These Trave Notes provide useful information about Phuket. From airport procedures to currency exchange, it will tell you what to expect to make your vacation smooth and worry free. We suggest you read the following information carefully several weeks prior to departure and also print a copy to take with you.

Address & Map

Address 
Moorings Thailand
Ao Po Grand marina 
113/1 Moo 6 
Tambon Paklok, Amphur Thalang
Phuket 83110, Thailand 

Hours of Operation 
8:00am to 5:00pm - 7 days a week

Base Facilities
The Moorings base has the following facilities: showers and toilets, bar and restaurant, nearby hotel and pool, ATM, telephone, and provisioning.

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Arrival & Departure

How to get there
Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport is Thailand's principal airport, which is situated 20 miles outside of the city center. The majority of flights entering or departing Thailand do so from Bangkok, which receives and sends flights to major airports all around the world. Thai Airways provides flights from Bangkok to Phuket.

Servicing Airlines
Due to the number of flights which we organize, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact your Vacation Planning Specialist before you book your flights.

Airport
Phuket Airport (usually via Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport).

Airport Transfers
From Phuket Airport (30-35 minutes) - On arrival, look for your driver holding a sign with 'The Moorings' displayed on it. Approximate cost: 800 Baht each way for up to 4 passengers, 950 Baht each way for up to 6 passengers,1100 Baht each way for up to 8 passengers.

Customs & Immigration 
A valid passport for each passenger and a crew list are compulsory for clearance.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your entry into Thailand.
U.S. citizen tourists entering Thailand for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa.

Arrival / Departure Procedure 
Embarkation: Charters start at 4 PM.
Briefing Times: You will receive an individual yacht and chart briefing. This will take up to 2 hours so you need to allow plenty of time. You will not be permitted to leave without adequate briefing. You may not depart the dock after 5pm.
Disembarkation: All charters end at 9:00 am at which time the boat must be returned and ready for debriefing and checks.

Late Arrival Procedure
If you are arriving after 5:00pm and have requested a transfer, you will be met by a member of staff and be shown to your yacht. If we have no arrival details and we have not heard from you by 5:00pm, we will put a sign on the door stating your yacht name, location and the Base Managers contact number. The yacht will be lit up and have an information sheet on what is available at the base; toilets, showers, restaurants, etc.

Security Deposit 
If you haven't purchased Yacht Damage Waiver, a security deposit (amount as per your invoice) is payable at the base by traveler's checks, Visa or Master Card, and is refundable at the end of the charter subject to there being no loss or damage. The liability includes loss or theft of the dinghy and/or outboard.

Taxes / Departure Tax
There is no departure tax payable.

Taxis
Car: 500 Baht Maximum 4 pax
Minibus: 900 Baht Maximum 8 pax
Airport taxis max 4 pax with luggage. No reservation is necessary. Taxis are always available at the Airport however many drivers do not know where the Moorings office is in the Ao Po marina and clients may be dropped off at the wrong place, sometimes even the wrong marina. It's highly recommended to organize transfers through The Moorings for this reason.

Car Rental
There are three reputable car rental companies in Phuket and although driving there is easy, there are guidelines to follow to stay safe – they are as follows: 
In Thailand driving is on the left side of the road. 
A valid International license or Thai Driving license is essential. 
Seat belt wearing and drinking and driving laws apply, and are enforced. 
Full Comprehensive Insurance is a must. Beware of street side vendors with signs saying 'With Insurance' - usually the level of insurance is very basic and would not cover the car, or passengers - just third party injuries or damage.

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General Information

Area: 319,385 sq. mi.
Population: 65,905,410
Capital City: Bangkok 
Official Languages: Thai is the main language. English is widely spoken in all major tourist locations. However, if you are traveling around Thailand, it's a good idea to buy a phrase book. Other languages spoken in Thailand are Chinese, Lao, Malay and Mon-Khmer, while English use is becoming more prevalent in government and commerce.
Ethnic groups: Approximately 75% of the citizens are ethnic Thais, 14% are Chinese, and the remaining 11% are mostly Indian, Malay, Karen, Khmer, or Mon. 
Religion: Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim, Christian
GovernmentConstitutional Monarchy
Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
Tipping: Among Thais, tipping is not practiced except perhaps leaving the loose change from a restaurant bill or rounding the taxi fare up to an even number. There's no reason for you to change tipping practices or to feel odd about it. In hotels, restaurants and bars frequented by tourists, tipping is more common and even expected by some. This is particularly true of "high class" venues.
If you elect to go along with this, there's no reason to be extravagant about it. Depending on the service, 0-40 baht should be fine. It is not necessary to give a tip in an establishment that has a service charge, as that's supposed to be the tip. A minority of Thais who deal with foreigners not only expect a tip, but hint or even ask for one -- this is not Thai style and, in fact, is considered rude. The best thing to do in this situation is to smile and ignore it. 
Currency: Baht (THB) (100 satangs makes 1 baht)
Electricity:  Electricity in Thailand is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Thailand with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter. 
Time: GMT + 7 hours. Seven hours ahead of London.

