Hin Daeng Diving

Hin Daeng manta rayHin Daeng (red rock in Thai) together with Hin Muang (purple rock) are regarded by many as Thailand’s best dive sites. Arguments rage over whether these two rocky outcrops are superior or not to the Similan islands and Richelieu Rock.

They are a second home for manta rays which are seen on most dives and in recent years more and more whale sharks have been seen here.

The big fish are attracted to the area because these dive sites are isolated in open sea with nothing else around. The rocks act as the primary feeding ground and cleaning station in the area. Visibility is usually good here. Currents can be strong at times.

These sites can be dived by liveaboard boat from Phuket or by day trip dive boat from Phi Phi or Koh Lanta.

Due to their isolated location dive trips run from November to April when the seas are calm. They stop running in the May to October rainy season. In the peak season there can be several boats diving here at the same time.

This area also suffers from illegal fishing when dive boats are not around. Recently national park rangers have been collecting park fees from divers so hopefully they will start to protect the area better than they have in the past. These dive sites are now included within the Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park.

Hin Daeng is a series of rocks that form ledges and walls at varying depths down to 35m and just break the surface above the water. The rocks are covered with red soft corals, hence the dive site name. Schools of snapper, fusiliers and surgeofish are present as are moray eels including giant morays, white eyed morays and zebra morays.

Banded sea snakes are often seen. Redtooth triggerfish can be seen along with their more common cousin the titan trigger. Barracuda can be seen in the blue as can giant trevally and dogtooth tuna. Grey reef sharks also frequent this area and are a rare sight in Thailand waters. Crocodile lontoms are always just under the surface at the top of the rock.