Conduct when snorkeling with a whale shark
As another high season approaches in the Andaman sea divers and snorkelers will again have the chance to interact up close and personal with whale sharks in their natural environment. Whale shark encounters are not guaranteed in Thailand. Whale sharks are not fed or kept in pens, if you see one you are very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
If you want the whale sharks to hang around for a while try not to harass them into swimming away. Keep a respectable distance and do not grab hold of a fin to catch a ride.
If you try to swim after a whale shark you’ll just exhaust yourself, they may appear to be slow movers but they are going faster than you think. It’s better to stay in roughly the same place and wait for the whale shark to pass you. They typically remain in the same location and keep circling around so if you treat them well they may stay with you all day.
Take care of yourself too. Make sure to keep an eye on your surroundings, look out for boats, other snorkelers and rocks. Don’t drift too far from your own boat.
The best places to see whale sharks in the Andaman sea are Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock and the best months are typically February to April although we have seen them at the Similan Islands in November, at Phi Phi in July and and many other places at different times. Whale sharks are very rarely seen on snorkeling day trips, you have much more chance on a liveaboard.