Snorkeling in Thailand

Snorkeling in Thailand is almost every divers dream! A Southeast Asian country known for its tropical beaches, Thailand offers clear blue-green waters, with some picturesque locations and stunning views! A world-class Snorkeling destination, the surrounding islands in Thailand offer a wide variety of snorkeling spots. It has a long luxurious coastline and a rich & vibrant underwater life!

The lush tropical coast and the colorful coral gardens make Thailand no less than a diver’s paradise, and one of the topmost snorkeling and diving spots in the World! This is why Snorkeling is usually on the top of the list of ‘Things to do in Thailand’. There are plenty of places to visit in Thailand, but whether you’re a first-time diver or a professional diver - Phi Phi, Koh Chang, Koh Larn, Koh Tao and Koh Samui are few of the most popular places to go to for Thailand Snorkeling.

There are islands with shallow waters, stunning corals and mesmerizing aquatic life! From snorkeling safaris to exploring different breeds of fish, Snorkelers will also find exotic varieties of corals like mushroom, cabbage, and brain corals. Do check the weather conditions before booking your Thailand tour package. The best time to snorkel is between November and April, and you must avoid getting in the water during rainy weather and heavy currents.

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Thailand Snorkeling FAQs

What are the best places for snorkeling in Thailand?

1. Surin Islands- The Surin Islands are 5 dreamlike islands full of treasures such as colorful corals, white sand, and unique underwater species. Thailand snorkeling is best enjoyed at the Surin Islands, which is unspoiled and is undoubtedly one of the best spots for Snorkeling.

Best Places to Snorkel - Koh Surin Nuea, Mai Ngam and Koh Surin Tai
Location - Island in Ko Phra Thong, Thailand, 100 km north of Khao Lak
Cost -Child – app. 3000 THB
Adult – app. 4000 THB

2. Phi Phi IslandsOne of the world's most abundant coral reef systems, Phi Phi holds plentiful white sand and the most astounding underwater life out of all the islands. Tour operators supply all the equipment - i.e., fins and masks - if you book a package trip, or you can also rent them from the dive operators.

Best Places to Snorkel - Maya Bay, Loh Sama, Hin Klang, Monkey Beach
Location - between the large island of Phuket and the Straits of Malacca coast 
Cost – approx. 3200 THB

Click Here To Book: Snorkeling In Phi Phi Islands

3. Similan IslandsThe National Treasure of Thailand, Similan Islands inhabit some of the rarest and most endangered species of marine. Similan Islands Marine National Park is home to nine islands with crystal clear turquoise water and white sand beaches.

Best Places to Snorkel – Island 4 to island 9
Location – part of Phang Nga Province in the south of Thailand - 84 km NW of Phuket
Cost - Adult – app. 3200 THB

4. Koh Tao- Take a boat trip around the island to combine snorkeling and sightseeing. The water is shallow and calm most of the year, which is suitable for both adults and children. You can also walk or kayak around the island and spend some silent time with the sea turtles! Species such as parrotfish, angelfish, blacktip reef shark, and triggerfish can be easily spotted!

Best Places to Snorkel - Aow Leuk, Mango Bay, Shark Bay, Tanote Bay, etc.
Location – part of Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand
Cost - Adult – app. 850 THB

5. Racha & Coral Islands- Take a day trip from Phuket to explore the spectacular tropical islands - Racha and Coral! Spend the morning on Racha Island before heading to Coral Island, where you can enjoy a delectable Thai buffet lunch. Swim or Snorkel in the clear blue seas or simply walk and relax on the pristine white sand under the tallest of palm trees. You can also enjoy activities such as banana boating and parasailing on these beautiful islands.

Best Places to Snorkel – Racha Yai and Racha Noi
Location - Batok Bay, Racha Yai Island 44 Rawai, Muang Phuket 
Cost - Adult – app. 830 THB

Also Explore: Best Things To Do In Patong, Phuket

Which beaches are famous for Snorkeling In Thailand?

