What are the general characteristics of a sailing yacht charter in Thailand?
Thailand has a really easy accessibility with its many airports and daily international flights. The biggest airports in the main charter area are in Phuket and Krabi. You can also fly to smaller ones like on Phi Phi Island for example. Phuket International Airport features direct flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The amazingly crystal-clear waters and rich underwater flora and fauna make that area a diver´s dream. Yacht charterers will be rewarded with absolutely stunning scenery. From the boat you get the best view of the typical dramatic limestone cliffs jutting out vertically from the sea.
The Thai cuisine is second to none in the world. It is purely delicious and uses a myriad of tasty ingredients and fresh produce. Thailand is renowned for the friendliness of its people, too. And sightseeing is mind-blowing. There are gorgeous temples, Buddha statues, elephant sanctuaries and national parks / nature reserves to be explored. The nature and wildlife is lush with many rare species for you to admire.
Last not least the year-round tropical climate with no hurricanes or cyclones is perfect for motor or sailing yacht charter. There are numerous islands and long stretches of coastline with huge cruising grounds to choose from.
Some of the most important figures for a yacht charter in Thailand:
Length of coastline: 3,219 km
Population: ca. 68,000,000
Country code: +66
Climate: Tropical, moderated by monsoon winds
Main charter areas: Phuket Island, Phang Nga Bay, Krabi coastline and all islands in between
Tidal range: 1.5 – 2.5 m
What are the most popular charter destinations and cruising grounds in Thailand?
The main charter region is in the Andaman Sea, in the area off the southeast coast of Thailand. It includes the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.
Phuket is the largest island and at the same time the richest province in Thailand. It has a land surface of 543 km². Phuket Yacht Haven, on the northeast coast of the island and only 10/15 minutes to the international airport is the perfect port of call or base to start your yacht charter vacation. It offers 300 moorings for yachts up to 30 m, many nautical services, a fully equipped modern gym, excellent restaurants, a massage parlour, great shopping facilities and much more.
Head to the Raya archipelago about 12 NM south of Phuket consisting of two islands. There are beautiful big bays with amazing long sandy beaches. It´s a true diver´s paradise and has rich fishing grounds and lovely hilly islands covered in rainforest.
Go to the Phi Phi Islands 28 NM southeast of Phuket. One of the two islands has served as a backdrop for the successful film “The Beach” because of its stunning lagoons and cliffs. There are great anchorages, lovely beach bars, plenty of restaurants as well as hotels and newly built resorts.
Check out Koh Rok Nok 49 NM south of Phuket. It is a national park consisting of 2 islands separated by a narrow channel that is well suited for anchoring, diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
A great cruising ground is Tarutao National Park with a surface of 1,490 km² and 51 islands at the southwesternmost tip of Thailand at the border to Malaysia. It is most recommendable to go from November to April during the dry season. There you encounter dramatic limestone or granite cliffs, rain and mangrove forests, beautiful lookouts and impressive waterfalls.
At the southernmost tip of Thailand, about 20 NM west of the north-western Malaysian coast you find Langkawi, an archipelago with 104 incredibly beautiful islands, only two of which are inhabited. The main island, Langkawi, is duty free and offers very good infrastructure and entertainment for tourists. It was given World Geopark status by the UNESCO. Enjoy the stunning scenery with rainforests, rivers, freshwater lakes, lagoons, caves etc.
Cruising along the Krabi coastline is most recommendable during the northeast monsoon season as anchorages are protected then. Admire the fantastic scenery boasting sheer limestone cliffs covered with lush green rainforest – an extension of the mountains in Phang Nga Bay – looming over pristine beaches. There´s the Railay peninsula for instance with Phra Nang Beach which is located in one of the most beautiful bays in the world. You can find moorings in the centre of the bay or anchor further offshore at a depth of 4 – 5 m on sand. There is a coral reef that is great for snorkeling. You can rent bungalows for the day at a cheap rate. With many caves to explore it is also a climber´s paradise.
Explore the scenic Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket with over 100 islands. It is very sheltered due to its geography, which makes for good year-round cruising. There are some more spectacular vertically rising cliffs up to 250 m height with fissured rocks in which kayaking is possible around many caves and grottoes. Cruising around the numerous protected inlets and channels is a delight.