You may feel like you’ve been everywhere in Thailand worth going and seen everything worth seeing. But have you explored the undersea side of Thailand?
The country is blessed with some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. And unless more people become aware of their beauty and how fragile they are, Thailand risks losing a valuable natural resource through pollution, neglect and abuse.
Snorkelling and scuba diving are two of the easiest ways to explore the depths of Thailand’s marine waters. While scuba diving requires a training course and certification, anyone can pick up the knack of snorkelling in a couple of hours.
Tips for Snorkelling Gear
The equipment you need for snorkelling is basic. All that’s required is a good mask that fits your face, a snorkel, and a pair of fins. You can rent the gear from many dive shops or beach vendors. But if you get hooked by the joys of snorkelling, you’ll want to buy your own gear.
Buy the correct gear, and it will serve you well for years on end. The mask and snorkel can also be used if you choose to undergo scuba training and earn your certification later.
The mask will be your most important piece of equipment. And prescription masks for eyeglass wearers are available. The way to test a mask for proper fit in a store is to put the mask on your face, then inhale through your nose to create suction. Your mask should fit tightly with no air leakage.
Snorkelling fins are more flexible that scuba fins. They’re designed to fit on your bare feet, whereas scuba fins are stiffer and designed to be worn over neoprene dive booties. Your snorkelling fins should fit on your bare feet snugly, but comfortably.
Snorkels come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them have baffles in them that allow you to inhale and exhale, but otherwise, keep the water from entering the snorkel. But the basic tube snorkel is fine for beginners. You’ll learn to exhale forcefully to expel the water from the tube before inhaling again.
How to Pick a Snorkelling Spot
Fish and other sea creatures tend to stick around rocks and reefs. These are the best spots to pick for a snorkelling expedition. In a bay with a beach, head towards the rocks at either end of the beach to find the best snorkelling areas.
Beginners who choose to snorkel off of a sandy beach will be disappointed by the lack of marine life. But once you find a prime snorkelling spot, you’ll be amazed to discover another beautiful side of Thailand.