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Best Snorkeling in Thailand

"Snorkelling in Thailand - Snorkel with Sharks and Sea Turtles"

The best place for snorkeling in Thailand for sea turtles is usually the west coast holiday beach resort destinations of Phuket, the stunning Phi Phi Islands, or near to the Krabi Ao Nang Province.

You will find superb places for snorkeling in all of Thailand's premier holiday beach resorts, but where are the best snorkeling sites?

It is wise to research the best months to snorkel and review the predominant flora and fauna of each tourist hot spot. That will certainly help you choose the best topographical location and foremost time of year to visit this tropical region in Southeast Asia.

For some holidaymakers, the best place to snorkel in Thailand would be an easy paddle off the beach in waist high water, spotting tiny reef fishes. Whereas others may prefer a challenging deep-water drift snorkel searching for the lesser spotted whale shark.

Based on these parameters, our guide to find the most desirable of all Thailand best snorkeling holiday destinations is listed below in our choice of sites for your review.

5 Top Snorkeling Destinations Thailand

Snorkelers in Thailand who are searching for tropical fish and shallow clear water at the best coral reefs for snorkeling must certainly include Phuket, Phi Phi, Krabi, Koh Tao, and the Pattaya Islands to their top five leading seascapes.

These Thai hot spots have very different seasonal weather conditions and tourist influxes, so the timing of your holiday for Thailand snorkeling activities should be a prime consideration.

The top destinations for unsurpassed snorkeling in Thailand depend on three principal factors.

  1. What kind of aquatic life do you want to see?
  2. Do you prefer to swim from the beach or at coral islands?
  3. Which month will you take your holiday for snorkeling Thailand?

Phuket Snorkeling - Ko Phi Phi Snorkel Sites

Phuket is Thailand's largest island with a lion's share of the best swimming sites in the Andaman Sea. It is an unforgettable haven for divers and snorkelers who like colorful fish and vivid corals.

One major advantage of skin diving or snorkelling in Phuket is the choice of easy access to shoreline house reefs. You can try snorkeling Thailand best beaches from many of the top beachfront holiday resorts and 5 star hotel chains.

Take a short boat trip to some of the best snorkeling islands nearby and you will find stunning marine diversity at its best. The natural wonders that thrive in the warm clear water around Phuket include pelagic sharks, rays, seahorses, mantas, and so much more.

Phuket Seasonal Weather

Thailand monsoon rains normally arrive around July and slowly deteriorate on a monthly basis until the end of October. Therefore, if you are looking for the best island near Phuket for snorkeling with optimum conditions for holidaymakers, it is better to visit during the hot and dry months through the winter - December to March.

There is a strong opinion that the best snorkeling in Phuket is found at Ko Phi Phi. Phuket to Phi Phi Islands is easy to reach and around two hours by boat. Phuket snorkeling families continually rate the Phi Phi islands as the best in class for water clarity, aquatic life, and easy accessibility.

Add the amazing top side scenery of limestone cliffs and tiny exotic pinnacle sandy shorelines, and Ko Phi Phi should not be missed off the Phuket snorkeling itinerary by all serious swimmers and divers in Thailand.

Pattaya Islands Snorkel Sites

Best Place for Snorkeling in ThailandEven though the popular beach resort is accepted by most tourists as being the top entertainment nucleus of Thailand, travelers will find a variety of water sports in Pattaya to excite and amuse them.

Pattaya's weather is less extreme than many of other vacation attractions in Thailand and tourists flock to Pattaya throughout the whole year.

The best month to visit Pattaya for snorkeling and scuba diving is from November until May and Pattaya weather in October tends to be the wettest. April is the hottest and the most humid month.

Koh Chang Island is a favored spot about a 4 hour drive south of Pattaya with underwater topography typical of the Gulf of Thailand. It is mostly isolated hard coral formations and fringing soft corals such as sea fans, feather stars, sea whips, and an occasional barrel sponge.

Small darting damselfish, sergeant major fish, puffer fish, snappers, and yellow tailed fusiliers are commonplace. The best of larger species include groupers, cuttlefish, barracuda, and moray eels.

Similan Islands Snorkeling Destinations

The Similan Islands snorkeling destinations are situated to the north of Phuket, Thailand. Snorkeling in Andaman at the Similans offer spectacular snorkel tours around unspoiled and dramatic granite rock islands and white powder beaches.

Despite being an area reviewed for its scuba activities, snorkelers can also expect to see manta rays, eagle rays, whale sharks, triggerfish, angelfish, and mesmerizing octopus.

Large schools and shoals thrive in the Andaman Sea west coast at optimum times of the year – January to April. During these sunny and dry winter months, anyone who tries snorkeling Similan Islands near to Khao Lak, could easily rank it among the most desirable snorkeling destination in Thailand.

Koh Tao Snorkeling

Koh Samui’s nearby island of Ko Tao and Koh Nang Yuan offer stunning coral reefs with black tip reef sharks, parrotfish, sweet lips, angelfish, barracuda, butterfly fish and colorful sponges and other hard coral formations.

Nevertheless, the best season for aquatic sports in the Gulf of Thailand and snorkeling Koh Tao differs strikingly from that on the west side of Thailand. Heavy monsoon rains frequently strike Koh Samui and the neighbouring islands from late October until February.

The traditional winter months in the southern Bay of Bangkok means Ko Tao snorkeling spots may not be the best destination for water sports in the Gulf of Thailand at this time of year.

Best Snorkeling in Krabi - Ao Nang Snorkel Sites

Snorkelling in Thailand - Snorkel with Sharks and Sea TurtlesSnorkeling Krabi is amazing because there are more than 150 kilometers of coastline partnering the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea. The surrounding islands of Krabi Ao Nang provide more than 30 snorkeling and diving sites.

The best islands in Krabi for beaches with the clearest water and whitest sand lay close to Ao Nang.

You will be unlucky if you do not see turtles and dolphins when you go snorkelling in Krabi, especially around the nearby pinnacles. The shallow Krabi snorkelling sites are ideal for swimmers to take in the rich marine environment.

Even non-snorkelers would find it difficult to disagree that the islands near Krabi and Aonang certainly deserve their rightful spot as the best place for snorkeling in Thailand off the beach and a wildly popular destination for water sport activities.

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