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a secret no more
It is not called the Caribbean of Asia for nothing.
Yet, until recently, Thailand's unparalleled marine
playground has been quite difficult to access, enjoyed
by but a handful of cruising yachts and an even smaller
group of charter holidaymakers. But no more. A surge
in the development of marina facilities and in the
number of yachts available for charter mean that Thailand
is set to burst upon the international scene as the
world's newest yachting playground.
Thailand - Unimaginable coastline, &beaches
Over 1,000 miles of coastline bordering the Andaman
Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, literally thousands
of islands, countless beaches with pristine white
sand, crystal waters and superb coral reefs, hidden
creeks and headlands meeting the sea, mystical sea
mountains. All these combine with a tropical climate
to create the world's most stunning cruising waters.
Welcome to Thailand... The Thailand that independent
cruising yachtsmen tell tales about on their travels...
The Thailand that many have never left.
Thailand - Safe tropical climate
Although in the tropics, Thailand has no typhoons.
It is not in a hazardous weather zone. Even the seasonal
monsoons are gentle. Temperatures range from 25' -
35'C for most of the year, and the sea rarely varies
from a balmy 28'C. This means comfortable, exotic
cruising all year round.
Thailand - Stunning culture
Who has not heard of the friendliness of Thailand's
people, the magnificent cuisine and the stunning culture?
They are all fact. And all are harnessed to ensure
visitors to this magical Kingdom have an unforgettable
experience. Whichever part of the kingdom you visit,
the experience of Thailand adds a wonderful extra
dimension to a boating holiday.
Coastal Thailand lies between 5'C and 13'C north of
the equator, which places it firmly in the monsoonal
weather patterns of the northern hemisphere. This
means that the prevailing winds from November to April
are northeasterly and from May to October are southwesterly.
Typhoons are not a risk in Thailand waters and temperatures
range from maximum 35'C to minimum 25'C.
The Andaman Sea coast in the West experiences regular,
fair to strong, breezes between May and October, when
the best sailing is in the sheltered waters of Phang-nga
Bay. Rain showers are frequent but not persistent
and are interspersed with excellent sunny clear days.
During this season, the Gulf experiences the same
prevailing winds, but tends to be dryer in the lee
of the southern Thailand peninsula.
Between November and April, the winds can be quite
strong in the early mornings tailing off in the afternoons.
Later in the season, the winds become lighter. Thailand
is unique as a sailing holiday destination. There
is no off-season. Indeed, the May-October 'Green Season'
offers near-perfect conditions for keen sailors with
reliable winds averaging 12 – but rarely exceeding
25 – knots, bright sunshine interspersed with showers,
and generally cooler temperatures.
Thailand - A regional baseThailand has deservedly
become Asia's premier cruising and boating destination.
Residents of South East Asia already take advantage
of this magical marine world, as do cruising yachts
on their way between the two hemispheres. If you base
your own boat in Thailand, you may find you never
need finish exploring within the Kingdom's borders,
but should you want to look further, there is no better
base from which to explore the whole region. And Thailand
welcomes you each time you return. Thailand - Explore
the region from ThailandThailand's coast borders three
other countries – Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia –
each with coastal assets of its own. North of the
Andaman Sea coast is the border with Myanmar and its
magnificent Mergui Archipelago. An unspoiled region
with many uninhabited islands, only a few dive and
adventure holiday operators have been given access
to date, but the region is earmarked for sustainable
development. The gateway to this little-explored area
is Phuket and Ranong.
Southwards, at the entrance to the Malacca Straits,
is the Malaysian west coast with a number of islands
offering marina facilities. Phuket and Satun are well
placed to provide easy access to these cruising grounds,
the last stop in Thailand waters being Ko Tarutao.
On the Gulf coast of Malaysia, marinas are planned
in each major sea port as stepping stones to or from
Ko Samui.Cambodia is the least developed coastline
in the region and, along with neighbouring Vietnam,
is set to become the next significant area of interest.
The Cambodian border is just a few miles from Ko Chang.To
the east of Phuket lie the Andaman Islands, in Indian
waters. These sleepy islands, steeped in tradition,
are just 350 miles off Thailand's west coast and have
only recently begun to welcome visiting yachts. If
you are looking for new frontiers, Thailand provides
the perfect hub from which to explore the budding
cruising grounds of the region.Thailand - A thousand
places to seeThe world-famous ‘Pearl of the Andaman'
– Phuket – to the mysterious limestone karsts, mangrove
swamps, creeks, islets and perfect beaches of Phang-nga
Bay, Krabi, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta. The almost unknown
and unspoiled islands off Thailand's west coast, heading
towards the Myanmar border, to the extraordinary Similan
Islands northwest of Phuket and south to the Malaysian
From the favourite holiday islands Ko Samui and Ko
Pha-ngan in the Western Gulf of Thailand across to
the mountainous and heavily forested Ko Chang and
Kut Archipelagos in the Eastern Gulf.
The sheer number of destinations awaiting you within
Thailand's borders is outdone only by the unbelievable
variety. From world-class marina to tiny fishing village,
from big city Pattaya to deserted beaches and uninhabited
islands, this is the marine wonderland of Thailand.
This is Asia's boating playground. This is the ‘Caribbean'
of the East.
Thailand - Full Country Name: Thailand (Prathet Thailand,
meaning "land of the free")
Thailand - Capital: Bangkok (Krung Thep, meaning "city
Thailand - Geography:
The kingdom of Thailand lies in the heart of Southeast
Asia, making it a natural gateway to Indochina, Myanmar
and Southern China. Its shape and geography divide
into four natural regions : the mountains and forests
of the North; the vast rice fields of the Central
Plains; the semi-arid farm lands of the Northeast
plateau; and the tropical islands and long coastline
of the peninsula South.
