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Top 10 Spots to Go Snorkeling in Phuket

Top 10 Spots to Go Snorkeling in Phuket

If you want to be astounded during your visit to Thailand, there’s no better way than snorkeling on Phuket’s beautiful beaches. Not only will you meet fascinating animals in vivid color, but you’ll also run into a whole new world underwater. 

So, to aid in your underwater journey, we created the absolute list of snorkeling spots you must visit. From Phuket’s best down to its most beautiful hidden coves, prepare as we bring you along on a tour like no other.

Ao Sane Beach

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Address: Nai Harn Beach Road, Rawai, Muang District, Phuket 83130

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Mixture of sand and rock formations

Snorkeling Packages: Snorkeling gear rental services for 150 baht/day.

Beach Facilities: A seaside restaurant, cheap bungalows, and diving and surfing spots.

Swimming Gear Shops: Streetside shops along Nai Harn Beach Road

Ao Sane can be a lively community, even for a small beach cove, thanks to the various nearby bungalows and its seaside restaurant. Since this beach cove is cozier and smaller than Nai Harn Beach, it’s suitable for long, relaxing swims.

The highlight of Ao Sane Beach is its two standout snorkeling spots, resulting from the rock formations dividing it into three small coves. One of these spots features a deep dive through the rock formations that will introduce you to various marine life.

Upon diving deeper into the water, a massive population of parrotfish, clownfish, and eels will welcome you. Its calm waters, distinct diving spots, and thriving marine life make Ao Sane Beach among the top-tier snorkeling locations in Phuket.

More importantly, you can rent snorkeling gear in Ao Sane for 150 baht/day or buy them from the seaside shops along Nai Harn Beach Road.

Ao Sane Beach is accessible by walking through The Nai Harn Hotel beachfront from Nai Harn Beach. The latter is a 16-kilometer taxi, songthaew, or tuk-tuk ride from Phuket Town, which you can reach by bus from Phuket International Airport (HKT).

One person might need to spend approximately 700 baht to travel via public transportation. The fare price will be higher if you travel in a group and hire a public vehicle to drive you specifically to Nai Harn Beach.

Pro tip: 
If you’re in a group, catch a shared taxi in Phuket Town to spend less during your commute. You can negotiate with drivers to get a better fare, so ask locals how much they usually pay for these rides.

Merlin Beach

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Address: 99 Muen-Ngoen Rd, Pa Tong, Kathu District, Phuket, 83150

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Excellent beach with natural reef formation

Snorkeling Packages: Snorkeling Reef Program for Marriott Phuket Resort guests

Beach Facilities: Spa & massage at Marriott Phuket Resort, seaside shops, and restaurants

Despite not being a well-known tourist destination, Merlin Beach offers one of the best snorkeling experiences in Phuket. After all, it’s the only beach with a natural reef formation that is excellent for visitors who enjoy snorkeling.

Above all, Merlin Beach goers can receive a nice perk if they stay at the nearby Marriott Phuket Resort, the only hotel in this area. The resort’s visitors can avail of their free Snorkeling Reef Program and use their snorkeling gear.

With this, you can enjoy the natural reef formation at Merlin Beach without spending extra on rental gear and packages. This beach is also one of the locations in Phuket where you can meet sea turtles.

If you’re not a Marriott Phuket Resort guest, you can access the beach but must bring your snorkeling gear. 

Unlike Ao Sane Beach, reaching Merlin Beach from Phuket International Airport is faster because you only need to travel approximately 38 kilometers to Patong. Upon arrival at Patong, switch to a 5-kilometer taxi or tuk-tuk ride to Merlin Beach.

The commute from Patong to Merlin Beach typically takes 15 minutes on average. Since it’s a short ride, you only need to pay between 100 and 150 baht if you catch a taxi or tuk-tuk.

Pro tip: 
Tuk-tuk drivers typically ask for the same fare as taxi drivers even though their vehicles are unmetered. Thus, it’s advisable to negotiate before riding them to avoid getting ripped off.

