Posted: 2023 May, 18

With a long coastline and countless beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that snorkeling has become a popular activity. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, there are many spots along Vietnam’s coast that offer a chance to explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of marine life. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best snorkeling spots in Vietnam, so you can be sure to find a place that suits your interests and skill level. But before you head out, it is important to keep in mind the season and weather conditions, as they can greatly affect your snorkeling experience.

The well known places

Here are some of the most famous beaches with clear water to go snorkeling.

  • NhaTrang: Located on the south-central coast of Vietnam, NhaTrang is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country. It has crystal clear waters and a vibrant coral reef, making it a great spot for snorkeling.
  • PhuQuoc: Known for its stunning beaches, PhuQuoc is also a great place to go snorkeling. The island has several snorkeling spots, including AnThoi Archipelago, where you can see colorful fish, sea turtles, and even some shipwrecks.
  • Con Dao: Con Dao is a remote island chain off the southern coast of Vietnam, and it’s a great place to go snorkeling. The waters around Con Dao are home to a diverse range of marine life, including sea turtles, reef sharks, and colorful fish.
  • Whale Island: Located off the coast of NhaTrang, Whale Island is a small, idyllic island that’s perfect for snorkeling. The island has a shallow coral reef that’s home to many species of fish, making it a great place for beginners.
  • Cham Islands: Located off the coast of Hoi An, the Cham Islands are a group of eight small islands that are known for their clear waters and abundant marine life. The islands are a protected marine reserve, and you can see a wide variety of fish, coral, and other marine creatures while snorkeling.

Snorkeling directly from the beach.

If you are on vacation, you may won t have time or money to take a boat trip to go snorkeling, it would be easier if you’re looking to go snorkeling directly from the beach and it is so much more fun for the kids who could easily experiment this activity safely.

Here are a few places:

  • Hon Mun Island, NhaTrang: This small island off the coast of NhaTrang is a popular spot for snorkeling, with coral reefs and a diverse range of marine life just a few meters from the shore.
  • Lang Co Beach, Hue: Lang Co Beach is a long and wide sandy beach in central Vietnam that’s also a great spot for snorkeling. The beach is sheltered by a small bay, which means the water is calm and clear.
  • An Bang Beach, Hoi An: An Bang Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand near Hoi An, and it’s also a good place for snorkeling. The water is calm and shallow, with a few coral reefs and plenty of fish to see.
  • Bai Dai Beach, PhuQuoc: Bai Dai Beach is a long and wide beach on the western coast of PhuQuoc Island. It’s a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, with clear water and a few coral reefs near the shore.

And some remote beaches in Ha Long bay offer some crystal clear waters that make perfect spots for this activity.

These are just a few examples of the many great snorkeling spots you can find in Vietnam, but there are plenty of other beaches and islands worth exploring as well.

What could we discover while snorkeling?

Vietnam is rich in marine biodiversity, and there are many species of fish and other marine creatures that you can observe while snorkeling. Here are some examples of the kinds of fish and fauna you might see:

  • Coral: Vietnam has a variety of coral species, ranging from hard and soft corals to colorful anemones. These provide a habitat for a wide range of marine life.
  • Tropical Fish: There are many species of tropical fish in Vietnam’s waters, including parrotfish, butterflyfish, clownfish, damselfish, and angelfish. These fish come in a variety of colors and patterns, making for a stunning underwater display.
  • Rays and Sharks: Although they are not commonly seen while snorkeling, Vietnam’s waters are home to several species of rays and sharks, including blacktip reef sharks and nurse sharks.

If you are lucky, Sea Turtles: Vietnam’s beaches are nesting grounds for several species of sea turtles, including the green sea turtle and the hawksbill turtle. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot one of these majestic creatures while snorkeling.

Crustaceans and Cephalopods: There are also many species of crustaceans and cephalopods in Vietnam’s waters, including crabs, lobsters, octopuses, and squid.

