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OnBird Phu Quoc
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Remote and pristine, Turtle Island is appropriate for anyone who wants to play the role of Robinson Crusoe. Possessing thousands of square meters of coral reefs, it makes it one of the best spots for snorkeling in Vietnam. In its shallow waters, you will spot a great diversity of hard coral, several species of butterflyfish, as well as clownfish in their sea anemone.

Snorkelers in Doi Moi Island
The shallow depth makes Turtle Island a perfect spot for beginners and kids.

How to go snorkeling in Turtle Island?

Turtle Island (or Đồi Mồi Island) is a tiny island found just 1km off the northwestern coast of Phu Quoc. It is the smallest island among the 21 islands forming the archipelago. Its name is derived from the many appearances of sea turtles in the past, but they are now very rare in the area.

The two main options to snorkel Đồi Mồi are to take a Sea-SUP tour or sailing by catamaran to the island. Price of tours is around 1 to 2 million VND per person (45 to 90USD), depending on the company and what’s included.

As the island is located Northwest of Phu Quoc, it is only possible to snorkel there during the dry season, as it will be getting wavy during the rainy season (May to October) due to the heavy influence of the Southwest monsoon.

In December, very low tides occur in the region. During these events, water is just 5-10 cm deep in a range of 10-20m around the island. You could get stuck on the island, which is surrounded by a large area of stony corals, with no way to enter/exit the water.

Doi Moi - Turtle Island snorkeling map, Phu Quoc

Water entrance for snorkeling Turtle Island

Water entrance is from a boat or from the island’s tiny beach, depending on the tour you choose.

Turtle Island’s reef snorkeling exploration tips

Turtle Island is fringed by a shallow coral reef, about 100 to 150m large depending on the side of the island. In the recommended snorkeling area, depth ranges from 2ft/0,5m to 23ft/7m.

Cooperband butterflyfish above coral reef
A cooperband butterflyfish noted among the coral.

Turtle Island is one of few islands in the archipelago possessing beautiful coral reefs, with negligible tourism impact. The island’s reef is mainly home to hard corals, including table coral, branching coral, bushy coral, brain coral, mushroom coral, Pavona coral and giant tube coral. Limited depth allows enjoying the reef from the surface of the sea.

Pink skunk clownfish family in a sea anemone in Vietnam
Dozens of pink skunk clownfish call the big sea anemones found on the reef home.

The most common fish you may spot while snorkeling Turtle Island are damselfish, several species of butterflyfish (including eightband butterflyfish and cooperband butterflyfish), as well as pink skunk clownfish, living by dozens in the huge anemones found on the seabed.

Snorkeling Doi Moi Island (Turtle Island), Vietnam
Turtle Island’s reef is made of several species of hard corals.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There’s no restaurant or water supply on the island, but some tours include lunch. Check when booking.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth23ft/7m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsCost of a snorkeling our (from $45pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.