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Where to book a Snorkel tour in Phuket?
This is a guide on selecting and booking a snorkel tour in Phuket. For information on Phuket Snorkeling Sites please visit our Phuket Snorkeling Information page and for a selection of snorkeling tours that can be booked online through our site, please visit our Phuket Snorkeling Tours page.
Choosing a snorkeling tour while in Phuket on holiday should be straightforward. Most people who come to Phuket go on the Snorkeling Tour recommended to them by a tour desk – bad idea. It is amazing the number of ‘snorkeling tour companies’ that open and close every year in Phuket. Many Phuket Snorkel Tours are fly by night operations whose only concern is money. More people on the boat – more money, cheap food – more money, no insurance – more money, unqualified staff – more money. You get the picture. The problem is multiplied by the fact that the only concern of the tour desks, even 5-star hotel tour desks, is money…
Are all Snorkeling Tours in Phuket the same?
There are several different types of Snorkeling Tours in Phuket.
Standard Snorkeling Tour
A standard snorkeling tour is a full or half day trip to one of Phuket’s Snorkeling Sites. Lunch is usually provided and you are given a mask and snorkel (fins cost extra and usually only a few sizes are available). The boats arrive at teh island / snorkeling site and drop you on the beach or in the water to snorkel. No information or tour of the reef is provided. These tours account for the majority of snorkeling tours offered in Phuket.
Guided Snorkeling Tour
The guided snorkeling tours that are available have a Foreign or Thai guide that will swim with the guests and point out different marine creatures. Usually these tours visit some of the better reefs as the guide wants to be able to point out as many different things as possible. The equipment on these tours varies, but it is usually a bit better than a standard tour. Mask and Fins are always included, but again sometimes fins are extra.
Cheap Phuket Snorkeling
Sometimes less is more – Visit our Cheap Phuket Snorkeling Page for lots of information on one of Phuket’s cheapest and most exciting things to do – Snorkeling!
Cheapest Snorkeling in Phuket!
Snorkeling in Phuket & Phi Phi can be cheap – very cheap. We get a lot of requests for Phuket snorkeling information from travellers on a budget seeking out the cheapest snorkeling in Phuket. This guide to the cheapest snorkeling in Phuket & Phi Phi should help get you in the water snorkeling no matter what your budget.
Cheap & Safe Snorkeling in Phuket & Phi Phi
The words cheap & safe mix about as well as oil & water – Be aware that you really do get what you pay for in Phuket.
Now that you’ve been warned – here are the cheapest snorkeling options in Phuket!
FREE Snorkeling in Phuket?
Free snorkeling in Phuket?!?! It’s too good to be true. Of course there is free snorkeling in Phuket – see the water, put on a mask, get in and snorkel.
The snorkeling right off the beaches in Phuket is okay. There are some diamonds in the rough that you can find if you are willing to travel a bit further from your hotel.
See our Guide to Phuket Snorkeling Sites to help you choose which snorkeling site in Phuket is best for you.
Then grab your mask, snorkel, and fins and go!
Cheap Snorkeling Tours to Phi Phi ?
You will find cheap snorkeling tours to Phi Phi for as little as 1,400 to 2,400 baht depending on your bargaining skills. If you paid this much you will be on one of the large ferry boats to Phi Phi. These boats have 2 – 4 decks and hold up to 500 people. Yes, they are large and you can sun yourself on the way to Phi Phi. However, they are so large that they can NOT take anyone to snorkel in shallow waters or visit any of the popular beaches in Phi Phi.
You will stop in the outer part of Maya Bay – YOU CAN NOT GO TO THE BEACH AT MAYA BAY ON THESE TOURS. The boat will anchor in about 8-10 meters of water allowing all 300 – 500 people on the tour the chance to try to squeeze off the one back stairway into the water. You will have about 30 minutes to swim / snorkel before leaving Maya Bay. Next, the boat will cruise past some of the most famous sites in Phi Phi – THE BOAT DOES NOT STOP. They will explain over the loudspeaker that the water is too shallow for the boat to enter. You will NOT see Pi Leh Cove, Loh Samah, and will only have a fleeting glimpse of Viking Cave. If you have payed extra for the Monkey Beach option, you will transfer to a smaller (yet large) boat that will take you to the outer reef at Monkey Beach. Here you must snorkel, swim or wait in line to use one of the handful of kayaks available to reach Monkey Beach which is about 100 meters away!