1. Nang Yuan, near Koh Tao- Spectacular scenery, unique topography, and pristine white sand beaches, Koh Nang Yuan is perfect for a relaxing day trip. A massive sandbar connects three tiny blocks of land and the shores are full of fish and coral, which makes Nang Yuan perfect for Snorkeling in Thailand! The enticing turquoise water and the picturesque rock setting is no less than perfect for a day trip. 

Location – 15 minutes by boat from Koh Tao

2. Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi- An astoundingly beautiful bay that is sheltered by 100-meter high cliffs on three sides, Maya Bay has several small beaches, which are full of clear white sand, colorful coral and exotic fishes! Sadly it has been closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from the damage caused by millions of tourists, especially after the famous film The Beach was shot here in 1999. According to the reports, it will be closed until mid-2021.

Location - Koh Phi Phi Le, Ko Phi Phi, Aao Nang, Thailand

3. Aow Leuk, Koh Tao- Aow Leuk is one of the most popular sites for snorkeling, which is surrounded by white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Shark Island in the background is one of the most popular sites for Snorkeling in Thailand and is amongst the most beautiful places on Koh Tao. The waters are shallow and perfect for swimming and lounging. You can easily swim to the nearby spot Hin Ngam - a beautiful area for snorkeling with easy and calm waters almost the entire year! 

Location - Western shore of the Gulf of Thailand

4. Shark Bay, Koh Tao- The snorkeling spot of Shark Bay, in Koh Tao, is one of the most unique in Thailand. The waters are shallow, just 6 to 12 feet from the seabed, so you can easily spot some blacktip reef sharks. The best time to see the sharks is between 7 am and 10 am. They vary in sizes, with some measuring almost 6 feet, and some measuring 2 to 3 feet. These baby sharks mostly venture into the shallow waters near the shore.

Location - Bang Bumru, Bang Phlat, Koh Tao,Thailand

Must Explore: Thailand Attractions For Adults

How long can you breathe underwater with a snorkeling?

You can breathe underwater with a full-face snorkel mask. The mask covers your whole face so that you can breathe through both your nose and mouth. This way breathing is natural and comfortable. On the other hand, you can only breathe through your mouth, with the regular half-face snorkel mask, as long as the tube is above water.

Must Explore: Thailand Island Hopping

Apart from Snorkeling what other activities can be done in Thailand?

1. Witness Marine Life at Ocean World Bangkok- Ocean World Bangkok is home to the largest aquarium in the whole of SouthEast Asia! This aquatic wonderland is home to around 30,000 curious-looking species from across the globe.

Location: Siam Paragon shopping mall, 991 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 
Timing: Monday – Sunday – 10 am – 9 pm
Price: Adult – app. 2500 THB
Child – app. 2200 THB/5160 INR

2. Visit Safari World  Bangkok - The Safari World is divided into two areas: one is the open Safari Park where you can drive through and one is the beautiful bird park. Nearby is Marine Park, offering shows, lots of food stalls and plenty of souvenir shops!

Location: 99 Thanon Panya Intra, Khwaeng Sam Wa Tawan Tok, Khet Khlong Sam Wa, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
Timing: Monday – Sunday – 9am – 5pm 
Price: app. 600 THB/1400 INR 

Click Here To Book: Safari World Bangkok

3. Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise in Bangkok- Having a capacity of up to 290 persons, the Chao Phraya Cruise will let you spot some historic temples and landmarks on your left and a live band on the cruise with professional singers on the right! 

Location: Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 
Timing: Monday – Sunday – 6:30 – 9:45pm
Price: Adult – 1000 baht/2345 INR
Child – 800 THB/1876 INR

Click Here To Book: Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise

4. Mangrove Kayak Trip In Krabi- Paddle around in a kayak to the quiet canyons, groves and hidden bays, enjoy a delicious lunch in the calm natural environment or maybe take a full or a half-day tour with the elephants! 

Location: 120 Tambon Khao Thong, Amphoe Mueang Krabi, Chang Wat Krabi
Timing: Open 24 hours
Price – app. 500 THB/1172 INR

5. Day out at Dream World Amusement Park in BangkokVisit the Dream World with your kids for a fun-filled exciting Sunday – make snow angels in Snow Land or ride a rollercoaster up the Space Mountain and meet Cinderella and Pocahontas- all in one day. 

