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The sailors on the Chinese trade junks of the 15th century onwards must have greeted the sight of the twin peaks of Dayang and Aur with much relief, after sailing northwards up from the Straits of Singapore. The relief came in knowing that they had finally attained the open reaches of the South China Sea after negotiating the difficult and sometimes perilous passage through the Straits, which they knew as Long Ya Men - Dragon's Teeth Gate

At the islands, they might stop to take on fresh water from the many streams gushing down the steep rocky flanks of the peaks, which the sailors knew as Dong Zhu Shan and Xi Zhu Shan: the East and West Bamboo Mountains.

From then on, the light winds of the southwest monsoon would fill the sails of their cargo-laden junks and carry them north and homeward after yet another successful trading expedition to the South Seas ....

And now into 21st century, here's your virtual guide to the dive sites of the Bamboo Mountains ...

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