After lunch on Phi Phi Don, you will have about 30 minutes to walk around before leaving Phi Phi at 2:00 pm for the 3 hour journey back to Phuket.
Paperwork & Documentation
Paperwork & Documentation: at the start of the trip guests are required to sign a liability release form and provide evidence of their certification. Usually in the form of a certification card and logbook. If unavailable and have PADI certification, verify by PADI Dive Chek online.
Which Diving Suit?
The water temperature is a comfortable 27-30oC (79-85oF). Therefore a 3-5mm shorty is usually fine; many guests bring their own 3-5mm long suits and rash-guards. To wear gloves is not alowed.
Flying after Diving?
Flying after Diving: some guests have flight departures in the evening of the last day of the trip or early the next morning. We insist these divers plan a 24 hour surface interval and skip dives that fall inside this period.
How long can I dive?
The total dive time is up to 1 hour including a mandatory safety stop or 50 bar what comes first. We can accommodate divers wishing to dive for longer; however, prior approval should be sought and will require the divers to gear up during the briefing. This is at the discretion of the Tour Leader, Instructor or Diveguide.
How warm is the water?
The Water Temperature is all year round between 27-30 degrees Celsius.
The actual sea water temperature
Can I rent a Boat?
Phuket Snorkel Boats – Your own PRIVATE Day of Snorkeling in Phuket
Want to plan your own day of snorkeling in Phuket? Renting your own snorkel boat is the answer. We offer bookings for snorkeling boat charters from the cheapest no frills long tail snorkel boat rental to the speedy and comfortable snorkeling speedboat!
Save time, money, fruitless negotiation with the boat mafias on the beach. Book your snorkel boat charter with us, then relax and enjoy your day of snorkeling and touring the waters around Phuket, Thailand.
Coral Island – Snorkeling Boat Charters No Frills Thai Longtail Boat Charter
The classic Thai Longtail boat you see in all the pictures. Your Thai longtail boat captain will take you to Coral Island, where you can snorkel, relax, and enjoy the day at your own pace.
Your longtail snorkeling boat rental includes round trip transfer to / from your hotel to the departure point. Thai longtail boat captain and a full day charter of the boat to Coral Island.
Our price is HALF of what you would pay for just the longtail boat in Patong, Kata or Karon! Charter includes: Thai longtail boat, Thai captain, roundtrip land transfer (Patong, Kata, and Karon – other areas in Phuket add 200 baht per person), and basic snorkeling equipment (mask & snorkel – NO fins are included). (maximum 8 persons)
LONGTAIL BOAT CHARTERS DO NOT INCLUDE INSURANCE
Price: Contact Us for current pricing
Phuket PRIVATE Speedboat Charter
Charter your very own speedboat to Coral Island! Travel in speed and style aboard a 400 horsepower speedboat. Chartering a speedboat is the way to go if you are concerned about safety and comfort. A great way to see Coral Island, snorkel, relax on the beach and enjoy the trip aboard your own comfortable and spacious speedboat. Your speedboat charter includes round trip land transfers to and from your hotel.
- Experienced crew
- mask, snorkel, life jacket
- seasonal fruits
- soft drinks
- toilet & fresh water supply on board,
- round trip land transfers (Patong, Kata, and Karon – other areas in Phuket add 200 baht per person – up to 12 persons – 2nd van is an additional 1,500 baht)
Coral Island Cheap Snorkeling Tours?
Cheap snorkeling tours to Coral Island are among some of the most popular in Phuket. The cheapest snorkeling tours to Coral Island cost between $20 – $25 (680 – 850 baht).
These ‘full day’ tours actually leave the island between 1:00pm -1:30pm.
Each snorkeling tour operator has their own section of the beach where you will spend your day in beach chairs set up like a movie theater. The activities are fast and furious. Each company has their own, but all are the same:
- Parasailing (5 minutes)
- Banana Boat (10 minutes)
- Scuba Diving (15 minutes – Be VERY CAREFUL – ask to see certification, most provide little to no instruction)
- Sea Walker (helmet diving – walking on the bottom stirring up sand)
All snorkeling tour companies charge extra for the activities.
Phuket Snorkeling Tours – Reasonably Priced
If rock bottom snorkeling tours are not what you are interested in, check out the reasonably priced Phuket & Phi Phi snorkeling tours offered by our partners.
Phuket & Phi Phi Snorkeling Tours These tours are operated by quality companies with a long record of safety and experience.
I want a cheap Snorkeling Tour!
