Best Snorkelling Spots in Phuket

by Mama Loves Phuket

Although there are a few interesting places you can swim and shore snorkel off the coast of Phuket, some of the most exciting spots for snorkelling are found island hopping in Phuket.

Snorkelling Spots on Phuket Island

Many of the most popular spots to snorkel off Phuket island are now, unfortunately, quite crowded, and the reefs have lost their colour. If you are happy with relatively shallow wading and limited marine life, you can try these spots easy-to-access from popular tourist spots in Phuket.

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is located on the west coast of Phuket and offers calm waters and a long stretch of sand. You can rent snorkelling gear on the beach and swim out to see colourful fish and coral.

Ya Nui Beach

Ya Nui Beach is a small and secluded beach located on the southern tip of Phuket. The water is clear and shallow, making it a great spot for snorkelling. You can rent snorkelling gear on the beach and explore the coral reefs and marine life.

Ao Sane Beach

Ao Sane Beach is located on the southwest coast of Phuket and is a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. The beach is secluded, and the water is clear, offering excellent visibility for exploring the underwater world.

Laem Singh

This small beach nestled between Surin Beach and Kamala can only be accessed by boat, but Haad Laem Singh rewards visitors with fascinating marine life and easy shore snorkelling opportunities. Crowds are limited compared to other beaches due to accessibility, so you can usually enjoy some fairly uninterrupted snorkelling.

snorkelling in laem singh beach
Snorkelling at ‘hidden beach’ Laem Singh, Phuket

Best Places To Snorkel Near Phuket

You will undoubtedly find better snorkelling opportunities in southern Thailand by hopping on a boat and exploring some of the smaller islands away from Phuket. Here are some of the best Phuket islands for snorkelling:

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands are considered one of Thailand’s best snorkelling destinations. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the islands are home to various marine life, including colourful fish, sea turtles, and even reef sharks.

Similan is quiet a distance from most tourist areas in Phuket and offers no overnight accommodation. To make the most of snorkelling in the Similan Islands, we recommend you opt for an early bird tour that has you waking around 4:00 AM, but you’ll be one of the first to arrive at the islands and can beat the hoards of tourists.

Snorkeling Similan islands

The best island to look for is Koh Bon. The island is known for its vibrant coral reefs and crystal-clear waters, making it a great spot for snorkelling.

Note that the Similan Islands are closed from tourism for several months of the year – find out when seasonal island closures take place in southern Thailand here

Racha Islands (Raya Islands)

The Racha Islands, also known as Raya Islands, are located just off the southern coast of Phuket and offer some excellent snorkelling opportunities. The islands have clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, and you can spot a wide range of fish and marine creatures.

Coral Island (Koh Hae)

Coral Island, also known as Koh Hae, is a small island located just off the southern coast of Phuket. The island’s clear waters are ideal for snorkelling, and you can see a variety of colourful fish and even baby blacktip reef sharks.

Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a group of islands located about 40 km southeast of Phuket. The islands offer some great snorkelling opportunities, particularly around Monkey Beach and Maya Bay, where you can see a variety of marine life, including colourful fish and sea turtles.

diving boat in koh phi phi

Note, however, that due to over-tourism, the reefs here have become significantly bleached.

Koh Yao Yai

Koh Yao Yai is a small island in Phang Nga Bay. Its waters are clear and teeming with marine life, and very near to shore you can spot everything from colourful fish to octopuses and even small reef sharks.

Many tours operate to Koh Yao Yai for day trippers, and it is also possible to stay overnight on Ko Yao Yai if you’d like to extend your experience and stay near to the water.

Remember to always practice responsible snorkeling and not disturb marine life or the coral reefs. It’s also important, whilst still not law, to use reef-safe sunscreen to protect the marine environment.

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© Mama Loves Phuket 2024

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