Snorkelling Koh Tao
Snorkelling Koh Tao is probably the second most popular activity after scuba diving. Koh Tao has many excellent places for snorkelling. Most of the best areas for snorkelling on the island can be reached by yourself, either by walking, motorbike, kayaking, taxi car or taxi boat. You don’t necessarily need to go on an organised tour to enjoy the snorkelling on Koh Tao.
Making your own way to the best snorkelling spots on Koh Tao is much cheaper than a tour, more relaxing and you have no time restraints. Out top choices for snorkelling Koh Tao are Mango Bay, Koh Nang Yuan, Shark Bay, Tanote Bay and Ao Leuk Beach. At all of these snorkel spots you will see an array of beautiful soft corals, hard corals and colourful fish.
If you don’t have your own equipment for snorkelling Koh Tao, then you can rent it for the day from many of the dive shops and resorts that line the beaches. For novice snorkelers we recommend that you don’t wear fins as you could easily end up kicking and damaging the live corals.
All you really require is a quality mask and snorkel to enjoy the amazing under water world. Some people prefer to buy their own mask and snorkel, if this is you then always buy from a scuba diving shop. The reason for this is that they only sell quality equipment that will last years. Avoid buying the cheap snorkel sets seen at general gift and food shops as they leak water, fall apart and will ruin your snorkelling experience completely.
You can also take the decision to simply book an organised snorkelling trip. Your resort or any travel shop will be able to do this for you and it gives you the chance to see different snorkelling spots all in one day. Most of the tour groups use big boats, all offering plenty of space to sunbath or chill out in the shade. Normally included is use of the snorkelling equipment and a light lunch with refreshments.
Taking a long tail boat is another option and can be hired anywhere from the islands many beaches. A full day tour will cost around 2,500 THB. You can then choose where to go and how long to stay so it’s a great option for families or groups.
On Koh Tao Island there are no lifeguards or flag systems in use so you need to be extra careful when snorkelling Koh Tao.
Don’t snorkel at deserted beaches if you’re on your own. If you get in to trouble, nobody will be there to help you. If you do get into trouble in the water and there are people around, stay calm. Signal for help, by holding up one arm and waving, float and wait for assistance.
Don’t snorkel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Use a high level sunscreen, plus wear a t-shirt.
Never run or dive into the water as there maybe rocks just under the surface that you cannot see. When walking the beach or into the water watch out for dead coral at it can be sharp and cut your feet. Sometimes there may also be spiky Sea Urchins or Jelly Fish around so be careful.
Do not stand, kick or touch the coral under any circumstances. You will damage and kill it, plus it could also cut or sting you.
Learn how to spot a rip tide and keep clear of it when snorkelling on Koh Tao. Basically a rip tide can be recognised by sand coloured or rippled water running out to sea when the water on either side is generally cleaner. The waves may also be larger and breaking further out to sea on both sides of the rip. Check the latest weather forecast before going snorkelling or visiting the beach.