Hin Daeng (Red Rock in the local language) is one of the best diving sites in Thailand. It’s not suitable for new or inexperienced divers. Those who dive at Hin Daeng are guaranteed a wonderful experience and may see something special such as a Manta Ray or Whale Shark. The location is what makes Hin Daeng special.
Being located far from any land or islands and surrounded by deep-sea means that Hin Daeng is a haven for hundreds of species of marine life, including hundreds of thousands of individuals. Most species spend their whole lives here, but larger fish visit Hin Daeng to find food or to be cleaned. The sea all around is deep for many miles, meaning that nutrient-rich cooler water supplies Hin Daeng with everything it needs to become and remain a healthy marine oasis. The water is usually very clear & clean as well. The peak of Hin Daeng almost touches the surface at low tide, and all of its sides are covered with lots of corals, especially red & purple soft corals. This is most likely how it got its name. There is something for divers to see at depths from just a few metres below the surface all the way down to more than 50 metres, which is deeper than recreational scuba divers are able to go to. Different species can be found at different depths, and these include lots of interesting bony fish & invertebrates. Divers at Hin Daeng need to look out for life within the corals and rocks but at the same time keep an eye out for something large that may visit. Phuket, but the best way to dive at Hin Daeng is to come by scuba diving liveaboard. Not only does this enable you to dive more than twice, you’re guaranteed to be there when the day trip boats aren’t there for your early morning and sunset dives. Also, Thailand liveaboard diving boats that visit Hin Daeng only do so while on a ‘Southern Andaman cruise’ and not on a Similan liveaboard trip. This means that very few boats are at Hin Daeng on most days, and it’s likely that there’s only one. Also, just 200 metres away from Hin Daeng is Hin Muang, an equally-wonderful dive site with a very deep & steep wall. When compared to places like Richelieu Rock that are always full of divers, it is really nice to dive at Hin Daeng.These include Barracuda, Tuna, Manta Rays and Whale Sharks. These larger fish are often seen at Hin Daeng but never guaranteed. Because it is far away from everything else, not many scuba diving boats visit Hin Daeng. Daytrip boats usually come from Phi Phi, Koh Lanta or
If you dive at Hin Daeng from December to March you will enjoy the best sea conditions. November and April are ok. The latter half of October and the first two weeks of May are officially open, but not many boats visit during this time.
Hin Daeng is an undersea mount. It's a limestone pinnacle that comes from the deep seabed and almost touches the surface at low tide. On more than one of its sides are steep walls, covered in hard & soft corals.
Hin Daeng is located in Thailand's southern Andaman Sea. The nearest island (Koh Rok) is 25km to the east. The mainland (Trang) is 60km east. Also, 60km away is Koh Phi Phi to the north, and Phuket is 90km northwest. With no land or other islands anywhere near, there’s no beach to visit or anything to look at during your surface interval. Also, there is no protection from any wind or waves, meaning that the surface of the water can be a bit choppy.
Journeys to Hin Daeng, on liveaboard diving boats that can sail through the night but day trips need to be done on speedboats from Phuket, Koh Lanta or Phi Phi and the crossing is long, fast and often bumpy.
Although there are no official rules saying that new, inexperienced or Open Water divers can't dive at Hin Daeng, it's not practical for them to go there. The conditions* require experience, and in nearly all cases, the other divers in your group or on your boat will be certified deeper and have more experience. Therefore, it's not fair to hold them back with shallower or shorter dives.
* Being located in open sea means a high chance of waves at the surface. The exposed location means currents can be strong and unpredictable. The deep and clear water encourages divers to descend to 30 metres or sometimes deeper.
Hin Daeng's marine life is healthy, abundant and diverse. There are thousands of resident creatures that spend their whole lives here, plus plenty of pelagic species that visit to feed or be cleaned. Our list is just a sample of what divers can expect to see when diving at Hin Daeng. Large species are never guaranteed, but always welcome when seen. And on days when nothing large swims by, there are many smaller species there that are special and often not noticed or ignored.
Hin Daeng is definitely among the top 5 dive sites in Thailand. The clear water and abundant marine life ensure for excellent diving. And the remote location means that the marine life there is always healthy. Although Richelieu Rock is Thailand's #1 dive site, it is busy every day of the diving season and you will see plenty of other divers. In contrast, Hin Daeng is as good as Richelieu Rock on some days but hardly ever busy. Also, if you go to Hin Daeng on a liveaboard cruise for your early-morning and sunset dives, you're likely to have the place to yourselves! If you get a chance to dive at Hin Daeng during your visit to Thailand, make sure you take that chance.