Best snorkeling in Koh Samui
The best snorkeling in Koh Samui is on Silver Beach and Coral Cove Beach, but there are more secluded beaches where you can expect some sweet snorkeling spots just off the shore. Do note that the best snorkeling spots on Koh Samui vary depending on the time of the year. As everywhere in Thailand, monsoon season affects the sea quality, so you have to choose the right side of Koh Samui to snorkel.
Coral Cove beach
Perhaps the best spot for the underwater trips on Koh Samui is the one found at Coral Cove beach. The fact that this location is a tiny area on the island, surrounded by scenic boulders, makes the beach even more magical. During March-September, you are very likely to enjoy the calmest waters and fantastic Koh Samui snorkeling there.
Silver Beach, as the name suggests, features silver-looking water, soft white sand, and massive picturesque boulders. Head over to the end of the beach and explore the underwater around these boulders. Also, a colorful coral reef is just about 50 meters off the beach, and it’s a worth-exploring spot. Silver Beach is likely one of the most scenic beaches on Koh Samui, offering spectacular snorkeling during March-September.
Another snorkeling location in Koh Samui for the same kind of experience is Choeng Mon beach. Choeng Mon is a secluded beach that promises some great snorkeling off the beach around its scarce coral reefs. This area is better for snorkeling during the months when the eastern shore of Koh Samui (Silver Beach and Coral Cove beach) is exposed to high waves during monsoon.
We cannot possibly go through the list of Koh Samui’s best snorkeling spots and not make mention of Taling Ngam. For those who have been to Koh Samui and never heard of this location is because Taling Ngam is a secluded beach on the western part of the island that receives fewer tourists in general. So if you’re looking for a hidden beach without tourist infrastructure and beautiful, untouched coral reefs, then it’s the place to be. You can discover a diverse coral reef directly from the beach, but be extra careful as there are many sharp rocks on the surface. Taling Ngam promises better snorkeling in Koh Samui during November-February when more popular beaches on the eastern shore of Koh Samui are exposed to stronger currents.
Koh Samui snorkeling tours
The best snorkeling tour near Koh Samui by far is in Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan islands. Out of all nearby islands, Koh Tao promises the most vibrant snorkeling spots, including snorkeling with turtles and whale sharks in March-April. You will find plenty of snorkeling tours departing to this destination daily.
Ang Thong Marine Park is another snorkeling tour destination within easy reach of Koh Samui during a day trip by boat. The entire archipelago is surrounded by conserved coral reefs, limestone islands, and underwater caves, making the waters around the marine park full of life and colors. You can snorkel basically from any beach in the park. Still, arguably, the best snorkeling can be found on Wua Talap, Koh Mae Ko, Koh Wao, and Koh Sam Sao.
There are also popular half-day snorkeling trips to nearby Koh Madsum and Koh Taen, just 10 minutes by boat from the southern shores of Koh Samui. Although, we recommend that you check out what islands mentioned earlier have to offer in terms of beaches and snorkeling first.
Best diving near Koh Samui
When planning your Koh Samui holiday itinerary, consider the best diving experiences are in the following islands near Koh Samui.
Sail Rock and Chumphon Pinnacle are known for the best diving near Koh Samui. In fact, Sail Rock, between Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, is one of the most famous diving spots in the whole of Thailand. Diving in deep waters of Sail Rock, guarantees excellent visibility, colossal pinnacles full of life, and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks during April-May. Chumphon Pinnacle is a dive site that intermediate/ advanced divers cannot miss. The depth reaches up to 40 meters, and you can encounter tunas, barracudas, and dive with whale sharks.
Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Tao island promises an abundance of dive sites. Take a private boat tour with Islander to dive in Ao Leuk, Mango Bay, and Hin Wong. If you’re a beginner diver, Japanese Garden in Koh Nang Yuan (just off Koh Tao) offers a beautiful spot where water won’t exceed 10 meters in depth. The shallow waters of Japanese Garden are bliss with its resident turtles, triggerfish, and colorful corals.
Ang Thong Marine Park
If you’re looking for less-visited dive sites near Koh Samui with healthy corals, massive rocks, plenty of fish species, manta rays, and whale sharks – then head over to Ang Thong Marine Park. Even though the number of dive sites around the national marine park is limited, its waters hide underwater caves, tunnels, and colorful reefs. You can find rare species such as barrel sponges, black and soft corals, a variety of sea fans, snappers, manta rays, barracudas, and lionfish. The best diving spots are in Koh Wao and Hin Yippon.