Macau is an ex-colonial outpost on the coast of China. Ruled by the Portuguese for much of the last century, it is not a Chinese territory and has a culture all of its own. Its population is mostly Chinese, but much of its historic centre is definitely Portuguese: think cobbled streets and Catholic churches. Macau lies just over the Zhujiang River estuary from Hong Kong, on the South China Sea. That means that as well as having a fascinating culture, it is a great place to dive.
A Macau scuba diving trip will take you into sub-tropical waters, which can get as warm as 30 degrees in summer. Visibility is reasonable, but not amazing. Don’t dive in Macau expecting the kind of clear water and super-colourful fish you’ll find in Thailand or the Philippines. But if you want to explore and see a wide variety of marine life, get diving. The waters around Macau are home to an impressive 400 species, including some tropical coral.
There are scuba clubs based in Macau itself and across the water in Hong Kong. Macau lies on a tiny, mainly urban peninsula. Hong Kong is similar, but has more open space. Pollution can be a problem near the built up areas, as can shipping, but local dive boats know the good spots. The area is volcanic, meaning you’ll find some interesting rocks, caves and crannies to explore. Most diving is shallow – as little as 10m – so you can get some nice long dives in on not much air.
A Macau scuba diving trip allows you to get away from the heat and bustle on the surface, and see a side to this part of the world that few people do.