19 miles from Ao Chalong
A pretty bay with several hotels and plenty of restaurants ashore in a busy village atmosphere on the south end of the beach. The bay is easily recognised from seaward by the large structures of the Phuket Fantasea Park and the developments on the southern hill.
At the time of writing a large development, comprising villas, condominiums and a beachfront hotel, is under construction in the northern part of Kamala bay on 72 hectares of land stretching from the beach to the mountainside. Construction is already underway. This is rumoured to be the new location for the high-end beach clubs that have been demolished by the government elsewhere on the island.
Care should be taken when coming from the south to avoid the rocky patch 300 metres off the headland. Anchor anywhere well out in the bay in 6-8 metres on a sandy bottom.
6 miles from Patong Bay
A beautiful bay framed by two rocky headlands, this is the favourite spot for paradise seekers and ageing hippies who prefer the short longtail or tuk-tuk ride from Patong to the gruelling bus ride to Krabi.
Anchor in 3-12 metres on a sandy bottom. This beach has currently fallen victim to the new beach rules and there are no umbrellas or food vendors. With a 300-metre steep climb to the main road, make sure you take your refreshments with you.
To the north around the headland is Surin Bay, one of the island’s only zoned public beaches and park, it has been designated a heritage beach in honour of HM King Bhumipol. As such, there are now no restaurants, beach clubs, toilet amenities or facilities of any kind except 400 metres away behind the park.
Previously this was home to the famous Catch Beach Club, the first beach club on Phuket, which is now rumoured to reopen in Kamala in 2016 and be renamed HQ.
We can’t predict what will come next after the clearance, but the repeated delays and mind changing over the last two seasons gives us hope that some sensible compromise may be possible. What is a day at the beach if you can’t have lunch and a drink?
Anchor in 5-8 metres anywhere off the beach outside any swim lines that may still exist. From this headland north, the private housing and the hotel accommodation becomes increasingly exclusive and expensive.
7 miles from Patong Bay
Anchor outside the hotel moorings (which are not available for public use) in 15 metres on a sandy bottom.
This anchorage is uncomfortable when the northwest swell is running in February or March, but is secluded, is one of the nicer bays on the west coast, and is home to The Surin and Amanpuri exclusive resorts. Yacht crews may use the hotel restaurants for that special occasion, but it is wise to make a reservation.
There is an excellent sandy beach, and good snorkelling is to be had on both points.
9 miles from Patong Bay
Anchor in sand on 8-10 metres northeast of the rocky outcrop on the beach. Be careful of the many floating polypropylene lines, both among the fishing boats and close to the beach when coming ashore by tender. Only 25 minutes from the airport, this anchorage is often used as a charter departure point.
11 miles from Patong Bay
Anchor in 6-8 metres on a sandy bottom in front of any of the hotels. Ashore are several restaurants but, since the government drive to remove commercial activity from Phuket’s beaches, only hotel restaurants remain. All the hotels in the Laguna complex can be accessed by the free resort transport. Just 25 minutes from the airport, this is a useful pick-up point for visitors.
On the quiet north end of Bang Tao beach, just inside the island, is a high tide creek that can be accessed by dinghy leading to two huge, previously tin-dredged inland lagoons.
Approaching from the south, watch out for the large rock shown 150 metres off the headland on the chart. If it is visible, vessels can pass close on either side, as there is 10 metres of water all around. At high water, however, give the headland a wide berth and proceed well north before turning into the bay.
Bang Tao is Asia?s first fully integrated resort and villa complex. This lovely 4-mile-long beach is home to five differently-branded resorts built around fresh water lakes. Before being reclaimed by this massive development, which began in 1989, most of the area behind the beach was a cratered wasteland, having been seriously degraded by tin mining operations.
Today, the hotels are all interconnected by inland lakes and are backed by Laguna Phuket?s golf course and huge residential development. Exclusive beach clubs have sprung up north and south of the Laguna properties.
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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