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Thailand offers a range of exceptional beaches and islands to explore while snorkeling, all crawling with huge schools of fish and colourful coral life. The beaches are amongst the best in the world, and while most are popular with tourists, you can still find a few secluded spots to explore the underwater world in solitude.
The waters around Thailand are truly like an aquarium, and you can easily reach most of the best snorkeling sites straight from shore. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced snorkeler, you’ll be able to see the best of Thailand’s sea life along many of its beaches. There are so many places to go it might be a struggle knowing which are the best, so here’s where you should go snorkeling in Thailand.
Fish in Thailand:
Corals in Thailand:
Where: Koh Kradan
Details: This is Thailand’s best snorkeling destination for people who want to explore nature away from the tourist crowd. Koh Kradan is one of the quietest islands in Thailand, full of luscious untouched landscapes, crystal clear secluded beaches, and a spectacular reef to explore. Ao Niang Bay is the best spot for snorkeling, an 800-metre long beach with loads of vibrant marine and coral life to explore right off the shore. This island is part of Hat Chao Mai National Park, so the reefs are healthy and protected.
Where: Koh Tao
Details: A beautiful white sandy beach with sparkling blue waters, this is one of Koh Tao’s best snorkel spots if only for the view alone. There are coral reefs on either side of the bay with access right off the beach, and you don’t have to go far to feel like you’re in an aquarium. With views of Shark Island in the background, you can snorkel amongst triggerfish, baby sharks, clownfish, and a variety of other marine life.
Details: This beautiful island has turquoise waters, numerous beaches, and an abundance of coral reefs to explore. Dubbed as ‘Coral Island’, you can bet there that there’s some exceptional snorkeling to be had here. With a huge fish population as well as colourful hard and soft coral life, you’ll be swimming amongst rabbit fish, butterfly fish, angelfish, stingrays, clownfish, and it’s your best bet for spotting a tawny nurse shark or blue spotted ray in this area.
Where: Tarutao National Marine Park
Details: This island paradise offers some of Thailand’s best snorkeling. With calm, warm waters surrounded by more than 30 islands and hundreds of incredible reefs to discover, this is a prime snorkeling destination with tonnes of sites to explore. The whole area is rich in diverse, colourful marine life, including fish, bioluminescent plankton, turtles, and an abundance of beautiful coral life.
Where: Koh Tao
Details: These three islands are connected to Koh Tao by a beautiful white sandbar, and are a must visit when in Thailand. With a shallow, protected coral reef lining the islands you can enjoy snorkeling in crystal clear waters with hard and soft coral, lots of sea life, and some of Thailand’s best waters. Besides the picture perfect setting, you can also feast your eyes (and GoPro) on clownfish, anemones, butterfly fish, clams, parrotfish, and more.
Where: Ko Phi Phi
Details: If you’ve ever watched the movie The Beach, you’ve wanted to visit this jaw-droppingly beautiful setting. A strip of white sandy beach enclosed by towering green cliffs on three sides, Maya Bay is protected from the open ocean and almost entirely covered in coral reef. You’re surrounded by jungle and crystal clear waters filled with hundreds of colourful fish, but it’s worth noting that a lot of the coral life here has been damaged due to excessive tourism.