A Phuket yacht charter unfolds in an exotic part of the world with stunning scenery and easy passages, which is what makes sailing in Phang-nga Bay and the Andaman Sea so appealing. Secluded coves fringed with majestic limestone cliffs and pristine white-sand beaches indent many of the islands, and just offshore are coral reefs resplendent in hues of brown, orange, green, and blue. Marine parks set aside as natural preserves to protect the tropical birds and abundant sea life make exploring these waters a voyage into an unspoiled paradise. Enjoying the culture and savoring the local cuisine is a delightful aspect of a Phuket sailing vacation, as is the snorkeling and scuba diving. For sailors interested in nightlife, Phuket is known as Thailandís premier resort island.
While enjoying the natural splendor of a Phuket sailing vacation, a visit to the manmade spectacle of the 140-acre Phuket FantaSea theme park is well worth the effort. Essentially, itís a grand celebration of Thai culture in all of its pomp and glory, featuring Las Vegas-style theatrical productions at the 3,000-seat Palace of the Elephants made all the more dramatic with its reconstruction of a Sukhothai-era stone palace and herds of elephant statues. Of particular interest is the Fantasy of a Kingdom Culture-Illusion Show. Special effects, indoor pyrotechnics, acrobatics, and an elephant circus are highlights of the presentation. There is also Carnival Village, replete with shops and gaming activities. The 4,000-seat Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant is a wonderland created in a Himmaphan forest setting, where Thai feasts prepared by world-class chefs tantalize and entice.
James Bond Island
Cue the James Bond movie theme and relive in the mindís eye scenes from the 1974 classic film, The Man With the Golden Gun starring Roger Moore, and a cruise to James Bond Island will be set in perfect context. Although itís most often simply referred to as James Bond Island, this extraordinary isle within the protected confines of Phang-nga Bay is locally known as Koh Tapu. Its prominent limestone pinnacle helped give the film its exotic look, and it put this part of Thailand on the international map. The island is a major tourist destination, with beachside vendors and beer stands. Itís accessible via longtail boat tours from the anchorage at Koh Yang. The boat tour can also include a visit to the cliff-studded island of Koh Panyee, home to a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the shallow water.
Koh Phi Phi Le
The smaller of the two main isles of the Phi Phi group, Koh Phi Phi Le has an area of just four square miles. Itís one of the most scenic islands in the Andaman Sea, with numerous picturesque bays, gorgeous white-sand beaches, excellent snorkeling, and soaring limestone cliffs. One of the most striking features of the island is Maya Bay, where sheer cliffs soar more than 300 feet high on three sides. Several pristine white-sand beaches are ideal places to swim and sunbathe. The snorkeling is superb on the coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. The blockbuster hit movie The Beach was filmed in Maya Bay and released in 1999, which brought Phi Phi Le international fame for its spectacular setting and crystal clear waters.
About four miles north-northeast of Koh Kai, a rock outcrop rises from the seafloor and just barely breaks the surface of the Andaman Sea. Itís a favorite dive spot locals call Hin Musang. Nurse sharks and ominous looking but harmless leopard sharks thrive in the area, and in February and March enormous whale sharks also put in an appearance. The presence of these creatures in great numbers is how the rock came to be called Shark Point. Giant sea fans, purple soft coral, schools of colorful tropical fish, and crystal clear water that averages about 86įF (30įC) year round make scuba diving at Shark Point a highlight of any Phuket powerboat charter. Anemone Reef and the wreck of the 278-foot King Cruiser ferry that sank in 1997 are nearby.
Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay is located in the Andaman Sea between the island of Phuket and the mainland of southern Thailand. It's protected confines contain an abundance of limestone cliffs, caves, collapsed cave systems and archaeological sites. A big part of the bay is protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Now protected as a Marine National Park, Phang Nga is a shallow bay with 42 islands. The Bay encapsulates the three main districts of Krabi province and is internationally recognised for the quality of the snorkelling and diving in the area. In 1974 it received international recognition as the setting for the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun starring Roger Moore and Christopher Lee. Ko Tapu, also known as James Bond Island, is a steep rocky monolith, about 265 feet tall, popular with tourists on Phang Nga yacht charters.
Rai Le Beach Krabi
Rai Le Beach in Krabi is famous as much for the remarkable views and mangrove forests to the north of the beach, as for the adrenaline pumping activity of cliff climbing. Rai Le Beach is generally divided into two sections, East Hat Rai Le and West Hat Rai Le.
West Hat Rai Le offers more traditional beach scenery with a broad sandy beach and clear water. The beach offers stunning sunsets and peace and quiet to relax and unwind, as well as swimming and snorkeling. East Hat Rai Le is partly covered by mangrove forests to the north of the beach and from the viewpoint at the east offers breathtaking views of the mountains and islands of Krabi Sea.
