ExperiencesNature & AdventureTry being an astronaut exploring Phu Quoc's colorful ocean
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Nature & Adventure

Try being an astronaut exploring Phu Quoc's colorful ocean

Translated by Bing
After the first few minutes of confusion due to unfamiliarity with the pressure of water on my chest, and tinnitus due to pressure changes, I began to relax and enjoy the colorful ocean world before me. Take a quick step in the first coral park in Vietnam.

In the early afternoon on a sunny day pouring honey, the canoe took me from An Thoi port to dock on a floating ferry in the middle of the sea. Looking down from the ferry, it's hard to imagine how brilliant the ocean would look beneath the blue waters in a world of more than 200 species of corals, hundreds of fish and marine life.

Although we were very excited about the upcoming experience, we still had to undergo a short "training" on how to handle some common underwater situations as well as communication cues to know with accompanying divers. These are mandatory operations you must remember because it is inherently impossible to talk underwater. One symbol people will easily confuse is the Thumb symbol. If you're on shore, give a thumbs-up to indicate "OK is all good." In the water, the sign means "Let me up."

The journey of ten thousand miles begins with getting acquainted with sea water. The staff asked me to step into the sea and stop when the water was chest level. The sea water is quite warm and blue. When ready, employees slowly grab a specialized oxygen supply hat over their head.

The undersea expedition reminded me of the famous "captive people" tourism in safari parks. The thing is that the park is underwater and the explorer is "locked" in oversized hats, transparent glass like astronauts. Outside the ocean, there are countless types of corals that are "free", "flying" and countless colorful fish swimming in the ocean world.

The feeling at first for me was quite uncomfortable when I wore a big and heavy hat on my head, the change in pressure made my ears ring, the deeper down my chest seemed to be squeezed. This is very normal when you enter the water. I gestured to go back to shore, but the accompanying diver reassured me, instructing me on tinnitus management techniques by putting my hand inside the cap compartment, squeezing my nose while closing my mouth and breathing heavily. After about 2 minutes of self-adjustment, my body seemed to gradually respond to the underwater conditions and relax. The hat also seemed "weightless" when it went completely underwater. All the initial pressure disappeared, and there was only a feeling of excitement in me.

With each step, the ocean landscape changes continuously before my eyes with layers and layers of colorful coral. Especially the clusters of red coral, soft like seaweed, keep swaying with each wave. As an instinct, everyone wants to swoop in to touch those coral clusters with their hands. But immediately, divers will stop and direct visitors on the right path to avoid impacts on ocean heritage.

Schools of fish splashed swimming, hiding, looming. It felt like just reaching out to hold them all in your lap. It is impossible to count all the names of fish that are bending in the deep sea. The undersea world is so different from the world on shore. In the deep blue water is the world of corals, of colorful fish. Vegetation attracts anyone when they first "face to face" with the vast ocean bed.

Engrossed in "chasing" each school of 7-color fish, I suddenly realized that the diver was gesturing to take pictures, seizing my memorable moment in the ocean world. Just like that, 20 minutes for me passed like a blink of an eye, so that when I gradually went ashore there was only nostalgia: "I wish I could have stayed longer."

Walking under the deep ocean is an unforgettable experience for any visitor coming to Phu Quoc. A new and more pleasant experience with snorkeling and scuba diving, the astronaut helmet ocean expedition tour is suitable for both non-swimmers and children aged 6 and up. This service right from its appearance in Phu Quoc pearl island has attracted a lot of tourists to try and become "astronauts" on the vast seabed.

  • Location: Sea World Namaste Coral Park, south of Phu Quoc Island. The park is more than 1 hectare, of which 500m2 is for the walking service area on the seabed.
  • How to get there: From An Thoi port, you can rent a boat, canoe to the experience point or book a shuttle service provided by the park (pick up at 14h at An Thoi port, it takes 20 minutes to move).
  • Cost: 950,000 VND/person/Sea-walker ticket, 1,340,000 VND/person/combo Sea-Walker ticket and shuttle canoe, photography - filming. Each sea-walker ticket comes with 1 diver accompanying you for the duration of the dive.
  • Object: Suitable for children from 6 years old, people who cannot swim, know how to dive can also participate.
  • Time: From 8h30 to 16h00 daily.
  • Note:

The walking point is 5-6 m from sea level. You should bring a swimsuit, waterproof bag for your phone if you want to take more photos yourself.

Make sure to adhere to the park's 3-no rule: Do not touch corals in any way, do not get too close to corals, do not sit or lead up to corals.

Image source: Multiple authors
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