Liveaboard Diving in Hin Muang
What To Expect On A Hin Muang Liveaboard
Another Thai liveaboard dive site favourite is Hin Muang. Only a few hundred metres to the west of Hin Daeng is Hin Muang (Purple Rock), an oasis in the expanse of the South Andaman Sea. As the name suggests, Hin Muang is covered in pink and purple soft corals. Somewhat oval in shape and approximately 200 m long by 20 m wide, this site can be challenging in current as the rock acts to increase the current speed over its surface. Its topography is simple yet intricate with numerous outcrops, ledges, sandy patches providing shelter from the currents. There is also a channel in the middle of the reef where reef fish congregate to escape the currents making for an interesting spectacle. Rich with marine life and flora, Hin Muang is an excellent dive site as part of your Thailand liveaboard itinerary.
Diving here is possible from November to April and there are a number of 3 to 7 night dive itineraries from the best Thailand liveaboards visiting this region.
What You Can See
There is a permanent mooring line on the north western side, which can be used by your liveaboard vessel, where there is a split in the rock which joins again around 20m. As you descend to this depth, commence your dive against the current along the wall (usually in the easterly direction) in and around the many small pinnacles that crop up a bit like mushrooms. Amongst these, schools of rainbow runners, barracuda, snappers, groupers lurk around. Be aware of your dive profile at all times as it is easy to go up and down across these without noticing the change in depth. The sandy bottom is beyond recreational dive limits at around 50m. There is another mooring line to the east descending to approximately 22m, although it is best to return to the western life for your safety stop.
Along with the abundance in purple soft corals, the walls are adorned with a colourful display of sea fans. Masses of glass fish dart around amongst them and the rocky outcrops trying to escape the hunting trevallies. The shallows, at around 8m depth to the west of the mooring line, see what could be anemone city with the multitude of these harbouring clownfish and cleaner shrimp. Leopard sharks and marble rays are seen lying on the sandy areas in and amongst the pinnacles or deeper on the sandy flats found at 50m, harder to notice from the recreational dive limit of 30m. Grey reef sharks may be seen by the dozens at times, patrolling the blue waters. Long Fin Batfish near the mooring line, look into the blue for schools of barracuda patrolling the waters. Like its sister island Hin Daeng, Hin Muang attracts the larger pelagic like the Manta Rays and Whale Sharks, an important feeding station when the waters are plankton rich between February and April. The peaks of the pinnacles act like cleaning stations for the Manta Rays and if lucky enough to see one, simply find a small patch to hold onto and watch as these gentle giants hover effortlessly while being groomed by cleaner wrasse.
Other than the usual suspects, trigger fish, barracudas, snappers, groupers, trevally, giant moray, lion fish, puffer porcupines fish and a lot of colourful fish like angel fish, moorish idols, oriental sweetlips, boxfish, Hin Muang also promises a rich macro life. The avid photographer will relish the opportunity to look for ghost pipefish, nudibranch, long nose hawkfish hiding amongst the branches of coral forest and most preferably the harlequin shrimp to the north of the rock at around 25m.
This is a dive destination not to be missed while diving in the South Andaman Sea.
Liveaboard.com offers a great selection of Thailand liveaboard itineraries that cover the best of Thailand's west coast. The best way to get to Hin Muang 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 Muang Diving Reviews
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