as a (perhaps naive) landlocked Canadian, when i see these pictures of Thailand islands and beaches i cannot wait to jump right in. i love swimming and am very capable and i swim here constantly (i live in NZ - the kiwis think i am crazy swimming in the ocean in October, ha) and it is such a thrill. in the photos no one seems to be swimming (and i occasionally have a flash back to a particular scene from 'the beach' i think we all remember) but i have not found very much info on Thailand swimming, if there are preferred islands and beaches? or ones that are very dangerous (jellyfish, rip tides ect).
i totally accept their will always be a danger, but if any of you want to give a heads up to some good experiences or danger zones, i would appreciate it!
"in the photos no one seems to be swimming"
That's because they have been photoshopped out!
"i live in NZ - the kiwis think i am crazy swimming in the ocean in October"
You're swimming in this weather?? You ARE crazy!
There is definitely some good swimming to be had in Thailand - maybe start with this page here to get some pointers: https://www.travelfish.org/islands.php
Yes, jellyfish can be a problem at certain times of the year.. but have you swum around Mount Maungaui at Christmas time? They're as big as dinner plates! I kayaked around the Mount, and I was hitting one with each stroke of the paddle. I was petrified of falling out of the kayak lest they eat me alive. I haven't had problems with jellyfish in Thailand - must have timed in right!
I did notice sea lice several times on my last trip in Raileh (Thailand) and in Ahmed (Bali) in particular. But again, these are seasonal I think. And some places have sea urchins and sea slugs (?) which makes it awkward to walk out in some areas. But these areas are usually good for snorkelling, so you just swim over it all.
Check out the above link and go from there!
I always found it quite safe otherwise when swimming in Thailand - far safer than some of NZ's notorious west coast beaches.
thanks for your timely response and advice, busylizy
'I always found it quite safe otherwise when swimming in Thailand - far safer than some of NZ's notorious west coast beaches.'
yeah i had a close call, then serious chewing out from the coast guard at bethells beach in my early days.
'but have you swum around Mount Maungaui at Christmas time? '
have not been to mount Maungaui in x-mas, but i was there in April... LOVELY, one of the best beach experiences i have ever had. their was also a jellyfish problem in hot water beach in coramandel when i was there last, but everyone (except me apparently) was more interested in slowly braising themselves in sand hot tubs
""i live in NZ - the kiwis think i am crazy swimming in the ocean in October"
You're swimming in this weather?? You ARE crazy!"
haha, yeah i suppose so. their was the occasional sunny morning this winter. the trick was to get the the beach before the weather changed (for the fifteenth million time). and it's not that cold when you get swimming...it's just the first couple minutes when you first step into the water that are a bit of a test of will power.
i forgot about the urchins and slugs, thanks! i think now i am going to bring my water shoes so if i step down on a sea urchin i have a layer of protection and if i step on a sea slug i will only be grossed out for a minute or two.
i didn't think sea lice where a human problem - i though they only bothered fish....
and i am looking forward to some good snorkeling!
there is a thread started a while back by resident beach bum tezza with tips on how not to drown. you can read it at: https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/travelhealth/3851_how-not-to-drown
I swim for fitness most days. I find swimming okay most areas. A few places to maybe avoid:
- big Ko Chang in wet season (ending usually early Nov), dangerous rips on those days the swell gets up. Not every day.
- west facing Andaman beaches until maybe a few weeks later, ditto.
- east facing southern Gulf beaches when the swell gets up into late Dec (note a lot of Chaweng and Lamai are protected by reefs. And the swell may get up only one day in 3 or 4.
- little Ko Chang and Ko Phayam November-early Dec. Anecdotal reports say jellyfish from late wet season run-off. I have found no problems in later visits, will be checking them in a few weeks.
- Ko Siboya, Ko Sukorn - closeness to the coast makes the water a bit murky (I still swam).