Coral Island, or Koh Hae, is one of the few islands you can reach by speedboat from Phuket within fifteen minutes and spend the day playing on the beach, even during low season. It’s a bit odd to go from a tropical island to another crowded island, but there are ways to avoid the herd.
You can book a daytrip from any tour counter, often coming as a package including speedboat, lunch and snorkeling equipment for a 950 baht per person, or self drive to Chalong pier and join boats departing from there, but the best is certainly to stay overnight.
Long Beach, the beautiful white sand main beach often looks like a ‘tourist daycare’ with rows of boats parked along the bay and plenty of tourists. That’s the downside of being so close to Phuket island, it can really get crowded during the day and not everyone comes for peace and nature. So once on the island, you can choose to blend in this crowd, drink beers and enjoy many of the noisy activities such as parasailing, and banana boats. Or you can get away from it!
Three ways to avoid this:
1) Move away to the end of the beach:
Right in front of the Coral Island Resort is a good place, but hotel might reserve the use their beach chairs to their customers. Still, it is quiet and you can have a nice swim with plenty of hungry fishes to play with. (Remember to save some bread from your breakfast!)
2) Walk to Banana Beach:
From the end of the beach, there is a small path leading to the other beach… just a ten to fifteen minutes walk but you’ll be really quiet in there. Just remember to come back on time for your trip back!
3) Stay at the Coral Island Resort is the best option.
Spend a night there, and the island is all yours once the last boat has left… It’s not very sophisticated, but bungalows come with hot shower, air-con, and the resort has a large pool, a restaurant, a bar and even a dive center. Dining and breakfast on the beach is definitely the romantic highlight, and it’s a great way to get away from daytrip crowd. If you want a bungalow facing the sea, you really should book in advance.
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