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Scuba Diving in China - Qian Dao lakes

Discussion in 'Greater China' started by donsilcock, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. donsilcock

    donsilcock Contributor

    130
    99
    I recently completed an 18 month work assignment in China, based in Shanghai, which was a really interesting but very challenging experience all round...

    I have been going to China on business 2-3 times a year since 2002, but actually living there was quite different and I never expected to do any diving there till I heard about Qian Dao Lakes, about 5 hours south-west of Shanghai. The only diving I was aware of in China was down in Hainan, the large island to the south of the mainland that is being developed as a kind of Chinese version of Phuket, and although the island is very nice in the developed area around Sanya I had not heard anything positive at all about the diving.

    The attraction of Qian Dao, or Thousand Islands, is the 1800 year old submerged Lion City that was a a victim of a 1959 hydro electric project. It was too good a chance to miss and I lugged all my dry suit & camera equipment from Sydney so I could do a weekend trip there. I finally got round to writing up the experience on my website blog - it's in three parts on the following links:

    Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part I): Scuba Diving & Underwater Photography in China | Indo-Pacific Images

    Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part II): Scuba Diving in China ? Qian Dao Lake (Part II) | Indo-Pacific Images

    Scuba Diving in China – Qian Dao Lake (Part III): Scuba Diving in China - Qian Dao Lake (Part III) | Indo-Pacific Images

    Don



    Don Silcock
    Underwater Site: Scuba Diving, Underwater Photography & Dive Travel in the Indo-Pacific
    Travel Site: Nomadicpixal
     
    InTheBlue likes this.
  2. carry93

    carry93 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hong Kong
    97
    0
    Hi Donsilcock

    thanks for sharing. I also dove in QianDao Lake earlier this year, I wasn't equippped with drysuit. I got a 5mm wetsuit + 3mm hood + 3mm Vest, but it was still freezing cold.

    The surface temp was 29 degree C and the water temp at around 20M was 12 degree C.

    Perhaps this is my first time fresh water diving, this was not a very pleasant experience.

    Cheers.
     
  3. donsilcock

    donsilcock Contributor

    130
    99
    Hi, yes...Qian Dao was quite an experience - what was the visibility like when you dived it?

    It was zero on the bottom when I did it... but that was because of the dredger working about a km away!

    Don

     
  4. carry93

    carry93 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hong Kong
    97
    0
    Well, I did 2 dives totally at 2 different spots. The first one was a village / heritage with some broken bricks and old broken house. We took a boat travelled from a pier, not the same as where you went shore dive (from the pic of your blog), but I didn't know where it was. There was a buoy as the marker when we were there. Viz was around 3-4 Meter at the bottom as it's muddy base and once divers pass through, the mud / silt would be kicked around easily unless modified frog kick of some tech divers. Since we had only single tank and the water temp was real cold, we gave up the idea of doing penentration to some ancient houses of the village there.

    Another site was the other side of the lake, guess maybe 30-45 min drive, that was a dive shop, actually, it's a floating house near the coast of the lake, there was no house / village at all, just some woods and rocks and the max depth was only 15M.

    Cheers.
     
  5. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    48
    2
    Hi,i did Qiandao lake in late April 2009 with Shanghai Big Blue,5mm wet suit+3mm vest+hood,and it was ok, but that is maybe because i also wear another 20+mm of thermal protection more under my skin :cool2:
    visibility was very good, around 2m, and the old buildings were all there, still not collapsed from bubbles of penetrating divers. the most interesting was a gate of a former residence of a guy, who had to be really rich, coz the gate was some 12m high, full of ornaments, carvings and chinese characters, some over 1m size.

    i still want to dive great wall, and then, who knows, maybe some innerland lakes in Qinghai or Tibet will get explored and opened..? till then, i will travel elsewhere - Cheju Island south from Korea was not bad, but Taiwan seems to be better after first visit to Kending. Also Okinawa is just a stone throw from here....
     

    Attached Files:

  6. zzz111

    zzz111 New

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    1
    0
    Thanks Don for the interesting story. Have you tried diving again back there?

    Kaaralex, nice pictures, obviously you were luckier down there. I'm going there sometime this winter, hope i'll be as lucky.
     
  7. marinediva

    marinediva Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Illawarra.....south of Sydney australia & Balmain
    466
    3
    Went to Lugu Lake in 2008, would love to dive it one day.
     
  8. donsilcock

    donsilcock Contributor

    130
    99
    I heard that things had improved at Qian Dao since I was there and the zero visibility we had that weekend was obviously dur to the nearby dredging - good images and nice to see what we were supposed to see...
     
  9. Sven_liao

    Sven_liao New

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Australia
    1
    0
    Thanks Don for this amazing report.

    What do u think about the dive site in haina island? Any good.
     
  10. carry93

    carry93 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Hong Kong
    97
    0
    To be frankly, I really don't recommend to dive in Hoinan island. The dive operators do not much concern on licensed divers, their main target customers are those DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) as there are hundred of visitors / day to try DSD. And there is no famous diving site over there and also the supporting logistics.
     

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