ATTRACTIONS - The Beach & Diving Trips

Cua Dai Beach

If time’s short on your Vietnam trip, you could get away with skipping Nha Trang and getting your beach time in at Cua Dai Beach, 4km east. There are several resorts out there and also open-air seafood restaurants (just left once you reach the beach road).

Cham IslandDiving Trips

The debates can rage whether Hoi An or Nha Trang (or Con Dao or Phu Quoc) has Vietnam’s best diving – or whether it’s even worth it if you’re spending any time in Malaysia or Thailand, but I think it’s a fun way to spend a day. CHAM ISLAND (pictured) was long a closed, military island until it opened up a few years ago. A couple good outfits over scuba diving courses and snorkeling trips:

The international crew of this superbly well-run outfit are here more for the lifestyle than the business, and you’re sure to enjoy a day out. Snorkelers and divers go on the same boat to a spot off Cham Island, then to a beach – where you can arrange to camp or stay in a private home for a couple nights if you want. Here you get a big big lunch (lots of seafood, ‘but also pasta,’ the Italian owner said, ‘because I’m Italian’). Those on a two-dive trip head out afterwards, the rest can sway in hammocks on the beach, hike to a village and get a boat pick-up, or get taken to a snorkel spot and swim back. Other dive trips don’t get beach time or the full-day treatment. Snorkel trip US$30, beginner’s discovery dive (with private guide) US$55, two-tank dive US$65. Note: In January 2008, Cham Island Diving moved to the location below; my Hoi An map shows the old location.
Tel 0510-910-782; [email protected],; 88 Nguyen Thai Hoc St; open 8am-5.30pm

Another internationally run outfit with a good rep – and offices in Nha Trang, Con Dao and Phu Quoc – Rainbow is probably better for divers than snorkelers. Two/three-tank dives run US$75/100, while beginners’ ‘discovery’ dive is US$50. PADI courses also available. Snorkelers (US$25) join two-tank dives – going 7.30am to 12.30pm.
Tel 0510-911-123;, [email protected]; 98 Le Loi St

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