Cheap Snorkeling Tours in Phuket are everywhere. Go to any tour desk and pick up stacks of them – Do some checking online and you will find that many do not really exist (ie. are not really registered with the TAT, do not pay taxes, do not have insurance) or some brochures are the same company, but with new TAT or insurance details due to closing and re-opening the company for undisclosed reasons…
There are some good cheap snorkeling tours in Phuket. Look around, ask other travellers and search the internet. Here is some information to get you started:
Cheap Snorkeling Tours to Phi Phi
You will find cheap snorkeling tours to Phi Phi for as little as 1,400 to 2,400 baht depending on your bargaining skills. If you paid this much you will be on one of the large ferry boats to Phi Phi. These boats have 2 – 4 decks and hold up to 500 people. Yes, they are large and you can sun yourself on the way to Phi Phi.
However, they are so large that they can NOT take anyone to snorkel in shallow waters or visit any of the popular beaches in Phi Phi. You will stop in the outer part of Maya Bay – YOU CAN NOT GO TO THE BEACH AT MAYA BAY ON THESE TOURS. The boat will anchor in about 8-10 meters of water allowing all 300 – 500 people on the tour the chance to try to squeeze off the one back stairway into the water. You will have about 30 minutes to swim / snorkel before leaving Maya Bay. Next, the boat will cruise past some of the most famous sites in Phi Phi – THE BOAT DOES NOT STOP. They will explain over the loudspeaker that the water is too shallow for the boat to enter. You will NOT see Pi Leh Cove, Loh Samah, and will only have a fleeting glimpse of Viking Cave. If you have payed extra for the Monkey Beach option, you will transfer to a smaller (yet large) boat that will take you to the outer reef at Monkey Beach. Here you must snorkel, swim or wait in line to use one of the handful of kayaks available to reach Monkey Beach which is about 100 meters away!
After lunch on Phi Phi Don, you will have about 30 minutes to walk around before leaving Phi Phi at 2:00 pm for the 3 hour journey back to Phuket.
Can I rent a Thai Longtail Boat ?
Thai Longtail Boats
Snorkeling from a traditional Thai longtail boat is fun and CAN be cheap. However, you could also spend more and see less than a package snorkeling tour. The idea of cruising the Andaman Sea around Phuket in a longtail boat is cool, romantic and well, appears to be cheap. The longtail boats in Phuket vary greatly in price based on the location you leave from. Each beach is controlled by an ‘association’ that sets the prices.
In the popular areas like Patong, Kata, and Karon you can expect to pay the following:
- 1 hour = 1,500 – 2,500 baht
- 1/2 day = 3,500 – 4,500 baht
- full day = 6,000 – 8,500 baht
Outside the popular areas the price decreases about 25%.
Renting a longtail boat on your own from Patong, Kata or Karon does NOT INCLUDE masks, snorkels, fins or INSURANCE. Typically you will have to rent a dirty mask & snorkel from the beach stand for 100 – 300 baht per day with a deposit.
If you choose to rent a longtail boat for your snorkeling adventure please ensure the following:
- MAKE SURE that the captain does NOT drop anchor ON THE REEFS!!!
- Take enough water
- Make sure you are physically able to get back into the longtail without a ladder – Most longtails have NO LADDERS. You will need to pull yourself over the rail or be prepared to be dragged over the splintering wooden rail by the captain…
- Agree on the price, times, and locations to visit BEFORE leaving the beach!
Check out our NO FRILLS longtail boat charter to Coral Island including mask, fins, water and a responsible Thai captain.
Scuba Diving related questions
Q: Do I need to know how to swim to scuba dive?
A: The short answer is no (but it helps). You can do the SSI Try Scuba Diving without knowing how to swim. Have a look at this blog that will explain more. If you would like to become a SSI Certified diver then you will need to know how to swim 200m or snorkel 300m!
Q: Do I get a refund if I don’t complete a course?
A: If you cannot complete a course after it’s commencement we will refund any remaining days as long as we are notified prior to 4:00pm. We cannot refund any remaining days of a commenced liveaboard adventure.
Q: What do I need to take on the boat with me?
A: Sunblock, towel, swimwear, in low season it’s a good idea to bring rain wear and a warm jacket. Most things are included in our trip price. Soft drinks and beers are the only items you need to pay for. There is a limited supply and selection on the dive boats so please feel free to bring your own and store it in the icebox onboard.
Q: How do I pay Aloha Diving?
