Liveaboard Diving in Hin Daeng

What To Expect On A Hin Daeng Liveaboard

Liveaboards to Hin Daeng, Thailand are usually in search of the majestic Manta Rays that can be found around this dive area. Hin Daeng, meaning Red Rock, for its abundance of red corals, is located to the south of Phuket in the southern Andaman Sea. As part of Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park, it is a few hundred meters south of Hin Muang, southwest of the Phi Phi Islands, and can be reached with liveaboards departing from Phuket. Rated as one of the best dive sites in Thailand, Hin Daeng boasts a lot of marine life from small to large. With a large vertical drop off, it is also known as a cave diving spot. Usually done as a drift dive, currents here are medium to strong and the site is suggested for the more experienced diver. The underwater currents along with surface waves render this site quite challenging. With many small inlets, rocky bays on the sandy bottom, and canyon-like formations, Hin Daeng is also known as a cave diving spot. Visibility is often up to 25m, unless the waters are plankton-rich, promising the possibility of feeding whale sharks or manta rays.

Similarly to the northern dive sites of the Andaman Sea, the best time to see these majestic creatures are during the months of February - April. Diving here is usually preferable between November and April when calmer weather and seas make for a more enjoyable experience. Some divers argue that Hin Daeng is as good as Richelieu Rock in the north but with fewer visitors. With such varied underwater topography and biodiversity, Hin Daeng makes for a great site to add to your itinerary.

What You Can See

One of the best ways to visit Hin Daeng is by a liveaboard dive cruise as it's location is quite a distance from land. The submerged boulder pinnacle creates an impressive underwater topography, less so topside, as it breaks the surface and jets out only a few meters above the water. The southern sides provide the most extreme vertical drop in Thailand, down to 70m. The rock formation is covered in colorful hard and soft corals, generally appearing red nearer the surface, hence the namesake. These along with anemones, sea fans, and sponges provide shelter for many of the smaller reef fish such as the boxer shrimp, octopus, lionfish, morays, and beautiful ribbon eels. The eastern and northern sides are best done as a second dive as they are shallower and gently slope down to about 40m. Here, look out for schools of jacks and trevally hunting along the wall, shimmering like a silver blanket. The Barracudas and reef sharks bring excitement while swimming around on the hunt. The shallow rocks hide a multitude of shrimps, crabs, cowries, and moray eels.

Due to its remoteness in deep open sea (along with its sister island Hin Muang), the larger pelagics are attracted to the area. It is best to keep your eyes open, as below on the sandy flats you may see Marbled Whip Rays and Leopard Sharks, into the blue for Grey Reef Sharks who may curiously approach you or the illustrious whale shark gliding by. Don't forget to look up as you may be missing the graceful manta ray swimming loops above you, using the top of the pinnacle as a cleaning station. The dive is full of activity, there are a lot of nooks and crannies on the wall where the perceptive diver can identify the macro life: Ornate Ghost Pipe Fish, Banded Cleaner Shrimp, and the like or witness the more obvious congregations of Long Fin Batfish just off the reef. Bear in mind as you ascend to swim away from the reef in order to avoid the surface currents and easily board the boat.

Getting There offers good Thailand liveaboard itineraries that cover the best of Thailand's west coast. The best way to get to Hin Daeng is on a Thailand liveaboard trip from Phuket. Dive safaris typically depart from Chalong Pier in Phuket or Pak Bara Pier from Hat Yai airport, both of which can be reached by domestic flight from Bangkok

Hin Daeng Diving Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 14 Verified Reviews

Origin: US