Last Modified: 10 Jan 2013
Phuket to Ko Phi Phi Sailing
Trip code: TSSX
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail through the paradisical surroundings of Thailand's west coast. Plunge into the glistening turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea and lie back on powdery white island beaches as this short but sweet sailing adventure gives you a taste of this magnificent part of the world.
Please note: in 2013 this tour will depart every Sunday rather than every Saturday (Oct-May).
Table of Contents
- Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Day 1 Phuket
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Meet your skipper and other group members at 1pm ready to board.
Sail off towards Ko Ping Kan, well known as 'James Bond Island'. After visiting the island we sail on to Ko Pan Yi where one of the last 'Sea Gipsy' villages is situated on stilts in the water. In the afternoon we have time to explore the village and to enjoy a ride in a local long tail boat through the mangrove channels. Overnight we stay at a nearby anchorage.
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 2 Ko Hong & Railay
Set sails in the morning towards the lonely island of Ko Hong. Here we explore its sea caves in our dinghy and after a short hop around Ko Hong we stop on a tropical beach for swimming and snorkelling. Our sailing day ends in Railay - a paradise for rock climbers with sheer-sided limestone mountains around the beach. After viewing a stunning sunset on the Andaman Sea we have dinner ashore and enjoy the buzzing night-life of the various pubs.
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 3 Ko Lanta
We start the day with a short morning sail and stop to view the Andaman's spectacular limestone karsts. Then we cruise smoothly over to Ko Lanta while enjoying lunch on board and taking time to relax and soak up some sun. We reach Ko Lanta early in the afternoon and various options are available for activities like jungle tracking in the natural park.
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Day 4 Ko Phi Phi
Our morning sail guides us to the most talked about place in Thailand - the island group of Ko Phi Phi. Our first stop is on Phi Phi Don with its colourful marine life and shops, bars, restaurants and fire spectacles on the beach. We stop on a tropical beach for swimming and snorkeling. We dock by approx 1PM where our trip concludes.
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
- Ko Phi Phi to Phuket Sailing (TSSY)
- Phuket Sailing Adventure (TSSZC)
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
These trips are a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to.
There are no activities included in this itinerary. For a list of optional activities available, please refer to the day-to-day itinerary.
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).
The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat. ATMs are now available in most towns and visa cash advances are available in major banks. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Skipper / Local guides: We suggest US$2-3 per day for your skipper or local guides.
Crew: You may have a range of crew on your trip. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for crew.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Maximum of 8 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Overnight boat (3 nts)
This trip is accommodated on board a catamaran boat. Our boats are equipped with twin-share cabins, and shared bathrooms (1-4) The average size of the boat is 53 feet. Fresh water is available for showers, and toilets are either electronic or the hand pump variety. The boat is equipped with a motor for times when the wind is not sufficient for sailing. Our boats are real yachts and this is a real sailing trip. Yachts are designed to keep sleeping areas to the absolute minimum of space, while maximising common areas as much as possible.
The skipper will allocate the rooms on arrival to the boat and single travellers will be paired up with another passenger of the same sex, this may mean sharing a double mattress. The skipper will also be sharing the yacht's facilities and sleeping quarters.
While some may find the living quarters quite close, those who are looking to revel in the adventure and exhilaration of an authentic sailing trip usually find any discomfort is more than made up for by the spirit of this sailing experience.
Check out the below for a typical 8 berth catamaran floor plan. The bedding can be identified in blue. Note that this vessel floor plan is an indication only and can change dependant on the boat chartered per departure.
For your convenience most meals on your Thailand sailing adventure are included, and will be prepared on board by the resident chef. When a meal is not included you will have the opportunity to disembark the boat and eat on the mainland at a local restaurant.
3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
This is a sailing adventure so our time is spent on board a catamaran yacht. We do not have one fixed vessel that we will use for every departure, but instead we choose from a pool of boats in our fleet dependant on the group size. ie. a small boat for a smaller group, and bigger boat for a bigger group.
You may be asked to assist on-deck, particularly when coming into or leaving port. No experience is necessary, but getting to know some 'sailing language' might help to get you into the spirit of the adventure.
Port - left
Starboard - right
Bow - front of the boat
Stern - rear of the boat
Deck - outside, upper area of the boat
Hull - the main part or body of the boat
Keel - part of the boat under water that keeps the boat stable and stops it capsizing
Mainsail - the large sail attached to the mast and boom
Mast - the big vertical pole that supports the mainsail
Boom - the big horizontal pole attached to the mainsail, coming off the rear of the mast (swing from side to side)
Jib, headsail, genoa, foresail - smaller sail near the front of the boat
Sheet - ropes used to control the sails
Booty - another word for pirate treasure
Lines - other ropes on the boat (ropes are never called ropes on yachts)
Spinnaker - large extra sail
Trim the sails - adjust the position of the sails when the wind changes strength or direction
Tiller or wheel or helm - used to steer the boat
Helmsman - person steering the boat
Running - sailing with the wind
Tack - turning the bow of the boat when sailing through the wind
Jibe - turning the stern of the boat when sailing through the wind
Figure-eight knot - the stopper: often used at the end of lines to stop them getting away.
Bowline (knot) - strong and dependable knot that is commonly used
Clove Hitch (knot) - not as secure it is often used to attach an object to a line
On your Thailand sailing trip you will be accompanied by one of our skippers and a chef. Your skipper's role involves taking charge of the sailing, organising the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, safety of the vessel and safety for all passengers on board. All skippers have extensive sailing miles experience and hold a 'yacht master offshore license' or higher. They have been carefully selected and undergone intensive training of each itinerary they sail. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect your skipper to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Your chef will prepare tasty local cuisine meals using the best of the local fresh produce available.
Joining point instructions
Chalong Bay is approx. 1hour from Phuket airport. Taxis are readily available from the airport.
From Chalong bay pier facing the ocean turn left for approx. 800m and you will find the Light House Restaurant. The restaurant looks like a light house!
If you have any difficulties please call the below numbers:
+66 81 606 3143 (Markus)
+66 80 375 1305 (Phil)
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Ton Sai Pier
The Beachbar & Restaurant
Ko Phi Phi
Finish point instructions
Ko Phi Phi is well connected to Phuket and Krabi with regular ferry's to Rassada Pier and Krabi town respectively. Your skipper will assist you to catch a ferry back to the mainland.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
If entering by air you will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only. A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB. Alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
In addition to any included activities on your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Our local representative may be able to assist you with available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that our local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
WATER SAFETY AT SEA:
Travellers that are able and confident swimmers will be able to enjoy swimming & snorkelling off the boat, but please always note the skipper's advise and instructions on when and where to swim and what precautions to consider. Travellers that are not able to swim are certainly welcome on this trip, but you will be required to wear a life jacket when we are sailing.
We do not allow cliff jumping on our tours as it is a dangerous activity and against Intrepid policy.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the trip until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by our local representative.
If you have credit card insurance our local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Responsible Travel projects
Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Thailand include:
* Friends of the Asian Elephant aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants - both domesticated and wild. FAE's elephant hospital provides free medical care and transportation, and is in the process of establishing a nursery in an effort to reduce the high infant mortality rate of domesticated working elephants.
* Baan Unrak (House of Happiness) is an orphanage and community relief centre for children and destitute women. Providing shelter, food, clothing, education, employment, love and support for those in need, Baan Unrak currently houses more than 60 children and continues to grow.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.