Koh Rin is the farthest destination for regular snorkeling tours and diving trips. This is the chosen spot for most of the daily excursions leaving Pattaya beach.
You can find beautiful, calm sandy inlets at Ko Rin island. It makes a picture-perfect tropical anchorage for snorkelers and water bathers.
There is a glaring abundance of colourful fish and preserved vibrant marine life. This is why coral snorkelers and divers head from Pattaya to Koh Rin almost every day.
Koh Rin Pattaya is one the larger and most isolated of the uninhabited Far Islands. It does not have a public ferry or any resort accommodation.
But, it is the spectacular landing-place of a 90 minute boat journey from the mainland. Koh Rin remains ‘undeniably’ one of the best snorkeling and coral dive sites in Pattaya.
Snorkeling Koh Rin Bay is simply breathtaking. The sumptuous lunette white sand beach at Rin Bay stretches from north to south for almost one kilometer.
There are two main snorkel sites situated on the same eastern side, and towards the south of the cove.
But, they differ in many ways if you compare the shoreline and the underwater topography.
It is best for novice snorkelers to stay inside the large shelving bay. This area has the most shelter against strong tidal currents and splashing waves.
The snorkeling spot around the headland, 50 meters further south, is more challenging. The conditions here often produce more surface chop because of the stiffer winds.
There is another crescent shaped inlet at the back of Koh Rin Bay on the west side of the island. Many of the dive shops use this site for scuba training. The beach on the west side slopes down to a general depth of three meters. So, this is also a favourite dive site for many of the day trips for snorkeling at Koh Rin Far Islands Pattaya.
The fish life and corals are the foremost reasons for the buzz and euphoria about snorkeling at Koh Rin. The advantages of traveling out to the farthest archipelago are crystal clear. It is ‘undoubtedly’ one of the best snorkel sites for a rich variety of fish and coral species.
Koh Rin Island Pattaya may not have the best sites for snorkeling in Thailand. But, the Far Islands win the competition for the best around Pattaya.
We compiled a list of fish and corals that snorkelers are likely to see at Koh Rin and its neighbouring rocky pinnacles.
Small Reef Fish and Creatures: Damselfish, Razorfish, Nudibranch, Angelfish, Pipefish, Harlequin Sweetlips, Snappers.
Larger Reef Fish and Creatures: Moray Eels, Lionfish, Stingray, Marble Rays, Yellow Jacks, Fusiliers, Banded Bamboo Sharks, Cobia, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Barracuda Fishes, Trevally, Sea Turtles.
Coral Structures: Brain Coral, Brittle stars, Feather stars, Sea Whips, Sea Fans, Fire Coral, Staghorn coral.
There are also two satellite pinnacle rocks at the Far Islands. One is a few hundred meters to the north of Koh Rin – North Rock – and the other is a little further away to the south – South Rock. Both of these ‘mini’ islands are superb for strong swimming snorkelers and divers. Neither of the crops provide much shelter from prevailing currents and choppy water.
Koh Rin North Rock – Hin Khao – is a large granite pinnacle and a contender for the number one coral dive site in Pattaya. But, snorkelers will struggle to see the best of this location. It features deep water rocky outcroppings and sloping walls.
Even so, with optimum sea conditions you should add North Rock and Koh Phai Island to your snorkeling itinerary. They rarely disappoint those who are searching for the best island destinations in Pattaya.
Koh Rin South Rock – Hin Ton Mai – is popular with experienced scuba divers for its hard and soft corals. But, the small island is not a particularly easy site to snorkel around. South Rock is very exposed to sea currents and much of the island is too deep for snorkelers to enjoy.
The big attraction at this destination is the infrequent sightings of Marble Rays. Local scuba divers from Pattaya have seen large Marble Rays with 2.5 meter wing spans.