Phuket snorkeling beaches – 10 Best spots to visit

Phuket is one of the most popular tourist regions of Thailand with wonderful beaches, ancient temples and excellent Thai restaurants to visit, but the marine life around is also second to none! Let us show you the best Phuket snorkeling beaches that offer superb conditions for water activities!

Best 10 Phuket Snorkeling Beaches

Phuket has numerous beautiful beaches but not all offer good conditions for snorkeling. The wide sandy beaches are excellent for sunbathing and chilling out, but you need to seek rocky bays to see corals and sea creatures. Here we list the top Phuket snorkeling places where you can explore Thailand’s vibrant marine life.

Ao Sane

This rocky beach on the southwest coast is one of the best places if you want to do shore snorkeling in Phuket. To get to the Ao Sane Beach, you need to drive through the Nai Harn Resort (which is an excellent place to stay if you are looking for a hotel close-by) and keep going until you find the Ao Sane sign on your left.

Ao Sane has enough trees to provide shelter from the sun at all times of the day. The beach is rocky, with large boulders buried in the sand. The rocks in the water are home to colorful fish like parrotfish and clownfish, and black spiny sea urchins are also common.

Ao Sane snorkeling beaches Phuket
Ao Sane Beach

The clear and calm water makes Ao Sane of the best Phuket snorkeling beaches! Thanks to the bay’s characteristic, Ao Sane is one of the that very few Phuket beaches that is suitable for underwater activities (diving as well) even in the rainy season when most beaches get big waves and rough conditions.

The 200 meters long Ao Sane beach consists of three very small sandy bays. You can walk from one to another through the few beach bungalows. The first bay, the largest, has everything you might need during the day. You can get some food from the beach restaurant, drinks from the beach bar.

There is a dive shop too, where you can rent snorkel gear if you don’t have own equipment. The second and third bays are mostly used by the Baan Krating Resort’s guests, but daily visitors you can go there and have a drink or a massage.

Tip: besides Phuket, there are many more excellent snorkel sites in the country. Check out the 10 best snorkeling places in Thailand!

Freedom Beach

Do you want to enjoy a secluded beach with excellent marine life? Then make sure to add Freedom Beach to your Phuket snorkeling itinerary! This pretty beach is just 4 kilometers far from the well-known Patong Beach, but far quieter and more relaxed. With soft white sand and clear water, Freedom Beach offers safe and enjoyable water experience for young and old.

Freedom beach Thailand - Phuket

To get there, you need to take a longtail boat that operate only in the high-season (between December and June). Boats depart from all popular beaches nearby like Patong, Kata or Karon. Freedom Beach is an excellent choice to spend a day at a wonderful spot away from the crowd enjoying yourself and exploring the undersea world while snorkeling. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent, and there is an on-site small restaurant that serves delicious Thai food and chilled drinks.

Tip: should you visit islands in the Gulf of Thailand instead of the Andaman Sea area, see our review on snorkeling in Koh Phangan and learn where to snorkel in Koh Tao!

Ya Nui

This charming beach is another attractive Phuket snorkeling spot that is unfortunately not that quiet anymore, but still a pretty place to visit thanks to the amazing scenery and clear waters.

This small bay lies between the Nai Harn Ceach and Phromthep Cape on the south of Phuket. The best hotels nearby are the Sense of Yanui and the Windmill Phuket Hotel, both are worth to stay at.

Ya Nui Beach - Phuket
Ya Nui Beach

The tsunami in 2004 hit the beach hard and destroyed it completely. After the disaster, the area was abandoned for more than a year and only a couple of touching memorial plaques indicated that people use to come here. A few years later, the Ya Nui Bungalows re-opened which operates as a restaurant and small hotel. There is also a dive center where you can sign up for a diving course or rent snorkeling gear.

The emerald-green water, powdery sand and tall palm trees make Yai Niu Beach truly postcard perfect. For the best snorkeling, swim around the rock formations that stand out from the water in the middle of the bay. Here you can observe some nice corals and plenty of fish.

Naithon Beach

The pretty large Nai Thon on the west coast is known as one of the very few undetected Phuket snorkeling beaches. Although the beach is just 10 km south of the Phuket International Airport, somehow it remained quiet comparing to the popular spots. A real paradise where you can spend a beautiful day while chilling under coconut trees and discovering Thailand’s marine life with your mask and fins on!

Turtle in Phuket
Turtle in Thailand

For the best snorkeling, go to the rocky southern corner of the bay where you can observe various marine species. Expect to see barracudas, butterfly, angel and triggerfish, or even turtles! Should you get hungry or thirsty, there are great places around to buy food and drinks.

Laem Ka

If you wish to enjoy amazing view in the shades of coconut trees, head to this sheltered beach on the south of Phuket. The 150 m long beach is an ideal place for families. The calm clear water makes Laem Ka one of the best Phuket snorkeling beaches for beginners. Don’t expect to find fancy restaurants here, but in the high season there are some vendors selling snacks, drinks and Thai food.

