Hin Daeng: a paradise in the South
Located approximately 400m to the East of Hin Muang, around 100km South of Phuket, you will find Hin Daeng. Hin Daeng translated into English this means “Red Rock” and the dive site is covered in beautiful red soft corals Hence the dive site name. In addition there are a large variety of large Gorgonian Sea fans after which it is named.
The Hin Daeng dive site is made up of 3 small pinnacles that break the surface by a few metres, before dropping off to around 60m+ at the deepest part. You would normally be diving both Hin Muang and Hin Daeng on the same trip. Consequently you would normally dive Hin Muang first as this is the deeper of the two dive sites.
Current runs from North East to South West and vice versa. Current here can be anything from “almost nothing” to “very strong”. When the current is strong (around full and new moon,) you would normally only be able to see about half of the dive site. If this is the case, just start at the deepest part (remembering to dive within your training and personal limits) and zigzag shallower through the dive. If you haven't dives for a while, it's a good idea to dive Phuket first to get back into Dive-Mode before diving Hin Daeng.
Hin Daeng is a large dive site, so there is plenty to see and is FAMOUS for the amount of Manta Rays normally sighted here. That's in addition to the occasional Whale Shark!
What is the best way to dive Hin Daeng?
You can start the dive anywhere around dive site, on any of the 3 pinnacles that break the surface. What happens next will be determined by which way the current is running.
If there is no current begin the dive on the South East corner as this is generally the deepest part and the wall then drops off to 40m+. In this case we would continue the dive in a clockwise direction. In the deeper water you will spot a variety of Leopard Sharks, White Tip & Grey Reef Sharks resting on the bottom. Do pay close attention to your depth and remaining dive time throughout the dive. We say this because you can have extremely clear visibility and it is easy to go deeper than you had planned, or thought you were at.
The good news is that although the sharks are deep, they are usually visible from above.
When you reach the South Western corner of the Hin Daeng Dive site the wall drops off. This is followed by sloping sandy reef which again drops off to more than 40m, however it is very gradual
As with all diving at Hin Daeng, look out into the sand for Stingrays and under the rocks for the larger Blotched Stingrays. You can do this as you continue around the site in a North Easterly direction. This is done by keeping the dive site on your right hand side. If you do this you will reach a channel. The channel is at a depth of around 24m with the rocks North of the channel being around 12m. Keep your eyes open for the rare Spearing Mantis Shrimp which can be spotted in this area.
Is Hin Daeng suitable for Rebreather diving?
Hin Daeng is an excellent dive site for Rebreather divers. This is due to the depth and sheer amount of what there is to see so. Consequently if you start at your deepest point and work you way slowly up the pinnacle, it is easily possible to do a 2 hour dive without getting bored. This is especially true if the Mantas are out and about. I think our record for Mantas at Hin Daeng is 6 at one time, which lasted about an hour.
In the mid water off the pinnacles, you can expect to see large schools of Rainbow Runners, Barracudas, Trevallies, Snappers and Fusiliers. This is in addition to the Manta Rays and Whalesharks which Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are famous for.
On the actual pinnacles themselves you can expect to see Giant Morays, Puffer Fish, Porcupine fish and Trigger Fish. There is also a nice mixture of Angel, Butterfly Box and Surgeon Fish. In fact you can see most of the usual South Andaman Sea marine life here.
Hin Daeng and Deep Diving
Whether you are diving on a rebreather or on open circuit this is usually a spectacular dive site. Hin Muang is one of the best Thailand dive sites for taking your PADI Deep Diver Specialty Course. Or the PADI Advanced Open Water Course as most of the awesome marine life lies in deeper than 18m. Hin Daeng and Deep Diver make a perfect combination.
As there are 3 pinnacles which break the surface there is marine life to be found right up to the surface. Hence this makes an excellent place to complete your safety stop. However please remember to swim away from the site at the end of the dive so your dive boat can pick you up safely.
Much like Hin Muang this is one of Thailand's best dive sites and is an excellent place to spot Whale Sharks & Manta Rays. Sightings of at least 3 or 4 Mantas at the same time are regularly reported.
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