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By No owner — last modified Jul 31, 2018 12:04 PM

 Thailand - General Info

Time Zone

UTC +7

Yachting Essentials


Voltage: 220 V
Frequency: 50 Hz

Thai gas bottles can be exchanged or bought, but not hired on deposit. Other gas bottles cannot be filled.


For tips about boatyard practices in SE Asia and how to avoid pitfalls see: Getting work done on your boat whilst long distance cruising.


Baht (BHT) of 100 satang

ATMs are widely available, often in mini-markets.


International Dialing Code for Thailand is +66.

If using your own mobile phone in Thailand, the costs of both making and receiving phone calls when you are in Thailand are so high that it’s probably not a good idea if you are staying longer than a couple of weeks.

Buying a SIM card once you are in Thailand is probably an easier and cheaper option. A SIM card can be bought on a pay as you go basis for about 1000 Thai Baht of $30. Calls are cheap to make and free to receive. The only thing you have to consider is whether your own mobile phone is locked. Many phone providers deliberately lock their phones to make it impossible to use on rival networks. This can be overcome however for a small price at any phone shop in Thailand. Mobile phone retailers are very easy to find in Thailand even in smaller towns.

SE Asia Cruisers Net


Ferry Service between Phuket (Thailand) and Langkawi (Malaysia) - go to for times and further details.

Do your research before hiring a motorbike in Thailand. It is mandatory to have a motorbike license, a car license will not do. You must carry your license on you at all times when on the motorbike. Hire shops will not check that you have a motorbike license and may not know the rules anyway. A motorbike license from another country is fine as long as the correct endorsements are there, if one has an international license permit to ride a motorbike it must have the A (for motorbike) endorsed, stamped or dated.

Note: If you stay in Thailand longer than 3 months, have a work permit, retirement visa or any long term visa, you MUST have a Thai license. The Police probably won't give you an infringement for not complying , but if one was to be involved in an accident there could be countless problems.

Diplomatic Missions


January - Royal Langkawi International Regatta. Cruiser-friendly. For the very reasonable entry fee you get 8 days in the marina for free at Royal Langkawi Yacht Club. All parties are at the club so there is no travelling required.

February - in and around Chinese New Year holiday in Phuket- The Bay Regatta (previously The Phang Nga Bay Regatta). This regatta travels through Phang Nga Bay to 5 destinations. It’s a moving feast. For further information please check

May – Top of the Gulf Regatta out of Ocean Marina Pattaya. A major regatta for local youth dinghy sailing and one design Platu yachts. Under the auspices of Royal Varuna Yacht Club.

June – Koh Samui Regatta - an East Coast Thailand island event run by Regattas Asia.

July – Multihull Solutions Regatta held out of Phuket Yacht Club Chalong Bay. A dedicated multihull regatta, the only one in the region. Cruisers divisions. Managed by Phuket Yacht Club.
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race week held out of Cape Panwa Hotel

November/December/ February - Sail Thailand works with Sail Malaysia and follows on with cruisers parties in Langkawi, a rally to Phuket with a lunch in Chalong at Phuket Yacht Club, party at Yacht Haven Marina, party at Port Takola Marina Krabi.

December -The King’s Cup Regatta week in Phuket, run under the auspices of Royal Varuna Yacht Club and the King of Thailand. The largest regatta in the region with regular entries of over 100 yachts.


Emergency call center (Police, Fire, Ambulance) - Dial 191
Fire Brigades - Dial 199
Ambulance - Dial 1554


IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for users via World Cruising Club

South East Asia Pilot - 5th Edition (2016)
By: Bill O’Leary & Andy Dowden
Publisher: Image Asia Press
ISBN 9789743005558
Now in its 25th year of publication, the 5th edition sees major updates. The guide encompasses approximately three million square miles of some of the best cruising grounds in the world. The authors have compiled the information over more than two decades of personal experience in the region and have invited a number of well qualified voyagers to provide updates.
See The Noonsite review at Southeast Asia Pilot review.

