunity to learn to dive in a relatively safe environment.

Due to changes in visibility, as defined by local weather patterns, diving is a season specific activity, which varies according to different geographic locations in Vietnam.

Nha Trang is Vietnam’s premier dive location, with over twenty dive sites such as ‘Electric Nose’, ‘Madonna Rock’ and ‘Moray Beach’ amongst the most popular for their fine corals and colourful array of marine species, some of which are unknown elsewhere. (High season: March to October).

Further north, Whale Island is another good place to get beneath the waves, with ‘White Rock’ and ‘Three Kings’ among its featured sites. (High season: March to October).

If you are staying in lovely Hoi An, the eight islands that make up Cu Lao Cham Marine Park host over 150 species of coral and more than 200 species of fish. In addition to the diving, snorkelling here is also very rewarding. (High season: March to October).

Close to the southern tip of Vietnam the sixteen, mostly uninhabited, islands of Con Dao Archipelago offer good diving between April and September. The area is also an important turtle-nesting site.

The southern island of Phu Quoc, close to the Cambodian border, also has two main dive areas, An Thoi Archipelago, with its 15 islets and Turtle Island. In contrast to the resorts of the central coast, the best diving is between October and April.