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.
Sharp Island, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
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
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
Bluff Island, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
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
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
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 ShenZhen 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.