Snorkeling Guide for Koh Chang

2 May 2024

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Koh Chang, the second-largest island in Thailand, is a tropical paradise situated in the Gulf of Thailand. With its lush rainforests, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters, Koh Chang has become a popular destination for travelers seeking sun, sand, and adventure. One of the island's most sought-after activities is snorkeling, which allows visitors to explore the vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs found beneath the turquoise waters. In this extensive guide, we delve into everything you need to know about snorkeling in Koh Chang, ensuring a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable underwater journey.

Things to do on Koh Chang

Koh Chang Snorkeling Seasons

Koh Chang offers a diverse underwater world that changes with the seasons. Understanding the island's seasonal weather patterns can help you plan the perfect snorkeling trip. Here's how each season affects your underwater adventure:

Dry Season (November to April)

  • Peak Snorkeling Time: This is the best time for snorkeling in Koh Chang. The weather is sunny and dry, with calm seas and excellent visibility underwater.
  • Water Temperature: Warm, ranging from 27°C to 30°C (81°F to 86°F), perfect for long snorkeling sessions.
  • Marine Life: A vibrant display of marine biodiversity, including colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, sea turtles, and sometimes, dolphins.

Transition Months (May and October)

  • Variable Conditions: These months mark the transition between the dry and wet seasons. While you can still enjoy good snorkeling days, be prepared for occasional rain and slightly reduced visibility.
  • Less Crowded: Fewer tourists mean more serene snorkeling spots and potentially more intimate encounters with marine life.
  • Water Temperature: Remains warm, providing comfortable snorkeling conditions.

Wet Season (June to September)

  • Challenging Weather: Frequent rains and rougher seas can limit snorkeling opportunities. Some snorkeling spots may be inaccessible due to safety concerns.
  • Visibility: Reduced visibility due to rain and stirred-up sediments. However, on clear days, snorkeling can still be enjoyable.
  • Advantages: The island is less crowded, and the underwater world is lush, with marine life thriving after the nutrient-rich runoff from the rain.

By aligning your snorkeling adventure with Koh Chang's seasons, you can optimize your experience, enjoying the island's underwater beauty in the best conditions possible.

Essential Snorkeling Equipment

To ensure a memorable and safe snorkeling experience, having the right equipment is crucial. Here’s a breakdown of the essential snorkeling gear:

Snorkel Mask

  • Choose a mask with a comfortable fit and clear visibility.
  • A good seal around your face prevents water from leaking in.


  • Opt for a dry or semi-dry snorkel to help keep water out.
  • Ensure it attaches securely to your mask.


  • Fins should fit snugly but not too tight, allowing for efficient movement through the water.
  • Shorter fins are easier for beginners and for shallow waters, while longer fins offer more power.

Wetsuit or Rash Guard

  • A wetsuit protects against cold temperatures and sunburn while providing buoyancy.
  • A rash guard offers sun protection and prevents chafing from equipment.

Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)

  • Not always necessary for snorkeling but useful for beginners or those who want extra buoyancy support.

Waterproof Bag or Case

  • Keep your valuables safe and dry while you explore the underwater world.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen:

  • Protect your skin without harming marine ecosystems with biodegradable sunscreen.

Nature Safe and Cruelty Free Sunscreen

Anti-Fog Solution

  • Apply to your mask to prevent fogging and maintain clear vision underwater.

Remember, comfort and fit are key when selecting your snorkeling equipment. Properly fitting gear enhances your snorkeling experience, allowing you to focus on the beauty of the underwater world. Always check your equipment before heading out to ensure everything is in good condition and works correctly.

Safety Tips and Snorkeling Etiquette

To ensure a safe and eco-friendly snorkeling experience, follow these guidelines:

  • Snorkel with a buddy or join a guided tour for increased safety.
  • Use a life vest if you're not a confident swimmer.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for boat traffic.
  • Maintain a safe distance from coral reefs to protect both yourself and the ecosystem.
  • Avoid touching or disturbing marine life.

Koh Chang's Marine Life and Ecosystem

Koh Chang's underwater world is home to an array of marine species, including vibrant coral reefs, sea turtles, reef sharks, moray eels, and various tropical fish. As you snorkel through the turquoise waters, be on the lookout for these fascinating creatures.

Top Snorkeling Destinations Around Koh Chang

Koh Yuak

Koh Yuak, a small island near Koh Chang's White Sand Beach, offers a superb snorkeling experience for beginners and families. The island's shallow waters are home to diverse marine life and colorful coral reefs, making it a perfect location for a leisurely snorkeling adventure .

Koh Wai

Koh Wai, located south of Koh Chang, is a peaceful island known for its crystal-clear waters and thriving coral gardens. The island's calm waters provide excellent visibility, allowing snorkelers to spot a variety of fish species, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and damselfish.

Koh Rang

Koh Rang, part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park, is a popular snorkeling destination that boasts vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. The protected waters surrounding the island ensure a healthy ecosystem, allowing snorkelers to witness various marine species, such as clownfish, parrotfish, and sea turtles.

Koh Khlum

Koh Khlum, a remote island northwest of Koh Chang, offers a serene snorkeling experience away from the crowds. The island's untouched coral reefs and diverse marine life make it an ideal destination for those seeking a more tranquil underwater adventure. Keep an eye out for colorful fish species, moray eels, and reef sharks as you explore the waters around Koh Khlum.

Hin Luk Bat

Hin Luk Bat, a submerged rock formation near Koh Chang, is a favorite among advanced snorkelers and divers. The site is known for its impressive coral formations and abundant marine life, including trevallies, groupers, and snappers. The currents can be strong, making this location suitable for more experienced snorkelers.

