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

Southeast Asia Pilot by Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden

Thailand

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. Lying between 50 and 130 north, the climate is tropical and the beaches are palm fringed, with pristine white sand, crystal waters and superb coral reefs.

Thailand Map

Add to that the renowned friendliness of the Thai people, their magnificent cuisine and culture − and Thailand has deservedly become Asia’s premier cruising destination.

Neither coastline is in a hazardous weather zone; there are no typhoons and even the seasonal monsoons are gentle. Temperatures are 250-320C and the sea rarely varies from 280. 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, 12 years after showing incredible foresight in reducing yacht import duties to zero, in 2016 the thai government announced its intention to open up thai waters to superyacht charters by creating a special superyacht licence, allowing foreign flagged yachts over 100ft to charter legally.

Once this becomes reality (as this book went to print there was still considerable red tape to be stamped on and shredded), thailand – and particularly the andaman Sea – is set to become a serious playground for owners of, and those who can afford to charter, the truly luxurious yachts that make up the top end of the yachting market.

Fortunately for your average cruiser, these spectacular yachts are relatively few, so even when they arrive in their numbers, the impact on the islands, beaches and waters of thailand will be neglible – although their impact on local economies and the availability of quality yacht services will be significant.

Anchorages in Thailand
Below, we list the main anchorage locations for Thailand that are featured in the book – together with one sample anchorage. For a complete list of all 600+ anchorage locations, go to Southeast Asia Pilot index
Phang Nga Bay
Photo by Grenville Fordham

Phang Nga Bay

The area bounded by Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi provinces forms Phang Nga Bay. There are over 100 islands, and the geology varies from low gently sloping mountains to the steep karst outcrops for which the bay is most famous... more

Krabi & Phi Phi Islands
Photo by Bill O’Leary

Krabi & Phi Phi Islands

The stunning beach and sea-mountain scenery of Krabi is famous with many visitors extolling some of the beaches here as amongst the most beautiful in the world... more

Phuket to Ranong
Photo by Bill O’Leary

Phuket to Ranong

This chapter covers the two degrees of latitude on the thai coast from just south of Phuket to the border town of Ranong in the north. It encompasses the four west coast provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, takua Pa and Ranong... more

Koh Lanta to Tarutao
Photo by Bill O’Leary

Koh Lanta to Tarutao

From Koh Lanta to tarutao covers 110 miles of coastline and islands, encompassing the three mainland provinces of Krabi, Trang and Satun at the Malaysian border. It includes hat Chao Mai National Park, which covers 360 square kilometres and takes in 52 islands... more

Samui & The Western Gulf
Photo by Per Meistrup

Samui & The Western Gulf

North of the Malaysian border, the first main thai ports are Narathiwat and Pattani, both commercial fishing harbours. Not usually on the itinerary of cruising yachts, they can be entered through well-buoyed channels... more

Pattaya & The Eastern Gulf
Photo by © VascoPlanet.com, http://vascoplanet.com

Pattaya & The Eastern Gulf

Pattaya is 147 km southeast of Bangkok and faces the Gulf of Thailand. the only place of note between Bangkok and Pattaya is a small marina in a housing project in the Bang Pakong River... more

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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