Southeast Asia Cruising Guide Vol II (Indonesia, East Timor, Singapore, West Thailand, Papua New Guinea)
By Stephen Davies and Elaine Morgan
Published by Imray (2nd Edition 2008 / updates 2014))
ISBN: 9781846230424
This is the first of the two-volume set of the Southeast Asia Cruising Guide to reach a second edition. This guide covers the entire length and breadth of a region frequently visited by round-the-world sailors. This edition concentrates on the most frequented routes and includes the most popular stops. This is essential reading for information about the general sailing conditions in the region; climate, currents, routes etc.

Indian Ocean Cruising Guide
By Rod Heikell
Published by: Imray (2nd edition 2007 / update 2011)
ISBN-13: 9780852889725
A good general cruising guide covering the routes from Europe to Australia and points in between, Indian Ocean Cruising Guide covers all the usual points of interest for cruising yachtsmen, from history to climate, weather patterns, formalities, route planning and so on. The general sections are followed by a country-by-country round up in which key ports are described in detail with the aid of harbour plans and photographs. This second edition has been thoroughly revised and contains a lot of additional information on Malaysia and Thailand, the Seychelles and Chagos archipelago

The Annual Phuket Marine Guide
Publishers Ensign Media Co. Ltd.
Sixth edition launched October 2008. Aims to bridge the gap between general tourist publications on the island and the regional cruising guides published. Available for free on the island at Immigration, marine businesses and related locations.
The Cruising Almanac
"From Yangon to Manila Bay" The Cruising Almanac 2004/2005 covers Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam.
Official Travel Website for visitors to Thailand.

Cruising In Thailand: What We Won’t Miss
Posted February 2015.
SV Totem round up what wasn't quite so great about Thailand.
Cruising Information for Thailand
2007, 2010 and 2011/12
Plenty of useful cruising info. for the coast and islands to the west of the mainland, in the Andaman Sea, from SV Ocelot. Plus downloadable track files in both MaxSea (.ptf) format and in OpenCPN (.gpx) format.
Free Cruising Guides by Gulf Charters
This charter company based in Koh Chang, Koh Samui and Pattaya for the last ten years have cruising guides for each cruising area free to download on their website. The site also has up-to-date info on check-in and check-out procedures, suppliers, services etc. available in the above mentioned areas.
Phuket Gazette
Very good local English language newspaper, often with local marine news.
Surin Islands: NW Thailand
Posted January 2017.
These islands adjacent to the Burmese border are an overnight sail from Khao Lak on the western side of the Phang Nga Province. An idyllic paradise offering relative solitude. This cruising report from
Why we love cruising in Thailand
Posted January 2015.
The crew of SV Totem reflect on what they loved (and didn’t) about the six months they spent in Thailand between 2013 and 2014.
A lot of information for all things Thai-related as well as visas.

Update History

June 2017: Formalities updated. Links and Facts checked.
March 2017: Thailand Events updated by Bob Mott, SE Asia Regional Editor.
March 2017: Restrictions updated with anchoring ban in Gulf of Thailand, info. from Gulf Charters, and free visa fees info. removed as now expired.
December 2016: Visa fees updated following "free" offer posted from Bangkok - valid until end of Feb. 2017.
July 2016: Formailites checked.
March 2016: Immigration visa and bond information updated by SV Wild Fox.
July 2015: Publications checked.
March 2015: Fees update from Bruce Balan of SV Migration.
July 2014: Further update to new Customs rules from John & Diana Rowley.
April 2014: Update regarding new customs rules for yachts and update to links in Immigration.
February 2014: Update Clearance & Customs re new/old rules on length of stay from report in Phuket Gazette.
May 2013: Customs rules update from Bec of SY Infinity V.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 24, 2017 10:26 AM

Reported by Martina & Reinhard Moedl:
Following information which might be interesting to other sailors (October 2017):

Our yacht flies Malaysian flag, my wife and crew as well as myself are Austrian citizens, we both have one year non-O visas for Thailand.

