Where to Snorkel in November near BKK?

Oct 8th, 2007, 03:00 PM
  #1  
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Where to Snorkel in November near BKK?

We will be going to Thailand in late November. 3 or4 days in Bangkok, then up north to Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son for 6 days, then hopefully somewhere for 3 days of snorkeling, then fly home from BKK. Can anyone suggest a good beach? We're not looking for the big party scene. Would like beautiful, white sand beach Thanks in advance!
sailingchick is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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You'll have to go to one of the islands on the Eastern coast of Thailand. Driving time around 2 hours + and then a boat ride of around 1 hour.

Are you looking to do a day trip or overnight?
Hanuman is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 07:43 PM
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If you heading to Chaing Mai you could do a Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Phuket-Bangkok route ( there is just 1 non stop per day Chiang Mai to Phuket and that is with Thai) and then head either Phi Phi or Khao Lak area.
You can get those 3 sectors on the Thai Airways Pass deal and makes it easy getting North to South.
JamesA is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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I sometimes see snorkelers at Jomtien Beach and a couple spots in Naklua. I can't tell you if it is good or not. Jomtien is a little South of Pattaya and Naklua is a little North of Pattaya.

Pattaya has a good beach for walking, shopping, eating and sunning yourself but foreigners swim at nearby Jomtien or Naklua.

Vip bus from Bangkok is around 120 baht or less for the 2 to 2.5 hour ride to Pattaya. Ekamai Bus Terminal is right off a Skytrain stop.

Hotels are cheaper in Pattaya than Bangkok, Phuket or Chiangmai. Several new large modern malls, lots of cheap restaurants. Local transportation by baht bus is only 10 baht for foreigners (Thai's pay 5 baht!)

Up to you!
SirHalberd is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 08:42 PM
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SirHalberd,

IMO Pattaya beach is dirty and polluted, often with sewage run-offs from the town washing up on the shore. Every other year the local city council have to bring in sands from elsewhere to shore up the beach as well. Jomtien is a little bit better but it doesn't have soft fine white sands like Hua Hin.

Snorkel ling off Jomtien - are you sure? The only good snorkeling around there are the islands like Koh Lin or Koh Kram(diving).
Hanuman is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Hanuman - we are planning an overnighter. I saw Koh Samed recommended by someone. Its supposed to be laid back, not a big Phuket party scene, which would suit us fine, if the snorkeling is any good. I'm not sure how difficult it is to get there from BKK airport.
sailingchick is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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Sailing, It's been awhile since I was in Koh Samet but it was very laid back then(9 years ago!). I don't have any current information regarding the state of the corals but it's about 3 hours drive from Bangkok.

Try googling "Koh Samet" for more detail.
Hanuman is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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I still think if you are doing Chiang Mai plus you want 3/4 days snorkel then flying BKK-CM-Phuket-BKK would be good.
Koh Samet seems to go upm and down, it still gets busy at weekend with people from Bangkok but there have been comments and not such good beach these days.
I would not do an overnight, you will be 'so tired'.
You 'can' do snorkel trips from Pattaya/Jimtien beach but I would not go snorkeling off the beaches! The dive trips go to smaller islands and also dives around old wrecks, that is about the closest to Bangkok, they organise transport/boat, equipment etc.
You see some people go in the water with a mask but that is like looking under the water, don't know what they get to see, but not serious snorkeling!
Though they do dives around Koh Larn and Koh Sak, Pai other small islands.

These are mainly scuba sites:
http://www.dive-sea.com/sites.htm

They do a snorkeling trip for about $28

http://www.pattayadivers.com/snorkeling.php


But if yo are thinking pristine beach and snorkel 'experience' I would take that flight routing and spent a few days in Khao Lak area.
Flight CM to Phuket is 2 hrs, about 1 hr-1hr30 depending on where you stay, flight Phuket back to Bangkok about 1 hr10/20

Khao Lak for snorkeling:http://www.khao-lak-diving.com/kaholaksnorkeling

http://www.rayadivers.com/khl-daytrips_en.php

Further down the coast from Bangkok past Pattaya and Koh Samet is Koh Chang, this takes longer to get to unless you take the 40 min flight to Trat from Bangkok

http://www.ekohchang.com/Activities.html

My tip would still be after CM take that flight south and then head to Khao Lak or Phi Phi for a few days, I honestly think it would be far far better experience.
JamesA is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 08:10 PM
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For the south later in November the better for weather and therefore clearer waters.
JamesA is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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In honest "fairness" we should not compare snorkeling from the main Pattaya City beach or even from Jomtien Beach any more than anyone would attempt to do 'serious' snorkeling off many other beaches / islands, if you want to enjoy good snorkeling on Samui you would probably take a boat trip to the marine park or Koh Tao, if you were staying in Patong or Phuket you 'could' put on a mask and flippers and look under the water, but if you booked a 'snorkel trip' that would take you 'off island' to Coral island, Phi Phi etc.
If yuo were staying in Ao nang Krabi you would not expect good snorkeling right off Ao Nang beach, again, you would go to coral areas to snorkel away from the resort areas.
So I don't think we should think of Pattaya or Jomtien's main beachfront and say it's loussy for snorkeling, sure, it would be, it is not supposed to be, it's a city on the coast, like other places you would go on a trip 'away' from the built up areas / busy beaches.
No one would compare snorkeling off Patong or Karon on Phuket to be anything close to snorkeling off Coral Island or Phi Phi or Khao Lak.
JamesA is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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Hanuman

I didn't say snorkel at Pattaya - I said I see people doing it at Naklua and Jomtien!

Pattaya Beach gets cleaner every year, it is good for sunbathing, walking, shopping, restaurants and gawking! Only Thai's and a few Japanese swim at Pattaya. The only non-Asians I see in the water at Pattaya are tourists that fall in the water when they drink too much and fall off the rental water scooters.

I don't know if snorkeling is good or bad at Naklua or Jomtien - I don't do it myself, I only report what I see!

Original msg was "where to snorkel near BKK?"

Hal
SirHalberd is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 09:06 PM
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I too would make the effort and get down to the Phuket area, if you want some memorable snorkling. Phi Phi is hard to beat. Select one of the four 'resorts' at Laem Tong Bay, away from the party scene at Tonsai and with loads of excellent snorkel sites right on the doorstep. Crystal clear water and beautiful white sandy beaches.Some pics here
http://www.leightravelclub.com/phiphiphotos.htm
LeighTravelClub is offline  
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