...Good for: Large animals, reef life and health, underwater photography, visibility and advanced divers
Not so good for: Wrecks, beginners, snorkelling and non-diving activities...
Hin Daeng is one of the number one sites for scuba diving in Thailand with whale sharks and manta rays. Look out into the blue to catch sight of the mantas performing their loop-the-loops and gracefully gliding all around you.
Hin Daeng (Thai for Red Rock) is a huge underwater formation protruding only 3 metres above the surface. The eastern and northern sides are relatively shallow, whereas the western and southern sides features a long sandy slope with coral patches and a drop off that just keeps on getting deeper.
Looking at the bare rocks above water, you would have no idea that Hin Daeng is such a beautiful dive site below water. Many local scuba professionals rate this as their favourite dive site.
Hin Daeng's red soft coral is lush and tall, and huge schools of jacks and trevally sweep past the ridge, surrounding you with a shimmering wall of silver. A dive at Hin Daeng normally starts on the west side, where you can descend down a steep wall. Watch your depth! At the south end of the site, the wall drops to about 70m. Aside from checking out the soft corals, always keep an eye on the "big blue". If a whale shark should appear, it'll probably be here. You sometimes need an extra pair of eyes on Hin Daeng, also look up and be ready for the shadow of a manta ray...
Ascending to the shallows you'll see crocodile long toms and barracuda stalking their prey, and large schools of fusiliers darting to and fro. The shallow rocks hide a multitude of shrimps, crabs, cowries and moray eels. There's plenty to see here, even on your safety stop! Hin Daeng lies within the Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park.
Hin Daeng Reef Basics:
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 15 - 40m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Can be rough
Water Temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience Level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 2
Diving Season: November to April
Distance: ~100 km southeast of Phuket (5 hours), 90 km south of Phi Phi (2½ hours)
Access: Thailand liveaboards from Phuket
Recommended length of stay: 1 - 2 days