Where To Go Diving And Snorkelling In Hong Kong
From Hong Kong's beautiful beaches, outlying islands and seaside towns––there's plenty of places to enjoy the water here. But given that travel is on pause due to Covid-19, and we're not getting away anytime soon, we can instead explore the depths of the ocean as an alternative.
Destinations such as Maldives, Indonesia or the Philippines might be the poster image when it comes to underwater activities or water sports, but you'll be surprised to know that Hong Kong has its fair share of spots to go to.
Our reefs are filled with aquatic life, remains that give a peek into our history or simply just a place to discover our own waters. We're listing the best places in the city to go snorkelling and diving.
Tatler Tip: Notable companies that run classes or allow you to rent equipment include Diving Adventure, Mandarin Divers (Hong Kong) and Splash Hong Kong. Solo divers need to have a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certification but there are classes that allow you to get a taste of it as a beginner with the help of a certified trainer. We also recommend heading out to dive during June to November due to clearer visibility.
See also: Where To Kayak In Hong Kong
1/7 Sharp Island
If you're looking to practice your skills, Sharp Island is for you. Thanks to its relatively weak currents, it's the perfect training ground to hone your scuba diving skills. Located just 10 minutes by boat from Sai Kung, you can see beautiful corals and colourful coral reef fish here. Besides being a prime location for scuba diving, you can also snorkel if you aren't ready to dive into the deep yet. At the waterfront at Sai Kung Pier, you'll see numerous companies that offer boat rides to Hap Mun or Kiu Tsui—Sharp Island's two beautiful beaches.
Sharp Island, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
2/7 Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park
A local favourite and a must on any snorkelers or scuba diver's list is Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. Just a short bus ride from Sai Kung, this marine park is well-loved for its pristine waters and diverse marine ecosystem. For the history buffs, be on the lookout for a shipwreck here that you can explore. Other than that, 60 coral and 120 fish species call this place home including the black sea cucumber, lion's mane jellyfish and yellowtail clownfish.
Hoi Ha Wan, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
See also: The Woman And The Sea: Female Free Divers Take Conservation To New Depths
3/7 Ninepin Islands
Ninepin Islands is part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark and are recognisable thanks to the hexagonal columns on the islands. Expect stunning underwater scenery reaching seven meters up until 17 meters. At shallow depth, you can swim alongside schools of fish while diving deeper allows you to see octopuses, eels or if you're lucky, the rare scorpionfish. Since the site is located an hour away from Pak Sha Wan, the only way to reach the diving area is by boat which you can inquire at the local dive centre or check with companies such as Diving Adventure that offer trips there.
Ninepin Islands, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
See also: 3 Underwater Galleries Are Set To Open In France This Autumn
4/7 Bluff Island
It's not exactly Titanic, but you can spot the remains of a car that locals believe to have been discarded by smugglers close by to Bluff Island. And if that's not fascinating enough, you can also see various sea creatures during your dive in the area. Bluff Island or Ung Kong Chau as it's locally known, is recommended for those who aren't experienced divers. The notable shipwreck––or car wreck rather––has been eroded by the sea but parts of it like the wheels are still visible.
Bluff Island, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
See also: How Rolex Testimonee Sylvia Earle Plans To Save The Ocean One Hope Spot At A Time
5/7 Basalt Island
Another prime diving spot in the Hong Kong UNESCO World Geopark is Basalt Island. Given its location, you can get stunning underwater views of numerous sea caves. Free divers and advance scuba divers can spend hours here, looking at the abundant corals and other aquatic life. To reach the island, you can either take a private boat or the local kaito from Sai Kung.
Basalt Island, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
See also: 10 Country Parks And Nature Reserves To Visit In Hong Kong
6/7 Little Palm Beach
For an alternative from the plethora of spots in Sai Kung, consider Little Palm Beach in Clear Water Bay. You can benefit from both shallow and deep water entryways with relatively calm currents that snorkelers and divers of all levels can enjoy. This spot is only located less than an hour from Central making it easily accessible from those living downtown. Other than snorkelling and diving, you can also enjoy paddleboarding in the area. If you want to snorkel, Little Palm Dive offers an array of courses including digital underwater photography course and deep diver course.
Little Palm Beach, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
See also: Hong Kong Water Sports: Your Guide To Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Wake Boarding And More
7/7 Tung Ping Chau
It might not be the most accessible of places but you get the benefit of enjoying its relatively undisturbed waters. Closer to Shenzen than it is to Hong Kong, this far-flung island boasts fascinating rock formations and crystal clear waters that spoil both snorkelers and scuba divers alike. Its transparent water will make the long journey here worth it.
Tung Ping Chau, Tai Po, Hong Kong
See also: The Tatler Guide To Hong Kong's Outlying Islands