Monday, 12 May 2014

An Article for HK Time Out: Hong Kong’s Top Diving Spots

The weather is warming up slightly (although you'd be hard pressed to believe it given the massive rainstorms we had last weekend) and this means the local scuba diving season is beginning to rev up. To be honest, the more hardy folks have been diving all winter (sadly, I'm not one of them) and enjoying cooler clearer water and empty (of people) dive sites. So it's time to roll out an article I penned a couple of years ago (for Hong Kong Time Out again) that formed part of a larger stay/vacation piece. Once again this was a printed article only (not available online) but I was given permission by then editor - Jake Hamilton - to put it online. So many thanks to Jake (wherever he may now be) for getting me to write it and then allowing me to stick it up here as well.

Sadly, it looks as though my diving for this year will have to be curtailed somewhat. I broke a bone in my foot a couple of weeks ago and am currently convalescing while everyone else goes and enjoys themselves. Theoretically there is nothing to stop me going, however, it's excruciatingly painful for me to put any sort of shoe on at the moment, so there is no way I will be able to don my Scubapro booties and stick some fins on my feet. Never mind, I did some very fun stuff last year, including some stupendously good diving at Ninepins in October, and hope to catch up with my usual buddies later in the summer.

Speaking of buddies, this article was helped immensely by some of my regular fellow divers. I try to get out as much as I can but there are some places I simply haven’t been to (or even dived) and had to rely on my very dependable friends to provide me with information and photographs. So, a big thank you is due to Shirley Pong and her husband Chi Ching for sending a whole heap of excellent snaps my way (none of which were used but more about that later), Apple Chui who provided some great info and snaps relating to Tung Ping Chau and also to local diving instructor, Ken Chan who, as always, was a wealth of info.

Anyway, here is the actual printed article – click on the image for a closer view.

Okay, I did submit a whole heap of photos for the article that weren’t included. It's a big shame, but in hindsight I guess there just wasn’t the space. However, I have all these nice snaps sent to me by the above mentioned peeps and nowhere to put them, so I’ve included a few below to give you a better idea of some of the sites covered in the article (all photos Copyright Shirley Pong).

Here are a few from Tsim Jau (one of the dive sites located in Tai Long Wan).

Another site located at the southern edge of Tai Long wan is Yin Tsz Ngam. These are the cement bags mentioned in the article. I have since found out that this place is actually the site of a ship wreck. The ship was in fact carrying the bags of cement in its hold and hit some stormy weather either on route to or out of Hong Kong waters. The crew lost control and it hit the cliffs at Yin Tsz Ngam and sank upright. The cement set solid in the bags and the wreck has since been salvaged and/or disintegrated to the point where just a rotting carcass remains. For some great pictures of the site (and yes, with great visibility and very blue looking water...) you can view the gallery over at Ocean Sky Diving.

Next up is Ung Kong Wan, a bay on the north east side of Bluff island. The first picture looks like some sort of painful orgy…

So there you have it, hopefully this will persuade anyone with nagging doubts about HK diving that they should at least give it a whirl. In the meantime you can read my handy quick guide to diving in HK by clicking on the following link: HK Scuba Diving - a quick guide. And, keeping up with the watery theme of this post, you may also be interest to read about the HK Shark Attacks in the 1990′s.

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