Snorkeling in Phuket
Everyone has seen images in films and videos of people snorkeling among tropical reefs filled with exotic, colorful fish. They always seem to be having the time of their lives and make it look incredibly easy. If you’ve booked the vacation of a lifetime at a beachfront hotel in Phuket, read on to discover some tips and tricks that will have you snorkeling like a pro, even if it’s your first time. We’ll also offer tips on snorkeling etiquette that will help make a fun day for you and your family and friends, as well as provide safety for the inhabitants of the reefs you’ll be exploring.
Spend Time Finding Equipment that Fits
We understand that you’re eager to jump in the warm, clear waters around Phuket and start your snorkeling exploration, but it’s wise to spend some time finding snorkeling equipment that fits correctly. Visit a dive shop near your home or in Phuket and try on different masks and fins until you find ones that are comfortable.
Your mask should be able to cling to your face by simply putting it on without a strap around your head and then inhaling slightly through your nose to create suction. You shouldn't have to keep breathing in; the suction should hold the mask to your face comfortably. Check around the edges of the mask for any leaks, and make sure your hair isn't trapped in the mask's seal, creating leaks.
You’ll notice there are numerous types of snorkels available, including simple tube snorkels and baffled snorkels. Baffled snorkels have a floating baffle in the snorkel's tube that prevents water from entering the tube when you're upended as you dive. When you come back to the surface, gravity causes the baffle to fall away from the end of the tube and allows you to breathe.
The type of snorkel you choose is largely based on your personal preference. As long as the mouthpiece is small enough to hold in your mouth without leaking or becoming uncomfortable, you’re good to go.
Fins can turn a fun day into agony if they don't fit correctly. Snorkeling fins are lightweight fins that are meant to fit on your bare feet. Be sure to try them on for more than a few seconds. Fins that are too narrow or chafe your heel can become excruciating to wear. Fins are also the most disposable snorkeling gear. If you’re renting snorkeling equipment and you can’t find fins that fit correctly, simply go without and stick to shallow water snorkeling spots that allow you to stand up and rest if you need to. You can also float face down with a snorkel to take a rest.
Begin by Snorkeling in a Pool
Snorkeling is a relatively uncomplicated activity to master. The main thing you have to learn is to separate your mouth and nose when breathing. Once you put your mask on, all your breathing is done through your mouth. Some people have problems making this separation, which is why it’s good to perfect your breathing in the shallow end of a pool. Breathing through your nose while snorkeling will cause your mask to fog up and make it impossible to see where you’re going. Breathing out through your nose while wearing a mask will also cause the mask to leak.
Practice so you can easily swim around the pool wearing your snorkeling gear. The key word is "easily." Snorkeling should always be a leisurely activity. If you find you’re breathing hard, you need to relax and go slower.
Tips on De-fogging Masks
Most dive shops have commercial de-fogging liquids you can buy. Simply apply a few drops of the liquid, rub it on the inside lens of the mask, and rinse it out. Glycerin soaps, baby shampoos, and dish-washing detergents are usually cheaper than these commercial liquids and work just as well. Toothpaste also works, as does saliva. Many seasoned divers simply spit in their masks, rub it on the inside lens and rinse it out to enjoy a fog-free dive.
Exploring the Marine Life of Phuket
Now you've mastered breathing through a snorkel and wearing a mask, you're ready to explore Phuket’s snorkeling spots. But remember to protect yourself from the sun. Put on plenty of waterproof, eco-sunscreen about 15 minutes before entering the water, and remember that you'll be face down while you're snorkeling. This means applying sunscreen to the back of your arms, legs, and neck, as well as your back.
Finding a good snorkeling spot in Phuket is all about knowing what to look for. Most beaches in Phuket are in the shape of coves. They’re arcs of sandy expanses with rocky points of land at either end. These rocky points are your best bet for finding beautiful snorkeling spots in Phuket. The rocks give marine life places to live and hide, as well as serve as anchoring points for the coral.
When you begin snorkeling in Phuket, remember to practice good snorkeling etiquette. Always be aware of the length of your fins. Many of the corals are delicate and take years to grow. A snorkeler can cause years of damage to corals with their fins in just a few minutes. Your fins can also be also dangerous to fellow snorkelers. Always practice the “look, but don’t touch” rule of snorkeling. These tips will help you enjoy your snorkeling experience and preserve the marine life of Phuket.
Vacation at Thavorn Palm Beach Resort
To be right in the middle of some of the best beaches and snorkeling spots on the island, book your next vacation at Thavorn Palm Beach Resort, a beachfront hotel in Karon Beach, Phuket. We have three large pools where you can perfect your snorkeling technique, and we’re on the west coast of Phuket, which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and snorkeling spots on the island.
Contact us to learn more about the luxurious rooms and exciting facilities available at our family-friendly, beach-side resort.