About the Dive Site
Hoi Ha Wan is one of the best land vehicle accessible coral dive sites in Hong Kong. Dives in this area are suitable for diver training and for newly certified divers, but divers should only dive over the coral after they have a reasonable command of buoyancy control. The coral sites in Hong Kong are being damaged at an alarming rate, divers should not help speed up this process.
The beach at Hoi Ha Wan is not that interesting, unless you are prepared to spend the time to look around. There are a lot of colourful tube anemones around the area where the sand suddenly steps down to the mud seabed. The jetty side of the shallows also has different species during different times of the year. These include large populations of sea hares, starfish, eels and big blue crabs.
North of the Jetty
A shallow coral area starts amongst the rocks immediately past the small jetty on the eastern side of the small bay immediately in front of Hoi Ha Village.
This coral area wraps around the small peninsula and continues into the adjacent bay. The coral can be a bit patchy in places but this is made up by the diversity of other marine life that populates these areas. There are some large anemones and clown fish as well. Depths vary between 1 to about 5 meters. This area is very popular for photography and makes a very interesting night dive.
About 300 meters from the small jetty is the Hoi Ha Wreck. It is the remains of a ferro cement barge that was used to carry out reclamation work in a nearby area. The hull is 20 meters long and faces north. There are some large concrete filled drums at the bow and several large pieces of metal at the stern.
Swimming in and around the hull is quite safe and there are only a few places that have sharp metal edges. Divers should be careful since there are sections that have small overhead barriers covered in barnacles and the wreck usually boasts an extensive population of sea urchins.
The wreck is covered with sea life including many nudibranches during certain times of the year. The seabed is mud so you need to be careful to avoid a silt out.
Around the base of the wreck there are many large sea anemones harbouring small cleaner shrimp.
Depths are about 7 meters.
The Hoi Ha Islands
Further out on the northern tip of Hoi Ha Wan are two islands. There is a lot of coral on the rocky shores around these islands. The depths are a little deeper - up to 10 meters, and there are also patches of soft coral.
Hazards & Warnings
The normal warnings for diving in Hong Kong apply to this area.
This area is quite exposed so watch out for currents and swells during rough weather.
There are quite a lot of gill nets in this area, including many discarded left on the bottom.
There are usually a lot of line fishermen on the small jetty. It is wise to keep clear of them.
There is also a lot of small row boats that can be rented. Watch out when you surface.
Getting to Hoi Ha Wan
You can reach this dive site both by road and by sea. If you plan to drive to Hoi Ha then you will need to arrange a permit to enter the Sai Kung Country Park. Details of how to arrange this are given on the main page of the Hong Kong section. Note that it is possible to reach Hoi Ha by minibus (from Pak Tam Chung Bus Terminus) or by taxi. Be careful when returning since the minibus tends to run somewhat irregular hours. Taxis can also be a problem since very few will drive all of the way to Hoi Ha to pick up a hire, and they are not often used to reach Hoi Ha.
You need a large private boat to reach this dive site by sea. The closest convenient pier is either at Hebe Haven (Pak Sha Wan) or Sai Kung. It is important to understand that an easterly wind will normally stir up this area making it rough for boats to get there. However, if you are planning to dive the Hoi Ha Islands, then you will need a boat of some sort. Note that you can hire a boat from Wong Shek Pier for this purpose.