Snorkeling is a wonderful way to observe sea life without going too deep underwater. This activity can be a stepping stone to scuba diving the ocean depths, but many individuals are satisfied to just observe things from the surface. Snorkeling offers a fascinating glimpse of the underwater world, and it doesn’t require expensive equipment or any special training. This is also an activity that can be enjoyed by people of practically any age. It is not even necessary to be a skilled swimmer in order to take up snorkeling. Some people will be happy to just stand in the water while occasionally dipping their heads underneath.
Phuket is a perfect destination for people who enjoy water sports. Those who wish to make use of a snorkel, mask, and fins will find plenty to keep them entertained. The water is crystal clear for most of the year, and this is a part of the world that benefits from an abundance of underwater life. The best of the coral is to be found around the offshore islands, but there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling on Phuket beaches. The local entrepreneurs realize that they have something special to offer tourists so there are many organized snorkeling tours to choose from. There are also plenty of options for those who choose a bit of solo snorkeling.
Best Beaches for Snorkeling in Phuket
Those people looking for snorkeling opportunities on Phuket Island might like to head for:
Kata Beach, Phuket
Kata is one of the most popular destinations for people visiting Phuket. Sun worshipers flock to this mile long stretch of powdery golden sand and the area is well catered for with restaurants and other tourist amenities. Kata beach can also be a good option for those who are interested in observing some fascinating natural sights under the Andaman Sea. The best opportunity for snorkeling is to be found at Crab Island (Koh Phu). This is a four hundred meter swim away from the beach. This tiny island is surrounded by colorful coral and an abundance of tropical marine life.
Ao Sane Beach, Phuket
Ao Sane is made up of three small beaches that are separated by rocky outcrops. This area is hardly ever crowded with tourists because it is not a good option for swimming. There are too many rocks near the shoreline. It is a popular destination for snorkelers because there is so much of interest to see under the water. Ao Sane is also a good option for those who want to get away from the crowds and just snorkel in peace. It can be found near the southern western tip of the island.
Laem Sing Beach, Phuket
Up until a few years ago Laem Sing would have been considered off the beaten track. Those tourists who knew about it treated it like a hidden gem on the island. Unfortunately it is not possible to keep a secret like this for long and Laem Sing is now well and truly on the tourist map. Many claim that this is the most beautiful beach on Phuket, and it has also become a snorkeler’s paradise. The best place to investigate the underwater world is around headlands. There is coral here and the place is teeming with marine life.
Freedom Beach, Phuket
It is only possible to get to Freedom Beach by long tail boat. This can be arranged from Patong. The journey south takes about 15 minutes and it usually costs about 1,500 THB. The beach here is picture postcard perfect with powdery white sand. The best of the snorkeling is to be found at the south. The coral near the shore still shows damage from the 2004 Tsunami but further out it is beautifully intact. Freedom Beach offers the perfect destination for an afternoon of snorkeling.
Paradise Beach, Phuket
Paradise Beach can be found to the south of Patong. It only offers a modest two hundred meters of sand, but the real attractions are underwater. There is a coral reef right beside the beach and plenty of marine life has taken up residence there. This is another great option for those who want to escape the crowds.
Snorkeling Outside of Phuket
Those individuals who are willing to travel beyond Phuket Island will find that there are some fantastic opportunities for snorkeling such as:
- Koh Phi Phi is probably the most photographed of all the Thai islands. It also offers some great snorkeling options including Maya Bay, Hin Klang, and Bamboo Island.
- As the name might suggest Coral Island has a lot to offer the snorkeler. It is possible to reach this underwater paradise by speed boat from eastern Phuket (Chalong Bay) in just a little over ten minutes.
- Those who are feeling particularly adventurous might like to visit the Similian Islands. Some of the top diving spots in the world are to be found here. There are also a few opportunities to snorkel this underwater paradise.
Underwater Photography when Snorkeling
Snorkeling in Phuket means visitors get to witness some breathtaking underwater scenery and wildlife. There are plenty of photo opportunities and these days it is possible to buy cheap disposable underwater cameras – this is one investment that snorkelers will be unlikely to regret. The sunny Thai usually provides enough light to capture scenes up to 20 feet below the surface. This means that snorkeling photos can be as impressive as those taking by professional scuba divers.
Snorkeling Tours in Phuket
A snorkeling tour can be a good option for people who want to socialize and ensure that they see some of the underwater highlights of Phuket. Some of the things worth considering when choosing this option are:
- There is a great deal of competition among the operators offering this type of tour. It is best to shop around.
- It is important to clarify with the operator that there are no hidden charges. There have been instances where the tour guide wanted to charge customers extra for renting snorkeling equipment.
- Those people who are going to be using a mask provided by the tour will want to make sure that it fits properly. The need to constantly adjust the mask can take much of the fun out of snorkeling.
- Before booking it is best to be clear about what the snorkeling tour will involve and how long it will last.
When to Go Snorkeling in Phuket
It is possible to go snorkeling all year round in Phuket. The best time for this activity is in the months between November and April. This is when the water is at its calmest. It is still possible to snorkel during the rainy season but the water tends to be much cloudier at this time of year. There can also be a dangerous undertow in the sea during these months.