Sailing has become my favorite kind of holiday. I know it sounds like a confession and it needs at least an explanation if not an elaborated story. I would do something in between that I would call “my sailing stories”.
For a couple of years now, I am spending a week every summer, sailing. But I just experienced this wonderful “thing”, of sailing in winter. For having such a nice experience you need to prepare yourself for a long journey that will take you in another part of the world, where winter time is not such a rough season. Those of you, coming back on mytravelstudio.com every time for a new story, are familiar with our philosophy: we share all the beautiful and kind experiences. Sailing in Thailand is part of those experiences and I truly hope that our stories will help you plan and organize your next vacation.
For crossing continents, oceans and seas we chose Qatar Airways. They have good movies and for those of you who like plain catering there won’t be anything missing. Connection between flights is convenient and also the arrival time in Phuket, so the sensation of jet lag was not so strong.
Most of the citizens traveling to Thailand need a visa for entering the territory. Although, there are some, that can apply for visa on arrival. In case you live in one of those countries that can apply for visa on arrival don’t hesitate to do so. Things are very simple and people at the counter are very kind and extremely calm. It all lasted 15 minutes, exactly as I was reading on the embassy page. After receiving the visa, there was a taxi driver waiting for us and in no time our Thai adventure was beginning with a short trip on one of those long tail boats. Locals are using them for fishing but also for tourist transportation.
The boats have this unique design and a prominent engine. They say that the noise of a long tail boat makes the bad ghosts go away.
About the first three days on board of our catamaran, a Lagoon 450, we already published an article. We mentioned the emerald water, white sand beaches and rainbow-like colored fish. And here you are our first tip: in case you are coming to Thailand for this kind of landscape it is best to sail south. Starting from Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket you need to decide what is it that you want to see and experience. We chose south and we had our full field expectations. We were heading to Koh Phi Phi, this nice archipelago of 6 small islands. Monkey Beach is the first stop where you can easily observe the wild life. Swimming monkeys are coming out of their habitat. Sometimes tourists are throwing bananas and other food, or even coca cola. Monkeys are eating and stealing everything. I wouldn’t try to make friends with them, because they could become aggressive. In the end you are invading their territory. Tip no. 2: before deciding to get a tan on the monkey beach first read the big billboard “BE AWARE OF MONKEYS” and don’t feed them with all those foods and beverages that are doing them harm.
So, you couldn’t enjoy the white send beach and shallow crystal water on Monkey Beach but there is another one near by. We talk about a very famous one that appeared in Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie, “The Beach”. Koh Phi Phi Ley is the second largest island of the archipelago and has two shallow bays, one is Maya Bay and the second is Loh Samah. Maya Bay is very popular for diving and has become even more popular among tourists after the 2000 movie, “The Beach”. The movie has definitely made Thailand more famous between Europeans and Americans but apparently locals were not so impressed by it. There were two important facts that made Thai people dislike the movie. The scenery was about this little paradise-like island were you could find an enormous marijuana plantation. Another controversy arose during the shooting of the scene when the producers decided to bulldoze and to do some artificial landscaping of the actual beach. They wanted to make it look more paradise-like than it was. There was a lawsuit, they tried to undo things but in the end nature had the final word! The 2004 Tsunami left the bay as it was before the movie.
Somewhere in the opening of our article I mentioned something about sailing being my favorite kind of holiday. I really enjoy being on board of a boat, I love sitting in the front area where I don’t miss anything starting with the landscape, sometimes dolphins playing, wind and sun. I like the smell on a boat and even the sound of the engine and when the wind is strong enough I really like to watch the sails doing their job. And of course, there are some rare moments, when my help is needed for an anchoring or docking job and that are nice moments too. I need to admit that I prefer catamarans and every time we are booking we go for catamarans. I will explain this in another article. How are the days on board in Thailand? Beautiful, relaxing and quite entertaining, I would say a bit of everything. In this period of the year the weather is gentle, sometimes (newly) you can even have wind for sailing and the temperatures don’t go upper 32 degrees, which is really pleasant. Water is nice for swimming and snorkeling. Places where we’ve seen lots of colored fish are: Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Noi and Koh Phi Phi Ley on Maya Bay. I assure you the water in these places will give you some wonderful emotions. Tip no. 3: don’t forget, Thailand is not reach on marinas or mooring places. Be gentle with your anchor because you’ll need it a lot and others that are going on board of the boat we’ll need it, so a well-preserved anchor will provide peaceful days for everybody.
What else? While sailing the Andaman Sea, sometimes you can even have some visitors, early in the morning. Well, it depends what early means to you. All of a sudden you will hear the noise of a long tail and in case it becomes louder and louder it means there is a fisherman trying to lure you with their piece de resistance, prawns. Of course you can buy, but just be sure the smell is the proper one and preferable cook them on the same day. The bargaining will be a tough one because the fisherman is so versed and he’ll try to obtain his price. Other thing, he will most probably ask you for a cola in the end.
Our stories about Thailand will continue here on mytravelstudio.com. We thank Navigare-Yachting and their partner in Yacht Haven Marina, Phuket, Elite Yachting and also the base manager, Ulrich Luckert and charter manager Melissa Lambe. Special thanks to Jurg Hofer who has told us so many nice stories about sailing and living in Thailand.