Hotels 
Supalai Resort
Chandara Resort

Restaurants
The base has a selection of restaurants and bars and there are two nearby hotels which can be booked at a discounted rate. Thai food is all cooked to order using fresh ingredients and lots of chili. It's quite easy to ask for the meal to be made a little less spicy for western tastes. Seafood features are on every menu with chicken, pork and beef also available is great vegetarian food. Rice and noodles are a main staple but western food is easily available. Enquire at The Moorings Customer Service for more options.

Post Office
The nearest Post Office is located in Sapam 20KM from the base.
Opening times are: Monday to Friday: from 8:30am to 3:00pm during week time and from 8:00am to 10:00am during weekends. Stamps and a letter box are available at the Moorings base.

Internet Connectivity
Free internet is available at the marina if you have your own laptop. No internet cafe etc.

Mobile Phones
There is mobile phone coverage in most of the cruising area. Make sure your network operator knows you want to use your phone abroad. You can bring your own 12 volt cigarette lighter type charger to charge your mobile phones on board or alternatively 220 volt generators are fitted on board all yachts however you may need an international adaptor. Local SIM cards are readily available and are a much cheaper option for making local and international calls. If your mobile phone does not work on a SIM card i.e. American phones it will NOT work in Thailand.  Phones are available locally to rent.

Tourist Information Centers 
TAT Tourist Information Centers in Thailand
Address: 1600 New Phetburi Road, Makkasan, Rajatevee, Bangkok 10310. 
Tel: +66 2250 5500 - Fax : +66 2250 5511 (2 automatic lines) 
Email Address: centre@tat.or.th
Open Monday to Friday 8:30 - 16:30 hrs. / closed weekends & public holidays.

Travel Notice
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised of an update to the local laws and customs in Thailand. You can’t bring vaporisers, eg, e-cigarettes and e-baraku, and refills into Thailand. These items are likely to be confiscated, and you could be fined or sent to prison if convicted. The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or imprisonment if found guilty.

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Banks & Money Exchange

Banks  
The airport is easiest place to exchange money, however there are banks and ATM machines at the Tesco supermarket. Moneychangers are located at Ao Nang beach and on Phi-Phi, although the exchange rates may not be as good.

Currencies / Money Exchange
The unit of currency in Thailand is the Baht. Money changing facilities are available at the airport and in most medium-sized towns. We recommend that sufficient money is changed before departing into the cruising area. The average would be 1,000 Baht per person per day. Credit cards are accepted only at larger restaurants and resorts.

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Activities & Sports

In addition to exploring Thailand under sail, the following list may prove helpful in planning other aspects of your time with us. We're happy to arrange any extra activities for you at the base.

Snorkeling & Diving
The diving in Thailand is excellent. Clients must carry a PADI open water or equivalent qualification to be able to dive. Unqualified divers can do courses or resort dives. Prices range from center to center, but it usually costs between 2,500 Baht and 3,500 Baht per person for two dives and lunch. If a client wishes to dive while chartering with The Moorings, we recommend H20 Sportz.

The Similan Islands are a world-class diving destination and are accessible between November and April, subject to weather conditions. These islands are situated 60 miles Northwest of Patong and require a minimum charter duration of 7 days for a visit. Further information is available from the base on request.

The Surin Islands are another 50 miles north of the Similans and also offer superb diving, but fewer dive operators visit them. The Similan and Surin Islands are National Parks and are subject to a daily entry fee, which will be collected on site.

You will be asked to complete a waiver of responsibility form prior to departure from the base, if intending to cruise to the Similan or Surin Islands.

Fishing
Fishing with rod and reel or hand lines is permitted in all of the cruising area and there have been no recorded instances of Ciguatera poisoning. Spear fishing is not permitted.

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Cruising Information

Experience / Qualification requirements
A sailing qualifcations is not mandatory to charter here - but you must demonstrate that you have the necessary experience and ability. If our base staff are not confident in your ability when you arrive, they will arrange for a Moorings skipper to travel with you - at your own expense. Please ensure you have completed a Sailing CV or a Power CV to ensure you have the necessary experience required.

