Where to go snorkelling in Phuket

by Mihai Pinzariu on September 25, 2019

Phuket is known for its beautiful secluded beaches hidden from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you’re looking to snorkel in and amongst nature, in small beaches with crystal clear warm waters, this is your destination! While a lot of Phuket has been developed, many of its small beaches remain quiet and undiscovered (especially the ones that are difficult to reach.)

Whether you’re looking for a tropical holiday in a luxury resort or an adventurous time out in the tranquil outdoors, you’ll find it in Phuket. The snorkeling here isn’t world-class or especially unique, but the snorkel sites are. Enjoy exploring the island’s beautiful diverse beaches and its small restaurants and food vendors with this rundown on where to go snorkeling in Phuket.

Fish in Phuket:

  • Barracuda, Blue Spotted Stingray, Clown Anemones, Clown Trigger Fish, Eels, Giant Moray Eels, Groupers, Harlequin Shrimp, Leopard Sharks, Ornate Ghost Pipes, Powderblue Surgeonfish, Puffer Fish, Reef Octopus, Sergeant Majors, Turtles, Whale Sharks, and more!

Corals in Phuket:

  • Table Coral, Bubble Coral, Barrel Sponges, Staghorns, Giant Clams, Crown of Thorns Starfish, Cowrie Shells, Cone Shells, and more.

Phuket snorkelling map

Ao Sane Beach

Best places to snorkel in Phuket

Ao Sane Beach

Where: Tambon Rawai, Mueang Phuket District
Details: One of the less-visited snorkel sites in Phuket, this 200-metre long leafy beach is made up of 3 tiny coves separated by granite boulders. With pristine blue waters and soft white sands, each of the small coves is perfect for snorkeling and lazing around in the sun or shade. Since it’s safe from all the bout tours, the living corals here are healthy and abundant, as well as the sea life. There are lots of untamed fish to discover here, from parrotfish to clownfish and more, making this spot one of the best in Phuket for free snorkeling.


  • This is one of Phuket’s calmest beaches, easily accessed year-round with easygoing waters that make for a relaxing swim or snorkel.


  • Bathrooms and showers on-site,
  • Bungalows, equipment hire, and restaurants available.

Kata Noi Beach

Where: West Phuket
Details: If you’re looking for the turquoise waters Phuket is famous for, this is where you’ll find them. Kata Noi Beach is a beautiful long beach that’s lined by resorts, restaurants, bars, and offers some of the island’s best snorkeling. The rocks on one end of the beach are the best spot to snorkel, and you’ll be swimming amongst an abundance of tropical fish and coral life – you might even spot octopus and eels! With barely any waves, the visibility at this beach is great, especially at midday.


  • Kata Noi is a snorkeling option during high season only. The weather conditions during other times can create crashing waves which are dangerous and don’t offer the best snorkeling experience,
    This beach is a lot less crowded than Phuket’s other popular spots, but still expect to see lots of travellers around.


  • Bathrooms, showers, and food available on-site – as well as tailors and masseurs.

Laem Ka Beach

Where: Rawai
Details: One of Phuket’s hidden gems hidden from plain site, this beach is perfect for adventurous snorkelers who want to go off the beaten track. Undisturbed, pristine, and tranquil, this beach has calm clear waters, lots of palm trees, and an abundance of sea life to discover. You won’t find anything different in the waters here than elsewhere in Phuket, but it’s a great spot to relax and chill out away from all the other tourists.


  • There are no restaurants here but a few stands selling fruit and other snacks, small tents with sarongs and other needs for a lazy hot day, and some vendors selling drinks.
  • This beach can be hard to find, and that’s what makes it so nice and quiet! Here’s some detailed information to help you find this snorkel site.

Merlin Beach

Where: Patong
Details: Phuket’s only beach with a natural reef, this is another hidden gem that’s perfect for snorkelers who want to be amongst natural untouched beauty. Technically owned by Marriott Resort Merlin Beach, there is a small dirt road next to the hotel that can take snorkelers straight to the beach. You’ll find calm clear waters, lots of coral life on the sea bed, and tropical and colourful reef fish to discover.


  • There are a lot of corals and rocks in the beach here, which make it difficult for swimming. Snorkeling on the other hand, is perfect.
  • High tide is better for swimming over the coral and reef, however you’ll have to swim out further to get to the good stuff.

Paradise Beach

Where: Patong, Kathu District
Details: Just next to the bustling Patong Beach is this quieter snorkel destination with amazing views of Patong Bay. You’ll find the main parts of the reef just in front of the beach and around the rocky edges, with colourful patches of hard corals and plenty of fish. Calm and peaceful, this small beach club is a prime spot for snorkeling, perfect for beginners and children.


  • Once a secluded beach accessed by a walking track through the jungle, the beach now has road access, hotels, restaurants, and a small entry fee of 200 baht. Once you’re in, you can expect great service, facilities, and a clean beautiful beach to explore

Ya Nui

Where: Rawai, Mueang Phuket District
Details: Another one of Phuket’s ‘secret’, hidden beaches, this spot is popular with the swimmers but less so with snorkelers – meaning you can enjoy all the reef life to yourself! A beautiful beach of warm turquoise waters, white sands, and lots of lush greenery, the marine life here is populated with colourful schools of fish.


  • The best spots for snorkeling are just past the moored yachts, and for even better views of marine life you can hire a kayak and paddle out to the island Koh Keyao Noi just 700 metres out.


  • You can find small restaurants offering food and drinks, snorkeling equipment rentals, as well as small bungalow accommodations if you decide to stay!

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