To get to Laem Ka Beach, head towards Rawai. There will be a small road at the 7-eleven shop. Take that and drive on it until you find the Laem Ka Beach Restaurant sign and a parking area.

Laem Singh

The heavenly Laem Singh Beach lies between Kamala Beach and Surin Beach. Shallow water and numerous rocks around ensure safe snorkeling conditions with many colorful fish to see!

It is not only a beautiful place, but has an interesting story too. Laem Singh was always known as a hidden paradise. Tourists staying in the busy Surin Beach area came to Laem Singh where they could enjoy themselves in peace and quiet. But suddenly, the owner of the land decided to close the road leading to the beach.

Therefore, Laem Singh was inaccessible for a short time, until a boat service started to operate from Surin Beach. The small boat departs from the left corner of the beach and costs approx. 100 baht per person.

Alternatively, you can walk the way from Surin Beach. The path starts behind the Patcharin Seafood restaurant, but it is rather hiking than walking at some point, so only adventurous travelers should consider this option. It is safer and faster taking the boat transfer!

Kata Noi

If you find Kata Beach too busy (I’m sure you will!) choose the nearby Kata Noi instead! This long (almost 1 kilometer) bay stretches on the south-western coast of Phuket. With various amenities around (restaurants, bars, convenience shops), this beach is a great choice to visit for a day or even to stay at for a longer time.

Kata Noi is a nice place to do some snorkeling in Phuket, especially the left side of the bay, however you need to be lucky to have calm sea conditions. You can see here various marine species including anemonefish, angel and parrotfish, and the lucky ones might spot turtles and even some small (not dangerous) reef sharks. Don’t get into the water if there are big waves because you might hurt yourself on the rocks.

Thailand - Anemone fish

The best luxurious accommodations at Kata Noi are the Katathani Beach Resort and The Shore at Katathani with amazing view. If you are looking for an affordable option, check out the Katanoi Resort.

Tip: if you want to know where can you see anemonefish, read our best places to see clownfish while snorkeling post!

Banana Beach

Being one of the last secret beaches around Phuket, the Banana Beach is a must-visit spot! Due to its remoteness, not many tourists take the extra effort to go to this picturesque beach, therefore it remained quiet. The long and wide sandy beach offers top conditions for chilling out, while the clear water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Banana Beach
The peaceful Banana Beach

To get to Banana Beach, you need to take the road that goes to Naithon Beach and Andaman White Beach Resort. A few hundred meters after the resort, you should find the Banana Beach sign on the right side. Park your scooter on the side of the road and follow the path to this excellent Phuket snorkeling beach! Don’t miss out trying out the yummy seafood dishes in the restaurant on the site!

Paradise Beach

A typical Thai beach with soft sand, palm trees and a jungle around on the western side of Phuket. Paradise Beach was the top choice of peace-seeking tourists for a long time, but unfortunately, it is not that hidden anymore. The reason behind this that a new concrete road was opened that made easy to get to this spot. Now Paradise Beach is famous for full moon parties, but it is still worth to spend one day here if you want to do some snorkeling in Phuket.

Phuket Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach

About 100 meters from the shore, you find a shallow reef which is a great snorkeling spot also for beginners. Enjoy observing colorful tropical fish species and various corals, and you might swim into a turtle too!

Ko Man island

If you love adventures and want to explore the best-best Phuket snorkeling spot, here is an insider tip! Visit Ko Man! This little island opposite Yanui beach offers some of the best coral reefs and features extremely rich marine life! The eastern corner of the island is protected from strong wind and enjoys calm water conditions, which create an ideal place for corals and marine species to thrive.

Since the eastern side of Ko Mah is just about 350 meters from Yanui, confident swimmers might swim there if the sea and weather conditions are fine, but a safe and comfortable option is renting a boat with a local boatman at Ya Nui or Rawai for 1-2 hours. Like this, you will have time to look around without worrying about how you get back to the beach. Alternatively, you can rent a kayak at Yanui. An ultimate Phuket snorkeling spot for spotting tons of fish and vibrant corals, don’t miss it out when you are around!

What is the Best Time to Go Snorkeling in Phuket

When planning a trip to Thailand, you should be aware of the different climates of its two coastlines -the Andaman Coast and the Gulf of Thailand- as the weather patterns are often the exact opposite.

The monsoon times are well-predictable on the two coasts of Thailand so your travel dates clearly determine if you should choose Phuket or Koh Samui side (including the islands of Koh Tao and Phangan) as the destination of your vacation. However, there is no weather guarantee as the climate is changing here too as all over the world.

The best time to visit Phuket is between December and March as this is the dry season. During these months, the weather is settled and there is little rain, so the conditions are ideal for water activities such as snorkeling.

Avoid coming between May and October as it is the wet season on the Andaman Coast. While Phuket sees a lot of rain during these months and even the nearby popular island groups like the Similans and Surins are closed due to bad weather, the islands in the Gulf of Thailand can be considered dry (there, the rainy season runs from October to mid-December).

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!