East of Koh Sirey, en route to Koh Yao Yai, is the Khai island Group. The first is Koh Kai Nok, just five miles offshore and Koh Kai Nai a further two miles. These islands are easily accessible from all the main Phuket marinas as a day trip destination and have good snorkelling and clear water, unlike further north in the bay.
13 miles from ao Chalong
13 miles from ao Chalong
This is a great daytime anchorage. The brilliantly white, all-tide beach on its northern end can be seen from miles distant.
Anchor in 15-20 metres and be careful, as the bottom rises very quickly onto a sandy ledge scattered with coral heads. Or, preferably, pick up one of the many orange moorings that are safe for daytime usage. in either monsoon season, you will find a couple of places to tuck in close to avoid the occasional ground swell, which can occur in this open anchorage.
A wide variety of fish and corals make this island a favourite for scuba divers and snorkellers at slack water and neap tides. An excellent day destination for families because of the small cove teeming with brilliantly coloured sergeant major fish, which will feed from your hand — although fish-feeding is now illegal.
By far the busiest destination for speedboat trips from Phuket, there is a daytime restaurant on the beach. A 200 baht fee per boat and 40 baht per non-Thai visitor are levied by the local council for visiting vessels. There is also a 150 baht charge per couple for deck chairs, whether you use them or not! take your wallet.
14 miles from ao Chalong
To the northwest of Koh Khai Nok, this islet has moorings and hosts the excellent stilted restaurant Chokdee tucked into the rocks. There is a dinghy jetty and snorkelling along the reef edge is superb. Anchor off the reef in 15-20 metres either side depending on conditions.
15 miles from ao Chalong
This is another very popular day trip destination for speedboat package tours from Phuket. The small islet offers a great daytime anchorage in 8-10 metres off the sandy point to the northeast.
Snorkelling and diving are best on the seaward edge of the fringing reef on the northeast side the island. There is also an all-tide access beach on this end of the island.
Alternatively, good overnight anchorage can be found anywhere on the West Coast of Koh Yao Yai when the northeast monsoon prevails.
As this edition went to print, local news had just reported that the Marine Department had been given powers to clear all three Khai islands of all touristrelated development and enterprises. The extent to which this will be a permanent change is yet to be seen, but you could arrive to find these stunning islands in pristine condition, without the restaurants, umbrellas and sunbeds that you see in the photo on the opposite page.
Be careful, though, not to feed the fish. One hapless Chinese tourist was arrested and faced a court appearance for doing what tourists to these islands have been doing for as long as anyone can remember!
It remains to be seen whether the popular restaurant seen in this photo survives the Government\’s initiative to return the beaches on and around Phuket to their former pristine condition…
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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