Koh Bon Snorkeling
Day trips or liveaboards from Phuket and Khao Lak
Koh Bon snorkeling tours offer the chance to snorkel with manta rays, if you are lucky.
Koh Bon (Bon Island) is the best place in Thailand to scuba dive with manta rays. Experienced snorkelers can also get in on the fun. Koh Bon tours are available from November to April.
RECOMMENDED 3 days 3 nights snorkeling liveaboard to Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and the Surin Islands
Snorkelers only boat that reaches the places the day trips can’t get to. More details >>
Manta Ray season at Koh Bon. The submerged pinnacle off the headland is a commonly frequented cleaning station for the mantas and they are seen on a regular basis between November and April. In the past the best months to spot them have been late January to late April but last year we saw them all season long.
What are the chances of seeing manta rays? Manta ray sightings are far from guaranteed, we guess the chances are 50/50 although we have no actual statistics. Your chances are higher on a liveaboard because the liveaboards are on site early in the morning before the day trippers arrive and crowd the area.
What if we don’t see manta rays? If the manta rays are at Koh Bon you’ll have an awesome time. However if they are not there Koh Bon snorkeling isn’t the best. You won’t see much else except blue water because the plateau is beyond snorkeling depths. Also note that there is no beach at Koh Bon so all day is spent on the boat. For these reasons we recommend the Similan Islands and Koh Tachai (which also gets manta rays) as better all round day trips than Koh Bon. We only recommend Koh Bon if you are passionate about seeing manta rays.
The snorkeler who took the manta ray photo above free dived down a couple of metres to get this shot. Notice that the sea bed is far below. If the mantas turn up to play you can enjoy the encounter like this but if the manta rays don’t show there is not much else for snorkelers to see. Currents can also be strong at Koh Bon (the manta rays like strong currents) so you should be comfortable in the water to join a trip here. You have been warned 🙂