Posted by: catamarantwooceans | June 29, 2012

Sailing in Southwest Thailand

26.6.12 – Tuesday – Target of the morning: Koh Phi Phi Leh, just south of Phi Phi Don. We knew that one should try and get there before the crowds arrive or after they have left. We got there around nine o’clock and found a good mooring about 200 meters from shore. Phi Phi Leh is magical. High perpendicular cliffs covered by lush vegetation surround the bay. It was beautiful and peaceful.

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There was a single yacht in the bay and three motor boats on the beach. Gili wanted us to swim ashore but before she realized her plan another motorboat roared in and I could see another in the distance. "I think it’s too dangerous, let’s take the dinghy" I said. 

We went ashore and walked around.

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A park ranger told us we had to pay 200 baht each. Having no money on me I promised to come back later with the dough. Gili did not forsake her swimming wish and we agreed that I will follow her with the dinghy while she swam around the bay and to the boat.

By that time the flow of motorboats increased; tranquility gave way to madness as the din of triple 200 H.P outboards on boats maneuvering in and disembarking hordes of people filled the air. I just wanted to go away.

Gili was finding out that swimming in the turbulent waters of the bay was not very pleasant so she came on the dinghy and we returned to "Two Oceans". I went back ashore to make good on my promise to bring the money. The following picture shows a part of the scene on the beach and of course you are spared the noise.

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We were glad to leave! So if you want to visit Koh Phi Phi Leh come at 0700 and leave by 0900, this way you can enjoy it. I imagine that 1600 to 1800 will also be O.K.

We motored back to Phi Phi, to a bay called "monkey bay" where one could supposedly see Macaques coming out of the woods to the beach. From afar the spot was beautiful but as we came ashore we were disgusted by the amount of rubbish people left there. We saw no monkeys. I wouldn’t want to come to such a dirty place myself.

We decided to stay the night on the single good mooring that we found there; although the wind blew into the bay, it was quite light and the sea was calm.

27.6.12 – Wednesday – We were taking things easy this morning sailing to the near Bamboo islands, only 4 miles from Phi Phi don. Passing the northwest coast of Phi Phi  we saw a very impressive bay that will be fantastic in the NE monsoon season. We will surely check it out in November! We had enough wind and didn’t have to use the engines, which was fun. Fishing continues to be fruitless, we actually bought fish in town yesterday!

We came round the islands to anchor off Koh Mai Phai, on a shallow bank in about 2.5 meters at mid tide. This island is also a part of the park system and a payment of 200 baht is taken from everyone going ashore. By 1800 the tourist boats left, we had the place for ourselves with just one fishing long-tail for company.

28.6.12 – Thursday – We continued our left hand circuit of the Phuket area by sailing back north towards Chicken Island west of Krabi. The island got that name  because of the conspicuous rock on its southern tip.

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I’m sure some people would have had different associations but if they want to keep the poultry connection why not call it "Cock Island"?

Just as in Monkey bay we found a single mooring that had nobody claimed and tied to it. Very convenient! The island has reef around it which, in spite of the poor visibility, was quite nice. We saw a big puffer, probably the biggest I ever saw, accompanied by a remora. Snorkeling again in the afternoon the visibility was even worse and the highlight were two tiny yellow pilot fish who decided Gili was a worthy predator, joining her for the ride.

29.6.12 – Friday – Up into the Phang Nga bay we sailed, close-hauled with the westerly wind. Gili loves stopping mid way to have a swim and I like to please her whenever I can. So, looking at the chart I found Koh Hong (one of a few islands by that name) and we came in and tied to a mooring.

Gili was the first to notice the great many jelly fish all around the bay. No way we were going into the water with those menacing globes undulating along, spreading their venomous tentacles towards the innocent swimmer!

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They were everywhere and we very quickly made the decision to go away to our final destination – Au Nang bay in northeast Koh Yao Noi, where a boutique resort is reputed to allow yachties to use their restaurant.

Good, fast sailing to the bay brought us there at lunch-time. Nice cliffs to the north and as befitting a fine resort – Wi Fi internet available in the anchorage.

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A man we spoke to on shore says you can touch those jelly fish and come to no harm. I still don’t think I’ll try it.

We did try the restaurant and the food was good. Expensive by regular Thai standards, but Gili says we deserve it.



  1. Glad you’re back. Have fun! ☼

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