Coral Island trip from Pattaya is a scam prone adventure. There are numerous stories of tourists getting scammed in many different ways including the most common “Jet Ski” scam. There is even a YouTube video that shows how the Jet Ski scam works. Another scam is where the speed boat takes you to an island other than Coral Island, but the speed boat guy will swear that he brought you to Coral Island. This scam will happen if you book your Coral Island tour on the road from an “agent” who is walking about the Beach Road with a few pamphlets in hand. A good Coral Island tour should includes free hotel pick-up & drop, speed boat ride to two islands – Koh Sak and Koh Larn (Coral Island), seafood or vegetarian lunch, snorkeling with free use of snorkeling gear, parasailing, under-sea walk, pictures and video of your trip on a CD, beach chair & towel at Coral Island, and some fresh fruits on return to Pattaya. How does all this sound for just 1900 THB per person? Yes, it is possible if you know where to book your tour…
(Also read: Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pattaya)
Actually, this 1900 THB is an indicative price and is sort of Maximum Retail Price. Most agents offer a discount and it is totally possible to book this tour at around 1650 or so depending on how you bargain with the agent. Imagine individually doing all the activities covered in the tour. You will easily spend double. There are cheaper options too. By cancelling Parasailing, you pay 1500 THB only. But if you cancel under-sea walk, you can have Parasailing by paying 1200 THB. The basic tour consisting of speed boat, Snorkeling, seafood lunch, and CD pictures costs only 1000 THB. The agent might offer this basic tour at around 750-800 THB. Beach chair & beach towel are given in all the tour options. 1900 and 1500 THB tours include video shooting in addition to still pictures. The CD containing pictures and video is delivered to your hotel later in the evening. The tour begins at 10.00 am and ends at 4.00 pm.
Vegetarian lunch is made available for those who do not wish to have seafood lunch. This needs to be communicated at the time of booking.
The trip starts from Beach Road where the tourists are brought by the free pick-up “Baht Buses”. A briefing is given along with a warning against hiring a Jet Ski at Coral Island. Each speed boat carries 8-10 tourists. The speed boat first stops at a Parasailing platform and then goes to Koh Sak for Snorkeling. One does not need to know swimming to enjoy any of the activities. A life jacket is given to all the passengers while in the speed boat and for Snorkeling at Koh Sak. Snorkeling gear is also provided free of charge. Under-sea walk is a 20-30 minute adventure on the way from Koh Sak to Koh Larn.
Tourists reach Coral Island well before lunch time and have until 3.30 pm to eat lunch, relax or swim at the beautiful beach. Seafood lunch is not fantastic but OK. The entire trip is totally family-friendly but one must be prepared to handle the high-speed boat ride. I find this Coral Island tour to be the best bargain in all the activities that tourists do in Pattaya. Just, don’t get scammed.
Where To Book Your Coral Island Tour
Option 1 – Local Agent
One option is that you find an agent such as Pattaya Sea King Tour shown in the picture above. Many agents in Pattaya will book a tour with this company. They are not perfect but there is a guarantee that they will take you to Coral Island. They offer packages that include undersea walk, banana boat ride, parasailing, etc. One can include or exclude any activity and arrive at the final price.
Option 2 – hotels2thailand.com
Hotels2thailand is my favorite tour booking site in Thailand because of their discounts and transparent pricing. Many tourist attractions in Thailand do not disclose entry ticket price on their official websites. That leaves the field open for travel agents to charge whatever price they want to charge. However, by looking at the price on hotels2thailand, one comes to know how much is the right price. A complete Coral Island package booked on hotels2thailand will cost approximately 1500 THB. You may enter your desired dates and know the exact price on this page: https://www.hotels2thailand.com/pattaya-water-activity/sea-adventure-tour.asp
Hotels2thailand.com will also take insurance for your trip to Coral Island. Actually all agents should and you must ask this at the time of booking if the agent will buy accident insurance.
Must Carry Sunscreen Lotion
Wear beach clothing, and take along lots of sunscreen lotion and do rub it all over your body. The problem is, even if you use the best sunscreen, you will still come back from this trip with a darker skin.