40 miles from Ao Chalong
The west coast of Koh Ha Yai, the larger southern island, is one of the best dive sites in the area and, despite some damage from dynamite fishing, the coral in the shallow waters surrounding the smaller islets can be superb.
This little island group is in deep water and exposed, offering no real protection in either season.
Perhaps the most spectacular spot is at (A), where there’s a silica low-tide-only beach nestled between the rocks, offering superb snorkelling off a shallow sand bank littered with coral heads in five metres. The island just north of (A) looks like a floating island and can be swum under at certain states of tide. The area around (A) is buoyed off for snorkelling and diving.
It’s no longer permitted to drop anchor anywhere near these islands and there’s no feasible pleasure boat anchoring depths without nasty coral heads closer in either. However, there are plenty of heavy-tackled National Parks mooring buoys at all three of our spots.
(A) can get extremely busy with speedboats during the day but there are good moorings with less traffic behind on the quieter west side. The snorkelling is truly amazing here, about the best in the region with moray eels, black tip reef sharks and the odd turtle. It’s advisable to always wear fins if you’re snorkelling around the island back to (A) as the current picks up on the corner.
Hidden inside the cliffs close to the moorings is one of our contributor’s favourite spots, ‘Captain Morgan’s Back Passage’, which is a relatively short swim through a tunnel full of dozing fish. The fee for visiting Koh Ha Yai is 400 baht per person; this island group is an extension of Koh Lanta Marine National park.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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