Liveaboards are a good option as they allow guests to dive the sites early in the morning and later in order to avoid the larger crowds from the day diving speedboats. The liveaboards also run return trips from Phuket Island, which is a very convenient location with an international airport.
The dive sites are varied and numerous around the South Andaman Sea. Nearby Phi Phi Island is the dive site of Shark Point, or ëHin Musangí, is a series of pinnacles which rise up from a sandy bottom. These pinnacles are covered in abundant and colourful soft corals and are home to thousands of marine species. Leopard Sharks are often found on the sandy bottom resting just next to the pinnacles. And it’s always possible to spot good macro around the site. Also close by I sthe wreck dive of the King Cruiser, which sank in 1997 and has since developed into a fantastic artificial reef. It is home to a huge variety of marine life including schools of fusiliers, snappers, and trevally.
Further to the south nearby Koh Lanta, two of the most famous dive sites in Thailand are found; Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. They are both located about 70 km south off the coast of Koh Lanta and feature some of the richest and most diverse diving in the entire country. Hin Daeng, or ’Red Rock’, is named after the beautiful red corals that cover the pinnacles and walls which make up the site. There is plenty of macro life to be found at this dive site including; unique nudibranches, frogfish, and harlequin shrimps. Nearby Hin Muang, or ’Purple Rock’, is a series of submerged pinnacles dropping down to over 60 m deep. It is one of the deepest drop-offs in Thailand. The reef is 200 m long and less than 20 m wide, and comprises three main pinnacles and several smaller ones. Because these dive sites are located so far away from any nearby islands, many pelagic animals are drawn here to hunt and feed, including many manta rays and whale sharks.
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