One of the best ethical animal experiences you can have with marine life in Thailand is to go whale watching. Wild Encounter Thailand run amazing boat trips to experience whales just an hour from Bangkok. This makes it one of the top day trips to do from Bangkok and a must do for anyone who loves the ocean and seeing marine life in Thailand.
Information about seeing whales in Asia – Thailand
Where to see whales in Thailand?
You can see Bryde whales in the Upper Gulf of Thailand. The boat leaves from Samut Sakorn province, approximately one hour from Bangkok, making this one of the best day trips from Bangkok to experience.
When to see whales in Thailand?
The best time of year to go whale watching is between the months of August-October when the whales are feeding regularly in the Gulf of Thailand. They come here for the anchovies and mackerel.
What kind of whales can I see in Thailand?
Bryde whales are some of the biggest marine mammals in Thailand and can be seen here every year. Bryde (pronounced Bru-da) whales can reach up to 16metres long and live up to 60-70 years old. They are generally solitary animals but may come together for mass feeding events. Mothers and calves are seen together fairly often.
Why are they called Bryde whales?
They are named after a Norwegian man who used to hunt them. No comment on why he gets a whole species named after him.
What are the whales doing so near Bangkok?
The Bryde whales are often feeding, which is an awesome sight to see. You can also see these Thai whales swimming and on both my trips I was lucky enough to experience mothers and calves.
Where is the pick up spot?
Pre-covid Wild Encounter Thailand would run minivans from Bangkok to Samut Sakorn but during covid times we took a taxi there independently.
Who runs the trip?
Khun Jirayu with Wild Encounter Thailand. He is extremely knowledgeable about the whales and many other animals and birds too. I am looking forward to my next trip after December to see Irawaddy dolphins!
Practical Questions about Whale Watching in Thailand
What is the boat like?
At the time of writing, Wild Encounter Thailand use a medium size boat. It has an air conditioned cabin in the middle with seats and coffee and water facilities. Two toilets at the back of the boat and viewing areas from the front and on the upper deck in front of the captain’s cabin.
What are the timings of the trip?
Our day trip to see the Bryde whales started from 8am in the morning and we arrived back at the pier at 3.30pm approximately. This did not include getting from Bangkok to the pier in Samut Sakorn.
The whale watching day trip includes lunch on the boat, we were offered various choices a few days before our trip, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Is the whale watching in Thailand child friendly?
Yes, there were families on our boat.
Are life jackets provided during the boat trip?
Yes we were informed during the boat briefing where life jackets were stored, including for children.
Can I swim with whales in Thailand?
Short answer, no. The whales are some distance from the boat and the visibility in the water is extremely poor so there would be no point in swimming with the whales as you would not see them!
Might I get seasick on the boat?
While I personally did not feel seasick, one of my friends did when it was a little choppy. The water generally is calm but if you are prone to seasickness then this could affect you. The boat often stops to observe the whales so can rock during this time. Seasick pills were provided on board.
How much does whale watching cost?
At the time of writing we paid 2500 baht per person with a discount for being vaccinated. We also took an antigen covid test before boarding which was 200 baht. It was a DIY kit and we had the option to do before arriving if we wished to source our own test.
What to wear to go whale watching?
The boat is comfortable and does have AC if needed. I would wear appropriate clothes for hot, tropical weather and take a light jumper as it can get windy. It can also be very sunny and hot so I recommend a cap and suncream.
I think whale watching is the best activity to do in Thailand and encourage others to experience the whales too!
You can find more information about Bryde whales here.
To reserve your spot on the trip then please contact Khun Jirayu via Facebook on Wild Encounter Thailand.