Looking for a perfect beach getaway?
Discover Coral Island or Koh Hae, where sun-filled adventures and peaceful moments await you. Just a quick boat ride from Phuket, this island offers the best of both worlds. You can enjoy exciting activities like snorkeling in clear blue waters or relaxing on quiet, sandy beaches.
Coral Island is not just about beautiful views; it's a place where every day is an adventure. Whether you're seeking a thrilling experience or a calm day by the sea, this island has something for everyone.
Let's dive into the wonders of Coral Island and find out what makes it a must-visit destination in Phuket.
Getting to Coral Island
Coral Island is a picturesque island conveniently located approximately 9 kilometers from the southeast coast of Phuket. Getting to this paradise is just a short trip away from the bustling city, making it the perfect destination for quick getaways and day trips!
Public Boat Transfer
The most common means to get to Coral Island is through speedboats or longtail boats. Both rides depart from Chalong Pier in Phuket. The boat schedule starts at 9 AM, and the last trip is by 4 PM.
Speedboat Vs. Longtail? What’s the difference?
Speedboats are, without a doubt, FASTER. It only takes 15 to 20 minutes to arrive compared to longtail boats’ 45-minute travel time. That said, speedboats are ideal for those who wish to maximize the time spent on their trip.
Less travel means more time to enjoy and explore Coral Island. Right?
However, longtail boats also offer tourists a different kind of experience. It is more traditional, and the slower-paced travel gives you ample time to appreciate the scenic coastal views.
Not to mention, longtail boats are at least half the price CHEAPER than speedboats. It only costs about 1,200 to 1,500 Baht compared to speedboat’s 2,500 to 3,500 Baht price ranges.
On that point, longtail boats are a better choice for travelers with plenty of time to spare but in a pinch for budget.
Private Boat Transfer
Private boat hires are also available if you prefer a more tailored travel to Coral Island. This exclusive trip is ideal for groups or individuals seeking a more intimate experience.
Another great advantage of chartered boat transfers is their flexibility. This option lets you choose your preferred departure times and tour programs. You can hop on and off the island any time you wish to do so.
But as expected, convenience comes with a hefty price. Private boat transfers usually cost 13,000 to 24,000 Baht per chartered trip. Prices greatly vary based on the following arrangements:
- Duration of the trip (half-day or full-day tour)
- Tour program
- Size of the boat (single or twin engine)
- Number of passengers
- Tour inclusions (tour guide, meals, etc.)
Day Trip Packages
For total convenience, consider booking day trip packages instead.
Many tour operators in Phuket offer various Coral Island day trip packages. These packages usually include round-trip boat transfers, an English-speaking tour guide, snorkeling equipment, and an optional lunch meal. Prices and inclusions vary, so it’s advisable to compare options.
Everything you need for a fun-filled trip is already arranged. You just need to show up in time to avoid delays and inconvenience other passengers.
The Sun and Sea Experience: Coral Island’s Beaches
Coral Island has two main beaches - the Long Beach and the Banana Beach. Each of them offers distinct experiences for beach lovers.
The Long Beach
True to its name, Long Beach is a long stretch of powdery white sandy beach and turquoise blue waters. It is a perfect spot to relax on sun loungers (for rent for 50 Baht, of course) and enjoy the sun's warmth and the beach's tranquility (now that’s priceless!).
The beach is lined with small cafes and bars. You can sip a refreshing drink or grab a bite to eat while lounging on your beach chair.
Haaaahhhh, a feast for the eyes and a feast for the tummy!
Long Beach’s clear, shallow waters are excellent for swimming and snorkeling with kids. You can book parasailing or beach volleyball for more exciting activities with family.
The Banana Beach, on the other hand, is a smaller cove on Coral Island. BUT what it lacks in size makes up for the fun-filled activities it offers.
As the name implies, the beach is known for its banana boat rides and other exhilarating water sports activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, helmet diving, parasailing, kayaking, and banana swing. The place is a total haven for adventure seekers.
