Snorkelling Trips on Koh Chang
“Will I see any fish?”
It’s always the first question our guests ask when I suggest they should take a snorkeling trip whilst they are on holiday on Koh Chang. This video should confirm that the answer is a definite “Yes“. Whilst the diving might not be as good as the more popular spots in the south of Thailand, the snorkelling is very good. You are guaranteed to see fish, lots of them. Whilst the variety of fish and visibility can;t be compared to the Maldives or the Red Sea, the snorkelling is still definitely a recommended activity on Koh Chang.
The main snorkelling location are the small islands clustered around Koh Ran, a large uninhabited – aside forma National Park office – island south of Koh Chang. The small islands are no more than rocky outcrops that rise up from the seabed. However, they hare home to a lot of sea life.
There are numerous snorkelling trips available. Some by speedboat but most by larger wooden boat. You’ll see a variety of 4 or 5 island trips available in tour agents.
There isn’t one trip that could claim to be the best. All include transfers between your hotel and the boat; snorkelling equipment and some form of lunch. On speedboats lunch is a polystyrene food box. On larger boats the food is cooked onboard and usually a buffet of Thai food. The more money you pay for your snorkelling trip the more western food you get.
As the best snorkelling spots are all in the same area, your choice of which trip to go on depends mainly on your budget.
Prices are from around 550 – 700 Baht for a cheap and cheerful wooden boat. Eg Sattra Tour, Attipol Tour or Perm Poon Sub. Add a couple of hundred Baht and you get the ‘Premium Economy’ version of the wooden boat snorkeling trip with Mr Khai Boat Trip, who has a couple of very gaily decorated boats.
Or if you wanted a shorter trip by speedboat then figure on 800 – 1,000 Baht. Kai Bae Hut Speedboat, Perm Poon Sub and Bangbao Boat run these.
And for a large wooden boat but with a guarantee of better food & fewer passengers then you’re looking at around 1,250 – 1,500 Baht. Thai Fun and Kon Tiki both run routes that also includes a brief stop at Koh Mak . You’ll see more islands than on a regular snorkelling tour; you’ll get comfortable seats – not wooden benches; you’ll be well fed; your kids will be entertained but you won’t have as long in the water actually snorkelling.
It is possible to do speedboat trips to different islands – if you fancy avoiding the busier locations. For example, Kai Bae Hut Speedboat does a half day trip to Koh Klum, Koh Wai and Koh Laoya. Whilst most boats do stop at Koh Wai, very few go to the large uninhabited island of Koh Klum and the small, privately owned Koh Laoya – which is home to an aging resort that’s occasionally booked by Thai tour groups . . . plus a beautiful white sand beach.
Having bought your boat tickets the only other thing to remember is that you’ll need to take some cash with you as the ticket price doesn’t include the Marine National Park Entrance fee which is 200 Baht for Foreign Adults & 100 Baht for Children. This isn’t included in the ticket price as that would an obvious way to do it. Instead, National Park rangers will board boats when they get to Koh Rang. They’ll give you a printed ticket – so you you that it is a legitimate request for money and not extortion.
The saturation has been cranked up to 11 in this snorkelling video that was filmed whilst on a trip from Koh Chang in 2015. But it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect on a typical day out on a snorkelling trip.