The country comprises 76 provinces that are further
divided into districts, sub-districts and villages.
Bangkok is the capital city and centre of political,
commercial, industrial and cultural activities. It
is also the seat of Thailand's revered Royal Family,
with His Majesty the King recognised as Head of State,
Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist
religion and Upholder of all religions.
Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with His Majesty
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, or King Rama IX, the ninth
king of the Chakri Dynasty, the present king. The
King has reigned for more than half a century, making
him the longest reigning Thailand monarch. Thailand
embraces a rich diversity of cultures and traditions.
With its proud history, tropical climate and renowned
hospitality, the Kingdom is a never-ending source
of fascination and pleasure for international visitors.
Thailand - Topography:
Thailand is divided into 4 natural regions:
The mountainous North, with its profusion of multi-coloured
orchids, fascinating native handicrafts and winter
temperatures are sufficiently cool to permit cultivation
of temperate fruits such as strawberries and peaches;
The high Northeast Plateau, which still jealously
guards its many archaeological and anthropological
The Central Plain, one of the world's most fertile
rice and fruit-growing areas with colourful traditional
culture and way of life as well as the sandy beaches
of the East Coast and vibrant cosmopolitan Bangkok;
The peninsular South where the unspoiled beaches and
idyllic islands complement economically vital tin
mining, rubber cultivation and fishing.
Thailand - Population:
Thailands are well-known for their friendliness and
hospitality. A large majority of over 62 million citizens
of Thailand are ethic Thailand, along with strong
communities whose ethnic origins lie in China, India
and elsewhere. About 7 million people reside in the
capital city of Bangkok.
Thailand - People:
Thailand (80%), Chinese (10%), Malay (3%), and the
rest are minorities (Mons, Khmers, hill tribes) Ethnic
Thailands form the majority, though the area has historically
been a migratory crossroads, and has thus produced
a degree of ethnic diversity. Integration is such,
however, that culturally and socially there is enormous
Thailand - Language:
Spoken and written Thailand is largely incomprehensible
to the casual visitor. However, English is widely
understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost
the major commercial language. English and some European
Languages are spoken in most hotels, shops and restaurants
in major tourist destinations, and Thailand-English
road and street signs are found nationwide.
Thailand - Government:
Thailand has had a constitutional monarchy since 1932.
Parliament is composed of 2 houses, The House of Representatives
and the Senate. Both representatives and senators
are elected by the people. A prime minister elected
from among the representatives leads the government.
The country is divided into 76 provinces. The Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration comes under an elected
governor. Appointed provincial governors administer
the other 75 provinces (Changwat), which are divided
into districts (Amphoe), sub-districts (Tambon) and
villages (Mu Ban).
Thailand - Head of State:
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX of the Chakri
Thailand - Climate:
Thailand enjoys a tropical climate with three distinct
seasons-hot and dry from February to May (average
temperature 34 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity);
rainy with plenty of sunshine from June to October
(average day temperature 29 degrees Celsius and 87%
humidity); and cool from November to January (temperatures
range from 32 degrees Celsius to below 20 degrees
Celsius with a drop in humidity).
Much lower temperatures are experienced in the North
and Northeast during nighttime. The South has a tropical
rainforest climate with temperatures averaging 28
degrees Celsius almost all year round. Thailand -
The electric current is 220 volt AC (50 cycles) throughout
the country. Many different types of plugs and sockets
are in use. Travellers with electric shavers, hair
dryers, tape recorders and other appliances should
carry a plug adapter kit. The better hotels will make
available 110-volt transformers.Thailand - Tap water:
Tap water is clean but drinking from it directly should
be avoided. Bottled water is recommendedThailand -
Light, cool clothes are sensible and a jacket is needed
for formal meetings and dining in top restaurants.
Shorts (except knee length walking shorts), sleeveless
shirts, tank tops and other beach-style attire are
considered inappropriate dress when not actually at
the beach or in a resort area.
Thailand - Weights & Measures :
The metric system is used throughout Thailand. Numerals
on vehicle speed ohmmeters, highway markers and speed
limits all indicate kilometres.
Thailand - Business hours :
Most commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day
week, usually from 8 am to 5 pm. Many stores open
seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm. Government
offices are generally open between 8.30 am and 4.30
pm with a noon to 1 pm lunch break, Monday to Friday
except on public holidays. Banks are open Mondays
to Fridays from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm except on public
Thailand - Postal Services :
Thailand's mail service is reliable and efficient.
Major hotels provide basic postal services on their
premises. Provincial post offices are usually open
from 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
International Roaming Mobile Phone : A Subscriber
Identity Module Card (SIM Card) is now available for
Thailand and foreign customers who are travelling
around for work. The SIM Card must be used in conjunction
with a Digital GSM mobile phone within the 900-MHz
range or a Digital PCN mobile phone within the 1800-MHz
Thailand - Fax and E-Mail :
All of Thailand's leading hotels offer facsimile (fax)
and e-mail services. Numerous private businesses offer
such facilities, most often in conjunction with translation
Thailand - Internet Services :
Thailand has been expanding its information service
for residents and tourists alike through the Internet
system. Services are now available at Thailand's leading
hotels and at the many " Cyber-Cafes " that
are cropping up in all major tourist destinations.