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Phuket, Thailand

Suggested Cruising Program
7 day program

A Phuket sailing itinerary presents myriad opportunities to savor the varied delights of Thailand's shimmering emerald-colored waters, towering limestone pinnacles, scenic anchorages, pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages, chic resorts, and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world. The passages can be confined to the sheltered waters off the east coast of Phuket or you can venture farther into the Andaman Sea to the picturesque Phi Phi Islands. The west coast of Phuket with its stunningly beautiful beaches and waterfront resorts, as well as the offshore islands in the Similan and Surin groups are an option during the northeast monsoon, which offers dry, sunny, and relatively cool tropical weather ideal for bareboat Phuket sailing.

Day 1: St. Koh Hong

Phuket to Koh Hong - 10 nm. Your Phuket sailing itinerary typically began the previous day when you arrived at the Moorings base at Ao Po Marina to check in, provision the boat (if you hadn't elected to have us do it for you), and receive your pre-cruise chart briefing. Heading north to Phang-nga Bay, you'll leave Phuket Island astern. To the east you'll see the shoreline of Phang-nga Province, and to the west is Krabi Province. This area is part of the Ao Phang-nga National Park, and its many islands beckon. Your first stop is the scenic Koh Hong group of islands, where you can anchor between towering limestone pinnacles, enjoy a refreshing swim, and take the dinghy to explore the tunnel leading into an enclosed lagoon. In Thai, the word "hong" means room, and that's exactly what you'll find, a naturally formed room of magnificent size.

Mooring: No moorings are available. Anchor between the rock formations at Koh Hong. The best anchorage is off the east side of Koh Hong and west of the shoals extending off Koh Na Khae. Another popular anchorage is at Koh Phanak, to the south of Koh Hong. Koh Planak is a fabulous place to explore if you love caves.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: Situated north of Phuket and west of Krabi Province, Ao Phang-nga National Park is one of the jewels of southern Thailand. You could easily spend two or three days of your Phuket yacht charter cruising in Koh Hong waters. Other intriguing islands besides Koh Hong include Koh Planak, Koh Panyl, Khoa Phing Kan, and Tham Lot. Swimming, snorkeling, exploring the caves, and relaxing in scenic anchorages are the main attractions in the park. Taking the dinghy through the tunnel of Koh Hong into the lagoon to view the "hong" or room is an unforgettable experience.

Day 2: Koh Roi

Koh Hong to Koh Roi - 10 nm. The second day of your cruise through the tropical paradise of Phang-nga Bay takes you westward from Koh Hong toward Krabi Province. Off the starboard bow the big island of Yoa Noi extends to the south. At the north end of Koh Yao Noi you'll find excellent anchorages for all seasons at Koh Roi and Koh Kudu Yai. Both are scenic, and the islands have plenty of interesting caves and hongs to explore on foot and in the dinghy.

Mooring: No moorings are available. The anchorage off Koh Roi is on the southwest side of the island. The anchorage at Nearby Koh Kudu Yai is on the west side of the island. An islet to the west offers additional protection.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: Koh Roi has an interesting hong that can be explored on foot. Koh Kudu Yai has a number of intriguing caves and hongs that can be explored by dinghy. Occasionally, at dusk, you can see thousands of fruit bats with three-foot wingspans soar into the sky from the middle of Koh Kudu Yai as they take flight for an evening of feeding in the dense jungles on the mainland. It's a primal sight, one evocative of ancient times.

Day 3: Koh Hong Krabi

Koh Roi to Koh Hong Krabi - 10 nm. Set sail south and head along the eastern shores of Koh Yao Noi, with the coast of Krabi Province off to port. The next anchorage on your Phuket itinerary is the Koh Hong Krabi archipelago, which lies east of Koh Yao Noi and west of the mainland. These islands are incredibly beautiful, remote, and ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Jackfish, Spanish mackerel, and rainbow runners are abundant in these crystal clear waters.

