Snorkelling in Phuket, Phi Phi, Similan Islands
The tropical waters of the Andaman Sea are ideal for snorkeling - clear, calm, balmy and bursting with brilliant marine life. Snorkeling can be done year-round in Phuket, but the best time of year is November-April, when the sea's at its most placid.
Take care through the May-October low season, when the undertow can become dangerously strong along the west coast. The warm water temperature (27-28°C) means that snorkellers don't need to wear wetsuits, though wearing a t-shirt is advised to prevent sunburn.
At some beaches it is possible to rent snorkeling gear for the day, though it may not be of great quality. Many shops around the island sell a range of masks, snorkels and fins.Read More
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Ao Sane, a rocky beach on Phuket's southwest coast, is one of the island's loveliest secrets. The diving and snorkeling at this beach is exemplary and the beach's character is encapsulated best by the word, 'tranquil'. Ao Sane has enough trees lining its perimeters to provide shelter from the sun at all times of day and also has ample sand space for sun lovers, too. Read More...
- How to get there: Head toward 'The Nai Harn' at Nai Harn Beach’s northern end. Follow the road under the hotel and keep going. The beach is well marked.
Koh Tachai is a 12sqkm island belonging to the Mu Koh Similan National Park in Phang Nga Province. Renowned for its dive sites, Koh Tachai first hosted snorkelling day trips in 2010. Located 54km from Baan Nam Khem Pier, it takes only one hour by speedboat to get there.
This tour allows you to discover a pristine environment with a lot of endemic species as the island has been cut from the mainland for millions of years, and to enjoy snorkelling in one of the Top Ten dive destinations in the world according to the National Geographic Society. Read More...
- Opening Hours: From November to April
- Location: In Mu Koh Similan Marine National Park, Phang Nga Province
Laem Singh Beach is one of Phuket's most beautiful beaches and hides on the west coast between Kamala and Surin beaches. 'Laem' is Thai for 'cape' and this 150-metre beach is indeed situated under a steep promontory. Nestled in a hidden bay, surrounded by palm trees and dotted with giant boulders, it has a feeling of secret beach.
Sadly, it is a secret which is now quite widely known and, as a result of this and its limited size, the beach gets a little crowded during the high season and even pleasantly busy on low season sunny days. Even the additional of a 100 baht per person fee to access Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 19:00
- Location: On the coastal road between Kamala and Surin Beaches
- Remarks: 100 baht entry fee
Paradise Beach is one of the most attractive of the many wonderful beaches Phuket has to offer. It's compact and has a great view right across Patong Bay. The beach itself is barely 150 metres long and there is another small beach next to it, reached by a path through the rocks and it's located just next to the busy Patong beach.
Paradise Beach features shade-giving palm trees and tropical almonds. There are large granite rocks at both ends of the sand and a coral reef some 100 metres out. Jet-skis are actively discouraged from approaching the beach, resulting in a calm, peaceful location. But there is a downside: set Read More...
- Price Range: starts 500 baht
Similan Islands are located just 84 km northwest of the bustling crowds of Phuket. Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea, largely because of the wonders that wait beneath the clear blue waters that surround it. Generally counted among the 10 most interesting dive areas in the world, this little archipelago has also become a favourite destination for yachts and tour boats.
"Similan" is derived from the Malay sembilan, and means "nine". Each of the Similan Islands has a number as well as a name. These are, running from north to south: Koh Ba Ngu (No. 9), Similan (No. 8), Payu (No. 7), Miang Read More...
- Opening Hours: open to the public from 15 October until 15 May, but dates may vary each year.
Snorkeling in Nearby Islands
The Phi Phi Islands are an outstanding snorkel destination, with an incredible variety of tropical fish and bright coral. Join a day tour or arrange a private boat charter - trips run every day, year round. Closer to Phuket are the Coral, Racha, and Khai Nok islands, each featuring clear waters and abundant marine life just offshore. A bit further away are the spectacular Similan Islands. The Similans are world-famous for diving but snorkelling in this pristine marine wonderland is a fine experience too.
If you do go on a snorkeling excursion, make sure to use the services of an operator with good safety standards. Also, be advised that many of the cut-rate tours take people to the most crowded bays at peak periods - not so enjoyable when all you see in the water are other snorkellers! Chartering a boat is a great way to avoid the crowds.
Ya Nui lies in the shadow of two of Phuket's loveliest viewpoints; Phrom Thep and the viewpoint featuring large white windmill/propeller power generators.
It's a charming little cove featuring good snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. The sand is beautifully soft and children love to collect shells on this beach.
An island called Koh Keyao Noi stands 700 metres out in the sea and in calm weather yachts moor just off the coast and it is possible to paddle out to explore the coral or to pay a visit to neighbouring Nai Harn. In rougher weather local fishermen climb the rocky promontory to cast off or simply brave the waves with casting Read More...