Kata Noi Beach

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Address: Karon, Muang District, Phuket 83100

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Spacious sandy beach with rocky formation at its southern part

Beach Facilities: Banana boat and kayak rental. Parasailing and jet skiing activities

Kata Beach is a famous destination for those who enjoy banana boat rides and kayaking. It’s also a premier location for fans of water sports, like parasailing and jet skiing.

As a result, the nearby Kata Noi Beach often sees fewer visitors than the more popular Kata Beach. However, the smaller crowds make this beach an excellent place for snorkeling activities.

In particular, this beach’s southern rocky formations teem with marine life, making it a perfect spot to observe sea creatures in action. Not only does Kata Noi have a beautiful beach, but it also has one of the best snorkeling spots in Phuket. 

During good weather conditions, the waters in Kata Noi Beach become crystal clear, improving the snorkeling experience significantly. Unlike Kata Beach, it’s wild how underrated Kata Noi is, especially since they offer similar attractions and activities. 

Pro tip: 
Swimming far from the beach can be dangerous. Watch out for water markers so you don’t stray too far from the shoreline.

How to Kata Noi Beach

Traveling to Kata Noi Beach is similar to Nai Harn Beach if you’re from Phuket International Airport. Once you arrive at Phuket Town via an airport bus, you must catch another 17-kilometer taxi, tuk-tuk, or songthaew ride bound for Kata Noi Beach.

You can also ask the driver to drop you off at Kata Beach if you want to wander around. This way, you can stroll south before turning left once you pass Katathani Phuket Beach Resort to reach Kata Noi Beach on foot.

Laem Singh Beach

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Address: Choeng Thale, Thalang District, Phuket 83110

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Beautiful, isolated beach with clear waters and some rocky formations

Beach Facilities: One seaside restaurant

Although Laem Singh Beach is 50 meters shorter than Ao Sane Beach, it’s an equally excellent place to perform snorkeling activities in Phuket. Since this beach has some rocky formations, observe the diverse marine life thriving in its waters.

Laem Singh Beach has clear waters, which every snorkeling aficionado knows is essential for observing underwater life. The only problem with this beach is that it’s inaccessible on foot after a land dispute with another landowner.

As a result, this once-famous beach in Phuket became a hidden gem that only a few tourists visit. However, if you’re okay with the lack of land transportation options to Laem Singh Beach, the sacrifice is worth it once you experience its pristine waters.v

As mentioned, Laem Singh Beach became inaccessible via land transport after the dispute, so traveling by boat is your only option. Fortunately, the water transport costs only 100 baht per passenger or 400 baht if you pay for the entire boat.

You can find the boats that board passengers for Laem Singh Beach on the nearby Surin Beach. It’s a 21-kilometer bus or car ride from Phuket International Airport to Surin Beach.

Although admission to Laem Singh Beach is free, the necessary boat ride to reach this place makes it insignificant.

Pro tip: 
Reaching Laem Singh Beach on foot requires climbing the rocks behind Patcharin Seafood in Surin Beach. However, this can be dangerous, especially if you have children or many items with you.

Banana Beach

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Address: Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket 83110

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Great, undeveloped beach with few visitors

Beach Facilities: Seaside restaurant, traditional longtail boats

Banana Beach is another hidden gem for snorkeling in Phuket because it’s isolated and only has a few visitors. Nevertheless, it’s arguably one of the best-looking undeveloped beaches on the island.

Since this beach has clear waters, observing underwater life here makes for a fun snorkeling experience. Having the place mostly to yourself is a bonus because it lets you enjoy your visit to your heart’s content.

Thus far, Banana Beach is our list’s nearest location to Phuket International Airport. It’s only a 19-kilometer ride from the airport, so you’ll have more time to explore the area.

Banana Beach is between Naithon Beach and Trisara Villas.

Yanui Beach

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Address: Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Small sandy beach with many rock formations

Beach Facilities: Seaside restaurants, bars, and beach chairs

The smaller beaches in Phuket often make for an excellent snorkeling spot, and Yanui Beach isn’t an exception. This tiny beach cove combines fine, white sands and many rock formations.

Yanui Beach is a popular tourist stopover point because you pass through it while traveling from Nai Harn Beach to Promthep Cape. Because this beach is relatively small, it’s safer for children and those new to snorkeling.

