Thailand is home to some of the world’s best snorkeling locations. With crystal-clear water, tropical reefs teeming with colorful fish, and hidden sand coves that are perfect for beginner snorkelers, there’s no shortage of aquatic adventures in this country. These marine wonders aren’t evenly distributed throughout Thailand, so you might need to do a little exploring to find them. However, once you do, they are worth the effort. Here are five popular snorkeling locations in Thailand.

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Koh Tawai

Known as the tropical Maldives of Southeast Asia, the island of Koh Tawai is the perfect place to experience the serene charms of tropical snorkeling. Located off the southern coast of the country, this idyllic island is ringed by idyllic reefs. An abundance of marine life makes this an excellent spot for snorkeling beginners, and scuba diving is also possible nearby. To reach Koh Tawai, visitors have three options: taking a ferry from the mainland, flying to nearby airports, or travelling by speedboat from the mainland. Ferries are frequent, but you can also charter your own boat from certain mainland ports. You’ll need to plan your trip around these times: the island is open only from May to September.

If you are wondering what vaccinations you should visit before traveling abroad, read about it on the Vaccines and Travel Medicine page.

Koh Maen

One of the best destinations in the country for snorkeling, Koh Maen is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand and is part of the Andaman Coast. While the island is small, it makes up for its lack of size by being utterly packed with incredible marine life. This makes it a great spot for beginner snorkellers, while experienced divers should also find plenty to enjoy. The best time to visit Koh Maen is between October and March, when the weather is warm and the water is the clearest. During the rest of the year, the water becomes murky and you won’t be able to see very far. When visiting Koh Maen, you can stay on the island or take a ferry from the mainland.

The Similans

Located in the Andaman Sea, The Similans are a group of small islands that are a perfect destination for snorkeling. It’s not the most impressive reef, but it’s ideal for beginners and is very close to adjacent islands that have better options. The Similans are home to a wide range of marine life and the water is generally crystal clear. To reach The Similans, you can take a boat from the mainland or charter a boat from a nearby island. There are also daily flights between Bangkok and the nearest airport. If you can’t visit the islands during the low season, from October to April, you can still snorkel the nearby reefs.

Ao Phra That Natai Marine Park

Ao Natai is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in Thailand. Located on the west coast of the country, this marine park is perfect for those who want to experience some great snorkeling without having to travel far. Ao Natai is home to a wide variety of colourful fish and coral that makes it great for beginners and experienced snorkellers alike. You can also kayak around the island or take a speedboat trip to nearby islands. During the low season, from November to February, you can enjoy crystal-clear water without having to contend with large crowds. Ao Natai is open only to tourists, but you can visit nearby Ko Rok or Ko Rok Island. Both these islands are open to visitors and are popular for both snorkeling and diving.

Before traveling, remember to vaccinate. You will perform them in the travel medicine clinic.

Ko Kut

A small island off the west coast of Thailand, Ko Kut is a popular snorkeling destination. Located in an excellent marine park, the water here is usually clear and features a wide range of marine life. The best way to experience Ko Kut is by taking a speedboat trip from the nearby island of Ko Wai. This trip takes about 15 minutes and the boats run every hour from 8:30am to 4:30pm. If you want to snorkel the island on your own, you’ll need to take a longtail boat from nearby Ko Wai. You can also stay on the island and rent a room from a local fisherman. Ko Kut is also a good place to learn to scuba dive. You’ll find a range of operators offering diving tours to the nearby wrecks, which are often teeming with colorful fish.

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Thailand is a paradise for snorkeling lovers. With a wide range of marine parks and clear, tropical waters, there’s no shortage of excellent places to snorkel. The best way to explore these waters is to rent a snorkel and fins and head out to explore. Keep in mind that many of the best snorkeling locations in Thailand are also excellent for scuba diving and snorkeling, so make sure you have the correct gear for the water you choose. When you’re done exploring the underwater wonders of Thailand, you can come back up for some of the best snorkeling in the world.

Before traveling, remember to vaccinate. You will perform them in the travel medicine clinic.

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