Overall, snorkeling in Vietnam can be a fascinating with a wide variety of marine life in their natural habitat. However, it’s important to respect the marine environment and practice responsible snorkeling to help protect these delicate ecosystems for the future.

How about the water?

To gain a better understanding of water quality, it’s crucial to discuss sea pollution as certain areas have been pinpointed to have elevated levels of pollution.

For example:

  • Ha Long Bay: Despite its stunning natural beauty, Ha Long Bay has been impacted by pollution from both domestic and industrial sources. Pollution from cruise ships, garbage disposal, and sewage discharge has all contributed to the degradation of water quality in the bay.
  • Da Nang: This popular beach destination has been impacted by pollution from industrial activities, as well as from plastic waste and other forms of litter.
  • NhaTrang: Another popular beach destination, NhaTrang has been impacted by pollution from untreated sewage, industrial activities, and plastic waste.
  • Ho Chi Minh City: As a major industrial and urban center, Ho Chi Minh City is prone to pollution from a variety of sources, including vehicle exhaust, industrial activities, and agricultural runoff.

It’s important to note, that not all areas of Vietnam’s coastline are polluted. There are many areas that remain relatively pristine and offer great opportunities for snorkeling and other water activities. If you are concerned about pollution, it’s a good idea to do specific research and choose spots that prioritize environmental protection and sustainable practices.

And how about the snorkeling in the River in a Lake ?

While there are many beautiful rivers and lakes in Vietnam, snorkeling is generally not a popular activity in them as the water tends to be murky and the current can be strong in some areas. Additionally, there may be safety concerns due to the presence of rocks, debris, or other obstacles in the river and probably pollution.

That being said, there are a few areas in Vietnam where snorkeling in rivers can be possible. One such area is the Cai River in NhaTrang, which is known for its clear waters and diverse marine life, including colorful fish and coral. The river is also relatively calm, making it a good choice for snorkeling.

Another potential spot for river snorkeling is the Mekong Delta region, where there are many small streams and tributaries that can be explored. However, it’s important to note that the water quality in this area can be impacted by agricultural runoff and other forms of pollution.

One more time, it is important to research the specific area you plan to visit and take any necessary safety precautions and double check in advance what it is possible to do and where.. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to choose tour operators or snorkeling spots that prioritize environmental protection and sustainable practices.

In conclusion, Vietnam, with its crystal-clear waters, stunning marine life, and breathtaking scenery offers a diverse range of snorkeling opportunities that cater to all levels of expertise, from beginners to advanced snorkelers.

But unfortunately, Snorkeling is not a very popular activity among the Vietnamese population. While there are some local snorkeling enthusiasts, the activity has not yet gained widespread popularity among the Vietnamese.

There are several reasons for this. First, many Vietnamese people do not know how to swim, which makes snorkeling a challenging activity. Second, there is a lack of awareness about the potential dangers of snorkeling, such as strong currents and unpredictable weather conditions. Finally, there is a cultural belief that spending time in the sun and on the beach can be harmful to one’s skin, which discourages many Vietnamese people from engaging in water activities.

Despite these challenges, there is a growing interest in snorkeling among the younger generation of Vietnamese, who are more open to trying new experiences and exploring the world around them. As Vietnam’s tourism industry continues to grow, it’s likely that more Vietnamese people will be exposed to snorkeling and other water activities, and the popularity of these activities will increase over time.


“10 Best Beaches for Snorkeling in Vietnam” by Vietnam Tourism Information Link:

“Vietnam’s beaches suffer from pollution” by VietnamNet Link:

“Is It Safe to Swim in the Ocean?” by Healthline Link:

“Top 5 Snorkeling Spots in NhaTrang, Vietnam” by Dive NhaTrang Link:

“Can You Snorkel in a River?” by PADI Link:

“The Best Snorkeling Spots in Vietnam” by The Christina’s Blog Link:


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