One of my husband’s favorite vacation spots is Phuket.
Beautiful bright blue skies, stunning rock formations used in classic movies, and sunsets the perfect shades of pink– I suppose I can see why he loves it there!
When we first went to Phuket, we explored Phang Nga Bay and James Bond island. This time, we opted to venture out a bit more and went to Coral Island and Raya Island.
Coral Island or Koh Hae has a few beaches and supposedly has great diving (hence the name Coral Island). We didn’t dive, but just stayed on the beach for a few hours.
Despite the prevalence of fresh coconuts and the cute dog under the beach chair (which cost 80 THB to rent!), I wouldn’t go back or recommend the beach on Coral Island. It was overcrowded and a dozen or more tour groups descended on the beach. It is a place definitely geared to maximize tourist dollars. No, thanks!
In contrast, I really enjoyed Raya or Racha Island. It was much quieter and the snorkeling was excellent. We snorkeled and saw blue tangs, trigger fish, and these cool striped fish (err my knowledge of tropical fish only goes so far!) The beach at Ao Siam was picture perfect. White sand encircled crystal blue waters.
There were fewer tourists and though we still had to pay for beach chairs (100 THB this time!), it was completely worth it.
I dozed off on a lightly windy day while my husband cooled off in the ocean.
I would definitely recommend Raya Island and will try to get a water taxi to take me out there next time. Serene beaches and blue waters – yes please!
Travel Tour Note:
I used JC Tours which is a huge tourist group coordinator (they don’t perform the tours themselves but link up to operators). They themselves were professional and great at communication. But Raya Princess Tours crammed so many people (50 or so) on a speedboat that people were left sitting on a cooler. Not cool! I’d have hesitations about using JC Tours again because of their partnership with Raya Princess tours.
So please try to check how many other people will be on your boat. Will the number be near or over capacity of how many people it should hold? A less crowded boat will make for a much better experience!