Thailand has over 1,000 miles of mainland coastline bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. With thousands of islands, there are many more miles of beaches, creeks and headlands meeting the sea. Between 6°N and 13°N, the cruising area’s climate is tropical and the beaches are palm fringed, with pristine white sand, crystal waters and superb coral reefs.
Neither coastline is in a hazardous weather zone; there are no typhoons and even the seasonal monsoons are gentle. Temperatures are 25°-32°C and the sea rarely varies from 28°. Comfortable cruising is possible all year round, even on the Andaman Sea coast, with its strong southwest monsoon breezes. Thai waters have long been an essential stopover for world cruisers; many never leave.
And, 16 years after showing incredible foresight in reducing yacht import duties to zero, the Thai government recently announced definitively that it is opening up Thai waters to superyacht charters by creating a special superyacht licence, waiving VAT on temporary imports and allowing foreign flagged yachts over 100ft to charter legally. At the same time, the length of stay for foreign yachts in Thailand has been increased to a total of 30 months.
In recent years the impact of mass tourism, notably from China – and specifically in the waters around Phuket – has severely affected some of the favourite destinations listed in this guide. This has led to a number of new regulations and restrictions being introduced to protect the reefs. Numbers of tour boats have been restricted and some island bays have been closed entirely to tour groups and individual yachts.
>>> Click here for a complete list of anchorages in Southeast Asia Pilot.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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