Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide

Scuba Diving: Dive Sites near Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide
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Hin Daeng Hin Muang Koh Haa King Cruiser Wreck Shark Point Hin Bida Koh Bida Phi Phi Ley Anemone Reef
Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide
Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide
 
Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Hin Daeng and Hin Muang

These two dive sites have many times been listed as one of the top ten dive sites in the world. They are situated about 30 nautical miles off Koh Lanta and with their diverse and abundant marine life, you are sure not to be disappointed. With these dive sites only being 500 metres of each other, we are able to offer a one day trip diving two spectacular dive sites.

Hin Muang (Purple Rock) is usually the first of the two dives, due to its depth. View a map of Hin Muang. You descend down the buoy line and once at 12m come across the top of the pinnacle completely covered in purple soft corals (hence it’s name), continuing down to a maximum depth of 70m, this has the deepest drop off in Thai waters.

Hin Muang is a 200 metre long pinnacle that runs east to west. Pelagics are not uncommon. As many as 6 to 7 giant manta ray can be seen at a time, and they can remain for the entire length of your dive sometimes. Other big fish to see are the great barracuda, leopard sharks, reef sharks and giant moray eels. Visibility can reach up to a stunning 30m. Turning your back to the reef and looking out into the blue can be a rewarding experience, it is out there that you may see the approach of a Whale Shark, the largest fish in the ocean!!!!

Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Hin Daeng (Red Rock) is probably the largest pinnacle in all of Thailand. View a map of Hin Daeng
The top of the rock breaks the waters surface and has everything that Hin Muang has to offer and more. A series of walls and rocky pinnacles to explore. Close inspection of the walls give you sightings of lobster and shrimp and the rarely seen ribbon eel. Camouflaged scorpion fish are everywhere as are morays and all different species of trigger fish. Schools of large tuna, trevally and barracuda seem to circle the site constantly.

On the northern tip of the site is a sand and coral seabed at 23m sloping down to depths in excess of 50m. Here is usually where you will see the sleeping leopard sharks lying on the sea floor. With every corner turned you will be amazed by the sheer size of the site and the varying degrees of marine life and coral formations. A wonder of the underwater world !!!

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Hin Muang - map of Hin Muang 30m & 60m Variable from 20-50 mtr. Calm to strong current
Hin Daeng - map of Hin Daeng 25m & 60m Variable from 20-40 mtr. Calm to strong current
Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide
Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Koh Haa

Five Islands located off the west coast of Koh Lanta. (There are infact 6 but who’s counting??) View a map of Koh Haa Lagoon. The topography at Koh Haa, both above and below the surface is really quite beautiful. All the islands have different things to offer. Koh Haa Yai (the largest of the group, also known as Island 5 View a map of Koh Haa Yai) has a huge underwater cave to explore, whilst Island 1 (they seem to be numbered 1 - 5) offers some great swim thrus. View a map of Koh Haa 1 Visibility is more often than not quite good at the Koh Haa islands, up to 25m on a good day. There is a lagoon situated in the middle of islands 2, 3 and 4.

A sandy bottom at 6m, with coral boulders and many small reef fish, which makes this site ideal for introductory dives (see our section on courses) or snorkelling if diving is not your preference.
Venturing away from the lagoon to the outer edge of the plateau the seabed starts to slope away from you to depths of approximately 25m.

Islands 2 and 4 are the smallest of the islands and a nice figure of 8 dive can be made around the two. Look out for the lionfish there, hovering motionless with their fins displaying an almost regal pose. The porcupine puffer fish are extremely inquisitive and seem to enjoy watching the students undertaking their skills. Garden Eels can be seen, but approach slowly and quietly as they quickly take cover back into the sand if they are aware of your approach.

This dive site can be enjoyed by everyone whether novice diver or experienced.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Koh Haa Lagoon - map of Koh Haa Lagoon 15 m & 28m Clear water, visibility frequently exceeds 25 mtr. Calm to medium current
Koh Haa Yai - map of Koh Haa Yai 18m & 30m Clear water, visibility frequently exceeds 25 mtr. Calm to medium current
Koh Haa 1 - map of Koh Haa 1 20m & 30m Clear water, visibility frequently exceeds 25 mtr. Calm to medium current

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

The King Cruiser Wreck

On the 4th of May 1997,The King Cruiser, a car ferry operating from Phuket to the Phi Phi Islands in southern Thailand, ran aground on a reef and the impact tore a large hole in the vessel’s hull. The vessel took only 17 minutes to sink and now lies on the seabed in 30m of water. Thankfully all 561 passengers on board at the time were rescued.

The wreck sits upright in thirty metres of water and remains in one piece although the foreword upper deck has collapsed. The simplest and safest point of entry is through the vessels stern where divers can explore the once active car decks. This can be reached via a descent line averaging only 10 metres. Machinery still sits on the deck. Inside the car deck are a couple of vehicle tyres and an engine trolley. The interior darkens as you continue through and up one of the stairways on either side; the handrails are totally covered in barnacles. Both these stairways lead through open doors and out to walkways.

