There are no scuba diving sites on the island itself, all require a boat trip. However Lanta is the closest island to the famous Hin Daeng and Hin Muang sites, so it is very popular with divers. Here below you'll get some travel tips for the most popular diving sites:
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang near Ko Lanta are perhaps the best dive sites in Thailand (ranking in the world’s top ten) with more than 200 hard corals and 108 reef fish catalogued in a study underway, but thousands more organisms abound. Hin Daeng has the steepest and deepest in the whole of the country with fantastic marine life. Hin Muang next door is completely underwater and it is covered with delicate violet coral. The sites also have one of the world's highest incidences of whale shark sightings.
Hin Muang This is a series of five or more submerged pinnacles heading in a south westerly direction and dropping down to over 60 meters deep. It is one of the deepest drop offs in Thailand. It gets its name from the delicate violet-colored coral covering its walls. Divers can also relish a rich diversity of marine life.
Hin Daeng (Red Rock) Hin Daeng is arguably the best dive site in the country. A large rocky outcrop forms a series of walls and ledges below the surface that are covered in red soft corals (which derives it the name). Due to the isolation of Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, they form the only reef feeding ground for a lot of surrounding ocean and therefore attract the bigger pelagics.
Ko Haa A group of five islands around 25km west of Ko Lanta separated by deep water channels. There are six different places to dive here and visibility is usually good. Marine life is plentiful here with all the regular visitors including morays and nudibranchs with the bigger tuna, jacks and trivially hunting in the deeper waters. There is a series of caves at the largest island, Ko Haa Yai, where natural light filters into a large underwater chamber. The entrance is at about 12 meters and you can actually surface inside to view some spectacular overhanging stalactites.
Koh Kraden Wreck This is a small island which lies at the southern tip of the island and is home to the remains of a Japanese destroyer which sunk there during the Second World War. Seahorses are often spotted hiding in crevaces along the wreck.
Other sites visited by dive shops include Ko Haa, Hin Bida, Ko Rok, Ko Waen and the Kingcruiser wreck. There are many dive centers on Lanta offering everything from beginner training on. If you want training, many shops can start any course on demand, particularly Open Water and Advanced Open Water. Courses are offered in English, Swedish, German and Thai at most shops and other languages will be available at some.
There are essentially two choices when travelling to dive sites: a larger, slower boat out of Ban Saladan (1.5 hours to Ko Haa, 3 or 4 to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang) or a speedboat departing from various beaches on the island (as little as 1 hour to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang). The slower boats are recommended for comfort reasons, but you will lose the entire day to the trip. Almost all shops offer free pickup from at least resorts towards the northern end of the island.
Almost all day trips are for two dives. Prices are in the range of 2500–3000 baht for a day's boat diving on the closer sites, 3000–4000 baht for Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. Gear hire will be about 500 baht per trip. Certification is all PADI: about 13000 baht for a four day Open Water course, and 10000 baht for a two day Advanced Open Water course (five dives). The speedboats tend to cost extra.
Some dive centers ask for Advanced Open Water or equivalent certifications, or 20 or more dives experience, if you are diving Hin Daeng/Hin Muang.
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