Warm, clear waters surround the Andaman’s limestone and granite formations, creating striking beauty above and below water and attracting rich marine and island biodiversity. Phuket is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the lush aquatic worlds and rugged lands of Koh Phi Phi, the Similan and Surin Islands, and the Mergui Archipelago.
Phuket effortlessly delivers fun in the sun, boasting beautiful beaches, stimulating nightlife, and world-class accommodation, dining and shopping. With its own international airport and direct flights from Europe, China and the Middle East, the resort island affords ready access to spectacular diving destinations. Fly in and experience Phuket’s hedonistic delights then set out to explore the area’s striking natural wonders.
The Thai Kingdom holds treasures for every traveler within its thoroughly unique culture, blending ancient Theravada Buddhism with high-tech modernity in a land of vivid sights and sounds. The food alone is enough reason to visit Thailand, with its fiery and fragrant combinations enlivened with lemongrass, basil and lime.
Buddhist monks in traditional saffron robes; night market vendors hawking street food and wares; golden temples and lively festivals; silky sand beaches and mountainous rainforests set the scene for exceptional tropical vacations. Thais are ideal hosts, legendary for their laid-back natures, ready smiles, and genuine warmth.
Ideally situated amid world-renowned diving destinations, Phuket is the center of the Thai scuba diving industry as well as a heaven for yacht charters into the Andaman. On its resort-lined west coast, picture-perfect, coconut tree-rimmed white sand beaches span bays of calm, jade water.
A vast array of daytime water and land-based activities range from snorkeling and white water rafting to golfing and elephant treks, along with cultural excursions to temples and of course long days simply spent lounging and sun soaking. Phuket Town in the south east offers a cultured taste of Thai history in an artsy enclave of cafes and boutiques, Sino-Portuguese architecture, shrines and museums.
Hugely popular with the party-seeking crowd, Patong is Phuket’s Sin City, famous for its wild nightlife and edgy entertainment, pumping music and neon lights well into morning. Ubiquitous beer bars pair brews with parlor games and go-go girls, while ladyboys pose for pictures and perform cabaret in nightclubs. It’s a jarring feast for the senses and an indelible Phuket experience.
Patong isn’t all loud flash, however; if you tire of the crowds, quieter streets just a few minutes away from the city center offer a pleasant atmosphere of small shops and street food stalls. During daylight hours on the waterfront, enjoy parasailing and jet-ski adventures on Phuket’s most sought-out beach.
The gorgeous turquoise waters of Pansea Beach between The Surin and Amanpuri resorts offers charter anchorage in a serene setting. Just around the corner from the popular Surin Beach, Pansea is only accessible through the lobby of The Surin resort, affording a more private beach experience.
Pansea features top-notch snorkeling and dazzling sunset views in one of Phuket’s most beautiful bays. Located near the Laguna Phuket Golf Club and Splash Jungle water park attractions, anchoring a charter at Pansea also provides ample opportunity to enjoy high-end restaurants and wine bars just 30 minutes from Patong
On the island’s northern strip, charters may anchor along Mai Khao beach in the Sirinat National Park across from the Sala Phuket Resort and Spa, just a short drive from the airport. These tranquil waters away from the bustle of Phuket’s main tourist draws are perfect for nature lovers who favor endless, peaceful beach walks.
Nesting grounds for sea turtles can be viewed at Mai Khao beach from October to February. Sirinat also features a mangrove forest and 800m of wooden walkways with signage highlighting the region’s abundant flora and fauna. An anchorage in this area guarantees a placid immersion into tropical nature.
Anchorage under Kata Rocks Resort and Residences on the popular Kata Beach on Phuket’s southern west coast affords family-friendly fun and a laid-back nightlife scene, with ample dining and shopping options in the area. Two elephant trekking operations are close by, as is the gleaming white Big Buddha statue, visible from Kata Rocks Resorts and just a short drive away for stunning 360◦ views.
Plan your vacation in December to coincide with the Kata Rocks Resort Superyacht Rendezvous which attracts yacht aficionados from around the world for a 3-day event celebrating the region’s top superyachts.
Another superb option for beginning your Andaman Sea adventure is anchorage at Ao Po Grand Marina on the northeast coast, featuring restaurants, bars, and fitness amenities, as well first-class accommodation in the Marina Living complex overlooking the bay.
Ao Po is located at the gateway to Phang Nga Bay, the most spectacular and naturally beautiful destination in Phuket. Picturesque, verdant limestone karsts thrust out of emerald seas up to 300m high and mangrove forests combine with caves dripping with stalactites for stunning island topography.
Forty-eight kilometers southeast of Phuket is one of south Thailand’s best sightseeing destinations, replete with jungle-bearded limestone cliffs, jewel-colored waters and arcs of brilliant white sand. Koh Phi Phi Don and its smaller sister Koh Phi Phi Leh, an uninhabited national marine park brought to fame in the 1999 film The Beach, offer world-class diving opportunities.
Koh Phi Phi Don is equally well-known for its pulsating nightlife scene. As boisterous as Patong, parties along Tonsai bay rage from dawn to dusk, though calmer nightlife can be savored on quieter beaches. Rock climbing attracts as many travelers as diving, and cliff jumping excursions also abound. The Phi Phis offer a captivating blend of gorgeous scenery, outdoor play and Thai-style entertainment.
For excellent visibility and superb underwater scenery, The Similan Islands 84 kilometers from Phuket have been named one of the top 10 dive destinations in the world by the National Geographic Society. Divers can drift alongside turtles, clown fish, manta rays, whale sharks, barracudas and triggerfish in the crystal-clear, shallow water of Similan Islands National Park just a few hours’ sailing from Phuket.
Koh Bon northeast of the Similans is one of the best places in Thailand to see Manta Rays. A further 50 kilometers north are the Surin Islands just shy of the Myanmar border. Much less traveled than the Similan islands, the diving in Surin Marine National Park is beyond compare, especially at Richelieu Rock, an open sea pinnacle considered the best dive site in Thailand.
Rugged, untouched islands of limestone and granite topography, dense rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches and prolific marine life in crystal clear water make up the Mergui islands off the far south coast of Myanmar. Mostly uninhabited and largely unexplored, the roughly 800 islands host sharks, rays, moray eels, dugongs, turtles and several species of fish not seen in Thai waters.
Explore 30,000 km² of incredible unspoiled nature, home to plain pouched hornbill and the seafaring Moken people who daily ply the plentiful waters for sustenance. An annual festival celebrating their unique culture occurs in February. Off-limits to outsiders until 1997 at the urging from Phuket dive companies, this stunning natural area is one of the last remaining untouched places on earth.
A charter embarking from Phuket is perfect for exploring the Andaman Sea’s glorious underwater world and spectacular island scenery. Easily accessible by direct international flights, Phuket is the springboard into otherworldly destinations where verdant-topped cliffs jut from jeweled waters and a kingdom of sea life reigns supreme.
From flamboyant nightlife to unchartered territory, charters from Phuket give clients the best the Andaman Seas have to offer.