The ultimate Thailand one-week sailing itinerary
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There’s so much more to experience with a sailing holiday, whether you’re cruising along, discovering places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see, or just having a fabulous time afloat – once you have been, you will certainly be back for more!
We invited five adventure-loving sailing novices along for the ultimate Sunsail sailing experience in Phuket, Thailand, to inspire you.
Making up the crew was adventure travel aficionado, Frederic Siebold, fashion, travel and fitness enthusiast Charlotte Fisher and her partner, Charlie Price. Lover of all things outdoors, Jack Atkinson, and travel fanatic, Kevin Schmitz.
The trip was the perfect opportunity for these travel lovers to not only discover a multitude of scenic and secure anchorages, pristine white-sand beaches, rugged uninhabited islands, and vibrant nightlife, but to also develop their new passion for sailing.
Anyone who has visited Thailand will agree the grounds off the east coast of the island of Phuket are among the finest anywhere. With so many islands and secluded bays to explore, only accessible by boat, whether you want to sail, swim, party, unwind or discover something new afloat or ashore, a Thailand sailing holiday is a beach-lover’s paradise that has it all.
So, what did they get up to?
Day 1 – Arrival at the Phuket base
Combining tropical islands with unrivalled hospitality, the “Land of Smiles” delivers exotic adventures to remember. A pleasant 35-minute transfer from the airport to the Sunsail base, was followed by a friendly reception and refreshments at the base whilst the group’s luggage was swiftly transported to the yachts. After the welcome briefing, the crew explored the fully equipped yachts, AKA their new home during the trip. This included an ergonomic high-performance Sunsail 44 monohull, and two spacious Sunsail 404 catamarans. Once settled in, the crew had time to relax and rejuvenate, ready for a new adventure-loaded day.
Day 2 – Set sail to Koh Hong Phang Na
Following an alfresco breakfast aboard the yachts, the Sunsail skippers helped the group get to grips with the ropes with their first taste of tropical Thailand sailing on route to the picturesque anchorage Koh Hong Phang Na.
Surrounded by limestone islands and stunning scenery, there was no hesitation before jumping into the clear waters, with plenty of time for snorkelling and kayaking. A highlight was being able to Kayak at Hong Island after other travellers had left, an experience you can appreciate when you have your own yacht as your floating hotel.
Pizzas were sent to the yachts for the group to enjoy together in the evening, providing a moment for the crew to get to know each other better over card games, music and flow of drinks.
Day 3 – Koh Hong Krabi to Railay Beach
The wind picked up and the group got stuck in tacking the yachts with the skipper at the helm on course to Koh Hong Krabi to see the 360-degree viewpoint, which was accessible via a staircase with more than 600 steps! It was worth the effort with simply stunning views of the lagoon and neighbouring islands.
Back at sea level, delicious traditional Thai dishes were enjoyed for lunch before the group set off to explore Koh Hong Krabi and its mystical caves by kayak. After a short crossing to Railay Beach, which is only accessible by boat, there was time to explore the magnificent beaches and enjoy silky-white sand between the toes.
For the ultimate dinner by the sea, the group visited Krua Phranang, the resort’s romantic Thai restaurant. On the menu was a classic selection of Thai dishes with specials including traditional curries, salads, soups and freshly caught seafood. Favourites included deep-fried prawn with Chrysanthemum leaves, grilled duck breast in a rich and flavourful red curry, Thai chicken and coconut soup, wok-fried Angus beef rib-eye, along with vegan options including crispy enoki and oyster mushroom tempura with plum sauce and mixed vegetable green curry with sweet basil leaves.
Day 4 – Railay to Koh Mai Phai
Starting the day with stunning views and a refreshing sunrise dip in the Andaman Sea was a highlight for many, then it was time for some adrenaline-filled rock climbing at Railay Beach, revealing breath-taking views of the dramatic limestone mountains.
An afternoon sail led the crew to a short stop at Koh Mai Phai, which is located in the north of Ko Phi Phi Don and home to beautiful beaches, wildlife and coral reefs. After a swim and snorkel, they sailed to Monkey Bay in Ko Phi Phi Don, where long-tailed Macaques monkeys roam free.
The yachts were moored at Monkey Beach and the crew took a 10 minute dinghy ride to Phi Phi beach. Dinner was an Italian and Thai fusion affair, served at Atom Resto Phi Phi. After devouring some of the ‘best pizza and pasta in Thailand’, the group enjoyed the magical and enigmatic culture of Thailand with a cocktail (or two!) and fire show.
Day 5 – Phi Phi Island Tour
The island tour covered Maya Bay, made famous as the location of the 2000 film, ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Loh Samah Bay, esteemed for its snorkelling and diving opportunities, Pi-Leh Lagoon, with its incredible emerald-green pool, and Viking Cave, so named due to the prehistoric drawings found on the cave walls that resemble ancient Viking ships.
Taking advantage of their local knowledge, the skippers then led the group across from Monkey Beach to Pirate Beach Cove, a secluded slice of paradise to watch the sun set.
Day 6 – Monkey Bay to Ko Khai Nai
On the final day, the group set sail to Ko Khai Nai to have lunch at Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa. On route, there was time to stop at Santhiya, a small but beautiful island, for a dip and snorkel in the turquoise waters. Some of the crew took a dinghy to the beach to explore the shores lined with lounge chairs and food stalls.
Lunch was served in the Saaitara Restaurant with spectacular views overlooking the Andaman Sea. The authentic Thai cuisine was fresh and delicious and included a range of tempting dishes to try from grilled chicken satay, marinated fish with red curry paste, spicy and sour soup, to stir fried chicken with sweet and sour sauce, Tofu or prawn Pa-Naeng curry and fried rice with crabmeat.
The group then tested their sailing knowledge during the final crossing back to the base. For a magical end to the trip, a few were lucky enough to get a rare glimpse of a Whale shark alongside the boat!
Before heading home, the crew enjoyed one final meal together at restaurant SUAY Cherngtalay, with unique and tasty dishes created by Iron Chef Noi, celebrity chef of Phuket, awarded with the Michelin plate four years in a row.
To give you even more of a taste of what a Sunsail adventure looks like, follow us on Instagram and search #FollowOurAdventure.
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