Land & sea adventures in Phuket

Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, known as the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea” and blessed with a surrounding 32 smaller islands. This tropical paradise is located in the southern province and boasts of pristine beaches, verdant hills, and a vibrant culture that entices travelers from around the globe.  

Recognised worldwide as a major destination for superyachts visiting the Indian Ocean, this destination offers incredible scenic adventures through the island’s vastly unexplored South East Asian waters of hundreds of uninhabited islands and pristine beaches. Dubbed the ‘Monaco of South East Asia’, cruising options in the Andaman Sea range from nearby secluded bays to a luxury and vibrant lifestyle on Phuket.   

“The region is building more marinas which can berth superyachts wanting to come to Phuket and we can berth a 130-metre yacht in the Phuket marina”, said Gordon Fernandes, Asia Pacific Superyachts co-founder & director, based in Phuket. “The infrastructure for owner visits is already in place, with a Five-Star fully integrated ‘Private Jet Terminal’ and international airports for commercial flights, making arrival very easy.” 

The Phuket ‘Superyacht Hub’ is used as a base for the yachting season (November to April) and provides a springboard to waterways throughout Thailand, Myanmar and the Andaman islands. Visiting superyacht examples in 2024 include Sinbad, Triple A, Azamanta, Space Cat, Crazy Love, Lady Azul , Berzinc, Guillemot, Atlas and Paraffin among others, seen berthed in the island’s well-equipped and highly developed marinas. The four marinas and upscale surroundings are a perfect hosting before cruising on to stunning anchorages around Phuket and, on return, to enjoy the country’s unique land adventures.  

Another bonus SEA offers is a low crime rate, a major factor in appealing to clients who might otherwise be inclined to charter in Europe and the Caribbean. “Thailand and Myanmar are very safe – you never see muggings,” says Gordon. “The rate of street crime is extremely low and the locals are very friendly, hence the reference to the famous ‘Thai Smile’!” 

Steeped in an exotic culture, Phuket’s extraordinary cruising options are made even more attractive by the Thai people, among the friendliest on the planet! Everywhere you cruise or wander, the country offers up the world’s most popular cuisine, from catering to visiting yachts, to road stalls and 5-star dining. A fantastic culinary scene highlights the best of Thai culture, community and cuisine amidst ancient temples and lively markets.  

Phuket’s history is interesting and for many centuries the island was an important stop for trading ships on the route between India and China. During the Sukothai Period, the time of the first Thai Kingdom, Phuket was associated with other cities in South Thailand famous for their vast tin reserves. During the following Ayuthaya Period of the 16th century, Thais governed the island’s northern and central regions while the southern and western parts were given over to the tin trade, a concession in the hands of foreigners. 

Phuket has more than 40 beautiful tropical beaches along the coastline with white-soft sand and incredibly clear waters. Phuket and the surrounding smaller islands form the Province of Phuket for a total area of 570 square kilometres, with the Andaman sea in North Phuket connected to the mainland by two bridges running side-by-side. The following is a sample cruising/ sailing itinerary followed by suggested land adventures: 

7-DAY ISLAND CRUISING ITINERARY (Asia Pacific Superyachts) 

DAY 1 

Depart from marina to Ko Hong (16NM’s). Here there’s kayaking, caves and beautiful scenery. Located in the narrow channels separating Phuket from the mainland, you’ll cruise east towards Phnag Nga Bay past fish farms and coconut, rubber and pineapple plantations. The water is very shallow here – less than 5m for most of the bay, so easy to anchor. 

A small tender can take you to Koh Phanak with numerous caves, each with secret lagoons to discover only at low tide though. After lunch head journey north to Khao Phing Kan – known as ‘James Bond Island’ – and end at a private anchor off the island of Koh Roi. This little island has an easily accessed lagoon and a few small beaches. Anchor at Ko Hong overnight. 

DAY 2 

Yacht departs Ko Hong and heads south for Ko Kai Nok (18NM’s) for beach time, snorkeling and swimming. Mid-morning the yacht departs and heads to the East side of Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi (19NM’s) for a very nice sail through the Ko Pak Bia group of islands. 

Again, here there are large limestone islands and the islands are less touristy. There are a couple of fantastic beaches in this area, with the best one at Ko Hong. There is another Ko Hong on this side and guests can go in the tender to the center of Ko Hong and anchor overnight. 

