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Report on Butang Islands, Thailand

By doina — last modified Feb 05, 2008 02:42 PM

Published: 2008-02-05 14:42:12
Countries: Thailand

Report on Butang Islands, Thailand

Lat/Long: 06°29.1’N 099°18.5’E

Date: January 2007

Submitted by: Dick Moore, ALIESHA, January 2008


Lying some 24NM from the SW of Langkawi, the Butang Islands lie in clear blue water and offer some marvelous snorkelling.

Coming from Telaga Harbour in Langkawi the first anchorage is in the bay to the south of Ko Lipe, approx 06° 29.1’N, 099° 18.5’E. This is a busy place and you will be lucky to find a vacant mooring. Anchor outside the moorings in 112-15 metres on sand. There are no officials so no need to check in.

Ko Lipe is a popular tourist destination and all day the longtails ply their trade, ferrying visitors to and from the ferries which arrive from Malaysia or the Thai mainland and carrying small groups off on expeditions. Restful it is not.

Ashore there are several restaurants, most with tables on the beach. We ate local fish and it was excellent but the crowds drove us onwards.

Eight miles to the WNW there is a wide bay on the south side of Ko Rawi, one of the two largest islands in the Butang group. Approx position 06°32.5’N, 099°11.5’E. Here you will find tranquillity, crystal clear water and inviting walks ashore. The fringing reef extends a good way but in reasonable light is clearly seen. There are five or six white mooring buoys so no need to anchor. Ashore is a Ranger station, worth stopping by to say hello if you are going walking.

For an even more secluded spot, try the tiny cove to the north of Ko Butang, the westernmost island in the group. 06°32.4’N, 099° 06.65’E. Here you will find five or so moorings, laid in the shelter of a small islet and several huge rocks to the east. The coral is spectacular and you should be alone barring the occasional fisherman in his longtail. A lot of tidal current runs through the anchorage and even more in the pass between the two islands.

On occasions a swell works its way in and makes the anchorage uncomfortable. If so, quiet conditions will be found at Ko Rawi, above, under 2 NM to the east.

Place Report from Ocean Cruising Club website