Mooring: No moorings are available, however, two anchorages are located at Koh Hong Krabi on the north and south sides of the island. There's also a good anchorage at nearby Koh Pak Bia, off the west side of the island.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: Anchoring off the north side of Koh Hong Krabi presents several delightful options. There's a beautiful beach and, as the island's name suggests, an enormous hong (Thai for room) with sheer cliffs on every side. Both are beautiful locations with warm, crystal clear water that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling during high tide. Be sure to look for the intriguing nearby cave, but watch out for the bats! On the south side of Koh Hong, you'll find another beautiful beach. During the northeast monsoon, a small restaurant usually serves lunch and nearby there's a scenic, coral fringed bay. The snorkeling is excellent at Koh Pak Bia. On the way to Koh Hong Krabi, consider planning a longtail boat tour to James Bond Island.

Day 4: Rai Le Beach

Koh Hong Krabi to Rai Le Beach - 10 nm. The next stop on your Phuket itinerary is just a short sail to the mainland, with its gorgeous beaches and secluded bays. Krabi is world-famous for its beauty, and Rai Le Beach is a prime example of what makes this part of Thailand so popular. Catering to more laid-back visitors, Rai Le Beach offers excellent snorkeling on the coral reef and swimming off a pristine white-sand beach lined with coconut palms. Pleasant beachfront restaurants serve simple fare, and you can relax with a cool drink in the shade and admire the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea.

Mooring: No moorings are available. The best anchorage is off the broad sandy beach.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: At the south end of the bay, you'll find a magnificent reef teeming with sea life and colorful coral. The snorkeling is superb. There are caves and intriguing rock formations along the rocky southern headland. On the beach, you will find some restaurants. Relaxing in the shade with a cool drink and a delicious meal is a pleasant way to spend a mid-afternoon.

Facilities: Water is available by taking the dinghy ashore with a jerry can. Limited provisions are available.

Day 5: Koh Phi Phi Don

Rai Le Beach to Koh Phi Phi Don - 15 nm. Sailing nearly due south takes you to the Phi Phi Islands, one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Thailand. Phi Phi Don is the largest island in the group and has the best anchorage and facilities at Ton Sai Bay, where you'll find restaurants and bars with lively nightlife. To the south is Phi Phi Le, known for its pristine beaches, excellent snorkeling, and rugged high cliffs. The movie The Beach, released in 1999, was filmed at Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le.

Mooring: No moorings are available. Phi Phi Don is comprised of two landmasses connected by a sandy isthmus that forms bays north and south. The best anchorage is on the south side of the island at Ton Sai Bay near the village. There are anchorages on the north side of the island as well, and they can be less crowded. While it is possible to anchor at Phi Phi Le, the water is deep and the bays are busy with tour boats.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: A coral reef on the west side of Ton Sai Bay is near the anchorage and is good for snorkeling. Exploring the village, dining at the restaurants, and browsing in the shops is a pleasant way to enjoy a late afternoon or early evening. Longtail tour boats operate from Ton Sai Bay and offer tours to the spectacular caves, hongs, and rocky inlets along the shores of Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le. Taking a longtail boat to Phi Phi Le is the most convenient way to enjoy the island's beautiful beaches and snorkeling on the reefs. Maya Bay is particularly scenic. Dive operators are available for excursions to Him Klang reef, just north of Phi Phi Don.

Facilities: Water is available at the floating dock. Limited provisions are available

Day 6: Koh Rang Yai

Koh Phi Phi Don to Koh Rang Yai - 25 nm. From Phi Phi Don you set a course to the north back to Phuket's east coast. The scenery remains breathtaking as you sail past the islands and the mangrove forests along the high hills on the shore that rise ever higher toward the interior. The Koh Rang group, a cluster of islets along a bight in the coast is the next destination on your Phuket itinerary. The anchorage at Koh Rang Yai is spectacular, and there is a restaurant ashore. You can also hike on walking paths and rent a mountain bike.

Mooring: No moorings are available. There are two anchorages off Koh Rang Yai. The one on the west side has a magnificent white-sand beach. The anchorage on the north side of the island is better protected in southwesterly winds.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: Swimming at the beach, walking the scenic footpaths, playing miniature golf, or enjoying a tasty meal at the restaurant (it's only open during the day) is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Tropical Yachts
4906 N Travelers Palm Lane. Tamarac, FL 33319
Tel: 1 (305) 735-3460

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