Thailand is renowned for its stunning tropical islands and there really is no better way to discover these than by boat. Going on a sailing holiday is not only incredibly relaxing, but also a fantastic chance to see another side to a popular destination.
Of course, in Thailand there are many stunning isles to be explored, which can make it hard to know where to begin. We’re going to give you a brief overview of sailing in and around Phuket, one of the country’s top holiday spots.
Phuket itself is a haven for travellers, thanks to its stunning sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife and amazing restaurants. Phuket has become very heavily developed as a beach resort, which means it doesn’t appeal to everyone, with some people finding the bustling streets and high-rise hotels a little too much.
However, that’s the beauty of a sailing holiday - you can spend just a day or two in Phuket to soak up the atmosphere, before heading out to explore some of Thailand’s quieter coves. While you’re in Phuket, make sure you take the time to stroll along its stunning sandy beach, and pay a visit to the Phuket FantaSea theme park where you can experience Thai culture in a unique and larger-than-life setting.
Phi Phi islands
The Phi Phi islands off the coast of Phuket are among the most famous in Thailand, with their towering limestone cliffs, turquoise bays and sweeps of white sand having featured on postcards and in travel magazines the world over.
One of the things that really put this peaceful spot on the map was Danny Boyle’s film The Beach, famously starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Koh Phi Phi Le, with its sheltered lagoon almost entirely surrounded by cliffs, was one of the most iconic locations to feature in the movie and, ever since its release, has attracted a stream of sightseers.
The only way to get here is by boat, and it will be much nicer if you can sail through the narrow passageway yourself. Aside from the thrill of emerging into this hidden gem, you’ll also be able to arrive earlier and stay later than the host of day trip boats from the mainland. This means you can experience it at its most picturesque and serene.
Aside from the amazing beaches, this part of Thailand has become famous for its scuba diving, and there are many high-quality dive sites located just off the Thai coast. You can snorkel at some of these too, so you don’t need to take the plunge in scuba gear if you just want to get an idea of the creatures that live in the beautiful coral reefs.
One of the best places to head to if scuba diving is on the agenda during your sailing holiday in Thailand is Koh Kai, or more specifically an underwater pinnacle about four miles to the north-east of the island. This is known as shark point and is a fantastic place to go for a dive - you can see the likes of leopard sharks, giant sea fans and, between February and March, whale sharks.
Even just snorkelling anywhere off the coast of Thailand will introduce you to a whole new world beneath the waves. In the lagoon at Koh Phi Phi Le, for instance, many of the fish are used to being fed by the boats and therefore allow snorkellers to get really close to them.