Ajao Cruises Itineraries
Sailing with the AJAO Motor Yacht is a marvelous and lush experience, one that you won’t find comparison of elsewhere but what would sailing be without a goal? A ship must have a destination a course to set the “sails” for.
That is why we here have listed inspirations for you of destinations that we, together, can steer to and explore.
All these destinations around the Andaman Sea have been carefully picked out for you, all based on our previous experience and with your full satisfaction at mind. These destinations open a world of beach-sceneries, diving, snorkeling and kayaking locations or picturesque areas that you’d only see in magazines – all from the convenience of our fully serviced Yacht: the AJAO.
Let’s take you on a trip where you set the course, where you choose the destination one that we steer you to explore, at your own pace, and convenience.
|Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations, with fine white sands, nodding palm trees, glittering seas and lively towns. It has something for any taste and budget, with hundreds of restaurants to choose from, and a wide choice of dining and partying options. Aside from visiting the fantastic attractions of Thailand’s biggest island, you can reach the most secluded island paradises bays inaccessible by bus, car or motorbike. Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Kamala have always been the most popular, but the north of the island reveals some hidden gems for travelers searching for a more romantic atmosphere. Phuket is also the starting point for all our boat itineraries.|
|Large, spacious and relaxed, Koh Lanta is close to Krabi but has managed to avoid the large scale development seen elsewhere in southern Thailand. This makes it a popular spot for a relaxed family holiday, daytime excursions, fishing-, snorkeling or diving-trips. There are nine separate beaches on Koh Lanta and some secluded spots to be enjoyed only by sea. To reach Koh Lanta from Phuket it takes about 2 hours by boat. This pleasant combination of convenience and seclusion appeals to many sun seekers and island-hoppers alike.|
Phi Phi Island
|The Phi Phi islands are some of the most idyllic, postcard-perfect islands in the world. The recipe is all there: nodding palms, white sandy beaches, plentiful coral and crystal-clear water. Add to this list, warm and friendly people, lots of sunshine, blue skies and striking limestone cliffs as well as attractive accommodation and you get something approaching tropical perfection. The two best-known islands in this gorgeous six-island paradise covering 42 sq. km. are Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, the latter being uninhabited but a hugely popular day tour destination because of Maya Bay – the location of the 1999 shooting of The Beach and Viking Cave. Phi Phi’s four other smaller islands are Bamboo and Mosquito islands along with Kho Bida Nok and Kho Bida Nai. A fascinating destination well-worth a visit.|
Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga Bay can be found in the Strait of Malacca. This Thailand paradise is located between Malay Peninsula’s mainland and Phuket. The area is surrounded by beautiful views, and it beckons visitors to come explore further. Here you will discover native wildlife, unspoiled rivers, and some of the most intriguing caves around. In fact, a large portion of the bay is now protected so that this natural beauty will remain with us for a very long time. Protected areas lie within Ao Phang Nga National Park which is only one of the many outdoor recreational areas you’ll enjoy while visiting Phang Nga Bay. The limestone cliffs, numerous caves, archaeological sites, and collapsed cave systems have drawn people to the area for years.
