The day I was most excited for in Nha Trang was the day I went scuba diving. I had been planning this pretty much since the moment I arrived in Vietnam so I was ready to explore the deep blue sea. We woke up early and took a shuttle over to the docks where all the scuba and snorkel boats were. Then it was about a 45 min ride out towards a small island to the area we would be diving. It was a beautifully scenic ride out and I got to see some of the areas of Nha Trang that are less developed. We passed by Vinpearl island, which is accessible by boat and by cable cars. This is a place I want to visit my next time in Nha Trang. There are a lot of plush, green areas that probably have some good hiking trails and places to explore.
Once we arrived to the place we would be diving, I noticed a few houses precariously perched on the cliffs. They didn’t look very stable and had long, elaborate ladders leading from the water to their doorsteps. I learned these houses are occupied by protectors of the swallows’ nests, which are in the surrounding caves. These people live here year round to make sure poachers do not come to steal or destroy the valuable nests. Only a certain number of nests are allowed to be taken each year and are then sold to make bird’s nest soup and drinks at a very high price. A person caught taking the nests out of season or without a permit faces some serious penalties.
It was finally time to suit up and jump in. After a brief lesson on how to inflate and deflate my suit, how to use the breathing device, and the hand signals we would be using underwater, I was ready. At first I was uncomfortable with the mouth piece, but once I was fully submerged underwater I was relaxed and ready to explore. Being underwater was such a cool experience, I got to look around at the sea life and didn’t have to be bothered to come up for air. It was also so peaceful, I couldn’t hear anything but my own breathing or see any of the other divers around me. I often swam too far from the instructor and he had to come after me, but I figured how far could I possibly get from the boat. The time flew by and before I knew it we were surfacing by the boat. One of the other instructors was taking pictures while we were diving and even caught a video of a devil face fish, the one I ate the first week I was here. Scuba diving was an incredible experience and one I look forward to doing again in the near future. I also plan on becoming certified so I will be able to go anywhere in the world and only have to worry about renting equipment.