Despite these activities, Banana Beach maintains a sense of calm, making it a perfect balance for relaxation and adventure.
Coral Island Adventures: Must-try Activities
The crystal-clear waters around the island teem with vibrant marine life, making it an ideal place for snorkeling. The shallow reefs near Long Beach and Banana Beach are easily accessible and perfect for beginners. Here, you can swim alongside various tropical fish, spot colorful corals, and even encounter sea turtles in their natural habitat.
2. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is available for those seeking a more profound adventure into the underwater world. Experienced instructors will guide you through this breathtaking experience. The island’s dive spots are among the most visited by novice and experienced divers because of their accessibility all year round.
3. Sea Walking
Sea walking is an incredible underwater experience that allows you to walk on the seabed and be surrounded by fish, providing an extraordinary encounter with marine life. This activity is perfect for those who wish to explore the underwater but are not quite ready yet to go deeper into scuba diving.
4. Banana Boat
For a dash of adrenaline, hop on a banana boat. This high-speed activity offers the most thrilling and enjoyable way to enjoy the island’s beautiful waters with friends and family. Trust me, your memories of Coral Island wouldn’t be complete without trying the banana boat rides.
Parasailing is another thrilling activity that offers a unique perspective of Coral Island’s stunning landscape. As you soar into the sky, you experience the breathtaking aerial views of the turquoise water and the white sandy beaches. It’s an exhilarating way to appreciate the island’s beauty from above.
6. Clear Kayaking
The transparent kayaks provide a window into the underwater world below, allowing you to explore the vibrant marine life and coral formations without getting wet. It’s a serene and magical experience, perfect for those who want a close encounter with nature while staying dry. Sooooo cool!!!
Coral Island Travel Tips
Best Times to Visit: The best thing about Coral Island is that it is open ALL-YEAR-ROUND. However, the most favorable months for beach activities are from November to April. During this period, the weather is dry and sunny.
Sun Protection: The sun in Phuket can be intense, so apply sunscreen regularly, wear a hat, and seek shade whenever possible. It is important to stay cool and hydrated to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Safety Tips: Always prioritize safety, especially when participating in water activities. Ensure you wear life jackets during boat rides and follow the instructions of activity guides. When snorkeling or swimming, be aware of your surroundings, and don't touch the marine life to protect yourself and the ecosystem.
Accommodation Options: While there are limited accommodation options directly on Coral Island, Phuket offers a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts. You can easily take a day trip to Coral Island from various points in Phuket.
Respect the Environment: Help preserve the island's natural beauty by not littering, especially on the beaches and the ocean. Be a responsible tourist!
Local Currency: Thai Baht is the local currency, and it's a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases on the island, as card facilities may be limited.
Is Coral Island suitable for families with children?
Yes, absolutely! Coral Island offers a range of activities suitable for families, including safe swimming areas and kid-friendly beach sports.
Do I need to bring my own food to Coral Island?
While you can bring your own snacks, Coral Island has several restaurants and food stalls where you can buy meals and refreshments. If you booked day trip packages, lunch buffet options can be included in your program.
Can I rent snorkeling or diving gear on Coral Island?
Yes, various vendors offer snorkeling and diving gear rentals on the island. If you booked day trip packages, you can check if this service is already included in your program.
Are there facilities like restrooms and showers on Coral Island?
Yes, basic facilities like restrooms and showers are available for visitors on the island.
Is it necessary to book tours to Coral Island in advance?
While booking tours upon arrival in Phuket is possible, planning/booking in advance during the peak season is recommended to ensure availability.
Coral Island, or Koh Hae, is a remarkable destination just off the coast of Phuket. Its accessibility makes it ideal for quick tropical getaways.
Whether you’re seeking the thrill of snorkeling, diving in the vibrant coral reefs, the excitement of water sports, or just relaxing on its pristine beaches, Coral Island offers something for everyone. Indeed, its sun, sea, and serenity blend adventure and tranquility perfectly.
So, pack your sunscreen, grab your camera, and get ready to create unforgettable adventures in this little slice of paradise.