Thailand luxury yacht charters are still a relatively new phenomenon, which is quite surprising considering that this is one of the world’s most coveted holiday destinations. With hundreds of striking karst limestone islands jutting out of sapphire-hued seas - a sailor’s dream personified - it really is astonishing that yacht charter guests have taken so long to discover this place. But now they are here and - if our hunch proves correct - they’ll never want to leave.
Thailand is loved for its abundance of fantastic SCUBA and snorkel sites, oodles of cultural highlights like Buddhist temples and ancient gypsy villages, an omnipresent tropical climate and a very enticing laid-back vibe. This place just oozes exotic flair and is probably one of the world’s easiest destinations to visit, even for first-time overseas travelers. The food is addictively delicious, the culture and religion endearing and the outdoor activities plentiful. There really isn’t much more one could desire.
Popular destinations on the Andaman Sea are easy to reach, with many direct flights into Phuket originating from almost every corner of the globe. Once in this bustling tourist hive, you can hop aboard your yacht and be diving pristine world-class reefs within an hour. Yes, it’s really that simple!
Here are some of the hotspots you can look forward to visiting, on a Thailand yacht charter:
Koh Phi Phi Yacht Charters
Less than 30 nautical miles southeast of Phuket is where you’ll find the Pearl of the Andaman.
Phi Phi is arguably the most famous of all Thai island treasures, catapulted into international tourism stardom in 2000, when it was chosen as the setting of The Beach, a cult Leonardo Di Caprio movie. Renowned for her stunning setting, superlative diving, and thriving nightlife, this is Thailand’s prime mecca and about the best start you could have on an Andaman Sea yacht charter.
One of over 130 idyllic islands found just off the coast of Krabi, Ko Phi Phi may be the most famous but she is by far not the only highlight here. Each island boasts its own pristine reef teeming with sea life, and each one is framed by transparent emerald seas. With a multitude of secluded anchorages to complement the bevy of vibrant lunchtime or sundowner spots, a Phi Phi yacht charter offers variety and splendor in one delightfully tropical package. This archipelago’s popularity has helped its development, and if you wish for a comprehensive sailing experience, complete with shopping, spa pampering and dining ashore, then this spot will satisfy all your wishes.
Similan Islands Yacht Charters
If you’re looking for a slightly more private sailing getaway that focuses primarily on exceptional diving and snorkeling, then a yacht charter in the Similan Islands would be your best bet. This cluster of marine reserve islets are just 54 nautical miles north of Phuket and considered one of the world’s most prestigious diving destinations. Distinctive in appearance and sublime in substance, the nine Similan Islands boast dramatic volcanic peaks both in and out of the water, thriving colonies of innumerable tropical fish, groupers, reef sharks, turtles, barracuda, octopus, and vibrant coral of all shapes and sizes. Fortunately, the natural assets of this area were recognized more than three decades ago, and The Similan have been a fiercely protected reserve ever since.
There's no denying that Thailand's most impressive highlights are under the surface of the seas. Yet although the temptation to spend all your time out at sea will undoubtedly be great, it would be a travesty to neglect the country's other assets. To experience these, you'll need to hop ashore.
The 'Land of Smiles' has often been rated as one of the friendliest in the world, and local inhabitants certainly do have a ready smile and a warm and hospitable demeanor. They're passionate about their history and cultural traditions and if you're lucky enough to visit during one of year's most famous festivals you'll be awe-struck at the colorful (and loud!) ways in which they celebrate. For being such calm and quiet people, the Thais do party with a vengeance!
Phuket and Phi Phi offer an abundance of great dining, shopping and nightlife options, as well as some of the country's most divine yoga centers and beauty spas. If you wish to have a sneak peek at authentic Thailand, you'll find that by touring local fishing villages on some of the smaller islands, most especially further south. It is here that the Malaysian influence seeps in. Here you’ll you find bamboo shacks along the coast, grilling the most delectable squid in the world. Small and ubiquitous seaside temples, built to appease furious sea gods, are insanely photogenic, most especially at sunset.
Include a visit to the lesser visited Phi Phi Le island to explore the ancient paintings in Phaya Naak Cave and, before leaving, do make sure to hike the Viewpoint on Phi Phi to catch spectacular bay views. Add a Thai cooking class to your must-do list. This is perhaps one of the most popular land-attractions of all. With an abundance of fresh herbs and spices, Thai cuisine is world-renowned and coming home with the know-how to prepare fresh prawn pad-thai for your next dinner party, will make you an absolute star among your friends.