The Andaman Sea of Thailand is a beautiful and priceless natural resource, hosting the most luxurious and popular resorts in Asia. Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, PhangNgaand Trang, and their islands, all lie along the coast of the Andaman Sea and, despite the 2004 tsunami, they are a tourist magnet for sightseers from around the world.
The Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia.
Thailand is located very close to the Equator and outside the cyclone zone of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Owing to this, it is possible to sail all year round.
There are two main seasons, the rainy and the dry seasons, also known as the southwest monsoon and the northeast monsoon respectively. Seasonal winds are predictable, but if they change, the weather can change very fast.
Navigating in Thai waters requires very much attention, especially when sea charts don’t provide sufficient information. GPS and chart plotters should be used as a support only. Electronic sea charts aren’t as precise as paper sea charts. You should trust paper charts more especially in shallow waters and danger spots.
Night sailing is forbidden in Thai and Malaysian waters. The anchorage should be reached by 4:00 pm in the afternoon. Daylight is between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Thus, it is highly recommended that you plan your trip in advance. You must consider the reduced visibility when it’s getting dark.
Along the west coast, you will find hundreds of fisher nets (occasionally marked with flags at the ends of the nets, but sometimes not). The nets are located in the water depths from 20 to 100 feet and the distance from the boat to the net may be deep enough to sail over, but sometimes it isn’t. A small fisher boat is usually the first indication that there are nets in the water, because the nets are attached to the boats. Usually, the nets are further down the seabed to avoid contact with the boats cruising by. Be careful not to sail too close to the stern if you see a big trawler, because a net is attached there. You must exercise utmost caution in this situation, and never sail between them. Always maintain sufficient distance.
PROVISIONING, FUEL AND WATER REFILLS
Phuket and Krabi are good locations to go shopping where you can find big supermarkets. Chalong (south of Phuket) is also a great place to buy food. You can buy fresh seafood at the PhangNga Bay. Local fishermen offer food directly from their long-tail boats. During your cruise, you may anchor at a lot of big islands and eat in restaurants there. You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables on islands like Phi Phi.
Water and fuel can be refilled at Phuket marinas, in Chalong and at Phi Phi Islands.
MAGNIFICENT SAILING DESTINATIONS
There are a handful of totally breath-taking locations if you’re sailing in Thailand. Some of the best spots while cruising the Andaman Sea of Thailand include:
- PhangNga Bay
- The Surin Islands