Incorporating the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia… and more

Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

Thailand Pattaya & The Eastern Gulf Koh Chang Archipelago

Racer MarinaSailing Yacht AsiaIMAGE asia

A AO KHLONG SON 101 miles from Ocean Marina

AO KHLONG SON. 12° 8.699N, 102° 15.258E

Anchor anywhere in the bay in 4-5 metres on a sandy bottom. On the southern headland is the Grand Orchid Resort & Spa. From the anchorage, head toward the resort to pass a starboard channel mark then head toward the river mouth passing a port lateral mark (1.6 metres at LAT). Stay mid channel in more than 1.8 metres and follow the river north to find the entrance to the Siam Royal View Marina.

The marina has six pontoon berths with power and electric. 75 wet berths ranging from 8-30 metres are planned, with 50 percent completed at the time of writing. It is a 10-minute drive from the ferry and the main town on Koh Chang. VHF Ch69.

B WHITE SANDS BEACH 3 miles from Ao Khlong Son

WHITE SANDS BEACH. 12° 6.149N, 102° 16.004E

A sheltered anchorage in the northeast and tenable in the southwest seasons, anchor in 5-7 metres on sand. The northern end of the beach is an easier dinghy landing as the south end is extremely rocky and dries up to 100 metres at low tide. There is a string of good value beachfront restaurants here and dinghy access is easier as the depth is one metre almost all the way in.

This is the main tourist strip of Koh Chang with restaurants, resorts, supermarkets, banks and beer bars lining the road running just behind the beach.

C AO KHLONG PHRAO 5 miles from Ao Khlong Son

AO KHLONG PHRAO. 12° 3.424N, 102° 16.885E

This is the flattest and quietest west coast anchorage in the northeast season. Anchor in the northern corner opposite the creek entrance in 5-7 metres. There is a well-stocked supermarket on the road behind the Coconut Resort. The river just south of the anchorage is navigable by dinghy at mid-tide and well worth exploring. There are restaurants and resorts on the inside creek and on the beachfront.

Just to the south is another bay Haad Kae Bai, where you can anchor in 5-6 metres. There are a few resorts ashore.

About a mile offshore there are numerous submerged rocks so keep a good lookout when travelling south.

D LONELY BEACH (HAAD THANAM) 9 miles from Ao Khlong Son

LONELY BEACH. 12° 0.290N, 102° 17.344E

Anchor in 5-7m off the red and white cell towers 300 metres offshore. There are a few upmarket restaurants and resorts still friendly to visiting yachts, but the backpacker heyday has long gone. Still a tranquil overnight anchorage.

E AO BANG BAO 12 miles from Ao Khlong Son

AO BANG BAO. 11° 57.939N, 102° 19.004E

Anchor off the jetty in 3-5 metres on a muddy bottom near the lighthouse. This spot is sheltered in both seasons and is an interesting mix of local fishing activity and tourism.

The 1-km jetty is lined with an eclectic range of shops and restaurants on pilings. which offer a complete range of fare.

This is the main departure point for tour and dive boats and ferries to the southern islands; it’s a hive of activity. There is a dinghy dock at Buddha View Restaurant on the pier’s north side.

World War II wreck

To the east of Ao Salak Phet, off a long beach, is the site of a naval battle between the French and Thai navies during WW II. The Thai vessel still lies between two yellow buoys marking the location. There are plans to sink a World War II 100-metre tank landing ship ‘HTMS Chang’ in the same location to create an artificial reef.

Further west, offshore at 11°53.692N, 102°15.448E the ‘HTMS Chang’ was scuttled in 2012 in 32 metres depth to create a local site for wreck divers.

The pier at Ao Bang Bao by BillO’Leary
The pier at Ao Bang Bao by BillO’Leary

F AO SALAK PHET 15 miles from Ao Khlong Son

AO SALAK PHET. 11° 58.706N, 102° 22.828E

This is a large natural bay in the south of the island divided by two smaller islands. It is generally shallow although anchorage is available in the west of the bay in 3-4 metres for good all-year round protection.

On the west coast of the bay are three small marinas based on single jetties. Koh Chang Marina has about 10 pontoons whilst Salak Phet Seafood offers stern-to moorings and diesel for large powerboats. The German-owned Island View Resort further south is home to Gulf Charters.

Each establishment offers onshore accommodation, fuel, internet access, water and laundry services. The village at the head of the bay has adequate shops for provisioning. For major mechanical repairs it is easy to rent a motorbike or catch a cab to the mainland town of Trat.

Rocks in the water

Beware of the two submerged rocks to the southeast of the western point of Ao Salak Phet. Keep outside the 12 metre contour when navigating between Ao Bang Bao and Ao Salak Phet.

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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