Coming from Terengganu, Malaysia, we cleared in at Koh Samui (my wife as a passenger). In Koh Samui I tried to get information about the requirements for departing to Europe by plane whilst leaving the yacht in Thailand. Immigration on Koh Samui was unable to give me any information and told me to ask at Customs. Customs explained several times (including the boss of the desk-officer), that there is no requirement. They said, "Just take your luggage and travel home“.

After arriving in Koh Chang, we contacted Laem Ngop Immigration office. Here we were told about the correct procedure which is as follows:
- Bring ALL required documents to the Immigration office - in paper-copy (Passport, contract with marina, plane ticket incl. return-flight).
- Pay a deposit of THB 20.000 which will be refunded on your return to Thailand back at the Immigration office.
- I received an envelope which I had to hand over to the Immigration officer at the airport on departure.

Everything was clear, smooth and without any needs of discussion.

The Harbour captain in Koh Samui wants to get paid a "personal fee“ of THB 500 for each clear-in / clear-out. Negotiation therefore is required, don´t pay more than THB 200, better zero, off course.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 06, 2017 10:22 PM

Reported by Richard Luck:
We checked into Thailand at Chalong yesterday. We docked Samurai at Ao Po, left the AIS on and took a motorbike down. Very smooth, in and out in 30 minutes. You can extend after your first 6 months at Customs in Chalong now instead of Phuket town. Unfortunately you still need to go to Immigration in Phuket town to pay the 2000 baht one off fee or 20,000 baht refundable bond to be able to leave the boat in Thailand with no Captain aboard. Also very quick and efficient there. Would have been nice if they'd consolidated that in Chalong too!

MikeH says:
Nov 02, 2017 07:12 AM

Port Takola, near Krabi is one of Thailand's newest Marinas. I have been based there for the last six months and have been delighted with the set up. The staff are very friendly and helpful. It is possible to hire a motorbike very cheaply from the locals, no need to go to town. Ao Nang is just a few minutes up the road with excellent shops, and the traffic is fairly light. Immigration folks are very friendly and helpful, as have been customs and the port authority, though there is a bit of distance between customes and the rest. About a 20 minute walk between.The hard stand has just become operational an I have never seen a more conscientious team, lifting my boat with great care. There is a very good restaurant and bar about 10 minutes easy walk away. The marina has all new facilities, is open and lets a breeze through. Acces to Krabi is straight forward with minimum depth of 4.0 metres in the channel. Entrance to the marina is probably the top two thirds of the tide. A good guide is height of tide=depth at entrance. 2 metres of tide = 2 metres minimum dpeth at the entrance. Krabi town is just a dinghy ride away. A very peaceful place, easy access to town and tourist activities, but also a great experience with the Thai locals.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 30, 2017 07:14 PM

Reported by SE Asia Regional Editor Bob Mott:

Recently those coming to Thailand by air and sea and road, especially the latter two, have been asked to show 20,000B in cash to prove they can take care of themselves financially for a short period - or show means of income or Work Permit etc. This has been happening a bit lately.

I have also heard from some yachties the immigration office in Chalong has been extorting money - that they call a security bond to be able to sign back on their yachts and check out of Thailand. They have to submit a 20,000B security which is not true - the price to sign back on your yacht is a 10 Baht stamp duty only.

The idea I think is so that they can offer to waive the fee and ask for 2000B in its place as a non returnable fee.

I am investigating this now. Will keep you informed.

tmallia says:
May 25, 2017 06:08 AM

Two more marinas exist at the top end of the Gulf of Thailand. One is BangPakong Marina which is closest to Bangkok. This is on the BangPakong River and can be entered around high tide through a lock gate. It is much cheaper than Ocean Marina and permits liveaboard. Facilities basic but it does have a travel lift and is a cheap place to get the boat out to work on it. Suitable for yachtsmen on a budget. Maximum draft is about 2m for entry on a 3m tide.
The other is Racer Marina on the Pranburi River. I have not yet used this one.

