Ao Po Grand Marina
Phuket Int’ Airport
No formal license
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This page provides useful planning, pre-departure and travel information. From servicing airports to base arrival procedures, it will tell you what to expect to make your vacation smooth and carefree.
We suggest you read the following information carefully several weeks prior to departure and also print a copy to take with you.
GMT + 7 hours.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Monday to Friday 8:30 – 16:30 hrs. / closed weekends & public holidays.
Area: 319,385 sq. mi.
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
Government: Constitutional 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.
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.
Due to the number of flights we organize, the Moorings can offer some great rates to many destinations. Please make sure you contact our inhouse flight specialist at 866.649.2003 before you book your flights.
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.
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.
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.
Boarding Time Procedures
Charter Boarding Time: The Moorings start is at 3pm and Sunsail is at 4pm.
Briefing Times: You will receive an individual yacht and chart briefing. Chart briefings will be conducted at 1pm for The Moorings and 2.30pm for Sunsail. 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.
All skippers must attend a Chart Briefing which covers all you need to know about the cruising area, use of the VHF radio, how to call for assistance, and more. A Boat Briefing will also be provided onboard your yacht.
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.
Check Out Procedures
Charter End Time: All charters end at 9:00 am at which time the boat must be returned and ready for debriefing and checks.
A debriefing and final walkthrough will be done upon return so please allow enough time to complete this before the charter end time.
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.
While most of our newer boats have Bluetooth capability, we cannot guarantee all boats are outfitted with this equipment. For your convenience, we highly recommend you bring an AUX cord so you can listen to music from your mobile devices.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the marina.
For Internet access on your charter, hotspots are available for rent from the base. Please contact a Vacation Planner for additional 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.
Customs & Immigration
Entry, exit, and visa requirements depend on the locations you are departing from and traveling to. You are responsible for having the correct documents so make sure to check with the consulate of the countries you plan to visit before you travel.
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. Visit travel.state.gov(link sends e-mail) for the latest information.
Luggage & Packing List
Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are best, as luggage storage space on your yacht may be limited. We have no facilities for holding luggage at the base. Pack lightly and review our suggested packing list for required and necessary items to bring.
- Pack essential prescription medicine and change of clothing in a carry-on bag*
- Passport and other travel documentation
- Tickets and paper confirmations for pre-planned activities
- Light-colored, light-weight clothing
- Formal wear for upscale dining establishments
- Swimwear and cover up
- Hats and sunglasses
- Sandals and flip-flops
- Athletic shoes and hiking boots
- Travel-sized toiletries and hygiene products
- Insect repellent and OTC pain relievers/ointments
- AUX cable for playing music through your device
- 12V DC to 110V AC power inverter (for boats without generators**)
- 12V to USB power adapter for charging mobile devices
*We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.
**All boats include a 12V DC outlet (a “car” outlet). Boats with generators have 110V outlets in the Caribbean and 220V in the Mediterranean and Exotic locations.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised of an update to the local laws and customs in Thailand. You can’t bring vaporizers, 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.
The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit www.caat.or.th/en/archives/27871
Baht (THB) (100 satangs makes 1 baht).
Taxes & Fees
You might incur some costs while on charter such as mooring and docking fees or cruising taxes. We highly recommend bringing enough of the local currency to cover these costs as they are not always payable by USD, debit, and/or credit cards.
There is no departure tax payable.
A security deposit must be paid at the base by Visa or Master Card and is refundable at the end of your charter subject to there being no loss or damage. To significantly decrease your security deposit, purchase our Yacht Damage Waiver insurance ahead of time.
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. Visit cdc.gov(link sends e-mail) for the latest information.
Your health and safety are important to us. For advice on how to stay safe while on charter, please review our Travel Advice Information. Current travel and safety information can be obtained by visiting travel.state.gov (link sends e-mail)
Swimming is often a fun and important part of a vacation. However local rules, flag systems, currents and where swimming may be permitted, can be different and vary from country to country. Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board.
- Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
- Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
- Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended. Keep an eye on them and do not get distracted in and around the water.
- Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Armbands can be a good training swimming aid for children but are not a substitute for supervision.
Be aware of your surroundings
- Always comply with warning signs, especially red flags, and only swim from approved beaches.
- Beware of dangerous currents, these can be very powerful. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
- Take particular care when swimming off coastal areas, especially during monsoon season.
- Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life. Jellyfish can swim close to the shore in Thailand, particularly during the rainy season. Their sting can be fatal. If in doubt take local advice from base management and dive centres.
- Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
- Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.
Look out for others
- Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party.
- Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.
Do not overestimate your ability
- Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
- Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different
All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding – If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing.
We have a very limited supply of children’s life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.
Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck.
Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.
The Moorings offers comprehensive travel insurance for your peace of mind. If you have your own travel insurance, verify that it covers the destinations and activities of your Moorings vacation.
Whether this is your fifth trip or the first of many, we want you to feel at home when you’re at a Moorings base.
Ao Po Grand marina
113/1 Moo 6
Tambon Paklok, Amphur Thalang
Phuket 83110, Thailand
8:00am to 5:00pm – 7 days a week.
The Moorings base has the following facilities: showers and toilets, bar and restaurant, nearby hotel and pool, ATM, telephone, and provisioning.
A sailing qualification 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 resume or a Power resume to ensure you have the necessary experience required.
