If you are not convinced to scuba diving or if you travel with children, snorkelling is possible all along both coasts of the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. At tourist resorts and on many islands that have accomodation, mask, snorkels and fins can be rented for a small charge from dive shops and guesthouses.
Snorkelling tours by long-tail boat are possible at almost all the islands along the Thai coast. Snorkelling gear is provided by the boat men. You can request half or full day snorkelling trip. Half-day trip may include snacks and drinks, while full-day trips often include a beach barbecue lunch. Most of tours also stop at curious rock formations and make at least one sunbathing stop on an isolated beach.
All of southern Thailand's marine national parks offer long-tail snorkelling trips, which also provide some much needed income for local sea gypsies. If anchoring buoys are provided, make sure your boat operator uses them: Thailand's reefs have taken quite a battering from boat anchors over the years.
On most of the snorkelling trips, you can see plenty of marine life while snorkelling, though at busy tourist destinations such as Koh Phi-Phi, the numbers are starting to tell on the marine environment. The general rule is that the further you get from human inhabitation, the better the condition of the reefs.
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