There are many smaller islands around Phuket’s southern coast, that are less well known than the bigger and more famous islands near Phuket, such as Phi Phi island and James Bond island. These smaller islands are considered as some of the most beautiful spots for snorkeling and for diving in Phuket, as they have various types of fish and coral reefs scaterred around the islands. There is no infrastructure on many of these islands, but a few such as Coral Island and Ko Raya Island (also known as Ko Racha island) located on the south of Phuket Island, have accommodation and restaurants to cater for tourists and so are a popular trip from Phuket. Visiting these islands is for many tourists, a memorable part of their Phuket holiday.
On the eastern side of Phuket is Coral Island, otherwise known as ‘Koh Hae’ by Thais. This fascinating island features spectacular clear blue sea, clean white sandy beaches, astonishing coral reefs and marine life. Coral island is also an ideal place for those who love water activities such as; kayaking, water skiiing, banana boating and parasailing.
There are two main beaches on Coral island, Long Beach and Banana Beach. Long Beach is where the majority of day-trip boats visit and in the high season can get quite crowded. Snorkeling at Long Beach is not really good because some of the corals have been damaged by continued tourism activities, but if you swim far enough from the shore you will see lots of colorful fish and corals.
Banana Beach is located at the east side of Long beach, and is only about 10 minute by walk. Banana beach is quieter than Long beach and is one of the best spots on the island for snorkeling. Similarly Racha Island also has two main beaches which have perfect sparkling white sand and beautiful crystal clear water. Siam beach and Batok beach are recommended for snorkeling and for those who love to enjoy that tropical paradise feeling.
How to get to Coral Island and Raya/Racha Island from Phuket
There are plenty of tour operators offering the one day trips to both islands or you can hire a long tail boat or speedboat.
From Phuket to Coral Island You can rent a long tail boat or speedboat from Chalong or Rawai piers which will take approximately 15 minutes. From Phuket to Racha/Raya Island. You can take a long tail boat or speedboat from Chalong or Rawai piers and the trip will take approx 45-60 minutes depending on the type of boat and weather conditions.
Booking a Day trip From Phuket to Coral or Racha island
Be sure to check what is included and excluded as part of the tour package. Some companies may already include the water sport activities and some may not.
Most of these tour operators include; pick up from your hotel to Chalong pier, speedboat tour to the island, luch and drinking water, life jacket, mask and snorkel, beach chair, tour guide and insurance, return speed boat to Chalong Pier and tranfer to hotel .
Expect to pay around 1,200baht per adult and 800baht per child for a full day trip. But if you are travelling in a group, you can hire a longtail boat or speedboat from Rawai Beach or Chalong Pier and it could work out to be cheaper than going with a tour operator.
Here is a sample itinerary for a Raya and Coral island full day package tour from Phuket
Sample Itinerary – Day trip to Coral and Racha Islands from Phuket
08.00 Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the pier at the pier.
09.00 Depart from the pier to “Raya Island”.
09.30 Arrive at Raya Island, relaxing or swimming on a white sandy beach at “Patok Beach”
10.30 Depart from Patok Beach to “Kon Kae Bay” enjoy snorkeling time with plentiful coral reefs and colorful fishes. Cruise sightseeing at “Teh Bay” Explore the fantastic life with crystal clear water and enjoy snorkeling or relaxing at “Siam Beach” and cruise back to “Patok Beach” .
12.30 Enjoy great lunch at Patthai Restaurant. Spend your time on a white sandy beach for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing or more activities at your leisure.
14.00 Departure from Raya Island to Coral Island.
14.30 Arrive Coral Island for swimming or snorkeling and relaxing.
15.30 Depart from Island to the pier.
16.00 Arrive the pier and transfer back to the hotel.
Have you visited Coral or Racha/ Raya islands near Phuket? If so we would love to hear your island experiences here ……………..
………….By Andika Dewanto Putra, Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand - Luxury villas and bungalows nestled on the secluded Nakalay bay between Kamala and Patong beaches, where Thai Tradition meets nature
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