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Dive Center, Zhejiang, China
This one seems pretty cool and I can’t wait to check it out this summer! Qiandao Lake (千岛湖; or Thousand Island Lake) was created in 1959 when authorities flooded the valley for a hydroelectric plant. In the process, it created a gorgeous fresh-water lake with a plethora of mountain peaks penetrating the surface – inadvertently creating thousands of small islands. It also flooded Lion City (狮城; Shi Cheng), a 1,400 year-old Tang Dynasty village. The village is still in tact (about 30 meters underwater, of course), and is complete with 265 arches, five city gates, and dozens of cool architectural structures. There is also another smaller village named He Cheng (河城) that has been drowned by the dam; some believe it dates back roughly 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty. The visibility isn’t perfect and you’ll need a flashlight, basically turning it into a night dive, but it’s still a grand adventure you can tick off your list. Plus it’s quite easy to get to from Hangzhou.
Dive Center, Sanya, China
While Hainan’s diving scene isn’t on par with the real Hawaii’s, there’s still a few decent spots around Sanya (三亚). There are various dive spots to choose from, but it must be mentioned that Yalong Bay (particularly the areas of Baifu Bay and Sun Bay) is regarded as the two best on the island. There are wonderful coral gardens, various species of fish and other marine life, and the visibility is pristine. All that coupled with near perfect weather year-round makes for a truly enjoyable experience for dive masters and beginners alike.
Dive Center, Beijing, China
Believe it or not, there is a submerged section of the Great Wall of China where divers can take the plunge! It’s even made international headlines, with the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, and other well-known publications covering articles on the dive. In 1976, in a similar story to Lion City, the Chinese government created the Panjiakou (潘家口) Reservoir, flooding several villages and a kilometer section of the Great Wall. With a dry suit (the water is freezing!), flashlight (visibility is limited), and proper equipment, you too can see the Wall from an entirely different angle. Unlike the other spots mentioned on this list, there’s no real accommodation or diving facilities set up in Panjiakou. Contact Sino Scuba and talk to the American owner Mr. Shwankert. He’s the one to set you up with a dive – if you’re qualified enough. SinoScuba Address: Workers’ Stadium South Gate Chaoyang District 地址: 朝阳区工人体育场南门 Phone: 186 1113 3629 Email: email@example.com Note: Sino Scuba not only offers PADI certification classes, but also dives at the Blue Zoo. Due to Beijing’s landlocked/limited-diving geography, divers can scuba dive in a giant aquarium with sharks, fish and other marine life.