being a touristy destination, Phuket and the Nearby Islands in Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman Sea have excellent swimming and snorkelling areas and you will be spoiled by the number or choices, it depends on the places you will want to do the swimming and snorkelling activities. The best areas are not in phuket island but in the islands in Pha Nga Bay like in Phi Phi Le island (at Maya Bay, Monkey Beach, Pileh Cove), Phi Phi Don Island, Khai Islands, Koh Larn (coral island), Ao Nang in Krabi, Railey Beach in Krabi and at the Similan Islands, further away in the Andaman Sea.
If you are booking a speed boat tour around the islands in Phang Nga Bay and Andaman sea (like Phi Phi Island tours, Krabi Island Tours, Pha Nga Bay Tours, Similan Island Tours, etc), the snorkeliing gear is provided but not the fins, you have to rent them for 100 baht a pair for the whole day.
Phuket Island has long been recognized as the regional center for daytrip for snorkling/diving.
Both beginners and experienced divers enjoy the aquarium style underwater
scenery while diving/snorkling at the local Phuket and Phi Phi world class dive sites.
The 85 meter long "King Cruiser Ferry" wreck close to "Anemone Reef'" and the exciting "Shark Point" that is named after the harmless Leopard Sharks who bask on the sandy bottom are just a few of the exciting locations visited by the boats departing daily from Chalong Bay. - its recommended that you book the tour as soon as you arive in Phukat as you might have to face non availablity of seats !
The snorkeling in the waters surrounding the Phi Phi islands and Khai Island is surprisingly very good given the hordes of tourists that visit these places on a daily basis. Unfortunately, all the dive boats and Phi Phi island day boats converge on the same reefs, and there doesn’t seem to be any limit on the number of boats or snorkelers who can visit any particular spot. Given the continued growth of the tourism industry, it is highly doubtful that these reefs will be able to survive. I saw too many irresponsible tourists standing on coral, breaking off pieces of coral, catching fish, and otherwise endangering this fragile environment without any on-site control to believe that this special habitat will be around for more than a few more years. It’s one of many places around the world that stands a very good chance of being loved to death.
The easiest and the best snorkeling site is at the southern end of Kata Noi beach. No need to take a boat or long-tail boat. You can easily see more than 30 different fish species, including lion fish!
You can take longtailboat to coral island anywhere from the south end of phuket. The Island is not far, about ½ hours drive and costs about 3€ per person from 3 persons. And again you probably get the equipment too. Driver will wait for you the whole day.
Beach is nice with couple of restaurants and snorkeling is safe and easy. But remember to keep the feet up for there are lots of sea urcins there.
From Batong beach you can take longtail boat to Freedom beach what is about 20 minutes boatdrive from Patong. Not expencive at all. Depends of the boat how meny you can fit in but atleast 6 people. Remember to pargain. Its about 3€ per person I think. The boatdriver usually has the snorkeling equipment for you but you can also rent them when there. He will also wait as long as you want to stay at freedom.
You can see quite big fish and interesting rocks and corals of course. But you need to be careful, never put your feet down and dont touch anything. One of us met there a snakefish, about a meter long with brown and white stripes. It can kill you..
Snorkeling is quite safe if you let the creatures be and just watch them from the surface. And you can always choose how far you go from the shore.
Remember to take some bread with you to feed the fish.
On the 4th day we decide to visit Coral Island.
The whole day trip, which is not really a whole day, just 9am -2/3pm(depending on the tide) costs 650 baht for adults and 500 for kids.
transfer by minivan
mask,snorkel and life jacket
We were picked up from our hotel at about 9am to Chalong Bay. There we took our speed boat.
Just before you take your boat a man will be snapping your pictures, so be prepared to part with 100 baht for each picture cos your pic will be framed in a nice plate at the end of the trip. Its hard not to buy cos it looks so nice. They did the same thing for our James Bond island tour. So we have like 4 souvenior plates now.
The ride on the boat was bumpy as the water was choppy and we were told that the water is not so clear as the weather has not been so good. Luckily for us it did not rain, as it did the day before.
The island was nice and the sand was soft and white, water was not crystal clear but much better than Patong of course.
Its advisable to bring bread for the fishes. You can get them to come closer to you, that was nice.
Lunch was served at 12, al fresco, by the beach-cool. I expected some packed lunch thrown in but it was a wonderful servings of fried rice,fried chicken, soup, fried squids, sweet and sour fish, mixed vegetables and fresh fruits!! You have to buy your own soft drinks at 77 baht or 40baht for a coconut drink.
After that it was more swimming, snorkelling and sand playing for the kids.
This is a nice place to go to if you cant go to Phi Phi island. Definitely a must.
Phuket is the biggest of a large group of islands and lots of them are particularly good for snorkeling. These islands are mainly located at the south-eastern end of Phuket.
Reach Rawai beach or Chalong bay you will find lots of boats eager to transport you to Koh Maiton, Koh Racha or other splendid points in the ocean where fishes of all kind, size and colour will astonish you.