Visiting Khanom Beach to see the pink dolphins is an experience that cannot be found elsewhere in Thailand. At Khanom Beach, there are more than 50 pink dolphins found in the area of Laem Prathab and Ao Kwang Phao in Khanom District of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province.
The pink dolphins are also known as humpback dolphins. The color of these humpback dolphins varies across its range from white or grey to beautiful unique pink color. The color of dolphin changes due to the age. The newborns are dark grey and their color changes to white or pink as they grow up to help preventing the body temperature from getting too high.
Visiting Pink Dolphins
Tourists who want to visit the popular dolphins have to take a long-tailed boat at Laem Prathab in the morning. There are many opportunities to meet both gray dolphins and pink dolphins swimming in the sea and appearing near the boat for most of the time except of the rainy season. These pink dolphins are familiar to people. Currently, some of these dolphins are very docile because fishermen and tourists prefer to feed dolphins. However, it has a negative effect on the ecological system.
Tourists who charter a boat for this trip often combine watching the pink dolphins with a visit to the freshwater pond in the middle of the sea at Koh Nui and a visit to the Pancake Rock, a strangely shaped rock that looks like a folded fabric. The trip takes about 2 hours.
The Pink Dolphins of Khanom
Boat fee at Laem Prathab, 1,000 baht
Boat fee at Ao Kwang Phao, 1,200 baht
The boat can accommodate up to 8 people.
Best Season to Visit Pink Dolphins
February to September
Best Time to Visit Pink Dolphins
You should visit dolphins in the morning before 08:00 because it is the time when the dolphins are looking for the food after the fishermen enter the shore. In the afternoon, there is a higher chance of rain as well.
You should be aware of the natural environment when visiting the pink dolphins. If you will buy dolphin food sold at the pier and will feed them, it can change their habit of living and cause unintended impact on the ecological environment.
In the past, these dolphins were living together as flocks. They were gathering by using sonar echoes. The dolphins now are tamed with the sound of the boat because the fishermen come and bring the fish debris to feed the dolphin. That’s why nowadays you hardly have a chance to see the dolphins jumping above the water.
Another concern is that many tourists expect to see pink dolphins closely therefore they often buy small fish that are sold at the pier for feeding dolphins. This can be an issue of infection for dolphins as these fish are not freshly caught.
Please, avoid feeding dolphins!
Prepare a hat and sunscreen because some boats do not have any roof or shading.
You should avoid visiting pink dolphins during the monsoon season of the Gulf of Thailand. More information about the weather in every region of Thailand can be found here: Weather in Thailand Regions.