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Located South of Phu Quoc, the small Gam Ghi Island is the most popular snorkeling spot in the region. It is home to a pretty coral reef, where you can find butterflyfish, damselfish schools, giant clams and clownfish in their sea anemone.
Gam Ghi is part of the An Thoi Islands, a group of a dozen small islands laying at the Southern tip of Phu Quoc. Many boat trips to the islands are organized on a daily basis. Day trips generally allow you to visit the islands of Gam Ghi, Mong Tay (also known as Fingernail Island) and May Rut (the 3 most popular islands), but different routes (including 2 to 5 islands) are also available.
Trips usually include a snorkeling stop at Gam Ghi (which is bordered by a pretty coral reef), but your trip may include other snorkeling stops on nearby islands. In all cases, have your itinerary and the snorkeling spot(s) visits confirmed when booking.
The price of day trips for 3 islands starts at around VND 800,000 per person, but prices go quickly higher depending on the services (small group trips, private trips, breakfast/lunch, etc.) and additional activities included (fishing, etc.).
Most trips include a stop of around 2 hours on Gam Ghi Island. You can then snorkel freely by getting into the water from the small sandy beaches of the island, facing the reef. However, some tours do not allow you to disembark on the island: you will then be invited to wear your equipment and get into the water from the boat, directly on the reef.
The recommended snorkeling spot at Gam Ghi is located along the north coast of the island, which forms a bay well sheltered from waves and currents. This area accommodates a shallow coral reef, as well as towering boulders (some of which, like the photogenic “rock island”, rise from the water).
The reef starts only a few meters away from the beach, but the corals are much damaged in the shallowest areas (↕3-6ft/1-2m). Move a little towards the open sea to gain depth to discover a more preserved reef, especially around the boulders (↕10-12ft/3-4m). The reef is formed of a beautiful diversity of corals, including tabular coral (some in fluorescent green), massive porous coral (in which we find many sabellas and Christmas tree worms, more rarely giant clams), as well as pretty tubastrea unveiling to underwater photographers their big orange polyps. There are also several species of sponges on this spot, including superb barrel sponge specimens (Xestospongia Testudinaria), a large barrel-shaped sponge often reaching more than a meter in height.
On Gam Ghi reef, fish diversity is quite small. We can find there mainly scissortail damselfish, Bengal sergeant and blue-green chromis, gravitating in numbers around corals and rocky outcrops. Sometimes a couple of eight-banded butterfly fish or a small group of Java rabbitfish may appear on the reef. With a little luck, you will also discover a sea anemone inhabited by pink skunk clownfish, quite common in the An Thoi Islands.
Underwater visibility is rarely great around Phu Quoc, as in general everywhere in Vietnam.
There are several restaurants on the small islands around Gam Ghi, which mainly work with the guided tours. Upon booking, ask about what the trips include.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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