Home » Coral Island in Phuket (Koh Hae) – The 2021 Local Guide

Coral Island in Phuket (Koh Hae) – The 2021 Local Guide

by jemi

Koh Hae is a small coral island 2.5 kilometers long, near the southern coast of Phuket. The island is also known as Koh Hay and Koh He island, in which “Koh” means “Island” in Thailand. Koh Hae is often mistaken for Koh Larn – the coral island in Pattaya as coral reefs are the signature of both islands.

Why is Koh Hae well-known around the world? It’s not called the Coral Island for nothing; the snorkeling at Banana Beach is pretty thrilling and exciting as its coral reefs describe the true definition of beauty. It is no exaggeration to say that this island is the right summer place where you can let your hair down, recharge your body and forget all problematic issues in your life, thanks to its colorful coral reefs, beautiful white sand beaches as well as warm and clean water.

How To Get To Koh Hae

Coral Island is 5km away from Raiwai and 10km away from Chalong. There are 2 options for visitors to travel back and forth from Phuket and other islands: longtail boat and speed boat.

  • A longtail boat capable of containing 10 people costs about 2000 Baht for a round trip and can be found at every dock. Its advantages include allowing visitors to have private experience and freedom to travel at their own itinerary to other adjacent islands => Longtail boats are perfect for a small groups of visitors.
A longtail boat
A longtail boat
  • A speed boat is mostly available if you go on tour as one boat can carry 30 people. Traveling by speed boats is certainly quicker than longtail boats and get you to almost all islands in the area, however, it is extremely costly: around 15,000 Baht.
A speed boat
A speed boat

An affordable way for you to save money and time is to book a 1000-Baht snorkeling day trip, which includes a round-trip speedboat ticket and a mask, fins, and snorkel as well as a buffet lunch.

Beautiful Beaches In Koh Hae

There are three main beaches: Long beach, Banana beach and Freedom beach.

#1: Long beach

– Main activities: focus on sea activities such as paragliding, banana boat, canoeing, sea walk …
The 800 meters long beach is the most famous place on Coral island. Most of tours chose the Long beach as a main destination. There are many types of rental couches on the beach. Volleyball courts are always provided, and during the peak season, there are also jet-sky and paragliding provided. Furthermore, there are many restaurants and bars around the Long beach. The only night stay on the island is nestled on coconut trees in the east of the beach. There is also Coral Island Resort with lovely little bungalows located close to the beach and private pool.
Scuba-diving activity is very beautiful and attractive. Especially when you swim about 100 meters away from the shore, the whole ocean seems to appear in front of your eyes with a variety of colorful fish and majestic reefs. You can book a tour to Long Beach-Coral Island here.

#2: Bananas (Banana beach)

Banana beach at Koh Hae
Banana beach at Koh Hae

– Main activities: mainly for swimming and snorkeling to freely explore the coral area. Some scuba-diving courses are available, which is a plus here.

Let’s rent a boat to Banana beach in order to avoid the noise of the crowd. Banana beach is located in the east of Long Beach and is only half its length. You can also walk to Banana beach via a forest trail between Long Beach and Banana Beach. However, there are quite a few rough passages so please make sure that you have a proper climbing shoe!

Generally, Banana beach is less noisy than Long beach. There is only a restaurant here with a quite clean toilet and sun-loungers. Unlike other beaches, visitors can dive closely to the beach. The coral reefs here are suitable for snorkeling newbies and children.

#3: Freedom beach

Freedom beach at Koh Hae
Freedom beach at Koh Hae

Freedom beach is located on the other side of the island and very deserted. If you want to take a walk around the island, let’s go to Freedom beach in the south of the island, which is nestled in a small bay surrounded by steep hills. Sometimes, you can encounter rare giant lizards coming to the restaurant to find leftovers.

In addition, you can also visit nearby islands including Koh Lon and Koh Tao during a day.

Things To Do At Koh Hae

Most people come here to relax and admire the beauty of nature. There is a huge number of beautiful striped fish swimming close to the coast and visitors can easily play with them when they stand near the shore. This is also an ideal place for snorkeling, because the water is quite clean and only knee-high so you won’t have to dive deeply, just enjoy the beauty of nature by touch your hands down to hundreds of striped fish, hemp, starfish and brilliant corals or putting on glasses to discover a lively ocean world near the coast. However, you should only dive if there is a guider with you.

Snorkeling in Koh Hae
Snorkeling in Koh Hae

There are some main activities that you can explore: parasailing, driving banana boat, scuba diving, Sasuba (like Snuba), sea walking, snorkeling (a must), hiking, massage…or if you want to find your inner peace, just relax on a beautiful tropical island beach. Additionally, Coral Island Resort often organizes diving courses taught in English within four days, so if your English level is good, you can participate in it.

parasailing at koh hae
Driving banana boat (source: phukettravelshop.com)

Islands Near Koh Hae To Visit

Racha island and Khai island – not too far from Coral island.

#1: Racha Islands

Racha Islands include Racha Yai and Racha Noi.

Racha Yai (sometimes simply called as Racha) is a suitable place for people tired in hustling life. This small lovely island gives you a great opportunity to relax, ride a horse, ride a bike and especially explore the diving sport. With more than ten diving areas, Racha Yai brings many benefits to visitors such as coral reefs, good visibility and a great amount of reef fish. Racha Yai is an ideal island for newbies in scuba-diving. Racha Noi, which is 45 minutes south of Racha Yai, has a great view, large granite boulders and a white sandy bottom. Large pelagics, manta rays, whale sharks and spotted eagle rays are appealed because of the depth of Racha Noi island.

Another factor to consider is infrastructure. Hotels in the island is quite developed and modern. Especially, there is an observatory where you can admire the natural beauty of the Creator. 

#2: Khai Islands

To the east of Phuket, we can visit Khai Islands, which includes three small islands. The first island is called Khai Nok. People are impressed by the beautiful white beach and crystal-clear turquoise water of Khai Nok island. A various of tropical fish are swimming around and looking for food in the shallow water. This is extremely a great first impression for kids when they visit the island. Khai Nai island is the largest island among three small islands. There is a wonderful white beach with crystal clear emerald green water, which is suitable for swimming and snorkeling. Khai Nui island is the smallest one and its colorful coral reefs locate in the island, which makes snorkeling a popular activity here. 

Nevertheless, the infrastructure is not so good. There are some shops for visitors to buy souvenirs, ice-cream, foods and beverages.

Overall, Koh Hae – the coral island in Phuket is a wonderful archipelago that helps you escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to relax with natural scenery as well as familiarize yourself with local beauty, cuisine, and traditions. Therefore, if you have a chance to visit Thailand, do not miss this place!!

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