The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula, washed by the warm waters of the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Vietnam is often referred to as the Land of Smiles and kind hospitality. The monsoon sub-equatorial climate, the beauty and richness of the underwater world, the turquoise color of the water attracts divers from all over the world. This is the place where Jacques-Yves Cousteau dived for the very first time, who then glorified the beauty of these waters in his films. The coast also became the place where the first corals originated from. There are about 400 species of them now.
Vietnam offers divers many interesting and exciting options. Swimming with turtles, exploring sunken ships, grottoes and caves, steep walls, overgrown with polyps, coral reserves — these are some of them, but by no means all. You don't have to dive deep to see this underwater beauty. You can see the beauty of the underwater world at a depth of 5 m.
In Vietnam, you can find dive shops almost anywhere. Some are in hotels and others are independent. They provide diving safaris throughout the country. The cost of the tours include meals, boat rental, support and guidance of an experienced instructor. You can find dive shops with English, German, Chinese, Russian speaking staff in Vietnam.
March is the ideal month for diving. The air temperature in spring is typically a balmy +30... +34 °C, water warms up to + 27 °C. In May, the rainy season begins in the southern part of the country, while it is tourist season in the North.
It is more comfortable in the central part of the country during the summer period. It's stormy in the South and hot in the North. By the end of summer the sea warms up to + 28... + 29 °C. The hottest month is July with an average daily temperature of + 32... + 34 °C.
In autumn the rainy season starts almost all over Vietnam. And only in the North, it is dry and sunny. In October, the country is hit by typhoons. In November, its a period of bad weather in the center of the country, but you can go South and North to catch the sun and sea beauty.
In winter, the sea temperature ranges from 20 °C in the North to 27 °C in the South. Resort life moves to the southern regions of the country, where the air warms up to 29 °C. In January, the rainy season ends in the North.
There is a wreck of a 70 meter long fishing trawler resting at a depth of 40 meters near the island of Con Dao. Its hull and holds are overgrown with algae and corals, which shelter fish and crustaceans.
And Hom Mo in Charm Islands is the really charming site, with hard and soft corals, and small sea creatures, such as pipefish, seahorses and nudibranchs. The depth of the site very from 4 to 35 metres.
Quality of medical facilities varies enormously depending on where you are in Vietnam. The quality and availability of healthcare is especially poor in rural areas outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Even minor surgical operation may require transportation to a big city hospital. The doctors expect payment in cash before treatment even in case of an emergency. Some hospitals keep in touch with insurance companies, others require upfront payment.
Vietnam is a safe country for tourists. Violent crimes in the country are rare. Petty crimes like bag or purse snatching, pick pocketing and imposing services that you have not requested prevail.
Vietnam ranks third highest in terms of global shark attacks. Meeting box jellyfish, or sea wasps can become an unpleasant surprise in Nha Trang (Vietnamese: Nha Trang) waters. They are considered to be the fastest and the most aggressive animals. The amount of venom in one animal is said to be enough to kill 60 adult humans in just 3 minutes. From October to May, the biggest cluster of sea wasps appears in Vietnam.
This unique country is also famed for its food, combining the best of Chinese, Thai and Khmer cuisines. The main products are fish, chicken, pork, vegetables, rice, spices, young bamboo shoots. Pho soup is a very old and popular Vietnamese dish made of sweet pure broth, meat and the soft parts of a burdock. Another must-try in Vietnam is fried rolls made of crabs, pork, eggs, carrots, cabbage, pea pods, mushrooms and herbs, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried in vegetable oil.
Beer lovers will be satisfied with the quality of a local beer. The drink is produced using German and Danish technology of production. Local vodka is made from rice, so it has a specific taste.
Only bottled water should be consumed.