I tried out two snorkeling excursions during my stay in Ko Lanta. Both were booked with Opal Speedboats on their website www.opalspeedboat.com. I chose to book with Opal after reading several recommendations for the company on Trip Adviser. Although I booed online, I noticed there were many tourist information centers around Ko Lanta offering a variety of excursions, such conversational, kayaking, diving. I learned from speaking to other travelers it was sometimes possible to barter for lower prices of trips if you booked at one of these offices. For me, I booked Opal as I could use my credit card online and therefore help reserve what baht I had left in cash. Longboat tours are typically cheaper than speedboat tours as they are slower.
Snorkelling around Ko Rock
My first snorkeling trip was to Ko Rock. I was collected from my accommodation in the morning and driven to a beach where myself and other customers waited for our boats to alight at the shore. The tour provided all the gear we needed, all clean, including life vests if we wanted one, and included three snorkeling stops of 40 minutes each and a nice buffet lunch on a beach where monitor lizards live. Our tour guides were really friendly and funny, we felt looked after and safe.
Snorkeling The Four Islands
The second tour I took with Opal Speedboats was called the “Four Islands”. The highlight was a swim through the Emerald Cave (aka Marrakot Cave) at Ko Mook, which involved a 5 or so minute swim in deep ocean water surrounded by dozens of other swimmers. Tour guides swam with torches attached to their heads that provided patchy illumination, however at some points I could see nothing but darkness and at these points I felt a little scared. Once I saw daylight I also found that the water had become more shallow and I could wade through onto a beach where I found myself in a “secret” lagoon, not actually secret considering the dozens of tourists that accompanied me! Afterwards, having done nothing like this ever before I felt quite a sense of achievement. In all, I personally preferred the Four Islands trip because of the Emerald Cave adventure however both were very enjoyable.