Koh Yao Yai & Yao Noi
|Koh Yao Yai, or “Big Long Island”, running about 30 kilometers in length from top to bottom, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Though only a 40 minutes by boat from Phuket’s east coast, this long, narrow island ringed with thick mangroves and white-sand beaches has somehow avoided becoming another hectic island resort. It’s more than twice the size of neighboring Koh Yao Noi, but tourism development here lags behind its sister island. Koh Yao Noi, or “Small Long Island”, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Also found just 40 minutes by boat trip away from Phuket, Yao Noi’s tight-knit local Muslim community has led the island along a more low-impact, peaceful development path than its rowdy island neighbor.|
|The stunning beach and sea-mountain scenery of Krabi is now famous, many visitors extolling some of the beaches here as amongst the most beautiful in the world. This is a geographic extension of the karst Sea Mountains of Phang Nga, reaching south into deeper, clearer waters and thus offering fine snorkeling and diving. In the northeast monsoon season anchorages here are protected, though the region is completely exposed during the southwest monsoon. First discovered by cruising yachts and the backpack traveller set some years ago, it has now developed ashore with few bungalows, hotels and restaurants. A few larger hotel groups have opened resorts. Krabi Town, with provisioning of a similar standard to Phuket available, can be accessed from Phra Nang by yacht dinghy.|
Racha Yai & Racha Noi
|The twin islands, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, are surrounded by clear blue waters that shaped the characteristic boulder rock formations. They are separated by 7 Km. Koh Racha Yai lies some twelve miles south from Phuket which makes it an ideal day -trip, or a last night’s anchorage at the end of a charter before returning to base in the morning. Koh Racha Yai is inhabited; Koh Racha Noi is not (except from some wild goats that live there). Koh Racha Yai has two anchorages, one of each is suitable for either season, on the beach and inland you find various restaurants for dining out. Koh Racha Noi has a really nice and quiet anchorage on the East side which offers good protection in the SW season. Diving, Snorkeling and fishing are good activities around the Racha islands. Their beauty and proximity to Phuket make them a natural destination for day trips from Phuket. During the day time especially Racha Yai can be rather busy. From late in the afternoon onwards until the next morning a few yachts and the odd fishing vessel will be the only boats in sight.|
|Listed among the top 10 world diving destination, with white sandy beaches framed with massive black granite boulders, Similan Islands are located just 84 km northwest of the bustling crowds of Phuket. Koh Similan is one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea, largely because of the wonders that wait beneath the clear blue waters that surround it. Generally counted among the most interesting sailing and dive areas in the world, this little archipelago has also become a favorite destination for yachts and tour boats. “Similan” is derived from the Malay “sembilan”, and means “nine”. Each of the Similan Islands has a number as well as a name. These are, running from north to south: Koh Ba Ngu (No. 9), Similan (No. 8), Payu (No. 7), Miang (No. 4, No. 5 and, in some opinion, No. 6), Payan (No. 3), Payang (No. 2), and Hu Yong (No. 1). Koh Bon, lying 17 nautical miles north of Ba Ngu, is part of the Similan National Park and may be granted honorary status as No. 10. Please note that the Similan islands are officially open to the public from 15 October until 15 May, but dates may vary each year.|
|Koh Rok, is a small island that lies to the south of Phuket, not far beyond Koh Lanta. Koh Rok is known to be the best place from Koh Lanta to go snorkeling. Koh Rok Nok (Nok means outside) and Koh Rok Nai (Nai means inside) are 2 islands. The islands are located close to the more famous island Koh Ha and offers splendid white sandy beaches, fascinating coral reefs and myriad species of tropical fish, eels, sea stars and many other exotic creatures. A specific type of giant clam is common here on Koh Rok. The island itself is uninhabited but a track that runs across the island will bring you to a rocky coast on the other side. There is also a natural viewpoint at the highest point – some 150 meter high, from where you can enjoy the view for many miles across the Andaman Sea and the mainland. Enjoy exquisite views, scuba diving and snorkeling without any disturbance on Koh Rok.|
|Established as a marine national park in 1974, Tarutao National Marine Park is covering an area of 1490 km² at the southernmost tip of Thailand, off the coast at Satun Province in the Andaman Sea. The park consists of 51 islands within two groups; Tarutao Group to the east and Adang-Rawi Group to the west. There are three archipelagos in the park; Tarutao Archipelago, Klang Archipelago and Adang Archipelago. The name Tarutao derives from Pulau Tertua (means “the island of old”) which was the original name of the main island.|
Some of common species seen in the park are boar, civet, mouse deer, hornbill, languor, various raptors, reticulated python and king cobra. There are also domestic cattle that have adapted wildlife since decades ago and increasing in numbers. There are estimated 100 different species of birds in the national park.
Apart from many beautiful white beaches on most islands, the marine side of the park has many great spots for diving or snorkeling.
