If you’re looking for fun in the sun that goes beyond laying out a big beach towel, we’re taking to emerald waters and rounding up the best snorkelling in Hong Kong. Here’s where to see the best of corals and marine life…
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Where to go snorkelling in Hong Kong:
Highlights: One of Hong Kong’s four marine parks, Hoi Ha Wan is known for its clear waters and abundance of coral and marine life. Not far from Sai Kung Pier, its calm waters and easily accessible beach means swimming out from the shores in search of over 60 types of coral and 120 species for fish is a cinch. Don’t own your own gear? Snorkelling equipment, life jackets and kayaks can be rented from local shops in Hoi Ha village (such as Wan Hoi Rental). Had your fill of fish? Head back to land and check out the remnants of Hoi Ha Wan’s lime kilns for a historic hit.
Getting there: The easiest way to get to the marine park is either by taxi or taking no. 7 minibus from Sai Kung Pier to Hoi Ha village.
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Highlights: A part of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, Sharp Island is known for its two beautiful beaches – Hap Mun Beach and Kiu Tsui Beach – as well as it’s array of stunning coral and marine life; its fairly sheltered location means (relatively) calm waters that make for ideal snorkelling conditions. Fancy a pre-swim hike? Start from Hap Mun Bay and over Hak Shan Teng hill to Kiu Tsui Beach and the famous Tombolo, a natural sand levee.
Getting there: There are plenty of boats and Kaitos operating from Sai Kung Pier that will happily take you to Hap Mun or Kiu Tsui in under 15 minutes.
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Highlights: If its pristine beaches aren’t an indication of what to expect from this popular beach spot, its emerald waters might be enough to convince you to go for a dip and see what you can find off the shores. Made up four beaches – Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan – you’ll need to set some time aside to hike over to one of the beaches before setting up to snorkel, or alternatively catch a bumpy boat from Sai Kung Pier.
How to get there: Tai Long Wang is a speedboat ride away from Sai Kung Pier to Sai Wan or Ham Tin Wan. Otherwise, the hike from Sai Wan Pavilion to the beaches are 2.5 km long and takes around 45 minutes to complete.
Highlights: Clear Water Bay’s Little Palm Beach is a nice alternative to Sai Kung’s plethora of snorkelling spots. Known for its great diving, the current here is calm with depths around the shoreline just three to four metres deep, making it an ideal spot for less confidence snorkellers. Need to rent equipment or looking for insider tips on the best area to see marine life? Little Palm Dive is a nearby, professional dive centre on hand to book you in for a scuba session or provide more information on one of its courses, like underwater photography.
Getting there: The best way is to take a taxi straight to Hang Hau Wing Lung Road, where the beach is only a short walk away.
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Highlights: Admittedly not the easiest location to get to, Tung Ping Chau boarders Shenzhen but boasts crystal clear waters that make for top-notch snorkelling and scuba diving. About as clean as it gets in Hong Kong, this far-flung location is littered with colorful coral, diverse flora and fauna. With little facilities around, be sure to pack everything you need before making your way there.
Getting there: Take a ferry from Ma Liu Shui pier, near the University MTR station (about 1 hour 40 minutes) and there is only one ferry trip there and back on weekends and public holidays – so plan accordingly!