DAY 3 

Yacht departs Ko Hong early morning and heads southeast to Krabi (10NM’s). Boat anchors at Rai Leh Beach. Guests spend the day here and can choose to go rock climbing, swimming or just chill out under the limestone cliffs. At Rai Leh Beach there are high-end resorts sitting side-by-side with a few private residences scattered around. The Krabi headland offers an opportunity to try out low-level ‘bouldering’ right on the beach, or take on the roped-climbs up the limestone cliffs.  After, enjoy an evening dinner at a luxury hotel. 

DAY 4 

Early morning depart for Phi Phi Ley (28NM’s). This Island made famous when they filmed ‘The Beach’, starring Leonardo Di Caprio. Here you’ll find crystal clear water, huge limestone cliffs and some lovely beaches along with a small bay that’s worth a visit by tender or kayak. There is a small cave housing Chinese Viking paintings. The island is also famed as the place locals collect birds’ nests, used to make the famous ‘Chinese Birds Nest Soup’. 

Late evening/overnight depart to Phuket – Surin Beach. (60NM’s) 

DAY 5 

In Phuket consider a visit to the Banyan Tree Spa, a 15 min drive away, with a reputation as one of the best spas in the world. Guests can also relax with pampering on the beach or join in some of the many activities on the island, like visiting the elephant sanctuary, go-karting and monkey and snake shows. For a street food hub with a more local vibe, try the small Kor Jaan night market along Kra Road in Phuket Town. 

Anchor overnight – and do note that there can be a large swell rolling onto this beach so anchoring and tender runs will be weather dependent. 

DAY 6 

Surin Beach to Similan Islands (51Nm’s) – The Similan Islands lie northwest of Phuket in the Andaman Sea. In 1982 this 128 square kilometer area was declared a marine national park. In recent years the group of nine small islands has become one of the leading attractions for visitors to Southern Thailand. 

Spend the day diving and anchor here overnight. Note there is no fishing, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and collecting of shells etc. allowed in this area. 

DAY 7 

Similan Islands to Patong Beach – (65NM’s). 


Thailand’s vibrant seaside destination offers yachting visitors the opportunity to explore enchanting Old Phuket Town, where Sino-Portuguese architecture, bustling markets, street food, and Thai cooking classes await. The long list of things to do in Phuket continues with Wat Chalong Temple and the Big Buddha, where spirituality meets panoramic views. Following are a few of Phuket’s land attractions. 

Thai Cooking Class 

The Phuket Thai Cooking Class teaches guests the art of crafting authentic and delicious Thai cuisine with fresh handpicked ingredients. The local instructor teaches how to use traditional mortar and pestle along with Thai culinary secrets passed down through generations. 

ATV & Zipline Experience  

This off-road ATV and zipline tour takes place in the rugged terrain and lush jungle of Southern Phuket. There are panoramic vistas and a view of the majestic Big Buddha statue on this small group tour. 

Old Town Cultural Heritage Tour of Phuket 

The Old Town Cultural Heritage Tour is a great small group activity with spectacular views of the historic city center and a family-style dinner (included in the tour). Guests get an up-close view of local markets, pagodas, colorful architecture, and convenient to/from dock transport.  

A Morning with the Elephants at Phuket Elephant Sanctuary 

This elephant sanctuary is a majestic place to see the gentle giants living their final years in peace. The sanctuary borders 30 acres of stunning tropical landscapes at the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in North East Phuket. Visitors can enjoy a vegetarian Thai buffet with welcome snacks and beverages.  

Phuket Giant Water Lilies & Temple Tour 

The Phuket Giant Water Lilies & Temple Tour is iconic for its drone shots and gorgeous landscapes. It takes place on a long-tail boat amidst colossal Victoria Amazonica lily pads. This half-day private journey explores the history of three remarkable temples and Phuket’s most enchanting landscapes. 

5-Star Spas in Phuket 

Enjoy the ultimate spa day at any one of the award-winning spas, with skilled spa specialists who use all-natural products, such as aromatic herbal massage oils and healing body scrubs.  

Phuket FantaSea – The Ultimate Thai Cultural Theme Park 

Inspired by Thailand’s exotic heritage, Phuket FantaSea not only showcases the charm and beauty of Thailand, but also enriches ancient Thai traditions with the wonder of cutting-edge technology and special effects. The result is a stunning 140-acre cultural theme park that has become the ultimate in nighttime entertainment on Phuket with Vegas-style entertainment in the ‘Palace of the Elephants’. 

When planning a cruising journey to Phuket keep in mind the following annual country celebrations in case you’d like to join friendly locals in celebrating: Phuket Old Town Festival (February); Songkran Thai Water Festival (April); Phuket Vegetarian Festival (September-October); King’s Cup Regatta (December). 


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