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Last updated on May 24, 2022
Ko Rok Yai is, with Ko Rok Noi, one of the two Ko Rok islands, a tiny tropical paradise in the Andaman Sea. They are often considered the best day trip snorkeling destinations from Ko Lanta, located about 30 kilometers further north. Protected by a National Park, Ko Rok offers great snorkeling. Exploring the reef extending along the southeast coast of Ko Rok Yai, you will spot a myriad of reef fish in a translucent sea.
The two Ko Rok Islands, Ko Rok Noi and Ko Rok Yai, are located about 30 km south of Ko Lanta. They are only reached by boat tours. Most tours depart from Ko Lanta, but you can also arrange private tours from other islands, including from Trang archipelago.
Day trips from Ko Lanta (from $40pp.) include several stops around both islands, including at least one on the beach, often Koh Rok Yai. Some island-hopping tours allow visiting the same day the Ko Rok islands and Ko Haa/Five Islands. Most tours include lunch.
The islands are very crowded, so try to choose an operator that leaves at staggered times or offers private tours (more expensive but avoids stopping at the crowded beach if that’s not what you came for).
Ko Rok islands are separated by a narrow channel, and both host several snorkeling spots along their coasts or a little further offshore. The spot described on this page is the main snorkeling site of Ko Rok Yai island. It includes the coral reef fringing the southeast coast of the island for several hundred meters, including The Plateau and Bermuda Ridge dive spots (see map).
Depending on the tour, you will enter the water from your boat or from the beach. If you are dropped off on the island, walk along the beach in an easterly direction (on your left when you are facing the sea) to get closer to the snorkeling area.
Near the beach, the seabed is sandy, before being quickly covered with corals. These corals, mainly massive corals, are not very spectacular but in good condition. On the reef, the water height ranges from 5 to 12ft/1.5 and 4m, creating diverse underwater landscapes.
Ko Rok Islands reefs support hundreds of fish species, as well as a wide diversity of invertebrates. They are called home by large-sized groupers and parrotfish, species that are rarely seen in unprotected areas.
The powder blue tang, the lined surgeonfish and the singular bannerfish are also common in Ko Rok, and are among the most colorful fish living on the reef. Moray eels are also often seen at this location.
The Ko Rok islands are famous for their underwater visibility, which is generally excellent.
Lunch on a beach is included in most day tours. There is no accommodation on the islands.
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.
Tiny island fringed by shallow coral reefs with many fish
Fringing reef with colorful fish
Shallow bay with blacktip reef sharks
Free shore access