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Sitting in the South East of Asia, Thailand is popular for its delicious street food and beautiful beaches that have featured in some of the greatest films to have ever been made.
A religious country, Thailand is home to an abundance of temples and you will more than likely see a Buddhist monk or two walking to and from prayer at sunrise and sunset. The country’s culture make it a fantastic destination for those looking to feed their knowledge base and with royal palaces and verdant history, there’s no shortage of educational fulfilment for those travelling to Thailand.
In addition to the beaches, culture and history, Thailand has some outstanding areas of beauty that make for the perfect sailing haven. The marine life offer plenty of opportunities for vibrant snorkelling and diving.
With so much to feed your lust for adventure, we’ve pulled together a guide on the best places to visit and provision on a Thailand yacht charter.
Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been ruled by a European country.
Our top five places to visit when sailing Thailand
Before setting sail, make sure you spend a few hours in Phuket City, the capital of the country’s Phuket province. Head to the Old Town for a rich history lesson, 400,000sqm of vintage buildings and quaint shop fronts. Or, if visiting in the evening, make sure you grab some authentic Thai street food with flavours you’ll never forget before heading to one of the 10 best sunset bars in Phuket.
At 576 sqkm, Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is only slightly smaller than the country of Singapore!
2. Koh Hong Krabi
The Koh Hong archipelago consists of approximately 12 quaint little islands that are famous for their magnificent limestone rock formations that rise majestically over the beautiful lagoons beneath them. Take some time to experience the ‘hong’, a hidden room within the caves of the lagoon and snorkel the clear waters at the base of the rock just off the coast of Krabi.
Some of the Koh Hong Krabi islands are so small they do not have beaches.
Home to the famous James Bond Bay where Bond blockbuster ‘A Man with a Golden Gun’ was filmed, Phang Nga National Park is rich in fertile flora and fauna, with amazing mangroves that wind serpent-like along the river banks.
Kayakers will be in their element as the setting makes for the perfect place to spend an hour or two floating elegantly down the calm streams while taking in the surroundings and spotting some of the wildlife that inhabit the river bank.
The island used for the filming of The Man with the Golden Gun, is actually called Ko Tapu, which means “spike” in Thai and is named such because of the huge limestone rock formation that juts out of the lagoon.
Situated between Ao Nang and Krabi, Rai Leh is home to one of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches. Rock climbers flock here in their thousands every year to attempt the descent up the towering limestone cliffs which make the beach accessible only by boat. Here you can hire one of the famous multi-coloured Thai long tail boats, often seen in Thai photography.
Although connected to the mainland, there are no roads between Rai Leh and Krabi.
The main island in Thailand’s Koh Phi Phi archipelago, Koh Phi Phi is famous for it’s beautiful white sandy beaches, making it the perfect place for a days swimming and sunbathing.
Moor off the shore and spend the day at leisure, snorkelling and diving the clear waters. Or, for the more adventurous, head inland and take a hike through the rich jungles that are home to some of the worlds endangered Simian population.
Cute but sneaky! You are more likely to have you sunglasses pinched by a monkey in Thailand than anywhere else in the world (apparently).
Top five places to eat and drink in Thailand
- Dee Plee @ Anantara Layan Phuket Resort – Overlooking the Andaman sea, visitors to Dee Plee will be in for a real treat. Enjoy a seven-course meal while relaxing on triangular pillows and try local delicacies including Golden flower cup with minced chicken and prawn or opt for traditional Thai curries
- De Puta Madre Tapas (Ao Nang) – Spanish tapas with a Thai twist. This quaint little restaurant is inexpensive but delicious. Perfect for a quick little lunch, choose from fried chorizo, steamed dumplings or local seafoods
- Tasai Seafood (Phang Nga) – On the shore of the river that runs to Phang Nga, Tasai offers some of the best local seafood in Thailand. Try the Pacific oysters, freshly caught that morning, or the local shrimps, all marinated in flavoursome Thai herbs and spices
- Sizzle Rooftop Restaurant (Phuket) – Head to one of Phuket’s most luxurious restaurants on the rooftop of Avista Hideaway at Patong, Overlooking the bay, Sizzle specialises in grilled meats and seafood including prime cuts of beef and local marine delicacies
- Hawker stalls (all around Phuket) – Make sure you take the time to visit an authentic Thai street food stall while in Phuket. Serving a range of dishes, from mildly spiced to those that will have you reaching for the milk, Thai street food is second to none when it comes to flavour and individualism. Try the Som Tam (papaya salad) or the more well known Pad Thai (noodles with shrimps)
One week Thailand sailing itinerary
Day 1: Phuket to Koh Hong (10nm). Discover the scenic islands of Koh Hong in the Ao Phang-nga National Park and venture through a tunnel leading to an enclosed lagoon where you can view a “hong” (hidden room)
Day 2: Koh Roi (10nm). Explore the hong of Koh Roi and snorkel around the bay
Day 3: Koh Hong Krabi (10nm). Venture to the Koh Hong Krabi archipelago where the clear water are teeming with fish including mackerel and rainbow runner
Day 4: Rai Leh Beach (10nm). Relax on Rai Leh and admire the shimmering waters of the Andaman Sea
Day 5: Koh Phi Phi Don (15nm). Anchor off Ton Sai Bay known for it’s exciting nightlife. Venture to the lagoon for some excellent snorkelling and diving
Day 6: Koh Rang Yai (25nm). Traverse the island on foot or hire a bike for a little bit more adventure. Enjoy a meal ashore in one of the local restaurants where the food full of flavour and a little spice!
Day 7: Phuket (10nm). Disembark.
Flying to Thailand
Flights to Thailand are available from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Phuket Airport (HKT) via Bangkok Airport (BKK) with Thai Airways. Transfers from Phuket Airport to Yacht Haven Phuket Marina take around 30 mins and cost around £65 for two people if booked in advance.