A: We accept cash, international bank transfer and PayPay. We have credit card facilities at Aloha Diving office. We accept credit cards on the boat too.
Q: Do I need a licence to Try Scuba Diving?
A: No, you can try scuba diving with the one day activity called the SSI Try Scuba Diving.
Q: Where is the best place to see a Whale Shark?
A: The ever allusive whale sharks have increased in numbers over the last couple of year here in the Andaman Sea. They still are a difficult to find however you chances are increased by going on a liveaboard adventure and trying this dive sites.
• Richelieu Rock
• Koh Tachai
• Koh Bon
• Phi Phi
• Shark Point
Q: What is a liveaboard boat?
A: A liveaboard boat is like a floating hotel that you can scuba dive off. They have cabins to sleep in, on board lounges, kitchens, however and tiolets. Some even have onboard luxuries like a Masseuse. In Phuket they range from over night trips up to 8-9 day adventures. You will need to be a certified diver to scuba dive from them however non divers can come on for the ride. Have a look at our liveaboard vessels page to find out more.
Q: What will be the group size for my scuba diving or course?
A: Aloha Diving make every endeavour to keep groups and class sizes small. Our group sizing should never be any more that four divers to one instructor/guide.
Q: Does Aloha Diving provide accident insurance?
A: Yes Aloha Diving in Phuket has Accident and Public Liability insurance and is also covered by the Tourism Authority of Thailand insurance as well. However we do recommended that divers do have their own travel and accident insurance covering scuba diving. This will speed up any process payments and treatment in the unlikely event that an accident does occur. Thailand is a country that will not commence treatment until insurance covers has been authorised. You can purchuse a diving accident insurens from diveassure torough us.
Q: What are the scuba diving boats like in Phuket?
A: Typically the scuba diving boats in Phuket have the capacity to hold between 30 – 50 divers. This is due to the long distances required to get to the popular dive sites. The boats are not always filled top capacity and when they are Aloha Diving professional staff will do their best to avoid other divers in the area and give you a private feel to your dive. Please note that we cannot control the number of actual divers on each boat and your dive boat may contain divers from other dive centres. This is a common practice in Phuket and that each person would still be receive individual service to the high standard possible.
Q: Will I be able to go onto an island on a day trip boat?
A: No the boats do not moor on any of the islands and you will not be able to explore the islands on the day. Non divers will also be restricted to activities on and around the boat and will not be permitted to explore on land.
Q: Will Aloha Diving arrange transfers for our diving course day trip or liveaboard?
A: Aloha Diving arrange transfers from all areas of Phuket. Popular areas are Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala, Kalim, Chalong, Rawai and Nai Harn. Most liveaboard companies will do transfers from most areas of the island.
Q: What sort of food will be on the boat?
A: Food is a mixture of Thai and Western (more Thai). The boats can cater for vegetarian, vegan, Halal and celiacs. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements and we will do our best to provide you with meals to your liking.
Q: Are there any dangerous creatures I need to worry about?
A: Injuries to scuba divers from marine creatures are very rare. There is a lot of talk about sharks however attacks to scuba divers is extremely rare. There are a lot of different creatures in the sea that can bite or sting however 99.9% of the creatures are placid and timid and will not bother you. The golden rule is don’t touch or intimidate and you won’t get hurt. Very wise words.
Q: Can I cancel a diving booking if I’m not ready to dive and how much notice do I need to give and do I get a refund?
A: A full refund will be given for all day trip canceled prior to 4:00pm the night before the trip. Any cancelations after 4:00pm will incur boat fees and instructor/divemaster fees.
Most liveaboards have various levels of cancelation fees regarding times and amount refundable. If you you have concerns in relation to this please let us know prior or at the time of booking.
Q: How much does a diving course cost?
A: Please refer to the individual course listings. Here are a few common courses and activities. SSI Try Scuba Diving, SSI Open Water course, SSI Advanced Open Water course, Day Trips.
Q: Is Scuba Diving Dangerous?
A: Sure scuba diving can be dangerous, however it is a greater chance of being injured flying to Phuket or travelling from the airport to your hotel. Scuba diving is much like flying a plane. There are many rules and regulations and a large emphasis on safety. It also why you need a professional to take care of you and at Aloha Diving we have the best SSI Professionals on the island.
Q: Do you offer airport pickups?
A: Unfortunately we do not have a personal airport/hotel transfer service. We can however assist you in transfer arrangements if you request.