Thailand West 2017 / 2018

Thailand west 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Sailing at the west coast of the Malacca peninsula in the summer and autumn is not exiting due to little wind only up to 10 – max 15 kt, and mainly coming from northerly angles, so going north is to a large extend done by motor sailing. Occasionally some severe lows with thunderstorms pass from the west over the Malacca Strait called “Sumatras”. They can give a lot of rain and wind, but normally only lasts a few hours. The same calm weather applied for us when sailing in the Phuket area. After checking out at Langkawi, we passed by the islands Ko Tanga, Ko Roknai and checked into Thailand, Phuket at Chalon Bay.
After docking in Yacht Haven marina we visited many islands east and south of Phuket: Ko Hong, Kho Yao Jai, Ko Dam Kwan, Ko Phi-pi Don, Ko Lanta, and Patong Bay. Thailand is very popular among tourists and there is a lot of life and activity all over with many tourist boats and charter boats. The islands are beautiful and especially the grottos which can be experienced from rented canoes are spectacular. The food is good and there are many fine restaurants and resorts.
It was easy to see how new buildings had replaced the ones which was washed away by the Tsunami in 2004. Especially Ko Phi-pi Island and Patong Bay was hit hard. We spent New Year’s Eve in Patong; however the usual spectacular fireworks was much reduced due to the mourning declared because of the death of the King of Thailand a few months earlier.
I wouldn’t miss Bangkok and flew there. It is an impressive and very interesting city with the magnificent Royal Palace and many other fascinating pieces of old architecture.
The Phuket area was revisited in 2018 and visits to the Surin islands close to the Myanmar border, Ko Muk, Ko Bulon, and Ko Lipe were added to the list. Especially The Surin islands, Ko Muk and Ko Lipe were interesting. At Ko Surin Tai we visited a village with the so called “sea gypsies” living in houses on stilts at the beach. The water was crystal clear and there was good snorkeling at the coral reefs. At Ko Muk you can swim through a tunnel into a “crater” with a small beach and Ko Lipe is full of tourists, and I imagine it may look like Ko Phi-Pi 20 years ago.