One of the easiest snorkeling beaches in Phuket is the coral reef in Nai Yang.
The 2004 Asian Tsunami struck this popular snorkel site north of Patong but it recovered well until a few years later when the corals suffered from bleaching.
Nowadays, Naiyang reef remains one of the most accessible snorkeling sites from any beach on the Phuket west coast.
Snorkelers will be delighted with the natural beauty of this spot if you take a local guide to focus on the reefs that have recovered most from the previous stresses.
Coral bleaching has ruined the reef closest to the beach shoreline, but if you snorkel around in the deeper water you will be pleasantly surprised how much marine life and fishes you will see.
Kata beach reef is popular with visiting tourists.
The white powder sand and aqua blue clear warm sea attracts snorkelers to this stunning resort south of Karon, on the western coast of Phuket.
The northern-most reef is around one hundred meters swim from the large crescent shaped bay and the snorkeling and swimming area is usually marked with surface buoys to protect the reef and swimmers.
One of the advantages to snorkel from Kata beach is the shallow shelving sand from the water’s edge out to the magnificent coral garden close to the nearby crab island called Koh Pu.
The marine life diversity of this shallow patch of hard and soft corals is amazingly close to the shore and within easy access for most snorkel fanatics. Kata reef is mostly made from brain and pore coral formations that create homes for small fish and creatures such as ghost pipe-fish, shrimp fish, seahorses, and angler fish.
Novice snorkelers will be amazed with the amount of fish life on this beach-side reef. Starfish, sea cucumbers and urchins thrive in this area.
Larger fish species like parrot fish, butterfly fish, angel fish, and lion fish congregate around the sea whips and fans. This is undoubtedly one of the best snorkeling sites in Phuket. Depth of the corals range from 4 to 10 meters depending on the high and low tidal movements.
NOTE: Caution should be taken in the summer months June until November as strong currents and surge can be dangerous during these monsoon months.
There is an abundance of marine life at the dive and snorkeling sites located in the Andaman Sea around Phuket.
You will likely see: nudibranchs, lion fish, butterfly fish, angelfish, parrot-fish, scorpion-fish, anemone fish, trigger fish, seahorses, sweetlips, puffer fish, moray eels, trumpet fish and barracuda.
You may also encounter: leopard sharks, black tip reef sharks, banded sea snakes, turtles, ornate ghost pipe fish, stingrays, trevally, tuna, manta rays, file-fish, cuttlefish and more.
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