The collapsed foredeck is at 16 metres; where you can find some plastic chairs and tables being enjoyed by a vertical cloud of snappers using the unlikely structure to shelter from any ensuing currents. The upper deck is split from front to back and this has obviously caused it to collapse; two funnels act as boundaries for parrotfish and wrasse as they go about their daily business on this artificial reef.

As for Anemone reef (the reef the King Cruiser hit) well, half remains where it always has been, the remainder is on the mend, not as the once rocky haven of marine life but as a steel one!

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
King Cruiser Wreck 25m & 30m Variable from 10-30 mtr. Medium to strong current

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Shark Point

This site boasts a misleading name – with the exception of a few leopard sharks, you will not find the schools of sharks you may be hoping for. Nevertheless, the site offers spectacular diving!

Superb sponges, soft corals, and a multitude of colourful and exotic fish make this a beautiful site. It is a pleasure to dive, both for beginners and more experienced divers. Depth varies from 12m -25m, and the topography is incredibly diverse – small canyons, passages, reef plateaus and sandbars. Here, you can find stingrays, sole, cuttlefish, leopard sharks, and seahorses. Shark Point is close to both Anemone Reef and the King Cruiser wreck.

Due to the close proximity of all three sites, an excursion to dive the King Cruiser wreck could also include dives at Anemone Reef and Shark Point. Return to Koh Lanta is typically around 17h30.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Shark Point 30m & 60m Variable from 20-50 mtr. Calm to Strong current

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Hin Bida

Hin Bida is a submerged reef with a maximum depth of 20m. Ideal for beginners or those who have been away from diving for some time, the site is easy yet interesting. There is very little current. The reef is somewhat shaped like the fingers of a hand on one side, and plunges smoothly to a sandy bottom at 18m on the other side.

Multitudes of reef fish can be found, such as trumpet fish, parrotfish, and cuttlefish – depending on the season, you may see them mating! Turtles are also frequently spotted lunching on coral. Hin Bida is only 45min from Koh Lanta, and close to Koh Bida.

The first dive of the day is usually Koh Phi-Phi or Koh Bida, and then Hin Bida as the second dive. Boats return to Koh Lanta for 15h00.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Hin Bida 15m & 25m Variable from 10-30 meters Calm to strong current

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Koh Bida Islands

The Bida islands are known locally as ‘the place to see Leopard sharks’ and boast an abundance of marine life. A huge variety of species can be seen here, including the rare and beautiful seahorse and ghost pipefish. At very shallow depths it is not uncommon to come across schools of baby black tip reef sharks and the odd banded sea snake.

The Bida islands range from 3m to 25m making it an ideal site for certified divers and students alike. Other interesting and exciting things these islands have to offer are fantastic wall dives and swim thrus.

Large underwater pinnacles lie between the islands of Bida Nok - View a map of Koh Bida Nok - and Bida Nai - View a map of Koh Bida Nai - and this is where most often the leopard sharks are seen, usually hanging out on the sandy bottom. The leopard shark is perhaps the most docile of all sharks and can come within extremely close distances of divers - an unforgettable experience.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Koh Bida Nok - map of Koh Bida Nok 20 & 25m Variable from 10-30 meters Calm to strong current
Koh Bida Nai - map of Koh Bida Nai 20m & 30m Variable from 10-30 meters Calm to Strong current

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Phi Phi Ley

This is the uninhabited and unspoilt island lying south of Phi Phi Don. Its sheer limestone cliffs offer stunning scenery and has some beautiful bays with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

The sites around Phi Phi Ley are not considered deep with a maximum depth of 20m. We dive various dive sites, Maya Corner, Overhang Point, Lo Sama Bay and Palong, these are situated in and around Phi Phi Ley and offer overhangs and crevices, canyons and gorges hosting some large gorgonian sea fans and colourful soft corals. Vertical wall dives are lavished in clams and wing oysters, lionfish nestled in large cracks and the camouflaged bearded scorpion fish.

Coral trouts, bannerfish, butterfly fish and angelfish are to name but a few of the many reef fish you will come across. You may also find the gentle Leopard Shark around the island as well as some black tips swimming along the reef.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Phi Phi Ley 15m & 25m Variable from 5-30 meters Calm to medium, sometimes drift diving

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Koh Lanta map - Click to view a larger version

Anemone Reef

Situated nearby the wreck of the King Cruiser, this site is often the second dive of the day after the wreck. As the name suggests, an anemone garden covers a huge portion of the reef, providing shelter for a multitude of small fish and nudibranches.

From time to time, the current can be strong enough to attract some larger fish, such as leopard sharks, black tip reef sharks, barracudas, and groupers.

Visibility varies, at times no more than 10m but often as great as 30m; however the temperature remains a constant 29°C. The depth averages 18m with a maximum of 30m. The site is perfect for divers of all levels.

Dive Site Average & Max depth Visibility Current
Anemone Reef 18m & 25m Variable from 10-30 mtr. Calm to strong current
Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide
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Koh Lanta Diving : Liveaboards, Accommodation & Travel Guide