Best snorkeling in Koh Tao
Koh Tao snorkeling is among the best in the whole of Thailand. If you have traveled with your snorkeling gear, they will be best used at Mango Bay, Ao Leuk, Shark Bay, and Hin Wong, snorkeling from the beach in Koh Tao. But as mentioned above, there are even more snorkeling sites around Koh Tao, so here is our list of the places you should definitely visit for snorkeling in Koh Tao island itself.
Shark Bay tops our list of Koh Tao best snorkeling. The word ‘shark’ should not always bring those huge, ferocious sea animals to your mind. Sometimes, we are just talking about those cute tip-reef sharks that are as timid as they come. You would even be the one seeking them out when you go snorkeling at this beach. Twice a year, baby black-tip reef sharks can be seen in abundance while enjoying shallow warm waters. If you go a further off the northern shore, you may encounter fully grown majestic adults and even whale sharks. You will also find out that Shark Bay is home to some spectacular, green sea turtles. This is in addition to other beautiful fish species to be seen when snorkeling from the beach.
A massive Mango Bay is one of the top three snorkeling places in Koh Tao. It features a white sand beach and crystal clear water that looks more green than turquoise because of the shallow. A visit to Mango Bay will see you in the company of other island hoppers – usually snorkeling tours from the nearby Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. The best thing about this location is its flat and sandy seafloor, which makes it an excellent place for beginners to start their diving journey and snorkeling off the beach. Underwater, Mango Bay does not lack for those marine wonders that will make you want to stay for longer than you planned. If you get there early enough, there is no cap on how long you can enjoy the brilliant coral reef for.
Coming in the shape of what looks like a giant swimming pool, you don’t need to be told to know that the blue waters in Ao Leuk have been designed for snorkelers by nature. Fortunately, the blue waters are not the only thing that puts this location on the map of Koh Tao snorkeling tours. The coral reef is abundant with life on both sides of the beach, and you will find a host of instructors around just waiting to show you the ropes. When you finish snorkeling off the beach, the sandy seafloor means you can spend more time just lounging in the water.
For those who want to snorkel and do other fun things, Sairee Beach is the best place to be. The sandy shoreline is a hub for many tourists at different times of the year. Still, you will find the solace you so desire when you get underwater snorkeling off the beach. Fortunately, the coral reef starts at about 20 feet out, so you can truly get away and get immersed in the underwater experience. Of course, you get to finish that and join the rest of the party’s atmosphere around Sairee Beach.
Koh Tao snorkeling tours
The best snorkeling tour near Koh Tao by far is in Koh Nang Yuan island. Koh Nang Yuan promises the most vibrant snorkeling spots, including snorkeling with turtles and whale sharks in March-April. Just a 10 minutes boat ride from Sairee Beach and you are in the next level of snorkeling heaven. Make sure to explore the Japanese Garden – one of the most popular Koh Tao snorkeling spots. Located just off Koh Nang Yuan, Japanese Garden is trendy for beginner divers since the depths range between 1 and 14 meters. Moreover, on Koh Nang Yuan island, you can also hike a jaw-dropping viewpoint.
The Koh Tao snorkeling tour is among the top things to do when you are vacationing in Koh Samui or Koh Phangan. Despite its small size, Koh Tao manages to pack plenty of activities for sea lovers among its pristine reefs, scenic bays, and jungle-covered beaches. There is a lot to experience during the Koh Tao boat trip. Translating loosely to ‘Turtle Island,’ Koh Tao lives up to its name in more ways than one. You can almost become a turtle too when you approach any of the diving locations on Koh Tao. For these, we have the picks of Ao Leuk, Tanote Bay, and Mango Bay, among others. Even though Koh Tao is small, it has come to be known as one of the best, if not the very best, diving and snorkeling locations in all of the Gulf of Thailand.
Chumphon National Marine Park is another snorkeling tour destination within reach of Koh Tao during a day trip by boat. The entire Chumphon 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 Chumphon National Marine Park around its 40 islands. Still, arguably, the best snorkeling can be found on Koh Talu, Koh Langka Jew, and Koh Mattra.
Best diving near Koh Tao
Shark Bay is almost unrivaled for its fantastic diving experience among blacktip reef sharks directly from the beach in Koh Tao. The other amazing Hin Wong beach only rivals it from within Koh Tao itself. But there are many more prime dive sites near Koh Tao island that are worth exploring.
Hin Wong is a large, well-protected, horseshoe bay. There are several underwater pinnacles covered in some of the most fertile corals of Koh Tao. The biggest downfall of the spot is tourist crowds, which doesn’t provide you with authentic diving experience. You may encounter manta rays, barracudas, and even adult whale sharks around these crystal clear waters. The depth doesn’t exceed 30 meters, and the currents are non-existent during the high season, which makes this spot perfect for beginners.
Sail Rock is probably the most iconic diving site located between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. The waters are apparent and full of life, which attracts massive whale sharks, manta rays, and giant moray eels. The maximum depth is about 18 meters, and at the bottom, you can circle the massive rock filled with colorful reefs. Other popular Koh Tao diving spots include Shark Island, White Rock, Buoyancy World, and Sattakut Wreck.