Hin Muang diving
Hin Muang (purple rock in Thai) together with Hin Daeng (red rock) is a second home for manta rays which are seen regularly 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 very good here, around 40m. Currents can be strong at times and that can reduce the visibility. 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 and stop running in the May to October rainy season. In the peak season there can be several boats diving here at the same time.
Hin Muang is about 500m of water away from Hin Daeng and is a series of large pinnacles that start 8m below the surface and drop down to 70m tempting divers to dive deep. The south side is a vertical drop off, the deepest in Thailand, the east side is a more gradual slope. The upper sides of the pinnacles are covered with vibrant purple soft coral. Large gorgonian sea fans protrude from the wall. Anemones carpet the top of the rocks and sway in the currents. Shoals of tiny anthias add flashes of colour and movement as the dart in and out of their coral shelters. Jacks made raid after raid on the bait fish.
Reef sharks including grey reef sharks are seen in deeper water. Barracuda, mackerel and tuna are seen in the blue. Also look for smaller critters in the soft coral and anemones. Many species of nudibranch are present, frog fish and leaf fish have also been seen here.
This post is also available in: Thai