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Diving in China

An abundance of marine life, warm waters, and wonderful coral gardens, often surrounded by staggering natural scenery, make China a fantastically unique place to dive.

Diving in China

Quick facts

Diving is fairly new to China and most sites are barely touched so, while enjoying its dazzling reefs, you can also savour the thrill of exploring unchartered territory. Visibility is good through most seasons and you can expect to see lobsters, starfish, sea urchins, octopus and many more fascinating sea critters. A section of The Great Wall of China actually extends down below sea level - and you can dive over it!

Recommended training

China is a great destination to learn to dive with the PADI Open Water Diver course. If you are already PADI certified, look to take the PADI Enriched Air, PADI Deep Diver and PADI Drift Diver courses so you’re prepared for exploring the underwater wonders of this destination. China is also an excellent location to become a PADI Pro by taking the PADI Divemaster course or the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor course.

When to go

The country has a tropical coastal monsoon climate with warm weather year-round, making it the perfect destination for scuba diving vacations. You can expect water temperatures around 24°C in Jan - March, and 28°C in June to October. Visibility changes according to the season, with the clearest visibility usually between April-October.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

UNDERWATER GREAT WALL OF CHINA - one of the world's most iconic landmarks actually slips below the waves, and you can suit up and a drift over it. Not one to miss.

QIANDAO LAKE (THOUSAND ISLAND) - dive deep below the calm surface of this lake to discover the mysterious ruins of two ancient cities - China's very own Atlantis.

HAINAN, THE 'HAWAII' OF CHINA - a great spot for diving due to its good visibility, warm water, and abundant coral and marine life. 

What to see

There's an abundance of creatures to discover in this underwater world, from all the tropical reef fish and pretty coral, to sea lobsters and sea urchins, hermit crabs and starfish. You can even expect to find leaf fish, frogfish, octopus and seahorses on your dives. A heaven for macro lovers.


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China offers breathtaking rice terraces, sapphire lakes and temple-topped mountains, as well as some of the world's most delicious food and, more recently, unique underwater experiences for scuba divers from across the globe. Diving in China is still relatively new, so there are plenty of untouched sites to be explored, particularly around Hainan Island. Sanya, at the tip of China's southernmost province, has the most dive sites in the country. It is warm year-round, making it the perfect destination for beach and scuba diving vacations.

Getting there

Planes are the fastest and most convenient means of transportation for international travel between most of the countries in the world and China's main airports; Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Chengdu. China has a great transportation infrastructure, so once you're there, it is easy to hop from from one city to another via domestic flight, train or taxi.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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