Many already know that the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and California coast are prime sailing spots, but there are several excellent locations in Asia as well. Not only are the waters quite enjoyable to explore, there are plenty of other excursions that you can take in the area as well. Asia offers something different than anywhere else in the world. Not only do the seas treat boats differently but throughout the many regions of Asia you'll get to see natural beauty that you don't get to see in other regions of the world. It's especially gorgeous viewing while the wind takes you away on a boat. If you're looking to try something refreshingly different, here are five of Asia's top sailing hot spots.
There's miles and miles of coastline on the east and west coasts of Malaysia, as well as plenty of small islands and archipelagos to explore. In particular, the archipelago that consists of Pangkor, Langkawi, Malacca, and Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, are great picks for sailing in Asia. Malacca and Penang form a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you're guaranteed to see amazing landscapes and plenty of cultural sites.
If you want to go off the beaten path in Malaysia, try Sarawak, Sabah, or the Anambas Islands. For a spot with major marinas and markets, Langkawi is the place to go sailing in Malaysia. Not only is it close to Thailand, it's a Duty Free island so you can shop and save at the same time.
Why You'll Love It: There's an abundance of beautiful scenery, many islands ideal for sailing, and a number of great marinas.
Prominent Regattas: The Youth World Sailing Championships, Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta, Royal Langkawi International Regatta
Top Marinas and Clubs: Royal Selangor Yacht Club, Malaysian Sailing Association, Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Rebak Marina Resort,Sutera Harbour Marina, Telaga Harbour Park and Marina, Sebana Cove Resort & Marina
Local Attractions: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and Mount Kinbalu are iconic spots to see outdoors in Malaysia. For nightlife and shopping, head to Bukit Bintang.
Archipelagos make for great sailing, and Indonesia is itself an archipelago. It's not only one of the best places to go sailing in Asia if you prefer luxury charters, it's one of the world's foremost exotic locations. In addition to the beautiful Spice Islands, Indonesia hosts a bevy of diverse wildlife and marine plants and animals. While you're out sailing, you'll be tempted to take a dive or snorkel as well.
Additional outdoor activities that are popular among those who head to Indonesia for sailing include hiking, backpacking, rafting, and beach combing. Speaking of the latter, the beaches around Indonesia are some of the most stunning on the planet. Bali is famous for its beach scene, and there's also Kuta, Lombok, Mentigi Beach, and Lovina Beach, which boasts waterfalls, hot springs, and is a nice spot for watching dolphins.
Why You'll Love It: The area is comprised of islands where the sailing is excellent, and there are few places with more natural beauty and diverse wildlife. There's also abundant opportunity for outdoor excursions and sightseeing.
Prominent Regattas: The Neptune Regatta, the Sail Indonesia Rally
Top Marinas and Clubs: The Indonesian Sailing Federation, Nongsa Point Marina, Jakarta Offshore Sailing Club
Local Attractions: Mount Bromo, Seminyak, the Ubud Monkey Forest, Bunaken National Park, Goa Gajah and it's ancient cave paintings, the Agung Rai Museum of Art, the National Museum of Indonesia
Singapore is a fun place to go sailing in Asia, and it has a number of top yacht clubs and marinas. The country also has the distinction of being home to the continent's oldest yachting club, the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, which got its start in 1826. Sailing is a big deal in Singapore, so the country has developed an industry that not only supports it locally, but draws visitors to its sailing scene as well.
Renting a boat to sail in the country is a breeze, and you'll have a wide range of options to choose from. It's surprisingly affordable, and there are many companies in Singapore that provide inexpensive charters. For example, you can take a family boating trip with SingExperience for as little as $220, or go on a half day yacht cruise with ten people for less than $1,000 with Marine Bookings.
Why You'll Love It: If you want plenty to do when you're not out on the water, Singapore is a good place to go sailing in Asia. There are many famous natural, cultural, and historical attractions in the country, so you'll have a variety of activities to choose from.
Prominent Regattas: The Western Circuit, Neptune Regatta
Top Marinas and Clubs: The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, Singapore Sailing Federation, Raffles Marina, Changi Sailing Club, Marina at Keppel Bay, ONE 15 Marina Club
Local Attractions: Sentosa, the Night Safari nocturnal zoo, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Tiger Sky Tower, Jurong Bird Park, Lau Pa Sat food market
If you want to go sailing in Asia in a luxurious vessel, consider heading to China. The country has a long history associated with sailing, and its proximity to great waters makes it a good option for those in the area who want access to elite yachting clubs.
Why You'll Love It: If you like luxurious marinas decked out with plenty of fabulous charters, you'll find it in China. There's also a wealth of historical and cultural sights in the area, as well as opportunities for various outdoor adventures and tours.
Prominent Regattas: China Cup International Regatta
Top Marinas and Clubs: Shanghai Boat and Yacht Club, China Yachting Association, Iron Rock Sailing Club
Local Attractions: The Great Wall, Yu Garden, Badaling, Mount Emei, Reed Flute Cave, Nanjing Road and its shopping center
Thailand contains some of the best areas to go sailing in Asia, particularly around its western coast. Phang Nga Bay and Phuket are excellent spots, and there's no shortage of different charters. It's not far from Malaysia, leaving plenty of ocean to explore. Thailand also has many islands scattered about that are not only fun for sailing, but host wonderful natural sights.
Why You'll Love It: Thailand has several small islands, is close to Malaysia, and its landscape is gorgeous. Plus, when the country hosts its regattas they turn it into a huge celebration that's a blast to attend.
Prominent Regattas: Phuket Raceweek, Bay Regatta, Phuket King’s Cup, Koh Samui Regatta, Top of the Gulf Regatta
Top Marinas and Clubs: Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Yacht Haven Phuket, Phuket Cruising Yacht Club, Ocean Marina Yacht Club, Boat Lagoon Phuket,
Local Attractions: Khao Yai National Park, the Grand Palace, Safari World, Wat Phra Kaew
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker