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Snorkeling day trips
Snorkeling Liveaboard - 3 days 3 nights
Snorkel at all the best sites at the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Surin Islands. Plus island exploration, Moken Sea Gypsies and beaches.
Price: 13,900 baht per snorkeler More details >>
Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Phuket. We love snorkeling just as much as diving. We love the ease and simplicity of just slipping on a mask and snorkel to explore the underwater world. Phuket is blessed with some great snorkeling locations just a short boat ride away. The best snorkeling places are at the Similan Islands which have very clear water and shallow reefs that are full of tropical fish and colourful corals. Phi Phi snorkeling is also excellent. While snorkeling at Phi Phi you may see turtles and even reef sharks.
The best Phuket season for snorkeling is Nov - May. From May - October you can still snorkel at some locations such as Racha Yai and Koh Kai.
Phuket snorkeling tours are fun for all the family. We love taking our kids on snorkeling trips. We can also arrange combined snorkeling and diving trips for families who like to dive and snorkel.
We mainly offer snorkeling tours by speedboat because the speedboats get snorkelers out to the best snorkeling places quickly and in small groups. The boats have covered shaded areas and toilets. They have live jackets on board. They also carry all the snorkeling equipment that you need, mark (goggles), snorkel and fins (flippers). The boat crew act as guides for your safety and enjoyment. Drinking water is also on the boats.
We also offer snorkeling tours on liveaboard boats. Longer trips to the Similan Islands include accommodation on board the boat so you can wake up at the beautiful islands and snorkel all day.
If you prefer to just grab a mask and snorkel and snorkel from the beach independently you can do that at several Phuket beaches. The best Phuket beaches for snorkeling are Kata Beach (south end), Karon Nui beach (le Meridien hotel), Jungle Beach (close to Naiharn) and Freedom beach (close to Patong beach). Because these beaches are close to shore you will not get such clear water as you get snorkeling at the islands like the Similans and the fish are smaller but it's still fun.
Ask us for more information on Phuket snorkeling
There is so much to see underwater while snorkeling around Phuket that it's impossible to list them all. South East Asia has some of the most bio diverse seas in the world and Thailand's coral reefs are very healthy. You can expect to snorkel over reefs of hard and soft corals including brain coral, cabbage coral, staghorn coral, mushroom coral and bubble corals that look like bunches of grapes. You will see sea whips swaying in the current and sea anemones that are home to beautiful anemone fish like clown anemone fish (nemo). On the sea bed are numerous black spiny sea urchins. You will also see starfish or sea stars, some of which are a vibrant blue colour. Also look out for sea cucumbers on the sandy floor. Particularly common in the Similan Islands and Surin are blue spotted sting rays that glide along the bottom and try to bury themselves in the sand so that only their eyes protrude. Also in the sand are garden eels that poke a few inches out their holes.
Schools of reef fish are abundant. You can snorkel with fusiliers, surgeon fish, jacks, trevallies, sweetlips, goat fish, rabbit fish, parrotfish, lionfish, puffer fish, porcupine fish and so much more.
Some of the bigger marine life includes turtles, leopard sharks and reef sharks like black tip reef sharks and Giant Moray eels. Very lucky snorkelers may also get to snorkel with giant whale sharks and manta rays. These harmless and graceful beauties are most common at Richelieu Rock (whale sharks) and Koh Bon (mantas).
Eagle eyed snorkelers will be able to spot lots of smaller critters on the reef and in the sand. Blennies and gobies are shy and will soon hide if they see snorkelers approaching. Mantis shrimps can be seen in their holes. Nudibranchs are small sea slugs that come in all sorts of bright colours. Hermit crabs can be seen in their shells and painted rock lobsters are first spotted by their protruding antenna. Some fish are masters at disguise like scorpion fish and stonefish that blend into the reef.
Snorkeling is a very safe activity for all ages and general common sense should keep you safe while snorkeling.
Of course you should be comfortable swimming in the water if you want to snorkel in water which is too deep to stand. All the Phuket snorkeling boats that we offer provide life jackets which snorkelers can wear if they not strong swimmers.
Wear sun protection while snorkeling. Thailand's sun is magnified in intensity by the water and it's easy to get burned. Wear high SPF sunscreen or clothing that covers the skin.
Be aware of your surroundings. Don't swim so far from the boat that you can't swim back. Watch out for boats that are moving. If you dive under the water, look up as you surface to avoid banging your head on another snorkeler or on a boat hull.
Avoid contact with the reef and marine life. Coral is very fragile, it breaks easily and takes years to re grow. Don't stand on coral. It is best not to touch coral or marine life at all. Some coral such as fire coral can be painful to touch and if you put your hand on sea urchin spines you'll certainly regret it.
Most marine life will not harm you if you leave it be. If you poke your finger in a moray eel's face you can expect it to bite you. If you try to grab a lion fish you'll be visiting the hospital shortly afterwards. Some of the most venomous critters are the smallest and hardest to spot, like scorpion fish. Many people don't realize that shells can also be dangerous especially certain cone shells that have poisonous barbs inside. Leave them on the sea floor and you have to worries.
If you are going to dive down below the surface while snorkeling take extra care. Hyper ventilating (taking several long deep breaths in quick succession) is a commonly used technique to allow free divers to stay submerged for longer. Hyper-ventilating tricks the brain into thinking it has more oxygen than it really does. If you hyper ventilate too much you are at risk of a shallow water black out which could have fatal consequences. One or two breathes is enough, don't overdo it.