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  1. #26
    Excitable Boy
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    ^^^

    Wow- that's really disappointing to hear- it was actually quite nice the last time I was there (this would have been off Sairee Beach)- this is not good news.

  2. #27
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    I was on Koh Kradan a couple of weeks ago. There is an impressive variety of hard and soft coral within swimming distance of the beach- Fisherman's Beach, for example on the south end. I don't recall the last time I was able to do a beach entry and find excellent coral, lots of fish- even found a clownfish colony- and a decent dropoff in Thailand. Good for paddling around and freediving. The only problem is where to stay; Paradise (Wally's) is OK but buggy and not cheap. The other thing is that the boats come and drop off tourists in life-jackets and snorkeling gear, sometimes three boatloads at once, where they splash around, make noise, and of course stand on the coral in the shallower parts, killing it.
    “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.” Dorothy Parker

  3. #28
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    Went to Koh Tao a couple of years ago, we took a boat around the island and we snorkeled in some great spots. That island next to koh tao was crap though, all the coral was dead.

    BTW, is there a name for it when you go snorkeling but don't use the snorkel? I'm pretty good at holding my breath and the snorkel thing just pisses me off. i just like the flippers and the mask.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince View Post
    BTW, is there a name for it when you go snorkeling but don't use the snorkel? .
    yeah. Its called "swimming".....

  5. #30
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    I need something better than that.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince
    don't use the snorkel? I'm pretty good at holding my breath
    Muff diving?

  7. #32
    Excitable Boy
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  8. #33
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    A green for both!

    Free diving makes me sound hard and muff diving makes me hard.

  9. #34
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince View Post
    Went to Koh Tao a couple of years ago, we took a boat around the island and we snorkeled in some great spots.
    Koh Tao has made strong progress regards the regrowth of corals that had been destroyed by global warming, typhoons , coral bleaching and all sorts of trouble.

    There are some really beautiful spots to snorkel but one must be taken there by operators in the know. Best way to go is jump a snorkeling tour and be shown where to go as then you can make your own way there at other times.

    People go to Saree jump in the water and expect top snorkeling but there ain't any there then get on the Net and say Koh Tao is shite.

    I recommend people to do the tour next time there on Tao .

    Anyway I'm off to have a look at the F pines, I'll let you know what I think about it.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  10. #35
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    You can use a snorkel when freediving- in fact it's better. You want to use the simplest "J" snorkel you can find, no fancy valves. Some advantages to freediving over SCUBA is that the swimming itself is pleasurable, it is quiet, and the fish other marine life are less spooked by you. For examples, you can usually get a lot closer to turtles when you aren't wearing SCUBA gear. Once you start going deep you have to be very careful of shallow-water blackouts. Those are scary- I know someone killed by it, and it doesn't necessarily matter how deep you go (5 meters or 50) or how experienced you are.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by thai vacation View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    you back on diving!!? this is a snorkelling only thread please
    I have never scuba'd or snorkled .. but will be in Thailand and will visit a beach or 2 .

    Phuket: suggested (1 or 2) day trip snorkel excursions.. Simians or Hang Na Bay or Phi Phi .. or .. ?

    Gulf of Thailand: any special "sea life parks" in the Gulf near Hua Hin / Chumpon?
    Samui?

    or any other snorkeling options someone may offer.

    I'm not much for laying on the beach. will be in the room or on an expedition of some sort

    thanks
    several 1/2 snorkling trips are sufficient trips to different sites would offer some variety and opportunity to do other things during the shore time.

    Generally speaking, Gulf (Koh Tao and Koh Similan) and Andamin Sea (Similan Islands and Burma Banks) have opposite seasons. Depening on time of your planned snorkling trip depends on where you might want to go.
    "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff....and it is all small stuff"

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
    ^^^

    Wow- that's really disappointing to hear- it was actually quite nice the last time I was there (this would have been off Sairee Beach)- this is not good news.
    I'll say! Spent several dive seasons on Koh Tao 5 and 8 years ago when the coral was plentiful and colorful on Koh Tao.

    Glad it was enjoyed when it was still around.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince View Post
    Went to Koh Tao a couple of years ago, we took a boat around the island and we snorkeled in some great spots. That island next to koh tao was crap though, all the coral was dead.
    similar experience several years ago.

    also went of coast of Rayong and Ban Pae to Koh Samet for some day snorkling years ago. it was fun being in the water and snorkling off a private rented boat with some fish and limited coral to see but it was fun. That was years ago though and have no current info.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEA Traveler
    Gulf (Koh Tao and Koh Similan) and Andamin Sea (Similan Islands and Burma Banks)
    Quote Originally Posted by SEA Traveler
    Gulf (Koh Tao and Koh Similan) and Andamin Sea (Similan Islands and Burma Banks)
    I'll be arriving mid june
    with weather forecasting & my flexible schedule I should be able to choose the conditions
    how do Indian ocean swells effect Andaman water clarity?

    clear & sunny = best / clearst water?

    thanks!
    time of day for fish activity, seems I remember fishing is best early.

