South of Phuket and Phi Phi, towards the border with Malaysia lie some more excellent dive sites. Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (Red rock and Purple rock) are truly world class sites, offering steep walls, big fish and lush soft coral gardens. Whalesharks and manta rays are seen here quite regularly. These sites are reached by liveaboards from Phuket such as Giamani on short weekend diving tours. Koh Ha is a great spot for a night dive and also offers a fantastic cavern dive known as “Twin Cathedrals”. The South Islands liveaboard tours often also make a stop at Phi Phi Island.
South Islands Dive Sites
Hin Daeng Divesite Map
Some 40 nautical miles South of the Phi Phi Islands lies one of the best dive sites in Thailand. Just breaking the surface, Hin Daeng is a huge dive site with depths down to well below normal recreational limits. The South West side drops to over 60m, creating a steep wall of soft corals – leopard sharks are often seen in this area, and keep an eye out for whalesharks or manta rays. The East side has the best soft coral growth and two ridges that slope gently into deeper water. Pelagic fish such as jacks hang out close to the rock. In shallower areas moray eels are commonly found hiding in cracks in the rock face. Hin Daeng is also good for critters such as nudibranchs, cowrie shells and various species of shrimps.
Hin Muang is a long rocky ridge just a few hundred metres from Hin Daeng with it’s top at a depth of 8-9m and it’s bottom at 60-70m. It is actually connected to Hin Daeng, but the depth prohibits a dive between the two. Currents can sweep quite strongly over the ridge, but you can always stay on the sheltered side. The surface of Hin Muang is covered in purple soft corals and anemones and swarms of tiny silversides are constantly under attack from predators such as jacks and trevallies. Leopard sharks are common and whale sharks are also seen here. Even if you don’t see a “big fish”, Hin Muang is a beautiful sight with it’s colourful corals and steep walls.
Hin Muang Divesite Map
Manta Rays can be seen at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang
Koh Haa Yai Divesite Map
Koh Ha lies between Phi Phi and Hin Daeng, close to Koh Lanta. There are 5 small islands (Ha is Thai for five) with several dive possibilities. The best is on Koh Ha Yai where you find two enormous caverns with their entrance at 10-14m depth. A dive is best started on the reef to the West of the caverns, where there are some nice coral heads and fields of sea whips down to a depth of 20-25m. The caverns, though are the highlight. You can surface inside and see large stalactites hanging over your head. The light coming into the caverns makes for some beautiful photographs. At the back of the East cavern is a small hole leading to a tunnel some 25m long, ending in a chamber. This should only be attempted by divers with appropriate training and equipment.
Phi Phi Islands
The southern liveaboard cruises also sometimes stop at Phi Phi. You may wish to step ashore and sample the local life or stay and relax on board. Diving at Phi Phi is also possible on day trips or speedboat charters from Phuket. There are several good dive sites around these islands. The Giamani liveaboard also often stops at Shark Point and maybe Koh Doc Mai whic lie between Phi Phi and Phuket – see the page on Phuket Dive Sites for details.
South Andaman Pocket Divesite
When it comes to diving in Thailand most divers usually think of the Similan Islands. There are however more divesites to the south of the Similan Islands that are often overlooked. Places like Phuket, Phi Phi National Park, Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and others which are beautiful, easily accessible and filled with a magnificent diversity of marine life.
Get your full version of the South Andaman Pocket Divesite here at Sunrise Divers.
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Similan Island Thailand Liveaboards
South Siam 4
South Siam 4 runs twice weekly 3 day / 2 night trips including Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Surin islands and also diving at Richelieu Rock. You can also make a longer trip by starting on the right day (ask us for details - see prices b [...] Prices starting from 6000 / day
Sawasdee Fasai was a new name in 2016 running trips through the high season to the Similan islands and Richelieu Rock. This is a very large (37 meter long) liveaboard with plenty of space for relaxation. There is a big aircon indoor saloon area o [...] Prices starting from 7175 / day
The Giamani is a higher class liveaboard offering 2, 4 and 6 day dive safaris in Thailand to Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, the Similan Islands and Richelieu Rock. Plus in 2018 there will be some trips in Myanmar. The boat was built in 1998 to IMO standar [...] Prices starting from 11000 / day
Cruises in the Similan Islands / Richelieu Rock and also into Myanmar (Burma) with the liveaboard "Deep Andaman Queen". This stylish and comfortable liveaboard started operating in November 2003 and was operating in Thailand for 7 years before sp [...] Prices starting from 7500 / day
Welcome to MV Blue Manta, a new luxury Indonesia liveaboard, she started running trips to Komodo and Raja Ampat in late 2015. The Blue Manta is probably the largest dive vessel in the region. With a length of 45m and a beam of 9m, Blue Manta is a [...] Prices starting from 480 / day
MV La Galigo is a traditional Indonesian style 2 mast Phinisi sailboat built of ironwood and teak in Bira, South Sulawesi in 2012. She is running year round trips in Komodo and Raja Ampat. There is space for 14 guests only, with several cabin typ [...] Prices starting from 400 / day