Everything you Need to Know about Coral Island
Coral Island, known locally as Koh Hae, is a beautiful getaway destination located three kilometres southeast of Phuket. The island features two main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach. It's not called Coral Island for nothing; the snorkeling off Banana Beach is thrilling and if you go out far enough from Long Beach you will also have a lot to discover, at its impressive coral reef.
At night this location is beautifully calm; by day it is quite busy with day trippers but peace and quiet can be found at the extremities of both beaches. Deck chairs and sun loungers can be rented and come free (at the resort) with the day tour.
Both beaches feature a range of eateries ranging from rudimentary to buffet to impressive cuisine. Of course, Coral Island Resort includes lunch with their day tour but people who come with their own arrangements will have no problem finding a restaurant and toilet facilities.
Beach Activities on Coral Island
Both beaches have a lot of water sports activities - banana boats, canoes, and snorkeling. However, Long Beach features a speedboat to take you for a brief parasail outing (600 baht).
At the Coral Island Resort there are batik classes (250 baht an hour) and even scuba diving classes starting off in the resort's swimming pool (English, Chinese and Thai spoken: 2,000 baht for a one-day course).
At the eastern end of Long Beach you will find an open-air pavilion used for massages.
How to Get to Coral Island
You can rent a longtail boat at either Rawai Beach or Chalong pier. Alternatively, book a snorkeling day trip and you will be taken by speedboat (traveling time, 15 minutes from Chalong) and provided with a mask, fins and snorkel as well as a buffet lunch. The cost of this trip (1000 baht) is not much more than renting a longtail and it is certainly quicker.
If you land at Long Beach and want to check out Banana Beach there is a trail at the eastern end of the beach that leads through the jungle. Walking time is around 15 minutes and it is highly advisable to wear good shoes as surfaces are uneven and the going not exactly easy. This trail is not for the elderly or for those with small children.