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Diving in China

Diving in China

Quick facts

  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas.
  • Malaria risk
  • Check the Foreign Office website for up-to-date advice before travelling.
  • Around the coast of South China, marine life has been subject to heavy commercial fishing and there is generally a lack of environmental protection initiatives.
  • The best season to dive Qiandao Lake is from April to October. Usually, the viz is good in the beginning of the dive season, April to June.
  • Visas are required for visitors from most foreign countries to Mainland China. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates do not accept applications by mail. Applicants for visas are requested to appear at the Consulate in person, or apply through an authorized visa agency.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

Mandarin, Cantonese + various others
GMT +8
Tropical in the south
Natural hazards:
Typhoons in the south
Diving season:
Year round
Water temperature:
Jan to March - 24C/75F
June to October – 28C/824F
Hyperbaric chambers:
Shanghai, Second Military Medical University and Guangzhou, Guangzhou, Guangzhou Salvage


For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


Scuba diving in China is relatively new. Lots of virgin dive sites to be discovered in this country. Hainan Island is becoming an especially popular.

Sanya, at the southern tip of China’s southernmost province, boasts the most popular dive sites in the China. Diving is available year round, although visibility changes according to the season.

China is a vast country in Eastern Asia (about the same size as the United States of America) and with the world's largest population. Here's the map.

Getting there

  • Underwater Great Wall of China - in 1981, to resolve water shortages in Tian Jin, the Chinese government flooded an area where the Great Wall ran, it now lays at 5-35meters (most of it sits at a max depth of 20meters)
  • Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake) is the 1800 year old submerged Lion City that was a victim of a 1959 Xin'an River hydro electric project. At the foot of the Wu Shi mountain lays an ancient city known as Shi Cheng (Lions City), built in Dong Han period (25 - 200). Flooded in September 1959 for the Xin'an River Dam project, the city remains undisturbed from the surface at a depth of 26-40m, Big Blue Scuba Diving International based in Shanghai, runs weekend trips twice a month throughout the year to the city.
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