In some of Tarutao Archipelago islands, you can feel the “Pirates” atmosphere such as the “Pirates Cave” entrance at Tarutao Island, accessible after few kilometers of exiting dingy-drive through a mangrove river. Not to miss!
|Koh Lipe is part of Tarutao Archipelago and is is a small L-shaped island located in the southern Thailand’s Satun Province near the border of Thailand and Malaysia. It belongs to the Adang-Rawi Archipelago, situated on the outskirts of the Tarutao National Marine Park. Originally only inhabited by Sea Gypsies, the Chao Ley who gave the island its name – Koh Lipe means Paper Island in Chao Ley, Koh Lipe (a.k.a. Koh Lipeh or Koh Lipey) has been through some development to face the increasing tourism demand. Sunset Beach (west), Sunrise Beach (east), and Pattaya Beach (south) are the three main beaches of Koh Lipe. The island and its surroundings are quite famous for snorkeling and scuba diving; its coral reefs are easy to reach as they start just a few meters away from each of the four main island’s beaches. A nice range of restaurants choices are available on Koh Lipe.|
|Koh Muk, also part of Tarutao Archipelago, is often referred to as Koh Mook, and is located south of Phuket, in the Andaman Sea, just off the coast of Trang. It is called the Pearl Island, and that for good reason. Deserted white, powdery sand beaches on the west of the island are dominated by towering cliffs and delightful rocky outcrops. This tropical paradise island in the south of Thailand offers endless opportunities for snorkeling and diving and the nearby karst islands, called Koh Cheuk and Koh Waen, offer some really great sites where you are likely to be alone and undisturbed – a place where you can fully enjoy your sailing vacation.|
The secret treasure of the island Koh Muk though, is “Tham Morakot”, which means Emerald Cave. At the center of Tham Morakot you will find an inland lagoon (Hong), with a narrow chimney, giving onto blue skies. When the sun is at an angle shining into the entrance of the tunnel it is lighting up the rocks in an emerald green color, which gave the cave its name. A truly spectacular sight! The islands are particularly fun to be explored by kayak; this way you can discover all the beautiful bays, caves, and sandy tropical beaches, by yourself.
|Langkawi is not a single island. It is a cluster of a total of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, in Malaysia, and off the western coastline of Malaysia’s mainland. Actually, there are five more small islands that remain submerged and can sometimes be seen during low tide. The main island, which is known as Pulau Langkawi, is the largest of all and the entire Langkawi cluster has therefore been named after this one. Most of the residents live on this main island and visitors arrive here. Although Langkawi own resident population is small, around 3 million tourists visit the island annually. The main island Pulau Langkawi is only 25 km (15.5 miles) from North to South by road, and a little more from East to West. The total covered area of all Langkawi islands together is about 478.5 square km out of which the main island covers an area of 320 square km. About 70% of the main island comprises of mountains, forests and natural vegetation.|
In June 2007, Langkawi was accorded the World heritage Geopark status by UNESCO because of its stunning geological landscapes including caves, stacks, sea-arches, limestone rocks and millions of year old fossils.
|Sailing north from Phuket, along the Similan Islands and the Surin islands of Thailand, you enter the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar (Burma), also known as Myeik Archipelago. The islands are made of a mix of granite and limestone formations and are commonly covered by tropical rain forest. The Archipelago lies north of Thailand, on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, and consists of more than 800 islands of different size and shape, sizing up to hundreds of square kilometers. The area was only opened up to foreign tourism in 1997 after negotiations between Burma and dive operators from Phuket in Thailand. Patrick Catellani, owner and founder of Servicecorp Co., Ltd. was among the few lucky to gain permit to enter Mergui in 1997. The only way to visit these waters and some of the best dive sites in the world is by boat. The diving is magnificent. The dive sites have exotic names like Big Bank, Rainbow Reef, Shark Cave and Silver Top Reef, just to name a few. Huge boulders interspersed with soft corals, sea fans and the full assortment of underwater activities from conventional reef diving through wall diving to the exploration of underwater caverns and tunnels are waiting to be explored. The marine inhabitants range from sharks to manta rays and include exotic species like frog fish, ghost pipe fish, ribbon eels and a magnificent array of crustacean. All in all; the Mergui Archipelago promises a unique and unforgettable sailing vacation!|