The clear and calm waters of the Andaman Sea makes snorkeling in Phuket truly special and memorable. The Andaman Sea is calm, balmy, clear and filled with colorful fish that tourists would not need to go very deep to find. The best months to go snorkeling in Phuket are those from November to April. The months to avoid, on the other hand, are May to October, when there is strong undertow.
Snorkeling is one of the staple activities in Phuket. You cannot visit this beautiful island to the south of Thailand without putting on your snorkeling gears. Phuket is in the Andaman Sea, off the southwest-coast of Thailand. It is the country’s largest island and one of the most spectacular in the world. Connected only by the Sarasin Bridge to the mainland, Phuket boasts of having the best beaches, bays, coastlines, and dive spots in all of Thailand and easily some of the best in the whole world.
The most visited spot for snorkeling is Kata Beach. From November to April, the water off Kata Beach is so flat you would think you were swimming in a giant swimming pool. It is calm and crystal clear, which makes it perfect for snorkeling. If you look at someone snorkeling through the calm and clear waters, it would seem that the snorkeler is floating on air.
The other beaches popular for snorkeling are Freedom Beach, Laem Singh Beach, Paradise Beach, Ao Sane Beach, and Pon Beach. Snorkeling in Phuket is unique because you get to see flattened and dead corals, which are remnants of the devastating tsunami that hit the island in 2004. There is no more evidence of the tsunami on land but you can see some underwater. Some other beaches in Phuket such as the popular Patong and Karon beaches have great, crystal clear waters, too, but there is not much to see since there are no coral reefs near the shore.
Off the island Phuket are amazing snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. These islands and islets include Koh Racha Yai, Koh He, Phi Phi, Similan Islands and Koh Nai Nok. There are day trips and overnight tours to these islands. The closest and most often visited on a day trip is Koh Rach Yai, while Phi Phi Islands and Similan Islands are a bit farther off. It is worth taking an overnight tour to these faraway islands since the coral reefs are just spectacular. These are the two most popular spots for snorkeling and scuba diving in Thailand.
Meanwhile, back to the main island of Phuket, as you walk along the white sandy beaches of Kata, Kamala, Patong or Karon, you are most likely to be approached by a local operator or vendor offering a snorkeling package. This makes it a lot easier for you to access the islands, beaches and spots mentioned above. If you are not convinced by the mobile vendor, there are also a number of dive and snorkeling centers along the beach. You can rent snorkels, goggles and fins at a very cheap price, but if you wish to go on an island adventure, the package is about 3,600 baht, which includes transfers, equipments and guides.
No matter how you do it or in which spot you choose, snorkeling in Phuket is a must. It is taking swimming to another level and safer and less of a hassle than scuba diving.