Phu Quoc Island | Everything You Need to Know to Breath Easy

Phu Quoc
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Phu Quoc should be on your underwater radar – it’s a paradise for scuba diving! Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, this stunning island offers a plethora of diverse marine life, vibrant coral reefs, and magnificent diving spots. Prepare for an unforgettable underwater experience!

Dive Shops on Phu Quoc Island

When it comes to scuba diving in Phu Quoc, you’ll find several reputable dive shops that can cater to your needs. Some prominent dive centers on the island include:

  1. Vietnam Explorer: The longest running dive shop on the island, this PADI-certified dive shop offers a variety of courses and dives to suit all experience levels. For a single dive, you can expect to pay around 1,000,000 VND – 1,200,000 VND, depending on the location and equipment rental. The PADI Open Water course starts at approximately 7,000,000 VND, including all necessary materials and equipment.

  2. Flipper Diving Club: A well-established dive center on the island that offers a range of courses and dive trips (as well as snorkeling). With experienced instructors and high-quality equipment, Flipper ensures a safe and enjoyable diving experience. 


  3. Vietnam Active: An easy going dive shop that will work with you! They are a PADI 5 star shop, provide excellent instruction, and comfortable dive trips. The instructors are experienced and speak fluent English. The PADI Open Water course starts at around 6,500,000 VND.

Diving Destinations in Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is blessed with a multitude of astounding diving destinations that will leave you awe-inspired. Here are three must-visit spots:

  1. Turtle Island (Hon Doi Moi)
    Turtle Island, just a short boat ride from Phu Quoc, offers a unique diving experience. Known for its flourishing coral reefs and vibrant underwater life, it’s an excellent spot for both beginners and experienced divers. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of marine species, including colorful tropical fish, moray eels, and even a cuddle fish or two! This is where we went to get our PADI Open Water Diver certifications.
  2. The An Thoi Archipelago (U-turn is the most popular)
    Located to the south of Phu Quoc, the An Thoi Archipelago is a treasure trove of underwater beauty. Consisting of 15 islands, this area is known for its stunning coral gardens, steep walls, and an abundance of marine life. Diving here allows you to witness schools of tropical fish, reef sharks, stingrays, and even the occasional barracuda. Do not bring your shiny rings into the water.
  3. Finger Island (Hon Vong)
    Finger Island is a hidden gem that experienced divers should not miss. With its mesmerizing coral formations and impressive visibility, this dive site offers an enchanting underwater adventure. Prepare to encounter fascinating creatures such as nudibranchs, seahorses, and octopuses hiding among the vibrant corals.

Why Get Open Water Certified in Phu Quoc, Vietnam?

Getting Open Water certified in Phu Quoc, Vietnam offers several advantages compared to doing so in the United States:

  1. Affordability: The cost of obtaining an Open Water certification in Vietnam, including the course and equipment rental, is generally more affordable compared to many dive centers in the United States. This makes a significant difference, especially for budget-conscious travelers.

  2. Warm Waters and Tropical Marine Life: Phu Quoc’s warm waters provide an ideal environment for diving. Its tropical climate ensures comfortable water temperatures year-round, making it a pleasant experience for divers. Additionally, the abundance of marine life, such as colorful coral reefs and diverse species, adds to the allure of getting certified in this stunning destination.

  3. Experienced Instructors and Dive Centers: Phu Quoc’s dive centers boast experienced instructors who are knowledgeable about the local dive sites and conditions. They provide valuable insights and guidance, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning experience. The reputable dive shops in Phu Quoc, with their focus on professionalism, offer high-quality training and equipment.

  4. Opportunity for Cultural Exploration: Getting Open Water certified in Phu Quoc allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the unique charm of Vietnam. Between dives, you can explore the island’s vibrant markets, indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine, and discover the rich history and traditions of the region.

When is the best time to go?

The weather is the critical factor in deciding when do go to Phu Quoc for Scuba diving. There are a few critical factors in determining. Our recommendation – Early December.

  1. Dry Season and Monsoon Season: The highest rainfall on Phu Quoc occurs between May and November. Rain tends to lower visibility in the water and can make the overall experience less exciting. That said, it is the low season so travel pricing tends to be more budget friendly. 
  2. Temperature and daylight – It is effectively the same temperature year round on Phu Quoc, not going lower than 70F. Bring your sunscreen because it is consistently more than 11 hours of sun every day!
  3. Wind – there is relatively low wind around the island… you won’t see any sail boats (partially because of government restrictions). When diving, expect motor boats. Turtle Island is protected from the easterly wind. Our dive boat said which island they take you too depends on the wind direction. 

Getting Started - PADI Open Water Certification on Phu Quoc

It’s imperative to secure your scuba stripes – the PADI Open Water certification. This isn’t just a badge of honor; it’s your passport to the underwater wonders of Phu Quoc and the rest of the world. We happen to have first hand experience getting our PADI Open Water certification from Vietnam Active right here on the island!

So what are the steps? Here is the process:

  1. Shoot an email, a message on whatsapp, or call the local dive shop to work out timing. Pro Tip: you can haggle everything in Vietnam, even this certification.
  2. The PADI Open Water certification takes 3 days to complete. Day 1 – Confined water dive in a pool that takes about 4 hours. Day 2 – Ocean diving that takes 7 or 8 hours. Day 3 – More ocean diving that takes 7 or 8 hours. 
  3. The dive shop should pick you up from your lodging. Get read for some early days as pick up time can be as early as 7am!
  4. When you arrive at the boat, you may be given the option for coffee, tea, and breakfast fruit. The plan is 2 dives with a short break between to change air tanks.
  5. After the second dive, its lunch time (provided by the dive shop)!
  6. Finally, you are transited back to your lodging or to anywhere else you wish. The trip ends in the early to mid afternoon. 

What next?

Plan your trip! Scuba diving is an excellent way to explore the world, both above and below water. There is a community of like-minded people out there who will welcome you! Check out our trip expences to help you get an idea of budget and experiences and download our e-book to guide you through planning. Can you underwater!

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