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Scuba Diving Locations - Hin Yai Thailand

Hin Yai Pinnacle Hard To Find, Fantastic To Dive

Exploring The northern parts of the Gulf of Siam and the hidden pinnacles not on the everyday dive maps has become an addiction of ours.

You Dont Just Find New Dive Sites...

Let me start at the beginning, In the light of taste for adventure, we first visited two pinnacles whilst diving out of Rayong. These pinnacles were by no means undiscovered, but no way were they a tourist dive spot either. We got a taste of visibility and aquatic life so good, it was hard to believe we were only a couple of hours away from the main areas, usually visited for diving in Pattaya.

Aquatic Life Off The Chart

Schools of fish so dense they shadowed you from above, macro life so diverse compared to other local dive sites it left you wishing for more time to search every single inch of the dive site before descending. This is why we dive! This was more like it!

I came to Thailand for world class diving! Working out of and diving Pattaya and Samae San has its spectacular moment’s but visibility isnt usually beyond 10m and there is alot of shallow reef diving in Pattaya. These underwater pinnacles offered depth and deep blue water clarity I thought you had to go to the Andaman side of Thailand to experience… I was wrong.

My first experience of this was a diving trip to the Rayong pinnacles, these are well known by local Thai divers, visited frequently during the season when the water clarity and surface conditions are at their best, but Rayong is a good way from Pattaya and even further from Bangkok.

Where Is Hin Yai Pinnacle?

After seeing and diving the Rayong pinnacles a number of times since I’ve being in Thailand, it always had me thinking, there MUST be more underwater pinnacles like these? The far islands of Pattaya have some great marine life and visability but nothing like Ive seen on the Pinnacles and these places away from the immediate coastal areas, places where  marine life is left alone to flourish and where the waters run deep and blue.
The Thai Gulf is vast and the number of scuba diving operators and divers that have dived in the area must know of more places? So the search began for new and unfound spots for scuba diving near Pattaya.

How We Found Some Fresh Dive Sites

Talks began with fellow divers, boat captains and fishermen to try and attain some GPS points or good tips for the best areas to begin searching for new dive sites. The scuba diver community might not yet know of such places but you can bet the local fishermen know about them because its where they get their best catch! So, armed with some knowledge from Dave of Pattaya Dive Centre ( a 25year veteran to scuba ding in Thailand) and Charlie Frost (another very experienced local dive instructor) a naval chart of Pattaya and Samae san and Cpt Duong of “Sirens of The Deep” dive boat in Same san. We set out in search of a New Dive Site, we believed to be a rock pinnacle 1hr down the coast from Pattaya, out from the Samae San islands, know locally to fishermen called “Hin Yai”
“Hin Yai” is no big secret, but to many its a mystery!
Hin Yai is marked rock on the navel chart to warn larger vessels and to any boat captain in the area they know of its position, what none of these people knew was exactly what lay beneath the waves. The most anyone knew about Hin Yai was that it was a Big Rock. Hin (meaning Rock) and Yai (meaning Big). It wasn’t until we descended onto the pinnacles plateau is at 14m deep did we realize its beautify and potential to be one of the best diving spots in the area. 
  I can still remember the excitement of getting way out there in the Gulf and circling the GPS marker with our high tec bottom finder we had equipped on the Pattaya Dive Centre “Sirens Of The Deep” boat. Charlie shouting to the captain, go more west.. and me standing with the shot line awaiting my orders to drop and mark our descent into the unknown. That was a couple of years back now. I have arranged only a handful of trips back here since the most recent one just passed on the last high slack tide and we were gifted to 20m visibility and 2 spectacular dives!

Dive Site Return and Research

This latest dive as we descended we did not even the need the descent line, the water was so clear you could almost see right across the whole Pinnacle.  You might believe that conditions like this are not possible when diving in Pattaya, but it seems you only need to get a little bit further away from the city and at the right time of year and tide, this dive is up there with some of the best dives i've experienced in Thailand!

 SHARK! 1min into the dive I see a fellow diver, Bryan, gesturing "Shark" as he see's a reef shark cruise over the Rock Shelf  right below where we descended! This seems to be where the Shark like to hang out. As Im looking around and I can already see 4 different Nudibranch variations and i haven't even reached close the top of the pinnacle yet and now Ive got my dive buddy pointing out Moray eels whilst another group is tapping and signalling Rays.. I didnt know where to look, let alone point my camera! Dives like this don't come around a lot even on great dive sites like Hin Yai, this day was a special day and we all could feel it. Im truly feel grateful for living my scuba divers life, but that day, I felt really lucky! If you are in or around Bangkok and plan to go diving Pattaya, ask about Hin Yai!

Have You Ever Got To Dive On a Pinnacle?
Did you find them to be better dives than the reefs?
Did you get to dive an unexplored Dive Site Before? How Was It?

Please Comment, Share Your Experiences & Memories, Thankyou.

Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.