  15. #40
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    Hi, hey mobs00 that's a very nice place to be....

  16. #41
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    down the coast from Ban Phe/Koh Samet to Chanthaburi

    we came back Friday from a 10-day trip on the coast, both keen leisure snorkelers, we started at beaches round Ban Phe, north and south, then out to recommended reefs on Koh Samet.

    Extremely disappointing, nice beaches, good water clarity, but where are the fish? Off Ao Wai which we were told was the best on KS there were no schools of fish, just random ones on their own. We tried two other locations with same result.

    We made our way south, stopping at any likely-looking spots with similar results, places that 'looked good' would have, at an estimate, less than 10% of what we have experienced off Phuket/Khao Lak/Andaman coast beach reefs.

    Continuing on to Khung Wiman - 40km NW from Chanthaburi city and finally some fish, but still, re my earlier estimate, maybe 20% of Andaman coast. We spent three days there trying out various reefs. What was obvious was bloody fishing nets everywhere, fine mesh and strung out 50-60m offshore in many cases. Fished to death?

    Tried both ends of Chao Lao beach another 11km south, a truly beautiful area, some fish at the southern end on the the point north of the Chanthaburi river estuary, but the best we saw was at the CL aquarium (it's free) which has great tanks/displays, maybe of how things used to be.

    Perfect weather the whole trip, deserted beaches mid-week, not one item of stress the whole time. Just a lack of fish.

  17. #42
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    true, Genghis, the actual reefs and lack of fish are a bit sad

    the reefs get slowly degraded, the reef life also cannot survive as well as before

  18. #43
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    and a pretty picture; this is Ao Wai on Koh Samet, far end of island from the pier, nobody there. There rocks at the end were signposted 'snorkel point'. I counted 11 fish there, though some could have been double-ups.


  19. #44
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    Koh Ngai / Koh Kradan...

    We snorkeled Koh Kradan twice. It's been a number of years, but stayed a week each time.

    Kradan is small and very uncrowded. Yes, the tour boats come in with all the people with life jackets on, but they keep them pretty corralled. Just go around the point farther south and you will have the beach to yourself.

    You can walk over to the outer side of the island (west) and there is a nice beach, but no coral on that side, just sand and rock.

    It's easy to get a local boat to take you to other nearby islands, Koh Ngai, Koh Wan, and Koh Mook. Koh Mook has the "Emerald Cave." Worth a half-day. Took my 80 year old grandmother in wearing a life jacket.

    On Kradan: Saw lots of fish, went at night, saw shrimp and a cuttlefish, saw eels, a crown of thorns, a field of starfish in the sandy area.

    Kradan is good for weaker swimmers or kids as well. Beaches and snorkeling on east side are well protected. Koh Wan is less protected and the current is strong, though our group saw a shark there (I missed it). No place to stay on Koh Wan, not really an island so much as a big rock.

    The resort on Kradan could use some improvements (understatement!), but we didn't go for luxury. We slept and ate at the resort, every other waking minute was in the water or on the beach.

    I haven't been, but the resorts on Koh Ngai are supposed to be much better than Kradan and the environment should be similar.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Jordan View Post
    On Kradan: Saw lots of fish, went at night, saw shrimp and a cuttlefish, saw eels, a crown of thorns, a field of starfish in the sandy area.. .
    <snip>
    The resort on Kradan could use some improvements (understatement!), but we didn't go for luxury. We slept and ate at the resort, every other waking minute was in the water or on the beach.
    There is a good snorkeling just offshore, although the practice of dumping hundreds of paddling Chinese in life jackets into the drink to feed the fish has made some of the fish quite aggressive, which could be a shock to some people, especially kids. There are some nice anemone fish (clownfish) colonies and a surprising amount of coral. I would say the island is a good place for freedivers, but as you point out, it is lacking in good accommodations. What is a available is overpriced. Probably the best of the lot is the place back in the woods, called Paradise Lost, run by an American named Wally who is quite friendly and helpful. If you go with a Thai you can expect her/him not to be too crazy about sleeping in the forest, even in a bungalow with lots of (friendly) dogs around. Wally doesn't have a lot of bungalows so he probably gets filled up pretty quickly in season.

  21. #46
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    Koh Lanta has been my best snorkelling experience in Koh Lanta so far.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fresh Prince View Post
    Went to Koh Tao a couple of years ago, we took a boat around the island and we snorkeled in some great spots.
    K

    Anyway I'm off to have a look at the F pines, I'll let you know what I think about it.
    F pines is that thread worth a newbie bumping it.

  23. #48
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    ^ Worth a few reds, apparently...Should've stuck to buffalo...

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