Samui Snorkeling Tour Inspection Visit – As part of Easy Day Thailand policy to try all of the tours that we offer to you, I recently did a day tour from Koh Samui to Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan.
There are two options for this Samui Snorkeling Tour. One is to travel by speedboat and the other is to go with the big boat. Both tours have exactly the same itinerary in Koh Tao, the difference is just the method of transportation. I went on the big boat tour which transports guests to Koh Nang Yuan by fast catamaran ferry then transfers them to a snorkeling boat at Koh Nang Yuan.
Most people choose the speedboat tour option for several reasons. It is slightly cheaper at 2,100 baht instead of 2,500 baht for the big boat tour. The speedboat is faster to get there, taking 1.5 hrs instead of 2 hours on the big boat. Because it’s faster the speedboat tour starts one hour later so you get a bit longer to lay in bed in the morning.
But if you don’t mind an early start in the morning there are some good reasons for choosing the “Big Boat” Koh Samui Snorkeling Tour. One reason is that the big boat is much more comfortable than a speedboat, especially if the sea is a bit choppy. Even small waves can make a speedboat trip jarring and the sea is rarely flat calm around Koh Samui. The big boat rides through waves comfortably. On the big boat you have the choice of sitting on a comfy chair in the air conditioned main deck, or in the open air on the upper decks. You can move around, chat, take some refreshments and visit the bathroom. There is also a VIP saloon which you can pay 100 baht extra for if you want an even comfier seat. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is prone to motion sickness. When I asked my guide the difference between the big boat tour and the speed boat tour she told me that they were basically the same except that more people are sick on the speedboats 😉
Samui Snorkeling Tour Diary
My day started with pick up from my resort in Lamai beach at 6.45am. Breakfast wasn’t being served at my resort that early but when I got to the boat check-in 30 minutes later there was breakfast available which consisted of ham and cheese sandwiches, coffee and a banana. I checked in and was given a wrist band to distinguish me from the Samui ferry passengers who would be taking the same boat to Koh Tao. I also collected a mask and snorkel, two complimentary drinks vouchers and filled in the free insurance form.
The boat departed the pier at 8am. It made a stop at Koh Phangnan pier to collect some more passengers and finally reached Koh Nang Yuan island at 10am where it dropped off us day trippers and headed on to Koh Tao. We were immediately herded on to the snorkeling boat which then moved off and around to Lighthouse reef, Koh Tao.
The boat that is used as the platform for snorkeling in Koh Tao is also a big, stable vessel. It has a big rear platform and ladders for easy entry and exit from the water. It’s ideal for inexperienced snorkelers who can just stay close the boat or play with the floats that the staff put in the water near the boat. The snorkeling guides are excellent at helping people who have never snorkeled before. They can also tell the more experienced snorkelers where to go to see the bigger fish. I would recommend this trip to inexperienced snorkelers or anyone with children. There are fresh water showers on board the snorkeling boat. There are life jackets of all sizes. The masks and snorkels provided are good quality.
On the day that I was aboard there were about 20 other snorkelers, most of them Thai or Chinese nationality. The boat wasn’t crowded, it could have taken a lot more people. The Thai guides gave briefings in Thai but also in English. Their English was excellent. There was also a friendly Yorkshire lass on the boat as the English guide.
Once at the reef we were free to snorkel and swim for about 1.45 hrs. Life jackets were provided for anyone who needed them. In the water it was easy to swim a short distance from the boat and be alone, away from the other snorkelers. The upper deck of the boat was basically a big sun deck with deck chairs lined along it. It was also a great place to jump in to the water.
I was very impressed with the clarity of the water around Koh Tao, as well as the healthiness of the coral and the abundance of fish. I have previously scuba dived at Koh Tao and can say that I saw more while snorkeling than I did when diving.
At midday the boat took us back to Koh Nang Yuan Island where a very tasty buffet lunch was served. The island was full of tourists from other tours as well but that didn’t take away from the beauty of the setting for me. After lunch I made the 5 minute hike up to the view point and took a few photos then headed to the beach.
The snorkeling just off the beach is excellent, may be the best beach snorkeling in Thailand? At first I wasn’t sure which beach to snorkel from but a guide pointed me towards the Japanese Gardens reef. The tour guides walk around the beach all afternoon helping anyone who needs it and taking photos, they are very friendly and helpful.
At 2.30pm they called us back to the boat for transfer back to Koh Samui. I was back at my resort by 5.30pm. Over all it was an excellent day trip that I would recommend.
For more about this Samui Snorkeling Tour please visit our website here: Koh Samui Tours.