White sand, crystal blue water, and a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving. This is what I had in mind before I visited Thailand. The final decision was between Phuket and Ko Samui which both have plenty of beautiful marine life. As a teenager I was a huge fan of the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio and since then have wanted to visit the Ko Phi Phi island. As Ko Ph Phi is closer to Phuket there was my winner :)
There are lots of things to do in Phuket and you will have an amazing time even if you don’t do a single trip to the surrounding islands. Phuket has some quite beautiful beaches that are nice for snorkeling and which are easy to reach by scooter. However, if you LOVE snorkeling and scuba diving, I’d join a couple of day tours.
One day tour that is great for beach time and snorkeling is the Similan Islands tour. The tour will take a whole day and will bring you to a few different islands and snorkeling spots by speed boat. After visiting the first snorkeling sites with plenty of marine life we headed to a remote island beach where we had lunch. Imagine a beautiful paradise beach with nobody around, white sand and clear blue warm water – that’s what the beach was like! Well at least if you didn’t walk a bit further into the trees near the beach. Just behind some trees you could see the result of non-sustainable tourism with lots of garbage. And there we had found the not so beautiful side of paradise.
Hello little fellow below :)
The second part of the trip brought us to the second and last snorkeling site and then to another beach. The second beach was also incredibly beautiful but unfortunately also quite overcrowded. So the ‘being-stuck-on-a-beautiful-island feeling that we had on the first beach did not really come up anymore on the second beach. But then, it was still super pretty and fun.
I can totally recommend joining the Similan Islands tour in Phuket as the islands are really beautiful and you will get to see lots of marine life and fish species while snorkerling. Just make sure you don’t get seasick easily – we had at least three people that spent the boat journey throwing up into plastic bags.. Yes, that was nice.. And please take all your garbage with you when you leave. It’s so sad to see what too much tourism can do to nature’s beauty.