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    Hoi An, Vietnam – Dive/Trip Report

    Original post by Beenerachi on ScubaToys


    ‘Cattle-call’ departure from Hanoi, Vietnam via Vietnam Airlines at about $120USD return. Flight is quite empty on the 777 aircraft, so you can probably score an empty row, but will have to entertain or be entertained by first time Vietnamese fliers. Arrive Denang, Vietnam. Will need to arrange taxi/transport w/ either your hotel in Hoi An or the dive shop (Rainbow divers). Ground transportation will run you $20 roundtrip in a sedan w/ A/C.

    According to Lonely Planet, this place has the cheapest place in Asia. However, all the cheap places were already booked by European backpackers, therefore I ended up at a 4/5 star resort which I’m very very very please with. Please see tripadvisor report for Ving Hung Resort. $60/night, fully stocked bathroom, spa on site for very cheap, free incredible breakfast, wireless internet, free happy hour food – basically dinner (very nice). Newspapers, flip flops, water, exotic fruits free. Super duper nice staff. $1 bicycle rental across the street, $0.50 local beer across the street.

    Dive Site
    Dive shop will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the boat dock about 4km or 30 mins away since you are one of several divers that day. Driver will honk his horn like a mad man and swear obscenities at other drivers, motorcyclists and pedastrians. Best to keep your eyes shut or suffer narcosis while in transit. Transportation part of dive arrangement: $75USD for 2 dives, all inclusive (equipment, guides, hotel transfer, snacks, water). $3 additional for credit card.

    Water 81degrees F. Calm and about 90 degrees ambient, humid. Very mild currents. We had 3 paying customers (divers), 3 dive guides, and one spouse of dive guide. Also had boat captian, deck hand, and another guy who just hung out. Most number of staff to customer ratio I have experienced. Recent rains created very noticeable thermocline at 20ft. 81F and 83F. Vis about 20-30ft, cloudy due to fresh water from rain screwing things up.

    Flora Fauna
    Nice soft and hard corals, big nudibranchs. School of squids. Some fish, probably more, but couldn’t see due to low vis. Largest frog fish, I’ve ever seen, about the size of a halloween pumpkin…not kidding. 2 lionfish, large cuttlefish, 3 lobsters, some weird local echinoderm (will find out and edit in later).

    This dive was what I expected from asking around. However, very satisfied w/ seeing the frogfish.

    Dive Operator
    Run by Rainbow Divers, one of several shops throughout the country. British guy signed me in (waited late until 10pm when my flight got in, just to make sure i have the right size.) Aussie Couple were leading the dive. Super nice Vietnamese staff. $10 nice shirts. $1.50-ish large beer at their dive shop bar. Great location. Not so sure about their dive guides, mine was good, but the guy on break for the day was obviously a lunatic. Luckly it was his day off. Thoroughly satisfied, and great price. Nitrox available w/ prior arrangement. Rumors that they are trying to establish shop in Burma!

    Vietnam may not be Thailand, but you also don’t have tons of other divers. Food and lodging super cheap. I got a 2 custom tailored shirts and 1 short for $35USD. Silk neckties (nice) at $7 a pop, probably less w/ some persuasion. 1 hour massage for $20. Please don’t be too cheap w/ haggling, people make a lot less, but they are hard workers and they too have a family to feed. Wonderful culture. Will dive Vietnam again.

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