Da Nang is a bustling city with a major port and Vietnam’s third-largest airport, but it is not among the country’s biggest tourist destinations. While some visitors are drawn to Da Nang’s famous China Beach, many more are there on business or looking for a cheaper alternative to staying in Hoi An. As a result, Da Nang is not a big Vietnamese dive destination, but that does not mean traveling divers won’t find options for underwater adventure.
Local Diving Centers
Although Da Nang is something of a boom town, it lacks a big scuba diving industry. One of the few diving centers in the immediate area is Dive Danang, the in-house dive center for the posh Furama Resort. Most diving focuses on sites around the Son Tra peninsula, which is about eight miles by boat from Da Nang’s port. Recreational dive operations in Da Nang typically close between October and January, due to rougher weather and poor water visibility.
The dive sites around Da Nang are decorated with soft corals, usually with sufficient density to create rich colorful coral gardens or heavily encrusted walls. These corals support a lively ecosystem, with spiny scorpion and lion fish, sea bass, tiny clownfish (“nemos”), big groupers and noisy coral-chomping parrotfish. Hidden away under rocks and overhangs and inside crevasses, divers might find crabs and lobsters. Prowling Da Nang’s reefs are predatory fish such as barracuda and sleek moray eels, and divers might even see the odd, elusive octopus.