If you enjoy scuba diving, you are probably thinking of your next diving trip constantly. Did you know that diving in Asia is one of the most mesmerising experiences you could have? Of course, the Asian continent is incredibly vast and there are hence countless diving opportunities for you to choose from as well. We would like to take some time to have a look at some places to go diving in Asia.
Diving in Asia – Some Basics
In most Asian countries, there is something called a diving season and it is sometimes forbidden to dive outside of these seasons. In the Maldives, for example, the month of December is fully off season and it is not recommended to dive between March and September.
Indonesia does not have any periods classed as off season, but between the months of December and March it is not recommended. It is important that you check any restrictions before you go diving, as they can vary slightly from year to year.
Diving in Asia - Vietnam
Vietnam is becoming an increasingly popular scuba destination and more and more diving schools are sprouting up all the time. The eastern coastline is the best place for diving, but it seems most diving enthusiasts flock to Nha Trang, although Da Nang is also becoming more popular.
Diving in Vietnam is a fantastic experience for both amateurs and advanced divers, with gentle reefs and deep vertical walls alike. Although Vietnam is becoming increasingly popular, it is still reasonably untouched at present.
One of the reasons why Vietnam should be a destination if you are thinking of diving in Asia is because of the coral. Did you know that almost half of the known corals on the planet grow in the waters off Vietnam? Besides fantastic corals, you can also find morays, sharks, rays and any other fish.
Diving in Asia – Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a very alternative way of diving in Asia. It has quite poor visibility, cold water and fewer interesting things to see. Because of the sub-tropical climate, it is advised to wear a dry suit when going on a dive here. At present, around 300 different species of reef fish and 80 different species of coral have been recorded in the waters surrounding Hong Kong.
There are also a number of artificial reefs that you could dive, as well as a few offshore islands. As the depths are not tremendous, generally between 5-10 metres, it is also an ideal place if you prefer to go snorkelling.
Shark Diving in Hong Kong
Diving in Hong Kong is not for the faint of heart, as it is home to a large population of sharks. In fact, as soon as the temperature of the surface gets above 23 degrees Celsius, sharks flock to the waters around Hong Kong and attacks are not unheard of, particularly in Clearwater Bay.
Hence, it may be wise to check whether any sharks have been sighted before you go diving, particularly if you notice the shark nets have been raised around the popular beaches. Many people have tried to get permission for diving in Asia outside of these shark nets, but so far permission has only been granted to members of the HKUA Hong Kong Underwater Association and then only on very rare occasions.
Another reason why Hong Kong is more suitable for more experienced divers is because of the currents. It is very likely that you could be swept away to foreign waters whilst you are diving. Although in most countries this is not so much an issue, in Hong Kong this would mean you find yourself in China, where they are less tolerant of accidental invaders.
Photo Credit: OKANO14
It is advised to dive with what is known as a “safety sausage” to make sure you know where you will be surfacing. Also take good care to not surface in the middle of one the very busy shipping lanes, of course.
There are many other places that you could go to if you are thinking about diving in Asia. We have tried to name two of the less common ones in this article, as most people would go diving in and around the Philippines, and the Maldives.
Although diving in those areas is mesmerizing and fantastic, if you want to go diving in Asia for a truly unusual and unique experience, Hong Kong and Vietnam are the ideal places for you.
What is your favorite scuba dive destination in Asia? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole and his team work full time to create a platform where divers can go to if they are looking for anything scuba related. It started with a simple blog who knows where it ends. The team is dedicated to make a change within the dusty old scuba industry.