Gallivant says:
Feb 15, 2017 03:23 AM

We just stayed at Krabi Boat Lagoon and can highly recommend it! It's peaceful and tranquil, the rates for wet berth and hardstand are very good (and even better if you stay long-term). The staff is friendly and helpful and there are two restaurants within the marina. We had some stainless steel work done and the quality of workmanship + timing was impeccable. If you want to get away from the hustle & bustle of Phuket this is your spot to go withvan airport just around the corner.

Michael Blowes
Michael Blowes says:
Jul 15, 2016 08:42 AM

Krabi customs is challenging again. Only give 2 month extensions, 3 if you push. Was told I could only have 3 month because my visa (a renewal marriage visa) fell due in Oct. But next day guy with 7 months left on his visa only got a 3 month extension also. So its all a bit of a mystery. There seem to be fewer boats around this year.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 02, 2015 09:00 PM

Posted on behalf of anonymous:
I am not coming to Phuket because they impose the AIS to foreigns vessels only.
I don't believe that is for security.
I have a radar, GPS, vhf, BLU, automatic pilot, windvane, Iridium.
It's more than enough, no!!!
I planned to buy my visa in Penang - but now it's over.
I am not the only one who cancelled my trip.
My family comes from Brazil, an it is cheaper for them to extend the journey to Kl.
The impact is important, for sure.
I am sorry for the people working for the sailing industry in Phuket.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 20, 2015 07:59 PM

WARNING! Announcement by Phuket Marine Department today. Foreign vessels NOT equipped with AIS will NOT be permitted to enter or depart Thailand waters, starting 19 Oct 2015. Thankfully period of grace has been granted. See news item adjacent for further details.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 07, 2015 02:35 PM

For those cruisers considering having their liferaft serviced in Thailand, it may be useful to read about the experience of s/v Crystal Blues at

helena says:
Sep 07, 2015 02:00 AM

A word of warning if driving a motorbike in Thailand. In Phuket, the Ao Chalong police department is doing road stops for motorbike driving license checks as well as helmet and registration. Note: A motorbike license is mandatory here, a car license will not do. Watch out if you rent a motorbike as the hire shops don't necesserily know the rules.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 18, 2014 01:09 PM

Cruisers have reported problems with the accuracy of Navionic charts in SE Asia, Thailand in particular.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 07, 2014 02:17 PM

Posted on behalf of Michael Blowes:
At my latest check-in to Thailand in Krabi, payment of the bond (THB20000) was unavoidable.. all the other boats coming in now suffered the same thing. I was given only 30 days (or less) and told either I paid the bond to allow me to leave by plane or land to get another visa (via consulate or on re-arrival), or I had to sail out within the 30 days (the latter option effectively negating the 6 month stay for the boat).
Even when the amount is not a big deal it is still a huge administrative workload. Was told by immigration that the way to circumvent is simply apply and get a 60 day tourist visa before coming to Thailand (e.g. Penang or Singapore).

hoare says:
May 15, 2014 12:15 PM

Its back to normal at Krabi. U can obtain 6 months temporary boat importation extendable for another 6 months without a problem. Krabi is very easy for paperwork, but u do need a car as customs and immigration are about 8 km apart.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 30, 2014 01:14 PM

See news item adjacent dated 30 January 2014 which explains these new rules regarding length of stay for yachts.

Richard & Susan Kidd
Richard & Susan Kidd says:
Jan 14, 2014 01:03 PM

When we checked in at Ao Chalong in December 2013, on a weekday, there was a THB 100 per person fee to immigration.
Since 1 January 2014 boats checking in at Ao Chalong have been given only a 60-day stay by customs. This is causing significant concern in the Phuket marine industry.

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