Since there is a preponderance of stalls along the Nipah bay road hiring out snorkels, flippers and canoes, one would think that there may be coral close to the bay. Erroneously thinking this was the case, we hired some snorkels for the day and climbed over the rocks to at the northern end of nipah bay to get to what we thought would be the aptly named coral bay (when the tide comes in, or if you don’t fancy clambering, the main coast road loops round connecting the bays).
The first thing that one cannot fail to notice is the now derelict half built concrete stalls and cafes that sit uncomfortably under the trees of coral bay. Perhaps this was a failed attempt to extend the Nipah bay strip to what must have once been its prettier neighbour. The beach is marginally wider, sloping gently into the sea and it does feel more secluded. However, the only coral we found were the broken fragments that litter the beach. We had to be content with watching the small shoals of stripped and silvery fish.
If you want to snorkel here, perhaps you best bet is to go on an organised trip to some of the other islands…according to the faded photos, there is plenty of coral out there, just not at coral bay!
Another word of advice, there is a tiny island with a nice stretch of beach (and drinks stall) about 100m out from the north end of Nipah Bay. It looks like its connected to Pangkor island by a just submerged strip of sand. We witnessed someone trying to walk this sandbank to the island and then found themselves in deep water. They had to be rescued by a reluctant canoe vendor. Do not attempt to cross this stretch of water unless you are a competent swimmer, or take a canoe instead.