One of the most beautiful islands in Thailand is situated in the Andaman Sea and not only the island is worth a visit, the best diving spots Thailand are located around. The island is not that far away from the very famous island Koh Pee Pee, but more relaxed and – as I said before – equipped with the best dive sites in Thailand. That`s not only our opinion, a lot of others think the same: Link
At Hin Daeng/ Hin Muang, Ko Haa, the Bidas, just to name a few diving spots around Ko Lanta, you`re are able to see fascinating sealife, such as mantas, whale sharks, zebra sharks, big schools of barracudas, ghost pipefishes, sea mothes (little dragonfish) and various nudibranchs. This list could go on and on and on. All underwater life in the Andaman Sea is still in good order. The Andaman Sea is even considered for the UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.
But even if you`re more interested in caves, wrecks and corals than in fish, you will not be left empty handed. Because of the wide variety of fishes and underwater landscapes, we decided that this dive spots are our favorite ones.
Don`t start to compare prices with Ko Tao, diving here is worth every single baht you have to add on the Ko Tao price. We`re the second time on Ko Lanta. We were falling in love with this island and the gorgeous diving around. Together we did a few hundred dives, trying to explore most of it.
Dive spots Thailand – Ko Lanta
Most of the dive spots can be reached from Ko Lanta within one and a half or two hours by big boat.
Even if some diving schools on Lanta offer speedboats, we decided to let us drive the more comfortable and relaxed way to the dive sites. Just one, but in our opinion the major advantage of a big boat, is the space you have on the big diving decks.
Hin Daeng/Hin Muang – Manta rays
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are well known for regularly Manta Rays encounters. So mostly these 2 huge, remote, deep water rocks are discussed in terms of the frequency of sightings of manta rays and whale sharks but they promise a lot more beside that
With exceptionally colorful soft corals in red (Hin Daeng) and pink (Hin Muang), vast schools of red tooth triggers, as well as barracuda, batfishes and countless species of reef fish, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang are one of our favorite dive spots in Thailand .
In addition you will find at Hin Muang Thailand’s highest vertical wall. One side of the submerged rock levels out at around 60 meters and the other disappears into the abyss.
Currents can be strong but both dive sites offer plenty of shelter. Hin Muang in particular can be a more challenging dive in current as the reef doesn`t reach the surface.
Best time to see Manta Rays at Hin Daeng and Hin Muang is from the mid of November until April.
If you a lucky you also can see a whale shark here from the mid of January on too. But we saw the whale sharks more often at Ko Haa or/and Koh Bida.
Ko Haa (5 islands) is situated approximately a two hour boat drive away from Ko Lanta. Undoubtedly, the diving highlight at Ko Haa is the series of fascinating caverns, which are located at Ko Ha Yai, the largest of the group of islands. The caverns have large entrances and are safe to enter. You can surface inside and see the ancient stalactites which hang from the cave ceiling.
Ko Haa’s highlights include The Lagoon, The Cathedral and The Chimney. You can also explore underwater pinnacles, drop-offs, walls, boulders, caverns, inter-connected chambers and swim-trough’s.
So let`s start the dive spot overview of Ko Haa with my favorite one: Ko Haa Yai.
Ko Haa Yai
You`ve already heard about the caverns or cathedrals at Ko Haa Yai. In front of the Caverns you can find a lot of blocks completely covered with beautiful soft corals. One time a whale shark awaited us, as we left the cathedrals. There is as well a giant barracuda around and I mean – giant. It has almost my size.
The season for whale sharks at the southern Andaman Sea starts by the mid of January.
Ko Haa Lagoon
Located in the middle of Ko Haa group, the Lagoon itself is a 5 m deep area surrounded by a pair of small limestone towers (Ko Haa No.2 and No.4) to the east, and Ko Haa No.3 to the west. That makes it to the ideal dive spot for training dives and snorkeling. But it`s worth a visit for experienced divers too. You can find here an awful lot of little stuff like: sea moth (little dragon fish – see the pic), a lot of ghost pipefish, anemone crabs …
At Ko Haa Lagoon lives a big school of barracudas.
Ko Haa No. 1 – Our Tipp on Ko Haa
Ko Haa No. 1 is an excellent site and has amazing soft coral coverage. The south side of the island has many large boulders that create swim troughs and a huge anemone coral field.
The outstanding feature of this dive spot is the Chimney with an entrance/exit round about 18 meters it leads into a small cavern. If you follow the channel up it’s narrowing and eventually coming out of an opening at 5 meters! This makes the dive spot remarkable for excellent underwater pics.
Normally right next to the upper exit, the turtle is waiting.
Don`t ignore the other side of Ko Haa No. 1. nice walls and lots of fish.
The Bidas – Ko Bida Nai and Nok
Ko Bida dive sites are famous for their amazing leopard sharks, whale sharks, barracudas, octopuses and black and white tip reef sharks. Diving in this area expect beautiful diving with gorgonians, soft coral and large schools off fishes hunting. Bida Nok and Bida Nai have vast quantities of fish. You could be 2 meters off the reef wall and not see the reef for fish! So watch out for your you can easily buddy.
From above the surface the dive sites Ko Bida Nai and Ko Bida Nok are two spectacular limestone rocks jutting out the water just South of Ko Pee Pee.
Ko Bida recommendations: We highly recommend the finger at Ko Bida Nok and the phantasy reef at Ko Bida Nai.
Hin Bida is a small rocky outcrop. It stands proud of the water by a mere of 1m.
Hin Bida is shape reminding a hand with five fingers. The white sand between the “fingers” is an excellent place to spot leopard sharks/ zebra sharks often. Hin Bida is less dived than many other sites.
If you are visiting Hin Bida during February – April, also look out in the blue with luck a whale shark maybe passing this point. We were lucky three times
Anemone reef / Shark point
Both dive spots are more favourable for experienced divers and not visited very often. There are currents, so you have to plan your trip around half moon.
If you manage to go there a spectacular remote dive site will reward you. Here you can find sea horses.
At shark point you can find black and white tip reef sharks, from time to time some leopard sharks as well.
Wreck „Kled Kaew“
Although sunk in March 2014 the wreck is already full of fish life. The biggest lionfishes i have ever seen are hunting here, between batfishes, trevallies and schools of snappers. The wreck is famous for its bamboo sharks, frogfishes and fascinating nudibranchs.
The HTMS vessel is an old Thai navy boat and 47 meter long. The deepest point is around 27 meters and the deck comes up to 12 meters.
We were and we are impressed by the underwater life of the Andaman Sea around Ko Lanta.
That`s why we call them the best diving spots Thailand.
If you have never been on Ko Lanta and you need some help with accommodation or choosing a diving school, you can contact us for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you dived the Southern Andaman Sea already? Which dive spots do you think are the best in Thailand?