Cruising Area Restrictions
There are currently no specific restrictions, however a full chart briefing will be given at the base.
It is strictly forbidden to sail alone, we require two persons minimum on board.
Download The Moorings Thailand Charter eGuide here.
Charts & Pilot Books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are issued at your chart briefing.
You must be moored at least one hour before sunset. Night Sailing is not allowed without permission from the base manager. The decision to allow night sailing is based on your skill level and can be requested in advance. You will need to fill out the Sailing or Power resume for the base to review but we cannot guarantee approval.
Moorings Fees & Taxes
There is no departure tax payable.
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.
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.
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.
The Moorings Provisioning
Online Provisioning is available. Provisioning must be ordered 7 days prior to the start date of the charter for this destination.
Visit our Provisioning Page to learn more about delivery direct to your yacht.
Moorings Care packages are included on every yacht. These packages contain some of the basics to get you started for your vacation. Additional items are available to be purchased and delivered directly to your yacht. Visit our Provisioning Page to learn more.
The care package includes: a scotch bright, small dishwashing liquid, small and large trash bags, six rolls of toilet paper, 2 kitchen rolls, BBQ lighter, small pack of coffee filters, small white vinegar (Sunsail is the same)
The nearest supermarket is a 45-minute taxi ride from the base.
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.
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.
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.
For your convenience, you can add water toys to your charter prior to arrival at the base. They will be waiting on your boat upon arrival. You are able to rent these at the base; please keep in mind that we have limited availability. For more information, please view our Water Sports Options(link sends e-mail).
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 Moorings provides flippers for all charters for your pleasure. Masks & snorkels are available for purchase at 850 THB / set for all charters for your pleasure. Children’s sizes are very limited; you may wish to pack your own snorkeling gear.
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 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 with rod and reel or hand lines is permitted in most of the cruising area, however fishing is prohibited in all Thai National Parks. Spearfishing is not permitted.
There’s a fishing shop 10 minutes from the marina if you’d like to purchase equipment.
Thailand is a year round sailing destination. There are two main seasons, which are called the wet and dry season, or the SW or NE monsoon, respectively. Seasonal winds tend to be predictable, although there may be inconsistencies as they change from one to the other.
North East Monsoon (Dry – November to April)
The NE monsoon runs from November to April and has wind speeds of force 2 to 4 from the NE. The winds are quite stable during this period and temperatures are usually in the region of 30 deg C. It is consistently dry and sunny, with ideal conditions for sailing. If you wish to visit the Similan Islands you can only do so during the North East Monsoon and will be asked to sign a Moorings disclaimer before you leave the base.
South West Monsoon (Wet – May to Oct)
The SW monsoon, takes place from May to October with winds force 2 to 6, from the SW. There is more wind during this season, making sailing a bit more exhilarating than the NE season. There are some rainy periods, sometimes prolonged but usually only lasting approximately 1 to 2 hours in the late afternoon or early evening. The direction of the prevailing wind means that the anchorages on the West Coast of Phuket cannot be used during this period. You are advised to anchor on the East coasts of the islands or in sheltered bays. There is still safe sailing in Phang Nga Bay right down to Koh Phi Phi with larger swells in more exposed areas. The Similan Islands are closed to visitors during the South West Monsoon. During September and October there can be extended periods of rain sometimes lasting up to 5 days at a time.
Historical Weather (Averages by month):
|°F Max||°F Min||°C Max||°C Min||Ave Precip (in)||Ave Precip (mm)||Ave Water Temp (°F)||Ave Water Temp (°C)||Ave Wind Speed|
|January||89||73||32||23||1.6||40||82||28||NE 10-20 kts|
|February||91||73||33||23||1.1||27||82||28||NE 10-20 kts|
|March||93||75||34||24||2.3||59||84||29||NE 10-20 kts|
|April||95||75||35||24||5.5||140||86||30||NE 10-15 kts|
|May||98||75||37||24||13.1||334||86||30||SW 10-20 kts|
|June||91||75||33||24||10.8||275||86||30||SW 10-25 kts|
|July||89||75||32||24||11.2||284||84||29||SW 10-25 kts|
|August||89||75||32||24||10.4||265||84||29||SW 10-20 kts|
|September||87||75||31||24||15.7||398||84||29||SW 10-20 kts|
|October||87||75||31||24||13.3||339||84||29||SW 10-20 kts|
|November||87||75||31||24||7.4||187||84||29||NE 10-20 kts|
|December||87||73||31||23||2.6||66||82||28||NE 10-20 kts|
Thailand has two high tides per day. The range varies from half a metre to just over 3 metres. The Ao Po marina has instant all tide access to Phang Nga bay. The latest that a Moorings yacht can depart from the marina is 5.00 pm as the nearest anchorage is half an hour away and all yachts must be anchored by 5.30 pm. The area and yacht briefings take up to an hour each and provisioning shopping will take around 3 hours including taxi transfers. Therefore if you wish to depart on the day their charter starts they should arrive no later than 12 noon if you are doing your own provisioning or 3.00 pm if you have provisioned online.
Tide timetables for our Phuket base can be found at Phuket Tide Tables
The base provides clients with a 10-day forecast upon arrival, however, it is recommended that guests check the weather frequently through their preferred source for the duration of the charter.
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