Is underwater walking something you ever thought about doing? Me neither! Not until I was researching unusual things to do in Hoi An on my Vietnam trip and came across SeaTrek Vietnam. Everywhere I go, I like to research unusual things to see if I can get a once in a lifetime experience.
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Once a major port on the east coast of Vietnam, just 30km from DaNang, Hoi An is now a charming city with thousands of lanterns lining the streets. With a mix of Japanese, Chinese and French Colonial architecture, the town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While it is a touristy spot, it’s a lot more chilled than the bustling cities of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. My visit to Hoi An was short – three days – and in my dream world where I can work from anywhere in the world, I would frequent Hoi An a lot.
Related: 10 Day Itinerary For Vietnam
I was a little wary when I found this tour as I had never been diving or even snorkeling before and can’t really swim very well. But then again, I was little (ok, a lot) wary when I threw myself out of a plane too, so it wasn’t going to stop me.
I did think, what if I couldn’t handle it, what if I wasn’t experienced enough but at SeaTrek Vietnam they have a saying: “If you can walk and breathe, you can SeaTrek”.
The tour begins with collection from your hotel, along with others from local hotels. We were lucky. Our driver had brought his little son on the ride and he provided some much loved entertainment for the short drive to the wharf.
While waiting to board the wooden boat, I got talking to a family from South Korea, soon to be my adopted family for the day!
Aboard the wooden boat, first point of business is a short video as to how the underwater walking works. Once finished, we got to move upstairs to feel the wind in our hair and take in the beautiful surroundings.
The boat journey out to Cham Island, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes around an hour. You do have the option to take a quick speedboat, but the wooden boat allows for a more relaxed trip, some photo opportunities and time to make new friends.
Once we arrived close to Cham Island, everyone was given an approximate time for their underwater walking experience. They take four people at a time so it doesn’t get too crowded. While waiting, you can go snorkeling or swimming.
I took this opportunity to try snorkeling for the first time! It did not go well…. I jumped into the water, just as my new friend had done, except the water went straight up my nose and I was coughing and spluttering everywhere! I did eventually get the hang of it and I would like to try it again, perhaps without salt water up my nose.
We could come and go onto the boat as we pleased while waiting our turn for the underwater walking. At some point, the guy with the clipboard asked my name and asked if I was alone. When I said yes, he asked if I wanted to go down now without others? I jumped at the chance!
I handed my GoPro to my guide, went over the hand signals one more time and how to equalize my ears (hold nose and blow!) and it was time to put my ‘helmet’ on and take the ladder down to the sea bed.
As I was on my own, I was able to get all the attention from the fish and nobody photobombed my video! The guide handed me some bread at various times and the fish just came a swimming! It was such a wonderful experience, having fish eating out of the palm of my hand. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time. Except for when one took a small chunk out of my finger!
Back on the boat, we moved onwards to a nearby island, for lunch and some relaxation on hammocks on the beach. With beers in hand, I taught my new Korean friends how to say ‘cheers’ in Irish – ‘Sláinte’ – as we made plans to meet up again later that evening.
Top tips for SeaTrek Vietnam:
- You can book your underwater walking experience directly on SeaTrek Vietnam‘s website
- You can use your own GoPro or borrow one of theirs and purchase an SD card at the end with your video
- Flying within 48 hours is not recommended as it may take some time to equalize your ears afterwards (mine did so just fine straight away but everyone is different)
- Minimum age is 8 and maximum age is 80 – you will need to contact SeaTrek Vietnam if you have anyone outside of these ages
Planning a trip to Vietnam? Here are my go to websites for planning a trip:
For activities: Get Your Guide
For hotels: Booking.com
For flights: Skyscanner
For travel insurance: World Nomads