The limestone cliffs on the huge headland between Hat Rai Le East and Tham Phra Nang provide world-class rock climbing facilities against a stunning backdrop of the sea. With approximately 700 sport routes of mid to high difficulty ratings many experience this unique thrill on a Rai Le Beach Krabi yacht charter.
Bang Bao Bay
Bang Bao Bay (Ao Bang Bao) is a well protected bay on the southernmost point of Koh Chang. One of the most popular attractions is the fishing village of Baan Bang Bao, which is built on stakes out into the bay. A number of colorful fishing boats are moored at the end of the pier, some active fishing vessels and others purely for tourists.
Bang Bao has also become the island's diving hub, often sought out on a Bang Bao Bay boat charter. A number of nearby restaurants specialize in freshly caught seafood and many small shops sell souvenirs.
To the east of the pier are quiet stretches of beach. Visitors are able to cross a narrow bridge over a lagoon and visit another beach, Kong Gloi. Kong Gloi has a few huts offering traditional thai massages and cold drinks. The beach offers stunning views of the neighboring islands and back to the pier at Bang Bao.
Koh Chang Marina, Salak Phet
Discover breathtaking coastlines framed by magnificent high peaks, steep cliffs and luscious hillsides. Koh Chang Marina Salak Phet yacht charter allows you to explore pristine beaches, anchor off deserted islands and dive into true blue waters.
Koh Chang itself is surrounded by clear waters while a terrain of high peaks and steep cliffs provide a magnificent backdrop to its breathtaking coastline. The western side of the island is slowly adapting to tourism, but the eastern side has retained its traditional features. New developments are limited to three stories in a bid to maintain the natural beauty of this island.
The beaches of Koh Chang and its archipelago are just one of the many highlights of a Koh Chang yacht charter. White Sand Beach on Koh Chang is one of the most notable and a popular spots when the sun goes down, with sailors joining the locals at one of the traditional restaurants and bars that scatter the area. If peace and tranquillity is more your scene, head over to Klong Prao beach instead. As you sail the waters of Koh Chang and its islands make sure you pay a visit to the quaint fishing villages such as Bang Bao and Salak Phet. These communities are built on stilts and welcome visitors into their daily life.
No doubt the stunning scenery from the deck of your yacht will keep you entertained for days, but donít forget to stretch your land legs and explore the heart of the islands. Renowned for their lush and green landscape, they hide idyllic waterfalls which are a sight not to be missed. Than Mayom is the most famous waterfall on Koh Chang and is actually a series of three falls along the stream of Klong Mayom. The fertile rainforest keeps it flowing year round and the large pool at its source offers plentiful fresh water for local life.
Follow the well marked pathway for a picturesque 45 minute climb to the first set of falls and you will be rewarded with spectacular views from the top. Make sure you search out the two stones with inscriptions bearing the initials of King Rama VI and King Rama VII resting on the ground. The second waterfall is about 500 metres east and the third is 1 mile from the first. Another inscribed stone with the initial of King Rama V can be found here and donít forget your swimsuit for an invigorating and well deserved dip!
The whole archipelago is not only famous for its waterfalls but also abundant coral reefs and long sandy beaches. The whole area is still relatively undiscovered by sailors and Koh Mak is a perfect slice of Thai life. Only 10 miles from Koh Chang itís worth a full day to explore.
Koh Rang is a group of small uninhabited islands just south of Koh Chang. Koh Rang Yai is the largest of the islands, boasting tropical rainforests and the longest beach in the area, the Had San Chao or San Chao Beach. Several smaller islands including Koh Tien, Koh Yak and Koh Kra are known for excellent diving and snorkeling, where divers enjoy scenic beauty up to 25 metres deep.
Sailors on a Koh Rang yacht charter should pay a visit to Ao Cho Bay and San Chao Beach, which are probably Ko Rang's best beaches offering crystal clear water.
Koh Wai is a small island paradise situated approximately 4 miles south of Koh Chang. It offers small, beautiful beaches, clear water and abundant sealife, including a unique sapphire-blue coral. The main beach boasts perfect white sand, lined with palm trees.
Ko Wai Island is a very small place, about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide, with a pretty and primitive feel. Many escape to the island for a retreat from the noise and activity of some of the larger nearby islands. With no road and a large jungle, the island is a perfect retreat for those on a Koh Wai boat charter, enjoying terrific views over nearby islands.
Whether itís hip resorts or breathtaking scenery, superlative diving and snorkeling or pristine islands and hidden jungle trails that you are after, a Koh Samui bareboat sailing vacation has it all.