A Pirate’s Life for you, finding the ‘arrrrgh’ in Asia
Learning to sail is an adventure that doesn’t tend to register on a backpacker’s radar, seemingly writing it off as a sport reserved for the rich flash packers. However, if you’ve ever fancied steering a sailing yacht over the oceans Captain Jack Sparrow style, then this could be your chance! And it isn’t as expensive as you might think.
Rather than the chugging of long-tail boats and ferries heard constantly as a backpacker being herded like cattle to and from the islands, sailing offers a truly different experience as there is nothing to be heard but the sound of the wind in the sails and the splash of water. Gliding by with only the force of the elements, you begin to appreciate this incredible, natural form of travel that until approximately 150 years ago was the only possible way that mankind was able to travel overseas!
Where are the best places to sail in Asia?
Koh Tao & Ang Thong National Marine Park, Thailand
Island hopping around Thailand’s coastline offers a glimpse of beautiful deserted beaches, coves and bays that are less visited by tourists. You can visit the awesome natural wonder of Ang Thong National Marine Park, an archipelago of 42 islands, only a few of which are populated, except by monkeys, colourful bird and exotic plant life. You can almost taste the adventure of the great explorers and captains of old, when after days of sailing unchartered waters they set that first foot in the sand on an unexplored and fantastical new land.
As well as Thailand, the Philippines with its’ 7,107 islands offers awesome opportunity for nautical adventure. Cebu, Palwan and Boracay are all places where you can learn to sail and embark on week-long live-aboard cruises to discover remote tropical islands surrounded by white beaches and impossible turquoise waters. Shiver me timbers, this is heaven.
With plenty of islands, lagoons and bays, South-East Asia has a lot to offer to beginning and experienced sailors alike. Whether you decide to fly in and stay at a Jakarta hotel and rent a boat, or sail around the world from your home port, South-East Asia has a lot to offer to the tourist sailor. Here are four great spots to visit during your next sailing trip.
Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands on the northwestern coast of mainland Malaysia. Only four of them are inhabited. Tourists tend to stay on the southern islands and the northern ones are quieter, with little tourism traffic. Sailing around the Langkawi islands you will see secluded white sand beaches, cliffs and many occasions to observe migratory birds. If you’d like to see a bit more action, stay in Pantai Cenang for a few days of Malaysian hospitality, nightlife and great restaurants.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay is situated at the northeast of Vietnam, near the Chinese border. The bay is a popular spot for shooting movie scenes because of the eerie beauty of thousands of limestone islands. Because of its popularity, the natural beauty of the bay has been damaged somewhat, but you can still appreciate the beauty of the islands from afar. It is recommended that you sail there with your own boat as there have been many accidents involving tourist boats in recent years. If you do decide to rent, make sure to do a complete check of the state of the boat before paying.
Anambas islands, Indonesia
Situated 200 nautical miles east of Batam Island in northeastern Indonesia, the Anambas islands are a must for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.
Pulau Bawah, the main island in the Anambas chain is uninhabited and offers “a naturally protected lagoon with beautiful clear blue waters and corals.
Shipwrecked vessels “Seven Skies” and “Igara” have become a magnet for a wide variety of indigenous marine life and offer the perfect opportunity for a dip. What’s more, they are so remote that if you make the effort to go, you are likely to have them all to yourself.
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Heffernan Capital Management
Business Development Director – Private Client Group,
3 Raffles Place #07-01
Bharat Building Singapore 048617
Tel: +65 6329 6408
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Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals. He is also an active consultant working with Corporations around the World.
He is recognized as one of the leading Economists in South East Asia, as well as the preeminent authority on ASEAN. His opinions and forecasts are widely read by decision makers in the region and Internationally.
Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reached a peak of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.
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