Thailand’s Cruising Grounds cater to all tastes. To the SE of our base Phuket you find open water with a few dotted islands such as Koh Racha and Koh Rok Nok. In the SW monsoon sailing can be quite exhilarating here, In the NE monsoon there is usually a steady moderate breeze.
Only 5 nautical miles to the East of Phuket there is a 100 nautical mile string of inshore islands, stretching from Koh Yao Yai to Koh Phi Phi to the Malaysian border. They offer tranquility and many opportunities for exploring.
North East and East of Phuket Island, the fabulous Phang Nga Bay, Krabi and Phi Phi, together form an area of about 500 square miles. Here you will find sheltered sailing in all seasons.
The entire area is dotted with impressive lime stone formations, honeycombed with caves and fringed by mangroves. Three major rivers plus a couple of smaller ones flow into Phang Nga Bay.
This is very much catamaran country, one could cruise here for many months, exploring creeks, rivers and drying out in the mangroves.
A typical feature is the hongs, high limestone islands which have collapsed in the middle, leaving a landlocked lagoon. Several of these lagoons are accessible by dinghy or kayak at low tide through caves.
A further attraction is Railay Beach, a peninsula just around the corner from Ao Nang on one side and Krabi town on the other side, said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There is no road access to Railay Beach, you can visit only by longtail boat or via sailing yacht.
About 15 Miles further South the well-known Phi Phi Islands, offering impressive surroundings as well as great nightlife. Phi Phi Leh and its Maya Bay became world famous after producing parts of the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio there.
North and North West of Phuket one finds the Similan Island Group. Well known for its world class scuba diving and gin clear waters, the Similan Islands consist of 9 Islands.
In between the Similan Islands and the Surin Islands, you will find Koh Bon, just a small island, but well known for scuba diving with Manta Rays. Another 13 miles further North is Ko Tachai, also with excellent scuba diving.
The Surin Islands are located close to the Myanmar border. You can see the islands of the Mergui Archipelago clearly from the Surin Islands!
All these northern Islands offer the best diving and snorkeling in Thailand.
To the SW of our base Phuket you find open water with a few dotted islands such as Ko Racha and Ko Rok Nok. In the SW monsoon (May – October) sailing can be quite exhilarating here, In the NE monsoon (November – April) there is usually a steady moderate breeze.
Phang Nga Bay is 30 miles NE of Phuket with 220sq miles of breathtaking surroundings. Here you will find numerous limestone formations rising vertically up from the seabed to as high as 350 m (1150 ft). You will see a scenery that is unique in the world.
Several of the pinnacles-shaped islands feature hongs (Thai for room). A Hong is a large space inside, such an island with a chimney-like opening to the sky. Try to imagine being inside the crater of a long-dead volcano.
Access to hongs is mostly by kayak or dinghy at certain heights of the tide. The atmosphere inside a Hong is one of a strange tranquility and sheer beauty. Phang Nga Bay’s limestone islands and cliffs are riddled with caves, many of which can be safely explored on foot or again by kayak or dinghy.
On the shores, you’ll find prolific flora and fauna. In the late afternoons, you will often see and hear crab-eating macaques (monkeys) on the beaches, hunting their favourite prey.
To the South of Phuket there is a 100 nautical miles string of inshore islands, stretching from Ko Phi Phi to the Malaysian border. They offer tranquility and many opportunities for exploring.
Here one finds the offshore Similan- and Surin Islands, the latter close to the Myanmar border. They offer the best diving and snorkeling in Thailand.
Enjoy a trip to The Mergui Archipelago (Myanmar), a unique area both above water as well as below. There are over 800 islands, all but two of them uninhabited.
The Mergui Archipelago was strictly closed to all foreigners until 1997. Faraway Yachting was one of the first companies granted permission to undertake adventure dive charters in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Since then, we have built up a wealth of knowledge in the area that we enjoy sharing with our guests. Because of The Mergui Archipelago’s isolation, it is only superficially charted; the interior of many of the islands has never been surveyed at all. Wildlife is abundant, as is the vegetation on the rainforest-clad islands. Beaches are clean and stretch for miles. Pure nature!
Our adventure sailing and diving charters in Myanmar take you to remote areas where you will rarely see any other yacht. The only humans you are likely to encounter are the friendly Moken Sea Gypsies who roam the area in their small boats like their ancestors have done for centuries.
Underwater there is world-class diving to be found with reefs, drop-offs, seamounts, caves and tunnels, which sometimes cut right through islands with exits on both sides.
There is enough to keep every adventure diver very happy. Fish life is abundant.
Scuba diving in the Mergui Archipelago usually means diving with sharks, manta rays and large swarms of eagle rays.
The occasional whale shark can also be encountered. We have several yachts fully equipped for diving charters in Burma.
Faraway Yachting caters to groups of 4 to 8 persons. As we own our vessels we can draw up personalized itineraries suited to the guest’s interests. There are no restrictive set departure dates to adhere to either further enhancing the planning of a customized charter.
All Myanmar sailing trips start from Kawthaung just across the river from Ranong. Ranong is Thailand’s most northerly port on the Andaman Sea.
Your cruise will start in the afternoon of your arrival if traveling from Phuket. Transfer from Phuket by air-conditioned minibus along with lunch on the way occupies part of the first charter day. You can also fly directly from Bangkok to Ranong airport where you will be met by our representative and taken to complete immigration check-out procedures before joining our longtail boat for the trip across the river to join your charter vessel in Kawthaung.
Sailing and diving in Burma/Myanmar is a most unique experience.
Come and join us for the adventure you will not forget.
