Header image courtesy of Aviv Perets (Unsplash)
Fancy taking a plunge into the deep blue sea? What if we said you can scuba dive your way around some of the most beautiful waters, right here in Hong Kong? Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin, as our ultimate beginner’s guide to scuba diving in Hong Kong will have you going from amateur diver to expert under the sea in no time.
Between the years of 2010 and 2015, there was a whopping 45-percent increase in the number of scuba diving certificates issued in Hong Kong—and it’s easy to see why. Our city boasts some of the most beautiful scuba diving sites that vary in a range of difficulties, making it popular with tourists as well as locals, regardless of their skill level.
Not only that, but Hong Kong is also home to roughly 25 percent of China’s marine biodiversity, giving scuba divers a truly breathtaking sight under the waves. On the education front, Hong Kong offers an array of comprehensive scuba diving schools, so whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance to expert-level dives, you’re pretty much sorted.
To get started, Hong Kong has a great variety of diving schools that offer safe, comprehensive diving lessons at any difficulty. Working with you so you can learn at your own pace, many diving schools are able to give you the crucial open-water diving certificate upon completion. Some courses also include theory elements, which you can learn at home. These theory portions are particularly important as knowing how to dive safely is paramount. Once you are ready to go test the waters yourself, you can easily rent the gear and equipment you need from most diving schools.
From starting out at novice-level sites in Sai Kung to upping your game to deeper dives at places such as Ninepin Islands and Hoi Ha Wan, Hong Kong has a whole host of beautiful sites for divers of all levels. Before you jump in, one should be aware that since the climate here in Hong Kong is subtropical, there is less visibility under the water than in other diving sites around Asia. There are also more hazards in the water like fishing nets, wires, and unfortunately, trash.
Putting those things aside, there is still a huge portion of the ocean that boasts beautiful coral reefs, marine biodiversity, and even some artificially sunken vessels, making your diving adventures immensely rewarding. For some stunning coral reefs, try Port Island or Breaker Reef, and if you want to see beautiful rock formations, Ninepin Island is the best place to be.
It’s possible to dive year-round in Hong Kong, but for the best experience, try to head out during the diving season from June to November, as visibility is the best during these months. However, the waters can reach up to 23 degrees Celsius during the hot summer months, so if you would rather have a cooler dive, plan to go later in the season (October is the golden month!).
Of course, natural hazards always exist, and particularly notable is the overlap of typhoon season with the diving season, so be careful and heed warnings of bad weather—especially if there’s a typhoon warning. Other necessities to diving such as scuba gear and boat hire, are also readily available around Hong Kong.
While you may think that your diving adventures have to be scheduled far afield, there are actually some gorgeous dive sites right here in Hong Kong. So stop pondering about, get yourself some scuba diving lessons, and start planning your underwater adventures now!