In a quaint harbor on the coast of Thailand, the nightlife is vibrant. The locals have laid out a small bazaar selling everything from clothing to food to fish to knock off DVDs. This is just a small sample of the lifestyle one encounters while sailing along the coasts of Asia. Docking at a harbor in Thailand will bring a different adventure than docking at a harbor in India or the Philippines. Come sail along the coastlines of Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and India and be immersed in many of their exclusive customs.
The warm tropical climate and immaculate white sands welcome sailors to the many islands of Thailand. The draw of these waters undoubtedly is credited to the renowned friendliness of the Thai people and the year round cruising potential. The magnificent coral reefs off the shore are just a hint at the multitude of divers that visit these waters. There will never be an idle moment or an empty stomach as the Thai cuisine has ample selection for all. Of course the must-see city is Bangkok, where the Thai identity is still visible beneath the modern guise of the bustling metropolis.
Indonesia has so many islands that there is not any official count as to exactly how many islands. However the range is within 13,000 to 17,000 individual islands. With all these numerous islands, it is conceivable to sail and discover an untouched landscape and coral reefs thriving with life. For the avid surfers, drop anchor in Flores or Lombok. Sumatra also offers an ideal surfing location. Visit Komodo and see the infamous Komodo dragons. For a taste of the city life, the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is the most populated city in Southeast Asia.
It goes without saying that the first place to visit in Vietnam is Halong Bay. The limestone islands on the north coast are exactly the type of breathtaking backdrops to sail a boat alongside of. These massive pinnacles, which also go by karsts, have stirred many local legends, mythology, and poetry. For lush beaches visit Nha Trang and hang out with the fish in the waters ideal for snorkeling. Enjoy the sun set over the horizon, lighting up the limestone in radiant warm colors, while sitting on a sailboat.
One of the lesser visited destinations of Southeast Asia, the Philippines boasts over 7,107 islands laid out on 1000 km of turquoise waters. Most of these islands have sandy beaches and volcanic mountains. One island to visit for its superb beaches is Puerto Galera. Also be sure to stop by Cebu and its neighboring islands for excellent anchorages. Most visitors to this island archipelago stop by the country's capital, Manila. If one happens to find themselves on Roxas Boulevard, be sure to view the sunset. Glimpses of Spanish culture are fused into the architecture and lifestyle prevalent among its people.
With time permitting, sailing on the coastlines of India is decidedly rewarding. The region of Kerala has over 560 miles of interconnected waterway. One could view the entire natural habitat all from the comfort of a boat as it travels in rivers, lakes, and inlets. As for the main waters off the coast, it is abundant in fish, and sea turtles. The coral reefs are in close proximity, ideal for snorkeling and diving. Most of the shorelines are well developed but a trip to the isolated archipelago of Andaman or Nicobar offers a retreat of over 500 islands.
Sailing along the coasts and islands of these Asian countries offers such experiences as fine cuisine, fishing, diving, snorkeling, and cultural diffusion. There is a collection of so many islands of different countries in such proximity. The sun rises over a placid Pacific Ocean as a cool breeze whips through the air, catching the sails, propelling sailors into the fascinating unknown.
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The author is an avid sailor of CompleteSailor.com, your complete source for all things sailing