Our cruising grounds range from the northern end of Phang-Nga bay - where the gravity-defying shaped limestone cliffs and islands create an eerie feeling of some sci-fi movie set! We swim and kayak to explore these other-worldly sea caves ("hongs"); anchor for lunch at tiny isolated coves, and feast on our Thai chef's amazing home-cooking under the stars for dinners!
The southern islands are quite the contrast; westernised resorts have not (yet!) made their indelible mark; little beach bars and massage huts are often our evening's entertainment. Even more unspoilt are the Marine National Park islands - abounding with tropical fish life and multicoloured coral; the warm, clear waters perfect for snorkellers or newbie divers. We do also stop at a couple of the more "touristy" spots on our route - after all, we do still need to get our Thai shopping and exotic cocktails fix! But on the whole, our anchorages are mostly little spots that aren't on the Tourist Track - as with our usual SeaScape philosophy of Go Where Everyone Else doesn't!
The lush, magical island of the "Pregnant Maiden". Only just finding it's feet in the international tourism scene, Langkawi is a gorgeous and - for now! - unspoiled little gem; fantastic beaches, waterfall hikes, great local craft shopping; a harmonious multicultural mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese.
"This sailing adventure exceeded any expectations we might have had. Sailing among small islands, with few tourists was a wonderful experience."Carl T
Phuket - the most well-known yachting destination in Thailand. There's plenty bright lights and party nights on the main island; yet in the smaller islands to the south, one can still find quiet anchorages with stunning beaches and lots of fun local hangouts.
Made famous by the James Bond movie of old, the weird and wonderful gravity-defying islands in the north are simply awesome. And tons of kayaking fun around sea caves and lagoons!
Within easy sailing distance, there is the duty-free island of Langkawi. Green, lush; less busy than Phuket but with some gorgeous resorts for a little decadent luxury. A little taste of the diverse Malaysian culture to add to your Thailand experience!
This is an example of a typical itinerary on one of our sailing trips in Thailand - of course, no two trips are ever exactly the same.
Day One - 11am rendezvous in Ao Yon, in the SE corner of Phuket. As soon as everyone is settled in, we'll be sailing north - to the weird and wonderful "seascapes" of Phang-Nga bay. Sailing into this area is like finding yourself in some sci-fi movie set; the limestone formations are so sheer and gravity-defying, they just don't seem possible.
We'll do a lunch n' snorkel stop, to check out the underwater scenery too; then head into our first anchorage of "Dolphin Bay". No doubt it has some other Thai name - but since our very first visit here, when we were escorted into the bay by a school of dolphins - how could we call it anything else??
The bay is on the west side of the very quiet island of Ko Yao Yai. Just 10 miles or so off the coast of Phuket - it feels like going back through time at least 20yrs. Little villages, a long sandy beach and just one gorgeous little "boutique" resort, where we usually chill out for sunset drinks.
Day Two - Early start the next morning - we have a big day going "hong exploring" ! "Hong" literally means "sea room"; entered usually through a well-hidden little crevice in the cliff-face; a narrow tunnel opening up into an awe-inspiring oasis on the interior. Perfect for kayak expeditions!
Tide dependent, we'll hope to explore a few different hongs that day; ending up anchored off the gorgeous, tiny island of Ko Roi - more awesome cliffs and a "mini-hong" leading to a mangrove river.
Happy hour with the best pina coladas in the Andaman! - followed by our very own Thai chefs' gourmet dinner on board; an amazing array of tongue-tingling dishes.
Day Three - A relaxed morning's cruise southwards again, past more impossibly-balanced rocks, cliffs & islands. There is another hong to explore en route, paddling through a dramatic, mangrove-lined stream which winds its way inside a huge crevice in the island.
For the evening, we'll anchor at the famous Railey Beach, near Krabi. Sheer, palm-covered mountains rising vertically from the ocean, it's a well-known spot for those who like to scare themselves silly scaling these cliffs. There are even beginner's rock-climbing opportunities, for any adrenalin-addicts amongst us! Dinner ashore, there's dozens of fun little beach bars and restaurants.
Day Four - Chance to visit Tiger Cave and Temple , a 20 minute minibus ride inland. This place is not as overtly dramatic and ornate as some of the more well-known Thai wats; what attracts us is it's deeply spiritual, calm Buddhist ambiance. This is not a "tourist destination" - it's a place that the locals visit to pay their respects to the monk community there. For the energetic, there is a steep climb to a stunning viewpoint, a huge Buddha keeping an eye on us mere mortals below; for those who prefer to take it easier (and cooler!), there is a shady hike through an enormous and ancient forest. It's also home to a troop of very mischievous monkeys, watch out for your drinks and snacks, they're fast!
Just around the corner from Railey beach is the little town of Ao Nang - a great place to do a little shopping. There'll be a couple of hours ashore here - then it's a short hop to Chicken Island. A quiet, tranquil contrast to the day's activities, and usually a beautiful sunset to accompany our infamous Pina Coladas! It's also our first great snorkelling spot, lots of coral and tropical fish to swim amongst.
Day Five - The next day will be a leisurely sail south to Phi Phi Li - "little Phi Phi". made infamous by the Leonardo diCaprio movie "The Beach". It's a spectacular little island - dramatic limestone cliffs, pure white sands and unbelievably bright turquoise waters. Great snorkelling too! It's become crazily busy with daytrip boats during the day - hence we arrive there late in the afternoon, leave early in the morning. Inbetween, we have this stunning little spot all to ourselves...(well, ok perhaps a few other yachties too!)
