If you love snorkelling then head to Southeast Asia where you will find some of the best snorkelling spots in the world. My favourite snorkelling spots are Palawan in the Philippines and Kho Phi Phi in Thailand. Here are my top 10 destinations for snorkelling in Asia…
El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)
Palawan island is a top spot where you can enjoy the most stunning marine wildlife. It has been voted the best island in the world time and tie again. Whilst there are some fantastic spots near the islands capital of Puerta Princesa, snorkelling in El Nido on the North of Island is like putting your head under the water and seeing the set of Finding Nemo!
From El Nido you can take an island hopping tour, many of which feature Matinloc Island. Here you can go snorkelling surrounded by a 100m beach strip of white sand, various fish species, and healthy coral. The seafloor of the beach gradually slopes down, and you will see a busy sea life scene at a depth of just 10 metres.
Phi Phi Islands (Thailand)
The Phi Phi Islands are located on the West side of Thailand which offers calmer waters and diversity in corals. From Krabi, you can take a boat tour to some of the world’s best snorkelling destinations including Pi-Leh Bay, Loh Samah Bay, Monkey Beach, and Maya Bay. Each stop is famous for its crystal-clear water, amazing marine wildlife, and fantastic beaches.
Raja Ampat (Indonesia)
Raja Ampat is one of the world’s best snorkelling destinations and is an archipelego (group of islands) located in Indonesia. Raja Ampat is home to many habitats where you’ll discover marine life just a few meters underwater. On the front door of most the resorts, you will be able to enjoy the snorkelling opportunities on various islands. Marine life in the area boasts over 600 species of coral reef, 2000 species of reef fish, blue water mangrove, and different types of sea turtles.
Phu Quoc (Vietnam)
Phu Quoc offers the best snorkelling in Vietnam. Its vibrant marine life ecosystem and shallow waters attract water enthusiasts from around the world. Located close to the Cambodia mainland than Vietnam, snorkelling in Phu Quoc give you the opportunity to see many types of marine life, such as bamboo sharks, cuttlefish, land dugongs.
Perhentian Islands (Malaysia)
A top destination for snorkelling in Asia is on Perhentian about 12 miles off the coast of Malaysia. Perhentian is a cluster of small islands that has two main islands – Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar. Most snorkelling tours of Perhentian island will entertain you with the black and orange striped “Nemo” clown fish, harmless reef sharks, and sea turtles.
The Gili Islands is a collection of three small islands that are located in Indonesia. This Asian snorkelling destination provides an opportunity to get up close to turtles. There are also plenty of chances to see other beautiful marine life, such as angelfish and parrotfish swimming in between hard and soft corals.
Koh Rong (Cambodia)
Koh Rong is the best destination for snorkelling in Cambodia. Koh Rong is home to seahorses, diamond fish, sergeant fish, parrotfish, and blue-spotted ribbon tail rays. You can also visit many snorkelling areas along Koh Koun and Saracen Bay near to the Sanloem’s coast.
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Komodo National Park in Indonesia is a beautiful destination for tourists and divers, surrounded by crystal clear waters. At Komodo National Park you can enjoy unique biodiversity, spot reef shelves, and over 70 different types of species just a few feet of underwater. Komodo National Park is not only one of the best places for snorkelling but it also home to famous Komodo Dragons.
Oslob is an island located in the Philippines which is widely known as the best destination for snorkelling that offers a close-up view of whale sharks. It is possible to take part in shark feeding and enjoy the beautiful coral reefs areas. But remember to observe eco-toursim – opportunities for humans to feed or touch the sharks aren’t always best for the marine animals.
Koh Nang Yuan (Thailand)
KKoh Yuan is a collection of three Thai islands that offer strips of white coral sand. The Koh Nang Yuan beach of Thailand with clear water with three shades of blue that is perfect for snorkelling in the sunshine. Take a tour of Koh Nang Yuan and enjoy the granite rocks, clownfish, clams, butterflyfish, and shoals, of parrotfish.
Most Southeast Asian Resorts are well set up for snorkelling and diving and you can loan equipment if necessary although it’s always great to have your own!
I hope that this list of destinations for snorkelling in Asia has been helpful. If you enjoyed this article and are considering traveling to Thailand then you might also like to read about snorkelling in Koh Lanta.