The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is an extremely popular tourist destination, and for good reason. About the size of Singapore, two bridges connect Thailand’s mainland to the beautiful island in the southwest of the country. Situated in the Andaman Sea, the island is known for its hot climate and breathtaking beaches. With warm weather throughout the year, Phuket is a wonderful place to take a relaxing holiday
Phuket is a large island among various smaller ones, and therefore a sailor’s paradise. Take to the Andaman Sea on a Gulet, motorboat, or one of the dozens of catamarans and sailing boats available from Yacht Haven Marina Phuket through Yachtico.com. Located in northern Phuket between the island and the mainland, it is a great starting point for a sailing holiday touring the beautiful waters as well as seeing the impressive coastline of both Phuket and the main part of Thailand. At about 34 miles (49 km) long, you can also sail just along the coast of the island and experience a wide variety of caves, inlets, and stunning beaches without the feeling missing out. With the abundant beauty of Phuket, every view and moment will be a memorable one.
Though it is definitely a tourist destination, Phuket still boasts charming attractions and those which make its widespread appeal abundantly obvious. In Old Phuket Town, you can enjoy a fun variety of shops and Chinese and Portuguese influence as you walk down the streets of the provincial capital.
While you are still on Phuket itself, be sure to visit the Wat Chalong temple. Visited by thousands of people each year, Wat Chalong is one of the most important temples on Phuket, and also a unique and remarkable one. A must-see for everyone, Wat Chalong has a rich history and is the spiritual center for the island, so lovers of history and culture will especially appreciate it. And if you get there on the right day, there are fairs at the temple on special holiday, at which you can buy and eat anything Thai you could ever think of
If you’re missing the water while anchored in Phuket, take a turn wakeboarding, kite surfing or sea kayaking in the gentle waters around the island. For surfers, head to Kata Beach in the off-season to experience some fun waves, and then lie on the beach to dry off.
If you want to use the waters around Phuket as a base and make some daytrips to other islands, the Racha islands are a great place to start. About ten nautical miles from Chalong Bay in southern Phuket, the Racha islands are known widely for their amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities. Enjoy the smooth white sand beaches of any of the islands by having a walk along the shores or spending a few hours lying in the sun with the soft sand as a blanket. For some of the best diving in the area, head to Racha Noi, which is uninhabited and without any services, but will be a truly memorable part of any vacation.
With the number of islands and the Thai mainland so close by, there are dozens of possibilities for daytrips from Phuket. You can find the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure by alternating between sailing and anchoring, all the while seeing some of the most beautiful sights in the world. The island of Phi Phi is continuously named a must-see during a vacation to Thailand, and with the sheltered beaches and picture-perfect beaches, it’s not hard to understand why.
Another short sail from the island is in the mainland northeast of Phuket. Phang Nga Bay, a necessity on a trip to Thailand, is nestled in the curve of the coastline of Thailand. With limestone cliffs jutting out from the green waters of the bay, the seascape is unlike anything found in the Western world. With many safe places to anchor and protection from all sides, Phang Nga Bay is an ideal place to sail throughout the year. And with impressive scenery and plentiful wildlife, it is both an interesting and relaxing destination on a sailing trip from Phuket.
In addition to daytrips, longer sailing routes from Phuket are also possible. Stop on Ko Yao Yai or Ko Yao Noi on a trip north in the Andaman Sea along Thailand’s mainland coast and the hundreds of tiny islands between your point of origin and destination. Sail south along the southern end of Thailand’s coastline, stopping at Mu Ko Phetra National Park to see some nationally protected islands and sea life.
If you want an even more extended time away from land, sail south in the Malacca Strait. With stops in Malaysia to the east and Indonesia to the west, and Singapore as a possible destination point, you can experience an even wider variety of culture than Thailand provides. For a longer time sailing at sea, a visit to the Malacca Strait is a good way to accomplish your goal.
Phuket is a prime sailing location, and as such, it has numerous marinas, which are well equipped and safe for all types and sizes of boats. Helped by Phuket’s international popularity, the marinas have excellent facilities, which allow any necessary engineering and repair work to be completed. The reliability of the island’s first-rate boat docking and repair only adds to Phuket’s impressive reputation around the world.
For those who love to surf, however, the rainy season between May and October is the time to visit. With the sea all churned up from winds and rain, the waves will be big, fun, and a surfer’s dream.
With hot air temperatures throughout the year, the temperature of the water is also consistently warm, no matter when you decide to visit.
With online booking available and dozens of boats for hire in Phuket, chartering a yacht in Thailand is a simple, near effortless task. You can view the various catamarans, motorboats, sailboats and Gulet available in Phuket and sort them by price and recommendation. With boats ranging in price from 1,260 Euros to 21,904 Euros per week, there are a large variety of options, which means you can select the yacht that fits perfectly to the type of holiday you wish to have. Boats are also available with skipper and crew options, so if you think your sailing skills have gotten a bit rusty, if you’re inexperienced, or if you simply want to sit back and relax on your vacation, you will have the assistance you need to make your time aboard unforgettable
Inspiration, article and insider tips: Steffen Bruenn
Tip from editor: While planning for your charter vacation you should know which documents are necessary for your specific destination. If you go on your journey without a skipper or a crew it may be necessary to be in possession of an ICC certificate, "International Certificate of Competence." Additionally, in some destinations it is necessary to own a radio license. Learn more about international boat licenses and certificates here.