|Trat Sail Fest hi-lights sailing in the Gulf of Thailand|
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Trat Office, in collaboration with Trat province, the Royal Thai Navy, Ocean Marina, Gulf Charters, Bangkok Airways and Voyage magazine recently organized the Trat Sailing Fest 2015 between 23 - 26 January in Trat province to promote tourism in Trat and publicize the Trat archipelago as a great place to sail.
Trat features 52 islands, including Koh Chang, the second largest island in Thailand—all main attractions drawing tourists from around the world to experience the area's spectacular beaches and crystal clear seas. Today, there is an increasing trend of foreign tourists sailing and mooring thru the Trat archipelago experiencing the beauty of beaches and bays such as Hat Khlong Phrao and Ao Salak Phet in Koh Chang, Ao Suan Yai in Ko Mak, and Ao Yai, and Hat Khlong Chao in Ko Kood.
The TAT Trat Office started the Trat Sail Fest to promote the area to tourists in the hi-end market, who prefer peace and privacy. The sailing lifestyle, scenic destinations and premium accommodation were offered as selling products. The Trat Sailing Fest 2015 helped create awareness to tourists worldwide that Trat is indeed a high-end destination for yachties.
Activities promoted during the event included sailing through the Koh Chang archipelago in the Trat Sea and visiting well-known island destinations such as Koh Lao Ya, Koh Rang, Koh Mak, and Koh Kood, acclaimed to be the "Gems of the Eastern Sea". The TAT also made sailors aware of the opportunity to snorkel, see coral reefs and colourful fish shoals at Mu Koh Rang, and go scuba diving at "Ruea Chang", Trat's new diving attraction.
At the welcoming reception, staged by the Emerald Cove Hotel in Koh Chang, gifts were presented to sponsors of the event. The next morning a group of dancers put on a Hawaiian dance show. VIP guests in attendance included Mr. Narong Theerachandharangkoon, the Governor of Trat Province; Mr. Klissada Ratanapruk, the Executive Director of TAT's Eastern Region; and Rear Admiral Sunan Monthardplin, representing the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand (YRAT). The dinghies then set off to race off of Koh Chang while the yachts motor-sailed to Koh Kood via Koh Mak.
Returning from Ko Kood the next day some of the boats stopped off at Hat San Chao on Mu Ko Rang National Park at Ruea Chang Point to marvel at the underwater beauty of the Trat Sea.Cruising the Trat Sea archipelago
The number of yachts visiting the Trat archipelago has been increasing every year. It is estimated that there are approximately 700 - 850 tourists who sail yachts across the Trat Sea. Most sail on their own traveling to Trat to rent yachts to visit the islands in the Trat Sea. Nationalities include Russian, British, Swedish, German, and French. They sail across the Trat Sea and stop by at islands such as, Koh Chang, Koh Mak, Mu Koh Rang, Koh Wai, and Koh Kood. Tourists say they are impressed with the beautiful scenery of the 52 islands in the archipelago, where nature, serenity, and clean beaches combine with various types of accommodation to welcome tourists. Koh Chang's marinas can accommodate tourists and their yachts.Gulf Charters to the rescue
The Trat Sail Fest was put together very quickly and wouldn't have happened if not for the help of Gulf Charters, the biggest sail charter company on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. CEO Ron Ptatson, and Charter Operations Manager Phil Harper, quickly made available seven boats: Thai Angel, an Island Spirit Sail 380; Kinnaree, an Island Spirit Sail 380; Constanza, a Beneteau Oceanis 461; My Shangri-La, a Lagoon 38; Rangiroa – a Nautitech 40; Katiti, a Athena 38; and Grace of Rockfleet a Beneteau 44. Gary Baguley of Blue Seas Marine also participated with his sleek El Coyote.
Gulf Charters used to organize an annual Songkran flotilla on the same route, so they have plenty of experience sailing these waters and even put out their own sailing guide to the area.List of the Yacht Marinas on Koh Chang, Trat Province.
Siam Royal View Port, Ao Khlong Son, Koh Chang.
Capacity: approximately 70 yachts depending on the size of boats ranging from 20 – 60 feet.
Marina pub, clubhouse, restaurant, shower rooms, activities ground, shuttle car, and accommodation.Koh Chang Marina, Ao Salak Phet, Koh Chang
Capacity: approximately 14 yachts for the sizes of boats between 20 – 60 feet.
Marina pub, clubhouse, restaurant, shower rooms, activities ground, and accommodation.Contact Info
Interested persons can request further information at the TAT Trat Office,