Location: Bueng Yitho, Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani 
Timing: Monday – Sunday – 10 am – 5 pm
Price: app. 650 THB/1524 INR

6. Enjoy Water Activities At Coral Island or Koh Hae in Phuket- Go for a Snorkeling day trip to the Coral Islands, which features two main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach, full of thrilling underwater creatures and some of the most attractive corals in Thailand! 

Location: Island in Rawai, Thailand
Timing: Daytime
Price: 1000 THB/2345 INR

7. Island Hopping with Snorkeling in Pattaya- The best beaches for snorkeling and diving are on the islands just off the coast of Pattaya. Some of them are- Koh Phai, Koh Lan, Ko Krok, Koh Rin. 

Location: On the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand
Timing: Daytime
Price: 1000 THB/2345 INR

8. A Tour to James Bond Island/Khao Phing Kan- As the name suggests, James Bond Island got onto the international tourist map through its starring role in a James Bond movie and the entire area surrounded by limestone cliffs is indeed spectacular.

Location: Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket
Timing: Daytime
Price: starting from 1200 THB/2815 INR

Suggested Read: Resorts in Phuket

Which is the best time to go for Snorkeling in Thailand?

No matter what time of the year you are visiting Thailand, you will find some great spots for snorkeling and diving all around the year. Though the best time for Thailand Snorkeling is between November to April, just make sure that you’re not going to a region where the rain is hitting hard. Pick an appropriate location for snorkeling according to the weather conditions in the region.

Popular Read: Best Places to Visit in Phuket

What things/tips should I know before going for Snorkeling activity in Thailand?

-Choose your first location carefully. Like, Koh Tao in Thailand has shallow and calm water most of the year. Also, make sure to start from a beach - not a boat!

-Find a snorkel buddy and do not snorkel alone. Beaches like Aow Leuk and Shark Bay have blacktip reef sharks. It is safe enough but you can’t afford to panic in the water. You need to be confident and calm! 

-Check the marine weather forecast before entering into the water. Though Thailand has good weather conditions throughout the year, there are months of heavy rainfall. It’s better to avoid snorkeling or diving if you’re an acrophobic.

-Never touch the corals and stay close to the reef when you’re snorkeling in Thailand. Beaches such as Marina Bay have been shut for an indefinite period because of the millions of tourists visiting every year.

Recommended Read: Places to Visit in Pattaya With Friends

What are the basic precautions to be taken care of?

-Snorkeling in Thailand costs low so you can afford to buy good quality Snorkel equipment. Please don’t rent the cheapest equipment!

-Learn how to fit a mask & prevent fogging. You need to get a dry snorkel and fins that fit properly. 

-Practice with your gear first. Learn basic snorkeling skills to stay away from hazards. 

-After eating, get enough rest and stay hydrated. But say no to alcohol.

-If you feel you are not 100 % fit, have a cold or got sunstroke, please wait until you are healthy again. 

-Last, but not the least, always protect your skin with a good sunscreen lotion!

Also you may like Monster Aquarium Pattaya as it is a collection of several rare animals from Thailand and all over the world that lets you come close and interact with them.

Does snorkeling need training?

Snorkeling in Thailand costs cheaper as compared to popular spots in Europe and the Mediterranean. It doesn't require any certification or tanks & other expensive equipment like diving suits or regulators. The general assumption seems to be that if you can swim and breathe, you can snorkel. 

On the other hand, professional Scuba diving needs certification. It allows you to breathe underwater, while snorkeling allows you to breathe while you are on the surface with your face down.

Suggested for You: Hidden Things To Do in Bangkok

How deep do you go when snorkeling?

An average depth of around less than 2 meters with 12-15 inch tube in the shallow reefs is considered to be the norm for snorkelers. Deeper reefs can also be explored, but if you want to explore the waters underneath, try getting a scuba certification.

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