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Everything you need to know before Sailing in Thailand

Everything you need to know before Sailing in Thailand

Is Thailand good for a sailing holiday?

Thailand is one of the most promising cruising grounds for visiting sailors who want to be immersed in a rich cultural landscape.

With more than 130 islands to explore, when sailing the Andaman Sea you will discover a multitude of scenic and secure anchorages, pristine white-sand beaches, rugged uninhabited islands, and vibrant nightlife.

Sailing in Thailand provides rich rewards for the bold, and the number of similarities to sailing in the Med may just surprise you. Here’s everything you need to know before Sailing in Thailand.

In which seasons do the people in Thailand go sailing?

It’s a common misconception that the humidity on a boat charter in Phuket will have your t-shirt clinging to your skin the whole time. That may be partly true during the wetter part of the year (May to October), but as the old saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, charter December through April.”

Koh Chang Thailand

The air temperature will hold respectably between the mid-twenties and thirties all-year-round, meaning that if you don’t mind a little bit of the wet stuff (and you are sailing, after all!), then Thailand is a year-round option for you. The driest months are December, January and February, while April and May are the hottest months. Locals enjoy the climate in June, July and August, when things are a little quieter and the odd heavy downpour is buffered by plenty of sunshine.

What is the wind like for sailing in Thailand?

Dominated by two monsoons, the dry season is fed by prevailing north easterlies that generally produce between 5 and 16 knots, very much within sailing range, with the occasional need to engage the diesel.

The south westerlies synonymous with the humid rainy season offer a little more chutzpah and can typically be expected to get up to around 27 knots on the windiest of days. This is not dissimilar to the famous meltemi in the Saronic Gulf and Cyclades.

Best beaches in Thailand by boat

Sail south from Ao Po Grand Marina for around six hours while gazing at the legendary Thai landscape and you will reach Tonsai Bay, where you’ll discover one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia and a fabulous spot for snorkelling.

You’ll find stunning beaches on both the north and south shores of the paradise island of Ko Muk, offering sheltered and attractive anchorages. The island is also home to the Emerald Cave, it’s must-see a hidden lagoon, complete with its own inland beach.

If you enjoy a buzzing atmosphere, visit one of the larger beaches in Koh Racha Yai, Patok Beach and Siam Bay. The area is more popular among tourists as it is home to beautiful white sandy beaches with turquoise seawater.

Best restaurants to visit on your Thailand sailing holiday

You can find almost any type of cuisine to suit your taste in Thailand, from ultimate fine dining to traditional street food, so you will be spoilt for choice.

You can’t visit Thailand without trying a local dish or two! For an impressive view of Patong Bay and delicious Thai seafood dining, visit PanYaah Sea View Cafe Restaurant and Bar.

For five-star dining and good anchorages, visit the Nai Harn Resort nestled on the hill slope in the northern end of the Nai Harn Bay.

Get your taste buds tingling and visit the hustle and bustle of Phuket Walking Street. It’s a market taking over Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town every Sunday evening.

Fancy food onboard? Sail to the tiny islet of Ko Po and relax in the shade of the dramatic rock formations and gently swaying palms.

Thailand activities we also recommend:

Everything you need to know before Sailing in Thailand

Getting there and Thailand’s laws and regulations

With various flight routes, flexible charter start days and destinations suitable for sailing all year round, you can plan ahead and get the right flights at the best value. We can then match you up with the right boat for your chosen days and can even book the flights for you. Once you get to Thailand, you’ll be sure of a warm welcome. It’s not called ‘the land of smiles’ for nothing!

You’ll also find that English is widely spoken, and British visitors don’t need a visa for stays under 30 days. For more information about entry requirements and verification, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office page. We would also recommend familiarising yourself with the local laws and customs before your charter.

Mooring in Thailand

There are mooring buoys in the sailing area, but they are poorly maintained, so your absolute best bet is to find a nice spot to drop anchor for the night. In many places this will be free, though even in national park areas it will be charged per person, per night, and is comparable to the Med in high season. The extra space this gives you compared to Med-style stern to mooring makes catamarans in Phuket a worthy consideration.

Sunsail’s Global Sales Operations and Sustainability Manager, Laura Bowtell, sailed out of our Ao Po marina base, and she had this to say, “I love Phuket and the Andaman sailing area. The hotels around the coast are so luxurious, and the wildlife is so diverse. We went on an excursion to an elephant sanctuary and met these incredible, sociable and intelligent animals in their natural habitat. Washing them was a real highlight. The food was amazing, especially the Pad Thai, as you can probably guess! Anchoring the yacht and kayaking through caves at Ko Muk was another highlight for me.”

If you are wondering what you should pack on your Thailand sailing adventure? Take a look at our handy sailing holiday Packing List.

New to sailing? Start your journey with Sunsail, we have plenty of options to get you out in the water in no time including RYA-accredited courses in various locations. 

Find out more about sailing either a monohull or catamaran by exploring our Phuket Yacht Charters.

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