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Diving Thailand – Dive Sites Thailand – Scuba Diving Similans
 
Name Hin Daeng & Muang
Depth 5-70m
Vis 8-50m
Water Temp 26-30c
Level Intermediate+
Our Rating 5 Stars
Best Time to Visit November to May (Although can find trips all year)
GPS 07-09-08N 98-49-18E Hin Daeng / 07-09-08N 98-49-14E Hin Muang
   
  Map of Local Dive Sites
Manta Hin Daeng Muang

Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are located about 65km south of Koh Phi Phi, or 90km southeast from Phuket. They are reputedly two of the best dive sites in Thailand and we have to agree. They are rivalled only by Richelieu Rock in The Similans and Surin Island National Marine Park, for numbers of Whaleshark sightings, and they hold the claim to fame of having the deepest drop offs of any site in Thailand. Hin Daeng, obtains its name from the dense jungle of red soft corals that blanket many areas of this awesome dive site, and likewise, Hin Muang gets its name from the vast carpets of purple soft corals spreading over the rocks in all directions.

In places, the dark sandy bottom drops off to 70 metres or more. Currents well up from the deep, bringing welcome nutrients and plankton up to nourish the corals and aquatic inhabitants. You will find all the usual suspects at these sites, but expect everything to be just that little bit bigger than normal. Giant Morays poke their huge heads out from their grotto lairs. Clown Triggerfish go about their business breaking open crustaceans and munching on corals. Leopard Sharks relax lazily on sandy patches on ledges, seemingly undisturbed by the approaching scuba divers.

 

Hin Daeng and Muang often present visibility of more than 40 metres. These sites are on a par with Koh Bon in the Similans in sheer numbers of Manta sightings. On a good day divers will barely notice the reef below, as they are mesmerized by up to a dozen Manta Rays cruising past. Sometimes alone, or more often than not in small groups, the Mantas seem to stop what they're doing and spend minutes at a time circling and studying the awestruck divers. Sometimes watching Mantas as they majestically dance about, looping and turning, can be almost hypnotizing.

It's vitally important for divers to remember to keep an eye on their air gauges and no-deco limits. There have been a couple of incidents where divers have had to make rapid ascents due to air depletion, and have ended up in the hyperbaric chamber in Phuket, for treatment for the bends. Whalesharks are also attracted to these underwater mountains, due to the large volume of food that can be present in the water. Indeed, it's possible to see more than one Whaleshark on a single dive.

 

Back in early 2007, Hin Daeng and Muang suffered some serious damage to their soft corals. This was especially true at Hin Muang. There were several suspected reasons for this, including possible dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing and a mysterious algae bloom. Indeed, for a time, Hin Muang was left virtually bare, with little marine life. It was a disaster and unclear as to what had happened. The decimation was later attributed to an algae bloom that enveloped the sites suffocating the corals and killing many of the fish. Fortunately, the sites have recovered well. The soft corals have regenerated and the fish and marine life has returned.

These dive sites are out in the open sea, so are subject at times to some choppy conditions. If you suffer from seasickness, it's especially important to take a tablet before you board the dive boat, especially if you will be day tripping on a speedboat. Expect trips to be cancelled last minute if the weather is stormy or there are choppy seas. This may happen for safety reasons, as well as for scuba divers comfort.

 

Lastly, try not to get too disappointed if you don't get to see a Manta or Whaleshark. The reefs are still some of the best in Thailand and have a whole lot of other aquatic delights to keep scuba divers happy. Of course, there are good and bad times to head out to these sites. We are constantly updated as to when Mantas and Whalesharks are around so contact us for more information.