Wide stretches of dazzling coastline and glistening seas. One island more breathtaking than the other. Small pieces of paradise waiting for you to be awed by their beauty. This and much more is what Thailand has in store for you, and experiencing it all from your own charter yacht is true luxury. Thailand’s waters are crystal clear and home to a rich underwater life. The winds are light with a usual nice breeze in the morning or afternoon.
The 5-day route we suggest is mostly focused on the islands south and west of Koh Lanta and are well known for their marine life diversity and long unspoiled beaches. You will visit Phang Nga Bay, the Phi-Phi islands and the Butang Group where you will have the chance to go out to the best snorkeling places.
The Phang Nga Bay, just east of the base in Yacht Haven, is impressive due to the extraordinary shapes of massive limestone rocks rising up high from the emerald water. The most famous one being is Ko Tapu, or The James Bond Island, that appeared in the 1974’s movie The Man With The Golden Gun and gained immense popularity.
Here you can find a logbook example of a Thailand sailing trip from a family of four:
13/3 Chalong to south west Koh Lanta (50 nm)
We dropped anchor in 7 meters deep crystal-clear water right in front of a paradise like bungalow resort located directly at the beach. Good to remember is that from the north end of beach, you will find a small road that leads to a little village (perhaps 300m north of the beach) that actually has a Seven Eleven and an ATM. Here I asked a friendly local guy for some ice who straightaway jumped on his moped with a cooling box and returned with a very large bag for just 60 THB.
14/3 Koh lanta - Koh Ma (east Koh Ngai, 10 nm) - Koh Kradan (east coast, 7 nm)
Koh Ma was such a beautiful place! We anchored in 10 meters deep water on Koh Ma’s east coast. Besides some scattered long-tail boats it was quiet and peaceful with a white sand bottom close to the shore. On Koh Kradan we tried two different anchorages on the east coast, both times in about 8 meters deep water and 100 meters out from shore. The first anchorage was in the south and the second one in the central part, which was our night anchorage. We found a nice unspoiled bounty beach without a resort, but there were several small bungalow resorts further along the coast. During the day some commercial boats stopped on different locations along the coast. They were certainly not overcrowded, but it did spoil just a little bit of our true explorer feeling.
15/3 Koh Kradan - Koh Muk, two stops (6 nm) - Koh Rok (18 nm)
Koh Muk is well known for its amazing ‘secret’ emerald cave, which you can swim into after an 80-meter long tunnel. Beyond the cave lies a beautiful, small, completely enclosed beach formed by a sinkhole. Truly spectacular, but not unexpectedly, very crowded. We also anchored a few hundred meters north from the cave by a small beach, in about 6 meters deep water. The beach was slightly difficult to reach because of some sharp rocks. We then decided to sail around it to the east coast and got an ice cream and a refreshing swim at the pool of an amazingly located resort. We found a charming little Muslim village a bit south of the resort where we could get ice for just 5 THB per kilo. Note: Please remember to bring flip-flops! We then sailed to Koh Rok, which was the most spectacular place so far. This was without a doubt exactly what sailing in Thailand is all about! We explored fantastic unspoilt beaches without resorts and with just a ranger station. We used mooring buoys in only 2-3 meters deep turquoise water at low tide. Usually adults pay 400 TBH and half of that price for children, but we ended up paying only 400 for our whole family of four. Lucky us! Snorkeling was amazing and definitely the best so far. A must see is the sunken lagoon cat about 100 meters east of the mooring place at only a few meters depth, that apparently sunk after a big fire on-board. We also managed to refill our tank with 20 litres of diesel from the ranger (from a barrel) for just 800 THB!
16/3 Koh Rok - Koh Ha Yai (18 nm).
Ha Yai is for sure well worth a stop, however night mooring can only be done in calm weather, because there is no real protection. We stayed on a mooring of the central island's east coast entirely free of charge. There we found a small pretty beach and went for some very good snorkeling. Overall an amazing place with an empty shore and only three other yachts in addition to ours. Now that’s a true feeling of freedom!
17/3 Koh Ha Yai - Koh Racha Yai (36 nm).
This is a nice bay (on the north-western shore) with a modern resort on the beach with a pool and other facilities. We spent a lazy day at the resort whilst the yacht was on a mooring (I was lucky enough to take over from a departing day tripper). Ice was available from the resort at 25 THB/kg. We had absolutely no wind in the morning, but then at 15.00 a nice western breeze started and peaked at 15-18 knots. At about 20:00 the wind shifted to north/north east pretty quickly, followed by some heavy rain for about 30 minutes and thereafter no wind and no rain. Such weird weather circumstances!
18/3 Koh Racha Yai – Chalong bay (Phuket), (15 nm).
A bit of a tricky part when sailing in Thailand is water. Some of the yachts have a water maker, which is very helpful, because there actually aren’t too many places where you can fill up your water tanks. As far as I understood, the only places you can get water (outside Yacht Haven) are Chalong in the south of Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Don (but the water is allegedly brackish). During my sailing trip I was informed that there was water available on Koh Lanta on the way to the northern part of the island (saladan pier). Try to look for a restaurant ashore, because my best guess is that you will find water there.
*This route requires you to have a skipper on board who can take the yacht from and to Yacht Haven (approx. 5 hours sailing is each direction).