Create Your Own Snorkel Adventure Only Steps Away from Your Villa

By Villa Sabai Jai

Create Your Own Snorkel Adventure Only Steps Away from Your Villa

I knew Koh Tao was a legendary scuba destination but I had no idea the magic I could see under the water while snorkeling. When I arrived at Villa Sabai Jai I learned that three of the top destination snorkel sites (Shark Bay, Coral Bay, and Sai Daeng) were accessible right from the villa. In fact, Shark Bay makes it to every single top ten list Koh Tao snorkeling sites.

Create Your Own Snorkel Adventure Only Steps Away from Your Villa

Why Villas Sabai Jai Is a Perfect Location for Snorkeling

After the ferry ride to Koh Tao, I arrived at my villa, changed into my bathing suit and hopped into the private pool. The pool sits 40-50 meters above the sea. From the pool, the view is straight out across the sea. It turns out that it is possible to see reef sharks (harmless), turtles, and rays from the pool (yes, from the pool!). For many this luxury is enough. But I wanted to try snorkeling and get a bit closer to the sea life. Luckily the villas offer quality snorkeling gear since I did not bring my own.

Why Snorkelling?

Snorkeling is a fantastic way to see the sealife and very inexpensive! The island of Koh Tao is a world renowned scuba diving destination, and also extremely popular for people who enjoy snorkeling. The extreme beauty under the water is the result of the rich coral reef that surrounds the island. The landscape under the water is amazing from the larger animals like sharks, turtles, and rays to the huge schools of fish swimming in stunning formation to the diverse array of hard and soft corals.

Why Not Opt for One of the Large Snorkel Tour Boats?

There are large tour operators in Koh Tao offering tours of 100 people or more on one boat. And while this is an option, large tours are not holding my interest. For me, creating my own snorkel adventure is fun, cheap, and rewarding. Plus, some of the best snorkel spots are walkable from the villas.

Favorite Snorkel Spots Walkable from Villas

  1. Just below the villas it is possible to enter the sea from one of the 2 sun decks
  2. Shark Bay
  3. Coral Bay
  4. Sai Daeng

Favorite Snorkel Spots Walkable from Villas

When I arrived at Villa Sabai Jai I learned that three of the top destination snorkel sites (Shark Bay, Coral Bay, and Sai Daeng) were accessible right from the villa. As I stood looking out at the sea from the villa— to the right I saw Shark Bay and to the the left, Coral Bay and Sai Daeng. Straight in front of me was the wide open sea. And just below, two different decks where I could enter the water to begin my snorkeling adventure.

What Do I Need to Snorkel?

  1. Bathing suit
  2. Good quality mask and snorkel (available upon request at your villa)
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Ability to swim. Although you can swim along the coast the entire time, if you question your swimming skills, I suggest a life jacket which can be rented at your villa.

Common Underwater Life Around the Villas

  • Black tip reef sharks (harmless)
  • Green Turtles
  • Blue Spotted rays
  • Trigger fish
  • Angel fish
  • Bat fish
  • Parrot fish
  • Sail fish

How to Create Your Own Snorkel Trip from Villas Sabai Jai

I am a pretty adventurous snorkeler— willing to swim long distances and dive under the water if I see something interesting. However, there is plenty diversity for all levels. If you ask, depending on the season, Villa Sabai Jai has their own snorkeling guide (reservations recommended).

Snorkeling for all levels

Snorkeling for all levels:

  1. Beginner – just getting comfortable in the water, possibly requires life jacket, getting familiar with the mask and how to use the snorkel.
  2. Intermediate – comfortable in the water, starting to explore and swim longer distances.
  3. Advanced – able to swim long distances, free diving below the surface to explore beneath the water.

Four Different Snorkeling Adventures

1. 1-2 hours including walk and snorkel

From the villas, there is no need to hire a tour boat. There is fantastic snorkeling right below the villas. All I had to do was step out the villa door and walk approximately 150 meters to the sea. Five minutes later I was standing on a platform in my bathing suit, lathered with sunscreen with the snorkel, mask, and fins that I rented from the villa. Ready to go in. I climbed down the steps and pushed off. When I put my face in the water I was overwhelmed with stunning coral and an abundance of different fish. I spent a couple hours swimming up and down the coast.

1-2 hours including walk and snorkel

2. Shark Bay (2-4 hours)

The next day I felt a bit more adventurous. I was told that I could walk to Shark Bay (it is also possible to swim from one of the sun decks). I took my snorkeling equipment and a little money because there are also two restaurants at Shark Bay—a casual Thai restaurant as well as the more upscale Haad Tien Restaurant. I took the 20 minute walk down to Shark Bay ( a little longer on the way back because it is uphill and I spent a lot of energy in the water). From there I snorkeled slowly enjoying the beauty when suddenly a black tip reef shark swam by. It was so graceful and beautiful and completely harmless. Soon after I saw a small turtle and later learned that another snorkeler saw a big turtle. Then I had a fantastic lunch at the local Thai restaurant.

Shark Bay (2-4 hours)

3. Coral Bay/Sai Daeng (2-3 hours)

Next, I made a little adventure for myself with a walk combined with a snorkel/swim/lunch. Coral Bay has an intimate feeling with a relaxed atmosphere off the beaten path. The walk to Coral Bay takes about 30 minutes up a small hill and by a beautiful little temple. It is possible to cut through Coral View Resort, then walk down the beach and start swimming along the east side of the bay around Sai Daeng. There are beautiful coral, rocks, abundance of fish and sometimes turtle and ray sightings. After the snorkel, I had lunch at Coral View Beach Bar (part of the Coral View Resort). Another time I tried Uncle Soon’s restaurant which is at the neighbor resort. Both are delicious with both Thai and American style food with perfect beachside settings.

Coral Bay/Sai Daeng (2-3 hours)

4. Private Boat Tour

On our last day, I spoiled my family to a private boat tour arranged by the villa staff. They arranged for a private guide and even brought an underwater handheld motor (called a DPV) that we could use to cruise under the water. They took us to lesser known spots with beautiful corals— away from the crowds. I highly recommend this option as well.

What to Expect

Every day, every season, and every year is different under the water. That is part of what makes it such a special experience. Visibility changes depending on the daily weather as well as the time of the year. The diversity and abundance of fish also changes. And most important for the snorkeler, the current changes. It is very important to be aware of the direction of the current. This is very important to keep in mind when you set off on your swim.

I recommend snorkeling from this amazing location. It is an opportunity you will never forget. If you have any questions about creating your own snorkel adventure, the owners are able to help you.

Ready to book Your next holidays?