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Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Montreal
Level Contributor
245 posts
93 reviews
Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Badly need help with trip planning.

Will be in Phuket for 6 weeks-ideally all of May and the first two weeks of June. The plan is to spend the last two weeks of June divided up between Ko Samui, Ko Tao and Ko Phangan for ocean swimming, snorkelling and scuba. We know that we can still scuba dive, but are not interested in swimming pools. The problem with this timing is that after the full moon the effect of the spring low tide is exaggerated and there is a high risk-especially in Ko Tao of our not being able to swim and that snorkelling may also be a no go due to coral heads being exposed and our not being able to swim or wade out out to a reef. If this is the case, we could re-organize our trip to spend the month of May in Phuket, then do the first two weeks of June in Ko Tao, Ko Phagnan etc and then return to Phuket for the last two weeks. This obviously is not ideal. We could also just forget the Ko Samui and its islands and tour them on another trip when we will travel more during high tide. We plan on travelling to Thailand frequently.

I know that for Ko Samui the best deep water swimming is in Maenam or south of Lamai during spring tides and for Ko Phagnan to head to Than Nai Pan Noi/Yai.

However I really am lost regarding Ko Tao. The beaches and hotels I am interested in are Janson Bay. The ko tao complete guide states that Jansom Bay is deep enough for snorkelling and swimming at low tide, but I am not so sure. My hotel options are Charm Churee or Sensi Paradise. I have also looked at beaches near Shark Island and am interested in Jamahkiri and Haad Tiem but have read TA reports from people saying that they could not snorkel or swim during the spring tide. I am also contemplating a stay at the Nangyuan Island Dive Resort (I know it’s not the Ritz but would go solely for the snorkelling and photography after the crowds have left). My concern is that the resort says that its dive operator is Easy Divers and TA reports say that this dive operator is closed and/or don’t go with them as they don’t mail out dive certificates. Also is it possible to snorkel around Nang Yuan during the spring tides? Dust Buncha looks nice, but it's not like we could snorkel over to Nang Yuan!

I would appreciate any unbiased advise. Many thanks to all who reply.

13 replies to this topic
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
788 posts
133 reviews
1. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

I’ve been to Koh Tao 2 different years, both in June. June is a great time for snorkeling. Calm waters all the way around the island. A little rain here and there. Lots of sun. Don’t worry about low tide. It made snorkeling from the beach at shark bay and freedom beach rather difficult. Just walk to the end of the beach and the water is plenty deep to get around the shallows. Janson Bay was plenty deep. I wanted to spend a night on Koh nang yuan also. My wife wouldn’t let me. You’ve read the reviews so you know the negatives of nang yuan. Expensive with mediocre food and service. We did nang yuan on a snorkeling trip. I would have liked to spend more time there. We stayed the whole time at the same hotel. It’s convenient not to have to move. Are you comfortable driving a scooter? If you are, the whole island is open to you.

Montreal
Level Contributor
245 posts
93 reviews
2. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I have seen some of your answers to others and I was hoping that you might reply!! Do you have any idea if your June trips were just low tide or was it after the full moon? As of May 1, the low tide lasts for 12 hours but after the full moon the effect is more pronounced. Even if you can't remember, your answer has cheered me up immensely.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
788 posts
133 reviews
3. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

I guess I don't know. I'll look that up and see if I can tell after the fact.

Montreal
Level Contributor
245 posts
93 reviews
4. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

That is very kind of you. Much obliged. If you can't find it, no worries

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
788 posts
133 reviews
5. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

There is lots of coral at lots of depths. Each bay starts out shallow up by the shore then get's deeper and deeper as you go farther out. Not sure if you can see that in any of my videos.

https://youtu.be/i13XAHGOtos

This website says that "From April till September, tide is low, Koh Tao beaches are wider, this time is better for sunbathing/beach activities."

https:/…

Here's GTA's answer to the question during the same time we were there the 1st time in 2015.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g30391…

Hopefully you can get an expert like GTA or BBlue to answer. I'm just a humble tourist that has been to koh Tao 2 times in June.

Montreal
Level Contributor
245 posts
93 reviews
6. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Thank you again. I have seen many of GTA's answers re low tide, but I missed this one. He really does know his stuff!! Nothing wrong with being a humble tourist-that's what I am!

Palmerston North...
Level Contributor
1,219 posts
47 reviews
7. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Google "gulf of Thailand tides" & you will get

lots of "answers" to this "odd event" - 1 tide

cycle per day.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
2,527 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

Spring tides make little difference. You can swim high or low tide at any time of year.

Wirral, United...
Level Contributor
3,294 posts
145 reviews
9. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

>>You can swim high or low tide at any time of year.

===================

Technically true, but if there is a reef protecting the beach/bay you want to swim at, it's almost impossible during a very low tide to get out to the deeper water.

For example, in July at Sairee beach depending on when the high/low tide is, lot of the day the water could be knee deep, you can wade as far as the coral but then it's very difficult to swim over the coral when the water is that depth, so no chance of swimming at all.

Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
2,682 posts
78 reviews
10. Re: Please help with spring tides for snorkelers/ ocean swimmers

I have only ever travelled to Samui during the "low tide" period and I have never had any problems going to Tao and snorkelling several times, always been fabulous. Perhaps there are some areas where it is too shallow to snorkel but with so many areas to snorkel it's not like you're short of choice.

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