Scuba diving usually doesn’t come to mind when one talks about Hong Kong.
The visibility ranges from 0.5 to 15 mtr, with the average between 3 and 8 mtr.. The bottom temperature during the summer is about 29 C and it can drop to as low as 16 C in the winter.
Most dives are done at a depth of 5-20 mtr. Most dive sites that allow dives to 30+ mtr are further out and can be prone to strong currents and low visibility.
Most dive sites are on the east- and south-east side of the New territories. The two main departure points for dive boats are Sai Kung and Wong Shek. Below is some information about the most visited sites.
Sai Kung departures (south-east)
Dive sites in/around Port: Shelter, Rocky Harbour, Bluff Island, Tai Long Wan, Po Toi island and Nine Pin Islands.
Wong Shek departures (east)
Dive sites in and around: Double Haven, Tung Ping Chau, Breaker Reef, Hoi Ha, Long Harbour, Grass Island and Port Island.
Sharp Island. (Kiu Tsui)
Most dives are on the west side of the island, south of Kiu Tsui Village, about 15 minutes from Sai Kung town. A “no anchor zone” (NAZ), marked by yellow buoys, has been established to protect the corals. Depth is between 3 – 8 mtr for the corals, with the bottom sloping-down to a muddy bottom at about 13 mtr. Between the corals and mud the sandy bottom is strewn with rocks, anemones and the odd bit of coral.
South of this “NAZ” is a site called “D-site”. This site doesn’t have much coral. It’s a sandy bottom, 3 – 9 mtr, with a steep rocky slope on the south end and 2 “tire structures” on the north end. The “tire structures” attract some nice marine life, a great change from the creatures you can find in/on the sandy bottom a few kicks away.
Sharp Island is usually well protected from the wind and as such an extremely popular snorkeling area and scuba diving-training site.
Keep your eyes out for: sea horses, frogfish, octopus, dragonets and “cleaning-stations”.
Shelter Island. (Ngau Mei)
Shelter Island, about 30 minutes from Sai Kung town, is usually dived on the west side, away from the wind. Depth is up to about 14 mtr, but most dives are down to about 9 mtr. The bottom is mostly sand with rocks, of all sizes, and anemones every here and there. Further away from the shore the sand gives way to mud quite early. Courtesy of years and years of in-shore bottom-trawling.
The east and south-east side of Shelter Island has some interesting diving with depths down to 18 mtr. Wind and current often deter the larger boats going there. Our tender can take experienced divers to the SE- side when the dive boat anchors on the west side.
Keep your eyes out for: parrotfish, snappers and rays.
Trio Island. (Lak Lei)
The Trio Island group, outside Clearwater Bay at about 45 minutes from Sai Kung town, consists of 2 islets side-by-side, and a third one just north of it. The latter one called “Lak Lei Tsai”. Dives are usually done in the sheltered area on the north side of the main islets (“Tai Lak Lei”). Though narrow and shallow, it is possible to swim through the gap between the two islets. The islets drop down to about 5 mtr and then gently slope down to about 10 mtr. Towards the north-east it drops to about 18 mtr. The bottom is similar to other sites in the area, sand and gravel with rocks, of all sizes, and anemones every here and there.
This site is usually visited when the winds are not so strong.
Keep your eyes out for: sea whips, squid and sea-moths