Day Six - Our next destination is Ko Lanta - a long island of many extensive, white sand beaches. We stay away from the more touristy north end; our little hideout is a wonderful beach in the south, with just a few restaurants and beach bars (reggae seems to be the latest "cool" thing here! )
Well off the main tourist track, this is the place to go elephant-trekking if the idea appeals to you! The ride takes you way back into the tropical forest behind the beach, one could be hundreds of miles (and year!) from so-called civilisation. A hike through a babbling stream to a mini-waterfall is a great way to cool off, halfway through the ride. For the adventurous amongst us, the guides will let you ride on the elephant's head, the way they do... not just sit in the "passenger basket"!
Day Seven - Ko Muk is our next island, and Charlie Beach - a wonderfully laid-back little hangout. Somewhat smaller than Ko Lanta, but with a very cosy little beach bar and great BBQ restaurant. Cocktails on the beach at sunset, it doesn't get any more romantic than this !
We'll be leaving at the crack of dawn the next morning - yes, seriously - at sunrise ! Our dawn adventure is The Lost Lagoon - an old pirate hangout. To find it, we swim through a winding, pitch-black sea tunnel (it's ok, we do have waterproof lights!). It's a spooky and thoroughly exciting feeling - especially when one emerges the other end into a "Lost World" in the center of the island.
Unfortunately, the local daytrip boats from Phi Phi have now discovered this spot too - but as long as we get there early in the morning, we have it all to ourselves!
Day Eight - The further south we sail, the further away from any kind of "tourist development" - and today's islands are right out in the middle of nowhere! A Marine National Park, Rok Nok is a protected wildlife habitat. An amazing array of coral gardens and brightly-coloured fish are literally right underneath the boat - one could snorkel for hours in the tropically warm waters! For our experienced divers, there's a chance to put tanks on and explore further underwater too.
Day Nine - A morning to explore some more of that ever-changing underwater scenery. under the water as well as above. It's also a very fun place to take out the kayaks and explore along the rocks and crevices of the beach.
We'll then be heading off to Ko Racha - an island of icing-sugar smooth sand and more great snorkelling along the surrounding rocks.
Our final day - we'll be headed back to Phuket, to our lovely home base of Ao Yon. Chance to get a last, muscle-melting massage on the beach, stroll along the quiet beachfront (still not a single sunbed in our little hideaway bay!), before farewell cocktails on board, and dinner at the aptly-named Secret Cove.
Day Eleven -Disembarkation at 9am. We can organise taxis on arrival in Ao Yon; if you have a later flight and want somewhere quiet to mellow out for the day, there is a nice little hotel nearby (with pool!) who are happy to do a "day stay".
We have made 8 days the 'default' itinerary for our Phuket-Phuket trips. It's the perfect timeframe to fit in all the very best places; from the towering hongs in the north, to the underwater wonderland of the Rok Nok National Park in the south.
Of course, if your vacation time will allow you more days on the water - great! We will never run out of other stunning spots to visit around this area.
Also, do keep in mind that this is a provisional itinerary only. One of the greatest things about being on a sailing boat is the flexibility to change our minds and our route to suit personal preferences, prevailing wind conditions, etc. The start and finish points are fixed, of course - but all else is changeable according to the whims of the wind gods and those on board!
Prices are per person, and in euros
|Dates||Trip Route||8 Day||10 day|
|Dec 3 - Dec 11||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Dec 13 - Dec 21||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Dec 24 - Jan 2||Phuket-Phuket (9 days, custom Xmas route)||1750|
|Jan 7 - Jan 15||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Jan 18 - Jan 28||Phuket-Langkawi||1895|
|Jan 31 - Feb 10||Langkawi-Phuket||1895|
|Feb 17 - Feb 25||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Mar 2 - Mar 10||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Mar 15 - Mar 23||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Mar 27 - Apr 4||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Apr 8 - Apr 16||Phuket-Phuket||1550|
|Apr 18 - Apr 30||Phuket-Phuket (own group)|
Our main base is on the island of Phuket, Thailand. Most of our routes sail from here to Langkawi (Malaysia) or vice versa.
The main destination cities to look for are Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Find the best deals to any of these, and the connecting flights are easy! There are usually some amazing deals around on domestic and short-haul international flights in SE Asia.
Do take a look at some of the lesser-known Asian carriers, eg Eva Air, Asiana, Air China - they often have well-priced fares, nicely sociable arrival/departure times. And of course, the wonderful service-with-a-smile Asian approach. More well-known (though higher priced of course!), Thai Airways also reflects the sort of wonderful service and style one finds throughout the country.
Check out Air Ninja for all possible airline routes, including the discount ones not often included on the major flight search engines!
Air Asia - one of the biggest of the discount airlines, with an extensive route network and promotional fares which seem too good to be true sometimes. (At least, we thought so at first!). We've since flown them ourselves; the fares are for real, the planes, staff & service are excellent, and everything is very easily bookable online!
Do note than none of the discount airlines check domestic baggage through to international flights. Be sure to leave enough connection time to collect and re-check baggage if you choose one of these flights.
Unfortunately - and to our constant amazement!! - there are no direct connecting flights between Phuket and Langkawi. The easiest route is on Air Asia, via Kuala Lumpur). Ferries between Thailand and Langkawi
Similarly, there are no direct ferries between Phuket and Langkawi. There are, however, regular ferries from Langkawi to Satun, on the Thai mainland. The airport close to Satun (Hat Yai) has regular flights to Bangkok and many other destinations.
You can reach Lora in our office in the States (Arizona timezone) on
+1 623 546 5853 or US Tollfree 1 877 273 2722
Get in touch with any questions you have, and we'll get right back to you.