Sailing in Thailand and Malaysia - our itineraries
Our Thailand-to-Malaysia sailing adventure
This is an example of a popular itinerary on our hailand-to-Malaysia trips. However, no two trips are ever exactly the same; one of the greatest things about being on a sailboat 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 !
A typical itinerary from Phuket to Langkawi
Morning rendezvous in Phuket. As soon as our checkout formalities are completed, we'll be sailing north - to the weird and wonderful "seascapes" of Phang-Nga bay!
This bay feels like sailing into some sci-fi movie set; the limestone formations are so sheer and gravity-defying. Our destination for the evening is Ko Hong. "hong" being the word for "sea cave". The entrance to these hongs is usually 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!
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.
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.
Chance to visit Tiger Cave and Temple , a 30 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.
An early morning start, and a short hop to Phi Phi Li (Little Phi Phi), whose recent claim-to-fame is the Leonardo di Caprio movie "The Beach" . It's a spectacular little island - dramatic limestone cliffs, pure white sands and unbelievably bright turquoise waters. It's become crazily busy with daytrip boats during the day... hence we arrive late in the afternoon, leave early in the morning and inbetween, we have this stunning little spot all to ourselves! (OK, perhaps a few other yachties too!)
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"!
Our breakfast stop for the next day, we have named 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!
The destination for the afternoon is Charlie Beach, on Ko Muk - one of our favourite little beach hangouts. 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 !
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.
This is our long sail day - Wind Gods willing, we should have a lovely 6hrs or so downwind sailing ! Our destination is the Butang group of islands. Part of the Tarutao Marine National Park, these islands have the most wonderfully clear water and beautiful coral gardens. Ko Adang is our stop for the night - more fantastic snorkelling and a deserted tropical beach completely to ourselves.
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.
Some time after lunch, we'll head out for our next stop, a short distance to Ko Lipe - a long sandy beach which is home to a little community with a distinct "flower-power" ambiance! The local village, about 15mins walk through the island is still not at all "developed" - wooden huts, a great little schoolhouse, and kids who still smile and giggle if you take their photo (and love to see themselves on a digital camera screen!)
A lazy morning, a final swim or two... and then we're off to Langkawi !
Our mooring is at Telaga Harbour - a cosy, friendly little place, yet with all the handy facilities of an upmarket marina.
We'll do our customs paperwork this afternoon - whilst the skipper is busy with bureaucracy, there's a few fun things to do close to the marina. Langkawi's amazing cable car ride is just 5 mins away - a very adrenelin-inspiring trip to the top of the highest mountain on the island! For any shopping addicts, the main town of Kuah is about 30 mins away, lots of great bargains to be hunted down. For anyone wishing to stay longer in Langkawi, we can highly recommend the Mutiara Bay hotel, just 5mins from the marina , where many of our SeaScape sailors have stayed and loved!
Disembarkation is at 9am.
Ongoing connection info: Telaga Harbour is about 10 mins from the international airport of Langkawi. The main town and ferry port of Kuah is in the south of the island, about 30mins taxi ride away. There are frequent ferries to the Thai mainland (Satun), to Penang and several other places in Malaysia.
|Yachts in Phuket||Where we sail in Phuket||Sample Phuket sailing itinerary||Why sail in Thailand||Sailing in Ko Chang|