Popularly known as the "Oriental Hawaii," Sanya in South China's Hainan province is considered as one of the best diving resorts in the South Pacific Ocean.
The length of beaches in the city is about three times of that in Hawaii, the United States. A visibility of between 8 and 16 meters in depth, up to about 25 meters in some places, allows divers to see well-preserved coral and colorful tropical fish in the sea.
The followings are the top five places for diving in the city.
Wuzhizhou Island, renowned as China's Maldives, is regarded as the best place in Hainan province for underwater diving. It is one of the few islands in the world without rocks or pebbles.
Situated in Sanya's Haitang Bay, the island covers an area of 1.48 square kilometers and is in an irregular butterfly shape. The sea around the island is clear and transparent, providing a visibility of 6 to 27 meters.
The underwater world at Yalong Bay is one of the earliest diving bases in Sanya.
It is thought as one of the best scenic spots in China to carry out undersea tourism, with the world's largest and most complete soft coral. Colorful hard coral, tropical fish, and other marine life in the nearby waters also add to the beauty and attraction of the bay. Its beautiful blue water has a visibility of 7 to 9 meters.
Xidao Island, also known as Daimao (Hawksbill) Island, is shaped like a turtle living in the tropical area. It is also the largest of a series of small islands in Sanya.
Located 8 nautical miles off the coast, the island enjoys idyllic surroundings of sandy beaches, rocky caves, and an interior filled with palm trees. It also boasts crystal clear waters with a wide array of marine life and extensive coral reefs to explore.
Dadonghai Bay, embraced by hills on three sides, is a crescent-shaped bay located about 4 km southeast of the downtown area of Sanya.
The area enjoys agreeable weather all year round, with the water temperature keeping about 20 C even in winter. It is also richly endowed by nature with clear blue skies and seawater, vernal sunshine, soft breezes, fine sand, as well as verdant hills.
Though the water here is not as clear as that in Yalong Bay and Wuzhizhou Island, this diving spot is easier to get to.
Fenjiezhou Island is also called the Sleeping Beauty Island for what it looks like from afar. It is a national 5A scenic area in Lingshui Li autonomous county, which is a 40-minute drive from Sanya.
The island boasts extremely clean beaches and rich marine ecological resources. It is one of the best places for diving and underwater sightseeing in Hainan province. It is the only site in the country that allows visitors to dive with dolphins.
In addition to possessing a range of marine recreational programs, the island has the only sightseeing submarine in China, which is 18.6-meters long and can accommodate 46 people.
Tips for underwater diving:
1. The best time for diving is in the morning, when the sun is shining and visibility is better underwater.
2. Applicants who are in good health and over 7 years old are eligible to dive.
3. People who are drunk or have heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, or otitis media are not allowed to dive.
4. Earplugs are forbidden to be used when diving.
5. Be sure to travel with your diving instructor.
6. Several gestural languages must be mastered before diving: OK, going up, going down, uncomfortable, poisonous living creatures, and no touching.