Floating in splendid isolation some 400 nautical miles north-west from Phuket in the Andaman Sea is this archipelago of over 500 islands, islets, rocks and reefs. They stretch out over a length of 430 miles and are an unparalleled destination for nature lovers and divers alike.
Geologically speaking the islands were once part of a mountain range, stretching roughly from what is now Myanmar to Sumatra.
Tectonic movements caused the larger part of these mountains to sink below sea level, what remained above the water are now the Andaman Islands.
The climate is somewhat cooler than in Thailand or Myanmar, sea breezes further reduce the temperature. You may actually find a need for a jacket in the mornings.
The aboriginal people of the Andaman and Nicobar islands are of Negroid and Mongoloid stocks. The main tribes are the Onge, Andamanese, Shompen, Nicobarese and Jarawa Sentinelese.
Languages spoken are Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, tribal languages and English.
The number of tribes is sadly dwindling fast, although the Indian government makes an admirable effort to protect their areas and culture.
There are many historical sites to visit around Port Blair, dating back to the times of British rule.
Above water, the islands are a veritable Garden of Eden and a naturalist’s heaven. The rainforests are a habitat to a vast number of plants -, birds -, and animal species, many of them unique in the world. The canopied forests themselves have an amazing variety of timbers, foliage and blooms.
The Andaman Paduk, the Yellow Hibiscus, the White Lily, the Pandanus as well as many varieties of Orchids are but a few of the over 700 species of plants to be found.
Flocks of parrots, Bahminy kites, hornbills, sea eagles, and herons will delight the birdwatcher. Around sunrise, one can often sight spotted deer along the shores.
Another unusual sight is the swimming elephants. After a day’s work, the mahouts (elephant trainers) take their pachyderms for a refreshing swim. The elephants can actually swim underwater, using their trunks as a snorkel!
The most striking feature and the big attraction of diving in the Andamans is the sheer number and variety of fish one can encounter. The diving is for this reason world-class.
Because of the almost total absence of commercial fishing and industrial pollution, the sea life is extraordinarily healthy.
Reef fish and smaller life are also abundant. Excellent corals are to be found throughout the area offering opportunities for divers and snorkelers alike. The visibility you can expect to be in the 20 m+ range. You will always have the dive sites to yourself as there are virtually no dive boats in the entire area.
Some of the offshore sites such as Narcon dam are generally not to be recommended for the beginning diver, due to strong currents and sometimes large swell. The inshore sites are generally suited both for beginners and more advanced divers. Permits may be required for some destinations. New dive sites and splendid anchorages are continuously being discovered and explored, lending a unique expeditionary feel to these trips. –
Indonesia is an archipelago that counts over 13,000 islands, offering the ultimate playground to enjoy navigation in tropical seas. As most of the islands are barely developed, it is one of the last places in the world where vacationers can feel like Magellan or another of the great explorers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
With destinations such as the Komodo National Park, Flores Island, the Banda Sea islands, Raja Ampat, and more, Indonesia should be on the bucket list of all those who want to get away from it all in a splendid preserved natural environment. See below the description of some of these Indonesian fantastic getaways that will offer you the holiday of a lifetime…
The Komodo National Park is a designated World Heritage Site and voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders. It is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Solitary adventurers flock to this region in search of the kind of experience that can only be found in remote locations.
During trekking in Komodo or Rinca islands, park rangers will escort your hike up the hills where you will get to spot wild boars, water buffalos and the famous Komodo dragon.
Our tailor-made itinerary ensures the best entertainment, adventure and exploration of the Komodo National Park. The best time for cruising in Komodo is between April and October, during the dry season.
Flores is an up-and-coming travel destination for those seeking an island getaway without the cliché of the tourist traps. The island has a volcanic topography, which divides it into fascinating valleys and ridges that were impenetrable until recent years.
On the bright side, this has helped preserve the island’s many indigenous tribes and their cultural heritage. Flores is the perfect destination for nature lovers and culture seekers alike.
One of the most notable highlights is definitely the tri-colored Mt. Kelimutu. That is considered sacred by the local people due to the many myths surrounding its formation.
We offer an itinerary from Labuan Bajo to Maumere and the trip is finished by an awesome tour to Kelimutu lakes and Sikka village to see traditional local weaving (ikat).
Located in the eastern deep seas of the Indonesian archipelago, Maluku islands were the sole producers of nutmeg, clove and other precious spices that fetched their weight in gold in Medieval Europe. Ambon possesses a rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage. It is located north of the Banda Sea, off the Southwest coast of the much larger Seram Island.
The Banda Sea is one of Indonesia’s deepest oceans at over 6500 m below sea level. In the center lies a string of small volcanic islands surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and inhabited by a large variety of marine life. Relatively untapped, this area is heaven for divers. Guests can also enjoy beach BBQs and explore nearby old forts and other colonial vestiges.
Due to usually rough weather conditions, March – April and October – November are the best time to cross this area.
To put it bluntly, Raja Ampat is not only Indonesia’s but the world’s marine treasure trove. Raja Ampat is often called the last paradise on earth and became well known for its spectacular, sometimes bizarre biodiversity, breathtaking islands and natural resources.
Raja Ampat is located in West Papua, the eastern part of Indonesia, a territory dominated by four main islands, namely Waigeo, Salawati, Misool and Batanta.
The wealth of marine biodiversity in this region is simply astounding, attracting researchers, conservationists and divers alike. Undoubtedly, Raja Ampat is a paradise for divers however, non-divers might also discover the natural beauty by snorkeling, kayaking or hiking.
The best season to visit Raja Ampat is from October till March.
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