You can ride south through Windmill Viewpoint from Nai Harn Beach to reach Yanui Beach. Alternatively, you can follow the Rawai-Promthep road until it swings left to reach this beach using the inland path from Nai Harn.

Freedom Beach

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Address: Patong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150

Operation: Open Daily (Peak Season Only)

Beach Condition: It’s a sandy beach with rock formations, excellent waters during peak seasons in Phuket

Beach Facilities: Seaside restaurants, bars, and beach chairs

Ironically, traveling to Freedom Beach is tricky because water transport is the easiest way to reach it. Moreover, the beach is only open to the public during peak season in Phuket, between November and April.

Nevertheless, snorkeling in Freedom Beach is fun and exciting because of its charming and beautiful waters. It helps that they only open during peak seasons since the waters around Phuket become the calmest.

A longtail boat ride from the south of Patong is required to access Freedom Beach. It will cost 600 baht, but it’s worth it once you reach this beautiful isolated beach.

Pro tip: 
You can negotiate with longtail boat operators to get a discount on a roundtrip ride for only 800 baht. Only negotiate the fare price if you’re not staying the night on Freedom Island.

Paradise Beach

Address: 109, Muen-Ngern Rd, Patong, Kathu District, Phuket 83150

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: 200 baht (drink included)

Beach Condition: New trendy beach in Patong with newly developed facilities

Beach Facilities: Wide array of shops, restaurants, bars, and dancing stages

Swimming Gear Shops: Seaside shops

As its name suggests, Paradise Beach is one of the most attractive beaches in Thailand. You can’t go wrong when choosing this location because it’s a top-tier spot for snorkeling on Thailand’s biggest island Phuket.

However, this beach is suddenly on the rise as one of Phuket’s trendiest new beaches, so you won’t enjoy it as much if you hate massive crowds. 

Additionally, Paradise Beach now asks for a 200 baht admission fee, unlike other beaches on the island.

Despite its popularity, Paradise Beach doesn’t allow jet skis to get close, which is a good perk. With this, you can peacefully snorkel since the water around you remains calm.

Paradise Beach is only 2 kilometers northwest of Merlin Beach. Since it’s a short ride, riding any public transport vehicle should only cost you approximately 50 baht.

Naithon Beach

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Address: Sakhu, Thalang District, Phuket 83110

Operation: Open Daily

Admission Fee: Free

Beach Condition: Spacious sandy beach with some rock formations, its beach can be terrible during low seasons

Beach Facilities: Seaside restaurants, massage treatment, and beach chairs

Naithon Beach is another location that isn’t popular with foreign tourists, so you can enjoy snorkeling without a smaller crowd to share the ocean with. Like the other beaches, only its southern part has a thriving marine life.

As a result, there are fewer spots for observing fish and other aquatic animals. Furthermore, you can’t shop for swimming gear in Naithon Beach because they don’t have stores similar to those on crowded beaches.

Naithom Beach suffers from debris washed ashore by strong tides, so visiting during peak seasons is best if you want a fantastic experience when snorkeling in Phuket.

Naithon Beach is 2.5 kilometers north of Banana Beach. If you’re coming from Phuket International Airport, you only need to travel 8 kilometers to reach it.

Laem Ka Beach

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Address: Rawai, Muang District, Phuket 83130

Operation: Temporarily Closed (Under Construction)

Admission Fee: N/A

Beach Condition: A sandy beach with large rocky formations in the middle.

Thanks to the rocky formations in Laem Ka Beach, you can observe various aquatic animals while snorkeling. In particular, many crab species live in the beach’s southern portion, making the granite boulders their home.

This beach is safe for children because the rock formations make the water calmer around them. Unfortunately, Laem Ka Beach is currently under construction, but it should be on your watchlist once it reopens to the public.

The path to Laem Ka is on Rawai Beach, but spotting it can be challenging. The landmarks you must look for are the Shell Museum and the 7-11 convenience store beyond it.

Once you pass these landmarks, you must watch for a sign that says “Laem Ka Beach Restaurant.”

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