Dive and enjoy underwater heaven by Lantaresort.com Zebra dwarf lionfish by Lantaresort.com Swim together with the friendly Tigerfishes by Lantaresort.com Enjoy snorkelling with a group by Lantaresort.com Make new friends by game fishing by Lantaresort.com Students underwater by Lantaresort.com
 
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DIVING AND SNORKELING
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        Of all the places to dive in Thailand, Koh Lanta is a great location as it is close to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (one of the top dive sites in the world), Koh Haa and the famous Koh Phi Phi. You can actually see these dive sites from your resorts’ window on Koh Lanta.
        Scuba diving and snorkeling both offer different advantages. Snorkeling is easier and can be done by almost anyone. You wear a mask with a snorkel, which is a tube that you breathe from, put your face into the water and see everything underneath you in the water. You can snorkel with a life vest if you’re not a confident swimmer. In shallow water, snorkeling allows you to see quite a bit of the colorful fish and coral beneath you.
Scuba diving, on the other hand, requires heavy equipment, preparation, and some training. But the up-close view of the sea world is without comparison. According to the professional dive master Saffron Kiddy and dive instructor Darrel Inman of Narima Diving (Tel: (66) 7566 2668), one of the best dive centers on Koh Lanta, you can actually learn basic scuba diving skills in about three hours. First, you watch a training video for about 30 mins, which instructs you about the basics of diving, the equipment, and your body’s adjustment to the oxygen underwater. Then you are taken to the swimming pool to learn a few skills about using the equipment. The lesson teaches you to take the regulator (breathing device) out and put it back in again, just in case it comes out when you are diving. To be a certified diver though, there is an open test that you must pass, and the whole process takes up to four days. Unless there are some medical reasons, such as problems with your ears or your sinuses, almost anybody can scuba dive.
Scuba diving is actually not a lot of work, as you can relax and float in the water, or slowly make your way around the coral. It’s almost like floating in space. In fact, many astronauts practice space walking by wading in a swimming pool.
        While there are safety measures you must learn, scuba diving is a relatively safe activity. As long as safety measures are adhered to, it’s a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. The dive master almost always accompanies a group of divers, and will give you as much time as you want to be confident before going on a dive.
        The best time to dive in Koh Lanta is between the first of November and the end of April. After that the weather can be tricky. The green season is equivalent to the rainy season, but it doesn’t mean it rains everyday. And unlike popular belief, you can actually go scuba diving here during the green season as well. If there is not too much rain and wind, the dive center will take you on a diving trip. The only limit during the green season is the wind. But when the weather is clear, the visibility in Koh Haa, for example, is up to 25 meters. Trustworthy dive centers check the weather two or three times everyday with the Thai Meteorological Department, CNN and BBC. But the final word depends on the captain, who tends to be long-time fishermen around here. They decide whether or not you should get out there in the open water.

THE MAIN SITES
Hin Daeng and Hin Muang (Red and Purple Rock)
        It takes 2 hrs and 40 mins from Koh Lanta to reach the Hin Daeng and Hin Muang dive site. The site is composed of two submerged rock formations that lie 1 km apart from each other. It’s the dive site where you can see the biggest varieties of marine life. A lot of photographers like to go there because it’s very exciting to take pictures. One diving center that can help you is Scandinavian Lanta Diver, with its day trips, liveboards and PADI courses being offered. You can contact Lanta Diver at telephone numbers (66) 7568 4208 and (66) 8 1271 9050.
        Hin Daeng comes out of the water a little bit so you can see the rock above the water. It is a pinnacle that comes up to a point at the top and then has ridges that come out to the sides. Hin Daeng is a stunning reef that has the deepest drop off in Thailand—it goes down to 70 ms. It’s also considered to be the second best reef after the Richelieu rock in the Similan Islands, also one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. It is called Hin Daeng (Red Rock—‘hin’ is rock and ‘daeng’ is red) because it has many soft red corals on it. You can find tiny creatures such as sea horses, ghost pipe fish, and other small, rare beautiful fishes. But you can also find the large ones such as manta rays, who come to visit between November and February. Some lucky divers can see up to 20 manta rays in one day. Whale sharks like to visit Hin Daeng as well. Another diving center is Scool Divers (Tel: (66) 7568 4645, (66) 8 1913 3366) which offer you more than just diving. You can learn the basics of PADI courses, fun dive and snorkeling from here.
        The very top of the reef of Hin Muang is about 12 ms below the surface. The bottom at Hin Muang is around 40 to 50 ms. You can find octopus, snapper, barracuda and tuna but in total up to 200 different species can be found here.

 
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