Bang Bao Bay

Bang Bao Bay, situated on the southwestern coast of Koh Chang, offers a fantastic snorkeling experience within a sheltered bay. The calm waters and thriving coral reefs make it an ideal spot for beginners and families. Expect to encounter various tropical fish species, such as damselfish, wrasses, and surgeonfish.

Koh Kood and Koh Mak

Located further south from Koh Chang, the neighboring islands of Koh Kood and Koh Mak offer exceptional snorkeling opportunities. These pristine islands boast clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and a rich underwater ecosystem. Snorkeling sites around Koh Kood and Koh Mak include Ao Tum, Ao Suan Yai, and Ao Phrao.

Family Friendly Fun on Koh Chang

Snorkeling Tours in Koh Chang

Joining a snorkeling tour is an excellent way to explore Koh Chang's underwater realm with the guidance of experienced professionals. Tours typically include transportation, snorkeling equipment, and knowledgeable guides who can show you the best spots and help identify marine life. Many tours also offer lunch and refreshments.

Recomended Tours

Snorkeling trip at Koh Chang

Experience the breathtaking underwater world of Koh Chang on a snorkeling day trip. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and marvel at the pristine coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Or simply bask in the sun on the boat's deck. Indulge in a scrumptious lunch buffet, enjoy snacks and drinks on board, and take advantage of hotel pickup and drop-off for a hassle-free excursion. With a limited group size of 20 travelers, you can expect a personalized and unforgettable snorkeling adventure in this stunning island destination.

Book This Tour

Bubblemaker, Experience Diving, for Kids 8 to 10 Years Old 

Children aged 8 to 10 years old are welcome to join the day trip on the boat for a safe and enjoyable underwater adventure. They will have the opportunity to make a dive to a maximum depth of 2 meters in a confined bay where they can witness real coral, fish, and other marine life. This shallow dive is designed to be safe yet exciting for young snorkelers. The trip includes three stops, and on the other two reefs, kids can also enjoy snorkeling. Parents can book on the same boat to join in the fun with snorkeling, diving, or DSD (Discover Scuba Diving), and spend a memorable day out together.

Book This Tour

Full-Day Coral Propagation Workshop

Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, boasting a higher concentration of species per unit area than any other marine environment. However, coral reefs worldwide are facing a severe decline due to both natural and human-induced causes. One potential solution to address this issue is coral propagation, which involves aiding in the reproduction of coral. Ocean Quests' Coral Propagation Program (CPP) is guided by the principle of rebuilding damaged reefs, rather than creating new reefs where they did not previously exist. The program utilizes only live rocks and broken coral fragments sourced from the reefs themselves to rehabilitate them, avoiding the use of unnatural materials such as plastic or cement. Ocean Quest's experienced instructors and divemasters have received training in the Coral Propagation Program, and actively participate in coral propagation initiatives aimed at promoting the growth and recovery of local reefs that have been damaged.

Book This Tour


Other Snorkeling Hotspots in Thailand

Koh Phangan

Known for its Full Moon Parties, Koh Phangan also boasts serene, crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling. The island's west coast, particularly around Mae Haad Beach and Koh Ma, offers vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, making it an underwater paradise for snorkelers seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

The Best Places to Snorkel on Koh Phangan

Koh Samui

As one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations, Koh Samui offers not only luxurious resorts but also exceptional snorkeling opportunities. Coral Cove and Silver Beach provide snorkelers with calm waters and a glimpse into the diverse ecosystem of colorful fish and corals nestled around the island.

Koh Samui Snorkeling Guide

Koh Tao

Often hailed as the snorkeling and diving capital of Thailand, Koh Tao's clear, warm waters are home to some of the most spectacular underwater scenery, including coral gardens, sea turtles, and a variety of tropical fish. Snorkeling spots like Shark Bay and Mango Bay are accessible and offer experiences that appeal to both beginners and seasoned snorkelers.

Snorkeling Guide to Koh Tao


Thailand's largest island, Phuket, serves as a gateway to some of the best snorkeling destinations in the Andaman Sea, including the Similan and Phi Phi Islands. The clear turquoise waters around these areas are rich in marine biodiversity, offering snorkelers the chance to swim with schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, and even reef sharks.

Phuket Snorkeling Guide


With its stunning limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters, Krabi is a snorkeler's dream. The Ao Nang and Railay Beach areas, along with the nearby Phi Phi Islands, provide excellent snorkeling conditions, where one can explore vibrant coral reefs and witness a wide variety of marine life in their natural habitats.

Krabi Snorkeling Guide

Koh Lanta

This tranquil island in the Andaman Sea is celebrated for its diverse marine life and stunning coral reefs, making it a top choice for snorkelers. The waters around Koh Lanta offer a more relaxed snorkeling experience, away from the crowds. Sites like Koh Haa and Koh Rok are especially renowned for their crystal-clear visibility, vibrant corals, and the chance to spot larger marine creatures such as manta rays and whale sharks during certain seasons. The island's laid-back vibe extends underwater, where snorkelers can enjoy serene swims among a breathtaking array of sea life.

Snorkeling Guide for Koh Lanta

Captivating Underwater Treasures Await Your Discovery

Koh Chang's stunning underwater world, teeming with vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs, offers an unforgettable snorkeling experience for adventurers of all skill levels. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this comprehensive guide, you can embark on a mesmerizing journey beneath the turquoise waters of Koh Chang. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned snorkeler, the island's captivating underwater treasures await your discovery.

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