Electricity Information
Electricity in Thailand is 220V, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Thailand with a device that does not accept 220V at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

Sailing Area Restrictions
There are currently no specific restrictions, however a full chart briefing will be given at the base 

Cruising permits and Fees
There are currently no Cruising Permits or Fees required for cruising in this area of Thailand.

Interesting Sites
Please visit the Itinerary Page for more of the best places to visit on your trip. 
Phang Nga Bay
Located to the north of the base, Phang Nga Bay is a marine national park and an area of beautiful, unspoilt scenery. Sailing here is safe all year round. This is where most clients start their charter spending 2 or 3 days exploring the towering limestone islands of Ko Phanak and Koh Hong with their many caves and "Hongs" to explore. 
Krabi Beaches
The main beach at Ao Nang is reasonably well-developed and has access to Krabi town by local transport. The beaches and scenery are fantastic with excellent snorkeling. There are many Thai restaurants and bars. 
Koh Dam Group or Chicken Islands
The snorkeling here is excellent, with coral reefs to explore. On the way to Ko Phi Phi, charterers will pass the Bamboo Islands, which offer great snorkeling. Clients can visit 'Hin Klang' reef by either dive boat or longtail, which has the best diving outside of the Similian Islands. 
Koh Phi Phi
The main island is Koh Phi Phi Don.  There are dive trips, big game fishing trips, Internet cafes, restaurants and bars. Clients may visit Koh Phi Phi Lee, where they can see Maya Bay (where the filming of The Beach was held), a scenic sandy lagoon with white sandy beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs. Viking Cave is well-known for its bird nests, which are harvested by locals to make the famous 'Birds Nest Soup'. The swimming and snorkeling in the area is excellent. 
Koh Lanta
Often described as Phuket 20 years ago, the pace of life on Lanta is relaxed and easy going. There are two good beaches along the West Coast and good shelter in some beautiful anchorages on the East Coast during the SW season. The islands to the south have good snorkeling and the "Emerald Cave" on Ko Muk is a must-see on any two week sailing vacation. The Ko Rok group marks the southern edge of the standard cruising area.
Koh Racha Yai and Racha Noi
These islands, which lie to the south of Phuket, offer more good snorkeling and diving, as well as the relaxed pace of tropical island life. 
West Coast Phuket
There are many beautiful long, white sandy beaches and anchorages on the West Coast. The water is crystal clear with excellent sailing and provides good holding for anchorages. The nightlife ashore ranges from a relaxing evening in a quiet bay to dancing and partying into the night at beaches such as Patong. 
Similan & Surin Islands
Situated 35 miles off the West Coast of Thailand and 60 miles northwest of Patong beach, this National marine park is one of the world's top dive destinations. The waters around the Similan and Surin Islands are teeming with fish and surrounded by coral gardens. The park is open from the November 15 to May 15 and entry is allowed subject to paying the relevant National Park fees. 
Koh Rok to Koh Tarutao
This area offers a wide range of anchorages. Koh Liang and Koh Phetra in the north are quiet and peaceful with the only inhabitants being the local wildlife. Further south is the resort island of Koh Bulon and the towering limestone island of Koh Tarutao. West of Tarutao is the Butang group, which offers unspoiled snorkeling and diving - worthy of being in the world's top ten locations.

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Provisioning (Food & Drink for your boat)

Provisioning Services
This destination offers the convenience of The Moorings Provisioning Service! Let The Moorings take all the hassle out of provisioning your yacht with the highest quality beverages, fresh foods, and non-food items. Order complete packages when booking online or over the phone. Or choose to order online from our Online Provisioning Store which also offers all packages and an extensive a la carte inventory. We’ll coordinate the details and guarantee that everything is aboard your yacht when you arrive. Visit our Provisioning Page to learn more.

Supermarkets
The nearest supermarket is a 45 minute taxi ride from the base.

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Health & Safety

Travel Insurance
Moorings offers comprehensive travel insurance for your complete peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, please make sure that it covers all of the destinations and activities of your Moorings vacation. Click for more details

Vaccination and Immunization Information 
Thailand is generally risk-free of contagious disease. For up-to-date authoritative advice on health protection and vaccinations, we recommend that clients consult their family doctor. At time of publication, an International Vaccination Certificate is not mandatory.

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*Please note country entry/exit and vaccination/immunization requirements can and do change. The Moorings is not accountable for these requirement changes and we advise visiting the destination’s authority website to receive the latest updates.

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