Written by Missy Johnston
Board your yacht at Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket and set out immediately for Koh Hong, a group of nearby islands. Pelay Beach in Ho Hong is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area with miles of white sand and great snorkeling. This island group is limestone based, with large caves worn into this soft stone. In the interior of Koh Hong, is a large lake, reachable by dinghy through a cave when the tide is high. With the end reward a swim in the warm crystal clear lake waters only about one meter deep. Watch bird nests for Bird Nest Soup being harvested from these islands by young local men that shimmy up the tall bamboo in pursuit of their income.
Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi are a pair of large islands in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. More developed than many of the other islands in this archipelago, the island of Ko Yao Noir is worth a drive around the road that circles the island to watch the water buffalos taking mud baths in the rice paddies and pass under the shade of the rubber plantations. Take a sea kayak to explore along the coastline and beaches of these islands.
Phang Nga Bay
Cruise towards Krabi and anchor at Raleigh Beach. There are amazing limestone cliffs along the beach area lapped by a blue green warm sea. This is a rock climber paradise and rock climbing is offered in this beach area for even the very beginner, just for a taste of the giddy heights of this sport.
Rock Climber Limestone Cliffs
Depart for the Phi Phi Islands. Many feel that these are the nicest islands in the world and you will certainly see why. Constantly used for scenic background in movies, sheer cliffs rise up out of the jungle bordered in front by long sandy beaches. This is a snorkeling and diving paradise and the island of Phi Phi Lei is completely uninhabited. Don’t forget to put time aside for beach strolling and shelling in this tiny spot of picture perfect paradise.
Phi Phi Islands
Cruise to Similan National Park with miles of fine white sand beaches. However it is what lies beneath the sea that is the big draw in this area, as in the National Park area is a coral ecosystem commonly called the rainforest of the sea and considered by many to be one of the top diving locations in the world. And of course, the snorkeling is also superb.
Head over to the Surin Islands, home of many of the traditional villages where fishing is the main industry. The huge amount of fish in these waters makes this a great location for those interested in sport game fishing. The island of Surin Nuea is now home to a little over 100 Moken Sea Gypsies who have quasi settled on this island, living on the shores in their home made boats called “Kabang”. The famed Richelieu Rock, a coral pinnacle for divers is located in these islands, and home to a large number of whale sharks.
Traditional Fishing Boats
Cruise from the Surin Islands back to Phuket and back to a more modern civilization for the end or your charter cruise through these lovely islands of Thailand.