re-sized Sanya-Map-Sanya

Scuba diving at an exotic tropical location in China

I don’t know why, but I never think of China and The Tropics in the same sentence. It doesn’t sound right does it, but one of our readers alerted us to the fantastic scuba diving in the warm tropical waters of Sanya and we decided it was well worth investigating.

To give you an idea of location and what it relates to, you might be interested to know that the island of Hainan is approximately the same latitude (20 Degrees North) as Punta Cana in the  Dominican Republic and its beaches are similar to those in Mexico.

China map

Sanya is an important political, economic, cultural and foreign trade port in the southern part of Hainan, China. It is also a well-known coastal tourist city filled with tropical landscapes and local customs. It is situated in the southernmost part of China and has been called “the remotest cape of the earth” since ancient times.

It has a tropical coastal monsoon climate with very warm weather all year around. Its daily average temperature is 25.4C and annual rainfall is 1,279mm. It is famed for its clear fresh air and abundant sunshine.

Sanya is becoming more and more popular with scuba divers looking for something just a little bit different. With its good visibility, warm and colourful waters, abundant coral life and wide variety of colourful tropical fish, it pretty well has everything to offer.

Baifu Bay & Sun Bay are the best diving sites. You have to reach both with a speedboat from Yalong Bay. It takes about 10 min. The visibilitiy of the water is up to 8-16 meters with a lot of red coral and beautiful tropical fish.

They say that scuba diving at Yalong Bay and Dadonghai is as good as the diving in Bali, Indonesia or Thailand… although some reports say that Yalong is very expensive and all reports mention that language is a barrier.

Almost the entire peninsula is surrounded by coral reefs which come under the Hainan Sanya Natural Coral Reef Nature Reserve. The reserve also includes two other coral reef areas: Yalong Bay, a few miles East of Sanya; and, directly West of Sanya, Xi Mao and Dong Mao Islands, in Sanya Bay.

Sanya Map

About 30kms due west of Sanya is the island of  Wuzhizhou. The west and north side of this island is relatively flat with soft white sandy beaches. The sea water there is extremely clear with a maximum visible depth of 27 meters (90 ft)and is rich in nightlight snails, sea cucumber, lobsters, sierra fish, urchins, pomfret and colorful tropical fish. The coral reefs, which are fantastic and of different shapes in the seabed of the southern sea area, are well-preserved. This is a great place for diving.

Wuzhizhou IslandWuzhizhou Island

There’s a bit of a surf culture growing too in this area…

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