Paradise Beach snorkeling reef
If you don’t fancy joining a snorkeling boat on a full day excursion just grab your mask and snorkel and head to Paradise beach on the headland south of Patong beach. It’s a small bay that can be reached by car over the hill from Patong or by long tail boat from Patong beach. It used to be a secret hideaway when the track to get to it through the jungle was just that, a track. But now the track has been made a concrete road wide enough for cars and the secret is out. It gets plenty busy now but if you like snorkeling it’s still worth a visit. There is a 100 baht fee to enter the beach, they say this is for maintenance of the access road. Your 100 baht gets you a sun lounger and umbrella. There is a restaurant at the beach, fried rice is 80 baht, green curry 120 baht, Singha beer 85 baht, a can of Coke 40 baht.
The reef is out in front of the beach and around the rocky edges. The hard corals are nothing special apart from a few colourful patches but there are enough fish to keep keen snorkelers interested. The reef is shallow, you have to swim out quite a way to find a depth of 8 or 9 metres. Visibility can be excellent or it can be pretty green, high tide is the best time. Watch out for long tail boats bringing people into and out of the bay, they aren’t always as attentive to swimmers as they should be.
Here are some photos that I took last week with a basic Intova Sports HD Video camera in photo mode.
More photos on Flikr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22695952@N03/sets/72157637334541363/