Boulder City manta ray

Koh Bon snorkeling

Day trip snorkeling at Koh Bon

manta koh bon snorkelingYesterday we posted about diving at Koh Bon by day trip from Phuket.

Snorkelers can join the boat and snorkel while the divers dive.

It’s not a trip that we recommend to everyone, read our Koh Bon snorkeling guide below for reasons why.

Koh Bon (Bon Island) is where scuba divers go to see manta rays. If snorkelers want to see mantas too the best chance is on a 3 day liveaboard dedicated to snorkeling at the best sites in the area. Or snorkelers can join the diving day trips:

Price: 3,600 Thb

Schedule: Wednesdays and Sundays from November to early May

Start: 7.45 am Khao Lak / 6.00-7.00 am Phuket.
Finish 5.30 pm Khao Lak / 7.00 pm Phuket

Included: lunch, round trip hotel transfers from Phuket & Khao Lak main beach areas.

Excluded: park entrance fees (500 baht), snorkeling gear rental (150 baht).

Koh Bon snorkeling guide

The main reason to choose Koh Bon as a snorkeling location is for the chance to see manta rays. Mantas go there to feed in the currents and to be cleaned at a feeding station on a submerged plateau. If the manta rays are around it’s an incredible experience which snorkelers can enjoy just as much as the divers because the mantas usually stay shallow. There is a but though. If the manta rays are not present then you’ll see lots of blue water and not much else. The coral at Koh Bon is mostly out of snorkeling depth limits and anyway, it’s better at the Similan Islands and Koh Tachai. So what are the chances mantas being around? We don’t have any stats but it’s about 50/50.

Also note that manta rays are more prevalent when currents are strongest, they feed in the currents. Typically this is around the full moon time of the month. If you are a weak swimmer then a Koh Bon snorkeling trip probably isn’t for you. Snorkeling is in open water, away from the island and too deep to stand. Confident swimmers or free divers who can dive down below the surface will love it.

The Koh Bon day trip does not include any beach visits either (there is no beach at Koh Bon). Lunch is served on the dive boat.

All in all we would only recommend the Koh Bon snorkeling day trip to snorkelers who are 100% focused on manta rays, are going with a diving partner, and don’t have time for a liveaboard. Otherwise the Similan Islands day trip or the Surin Islands day trip are better days out.

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