For those with a yen to explore beyond the popular shores of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, turn east to the hauntingly beautiful cruising grounds of Southeast Asia. Uninhabited islands, pristine beaches, turquoise waters, amazing underwater life, and well-protected anchorages make the Andaman Sea, with Phuket as its hub, the reigning maritime jewel of Southeast Asia. Imbued with one of the most exotic, dynamic and intriguing cultures in the world, Thailand offers coastlines where timeless serenity in inextricably interwoven with its ancient and mystical Buddhist heritage.
The area of Phang Nga Bay, surrounded by Phuket, Phan Nga and the Krabi provinces, is made up of over 100 islands. The geology varies from low, gently sloping mountains to the steep karst outcrops for which the bay is most famous. Most of the islands within Phang Nga Bay are uninhabited, offering secluded anchorages under soaring cliffs fringed with jungle. The bay itself is not that large, but its great number of islands ensures you can steer away from any other yachts and take the tender to discover hidden beaches, caves and creeks often not shown on charts and maps.
During the day, you’ll spot the locals scaling palm trees to knock loose the coconuts, so watch out while you’re wandering around the island tracks — or head to the relative safety of the surrounding waters which are rich in marine life and perfect for snorkelling or diving. After a lazy day in the sun, you’ll find the surprisingly lively nightlife of the island will wake you up with reggae and jazz streaming out from the local bars.
- Join the yachting crowd for spectacular cuisine at the exclusive Phuket Yacht Club.
- The Yacht Haven Marina is the ideal launch pad for a vacation in the cruising grounds of Thailand.
- Stretch out on silk sands or simply snorkel in the private paradise of Kho Naka Yai.
- See the the Phi Phi Islands rise from the sea like fortresses as sheer cliffs tower overhead, eventually giving way to beach-fronted jungle as you approach on your yacht.
- Snorkel in the shallow waters of Phuket’s largest coral reef, a little way off shore at Hat Nai Yang National Park.
- Thailand’s coastline boasts a wonderful concoction of culture – from pearl farms to colonial style mansions to Chinese pagodas, Muslim mosques, and of course Buddhist temples.
- A visit to the dazzling Grand Place in Bangkok that boasts spectacular architecture and intricate detail is not to be missed.