Note: Dates for anchorages generally indicate the first time we stayed there and found them good anchorages at that time. This does not imply that they are not good at other times of year. Eg Ao Chalong main anchorage is actually better during the SW season. Anchorages are listed in date order of use over 2005, 2006 and 2007. “Ko” or “Koh” means “island”. I got sick of saying “this island is beautiful”, “pretty resorts and restaurants ashore” – they’re nearly all like that!
12-18m sand. Lovely, protected anchorage with clear glowing warm water over sand, ultrafine white sand beach, low key and beautiful thatch resorts and restaurants, Thai massage – candles, cushions and lamps on the beach at night. A magical place.
4m sand and mud. Good calm pretty anchorage. Caves and cavelets to explore in dinghy. Fishermen about, but uninhabited islands.
7.5m rocky. Good anchorage. Resort ashore. Did not go ashore.
10?m sand?. Anchorage just north of entrance to hong. This hong (the Emerald Cave) is the best and most beautiful. We have swum in and kayaked in on different occasions.
5m sand. Shelves gently so shallow a long way out. The long fine sad beach is lined from one end to the other with tiny thatched resorts, bars and restaurants. Fun.
16m sand. Beautiful, with white sand beach and high, coloured cliffs, palm trees and clear water. Crowded with moored dive boats, noisy longtails, large washes from express ferries. Noisy with music and fun coming from shore in the wee hours.
6.5m mud. Find a spot amongst all the moored and anchored boats. Caution: moorings have hugely long ropes so boats swing in large arcs. Red buoyed moorings are public and free. (Pay a fee to Harbours dept when you check in at one stop shop. This applies whether you anchor or take a mooring, but they don’t police it so you need only pay the minimum amount once if you think you will move on.) Leave your dinghy on the beach near the Ao Chalong Sailing Club but check the tides – anything less than 1.5m and you will be in mud. Alternatively (during spring tides, for instance) dinghies can be tied to the bridge between the jetty and the floating pontoons at the end of the jetty. The jetty is 800m long and a bus runs irregularly both ways for 20B each way.
Can be very choppy when NE blows. Very good in SW season. Watch for dragging boats in strong winds.
AO CHALONG Cape Panwa (Previously called Ban Nit) 7.48.7’N 98.23.0’E
Move here in NE weather for a calmer anchorage. Residential area. White sand beach, tiny restaurant on the sand, but not very accessible to shops, town etc.
15m sand. Beautiful bay. Green, bouldered headlands, fine white beach. No jetskis. Traditional yachties’ Christmas venue. Ao Sane resort Christmas eve party.
13m sand and coral. Upmarket resort and kiosks ashore. White beach. Busy with dive boats and longtails driving over divers. Water not overly clear for snorkelling.
Moorings in 5m over coral. Dive on mooring to check it. A beautiful, glowing protected bay but open to the west. Very fine white sand beach with walk through palms to hole in rock (at low tide) to look out the other side of the island. Lots of fish hand feed from boat. Great place to take your Mum when she visits.
5.5m sand. Spectacular coloured cliff faces, fine white sand beach at resort, rubbish bins at resort. Many extremely noisy longtails. Great for New Year’s Eve. (Fireworks reverberate off cliffs, paper lanterns let off)
14m sand. Pretty anchorage with sandspit.
Mooring south side Ko Hong. Dinghy into (open) hong/lagoon to swm over white sand. National Parks guys sell beer on the beach.
10m mud. Sunset on the cliffs spectacular. Can walk into hong – at low tide. Mangroves inside.
4m. Many tourists but incredible to think that they didn’t have to build this set for the “Man with the Golden Gun”. Anchor on back side (not side with jetties) and dinghy into sand landing, without getting in the way of longtails.
5m sand. Enter hong through 200m(?) tunnel, pitch black (need kayak). Need 1.4m to 1.8m of tide to get in. Better to anchor in 2m closer in.
5m. Look for arch under cliffs – can see into hong. Dinghy in at low tide
4m. Another interesting hong.
8m sand. Even though this is a popular Phuket beach, it is less busy than Patong or some others. The water is clear over white sand. Turtles, clouds of sardines and squid swim around the boat. Ashore are the usual range of Thai restaurants but there is traditional Thai here too – as well as a nice fresh market on the main road.
14m sand. (Moorings also available). Beautiful, very clear water, interesting coral and fish. Strong current through channel at night, to which we sat side on(!). Need to eyeball in around coral.
8m sand. Pretty, useful stop overnight to await tide for Boat Lagoon channel.
Mooring in 6m.
Mooring. Too close to the reef for overnight for us – anchoring is better. One of the prettiest beaches.
14m. Beautiful, quiet anchorage. Good snorkelling in clear water off eastern side of small island to west of anchorage.
20m sand or pick up a mooring if available (after 3.00pm). Beautiful, protected anchorage where monkeys can be seen playing on the beach in the mornings. At the right tides, can land the dinghy at the beach and use facilities at Phi Phi Don but without the noise.
7m sand. Nearby protection when there is swell on west coast beaches.
11m sand. Pretty small beach. Superyachts often anchor here.
6m sand. Long hard beach for walking, estuary/lagoon for kayaking. Quiet, few other boats.
6m sand. Anchor among fishing boats opposite village. Some fresh supplies and frozen chicken available (but better to stock up for the Surins trip in Phuket.)
Mooring. Very good snorkelling in clear water near the mooring.
Mooring. Beautiful coral filled bay. Very good snorkelling in clear water.
Mooring. National park restaurant and camping areas picturesque and well run.
Mooring. Day stop only. At 25m we found it too deep to snorkel. Seemed to be large fish.
Moorings for day stop. Many dive boats here to snorkel with manta rays and in caves.
Mooring. Very good snorkelling in clear water. Also very good kayaking/dinghying around the eastern corner in shallow water over sand, small coves etc.
Mooring. The largest and “most sheltered” bay in the Similans, many dive boats and yachts here – competition for moorings. A bit rolly. Picturesque.
11 m sand. Considering the shape of this island, a surprisingly protected anchorage. High cliffs with bamboo poles for birds nest gatherers.
5 m. off NPHQ and estuary. Westerly swell all night. Current sat us side on to it. Crocodile Cave a great “must do” activity. Kayak or dinghy up the estuary (about 4 kms?) turning right each time you come to a junction. Eventually you will come to a jetty – continue past to the wooden landing. Tie up and go into the cave, pulling yourself through by raft.
9m sand. A pretty island with some great “Swiss Family Robinson” Thai style resorts.
11 m sand.
6m sand. A snorkelling spot – and not a very good one. Not clear and so so coral.
Mooring. Very pretty lunch spot and snorkel.
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