The Diving Paradise of the Andaman Coast in South Thailand.
The dive operators of Khao Lak offer boat tours for divers and snorkelers to the most famous sights in the Andaman Sea, and also to the Similans, which belong to the top 10 dive sites in the world.
A popular area for snorkeling is at the Koh Surin Islands, which is unbelievably beautiful. The non-plus-ultra in Thailand at the moment are the Live Aboard Cruises of 3 - 7 days, where also snorkelers can join. Snorkelers must live with the fact, that divers have priority. Some operators offer tours to the Similans for snorkelers only, but are not always praised.
The reef area off the peninsula Khao Na Yak has become a a first class snorkeling spot.
Many small corals have grown considerably since the Tsunami, as have the small table corals, which remind of a Bonsai Garden. An unbelievable amount of fish in 2 to 4 meters depth, 3 sorts of Moray Eel, Sepia, Lionfish, and all sorts of reef fish of all sizes can be admired here.
Further information can be obtained from T-Tour in Bang Niang next to TMB Bank. Snorkeling trips from 9.00 a.m. to 2 p.m. are offered. The price p.p. is 1800 Baht including equipment, a good lunch and non alcoholic beverages. This trip will suprise even those who have snorkeled around the Similans. At times, when the waves are too high, a few days patience is needed, as the water visibility will be murky and unclear.
On February 11th 2015 we had a very nice day on a longtail boat, going south from Bang Niang Beach along the coast of Khao Lak. We visited 3 nice snorkel areas, 2 of these had coral reefs in very good condition, e.g. a table coral with 2 meters in diameter. The guide, Mr. Gaeng from T-Tour, knew where to go and directed us to attractive spots like the caves of various moray eels. We saw both a great variety of fish, but also large numbers of these. Lionfish about 30 just to take one specie. We were treated to a nice lunch on a remote beach, and saw 2 monkeys checking for left overs when we left. This was a great day filled with adventure, and many nice pictures to remember it by.
Video photos and text by Ole G., Copenhagen
Snorkeling from the beach is not especially interesting, although there are possibilities by the rocks south of Sunset Beach or near the rocks of Nang Tong Beach. The Coral Reef, Karang Haeng, which has died out and lies about 1.5 Km off the Bang Niang Beach, emerges partly between high and low tide, is one spot where snorkeling in 2 - 5 Meters depth can be good and many beautiful fish can be seen ( outside riff in the South West) although the visibility is mostly not great. The sea is usually calmest in the mornings. A 2 - 3 hour fishing boat tour must be self organised, and should not cost more than 700 Baht p.p. with 5 - 6 people.
Is it generally worth diving in the Coral Reef, Karang Haeng?
90% of the 2 Km long riff is dead, and there are few fish to be seen, but parts are quite nice.
But on the South West corner I had one of the most impressive diving encounters of my life. There, living Coral Stocks reaching just below the water surface were surrounded bei countless cleaner wrasses. On two occasions I met an enormous and very dense fish swarm coming from the ocean.
Apparently they come and stay here for hours to be cleaned. Submerging myself to the depths, into hundreds of thousands of fish, a tunnel opened in which I could swimm through without touching a single fish. I floated through the silver fish swarm as long as I could hold my breath. Above and below nothing could be seen, apart from their fish bodies, which were about an arms length away. Behind me the tunnel closed continuously, and with every dive the same play was repeated, with the rotating swarm of thousands of fish having their gills cleaned, undisturbed by my presence. What a wonderful experience!
We (Richard, Dagmar and Kati) can help you book your holiday bungalow in Khao Lak. We give personal, individual and competent advice on the spot.!
Design & Production: Richard Doring, September 2000
Text & Photos: Richard Doring & Friends
Copyright by Richard Doring, 2000-2015