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Thailand forum

Longtail boat up the coastline of Thailand

Posted by kaarup on 13/2/2012 at 16:32

Hi all,

Just got an idea and don't even know if it's possible so i wanted to ask some advise from the locals ;)

I wanted either to rent or buy/resell a long tail boat and sail for 30 days up and down the coastline go either the east or west coast of Thailand

1) is it possible to rent a boat for that long period?
2) can an foreigner buy a boat at all?
3) are there any prerequisites to do that, permits, laws etc
4) witch coastline would be best if possible
5) others

#1 kaarup has been a member since 4/2/2012. Location: Denmark. Posts: 6
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Posted by Sparts on 13/2/2012 at 17:19

I think you sound quite mad to even consider this. The seas can be pretty rough at the best of times :)

Then again, why not!
Good luck if you go ahead with it.

#2 Sparts has been a member since 5/6/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 169
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Posted by kaarup on 13/2/2012 at 17:25

thanks for that comment, regardless of the helpfulness. you make it sound like no one sails the coastlines at all.

i wasent planing to go 100 miles from the coastline just along it and dock in the cities along it a night.

can't see thats any different then odd tours they all sell down there

#3 kaarup has been a member since 4/2/2012. Location: Denmark. Posts: 6
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Posted by DLuek on 14/2/2012 at 04:41 TF writer


First off, I like your style :)

I can't answer all your questions, but I do know some Americans living on Ko Lipe who were recently in the process of buying a used longtail for around 50,000 Baht. Of course, they have one year visas, own a business on Lipe, and have Thai partners to help them with everything.

But, at least, it is possible for foreigners to own a longtail. As far as permits and all that I'm not sure what need be done. Longtails might not require the same permits as large boats, but that's just a guess.

My other thought is that while I don't think you're insane to attempt this in general, I do think you're insane to do it alone unless you are a seasoned longtail driver, speak fluent Thai, and know exactly where to dock and who you'll need to deal with to do that. In short, to do this you need a good guide. If you had the time I'm sure you could find one in any of the major port towns, but a guide would obviously be expensive.

If you did the west coast, you'd pretty much need to go between December and March. The seas are too rough during the monsoon season. Not positive about that on the east coast but I would assume it's the same deal.

If you do pull it off I hope you're a writer... An adventure like that would be great material for a book!

#4 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,298
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Posted by kaarup on 14/2/2012 at 16:51

DLuek,Thanks for the kind words.
First off, a bit insane, have to admit. To answer your questions, no I'm not alone. I'm planing the trip with a friend. He's in IT so he'll be in charge of the map.
Secondly, seasoned longtail drivers? Well, we've been on boats before and have had my car license for almost 20 year. They do come with a car engine, I've found out.

Our Thai language skills are more down to earth. More signs and strange body gestures. Where to dock, see thats where the map thingie comes in hand. The basic idea was to dock at the cities along the coast line and buy different stuff, like fuel, food and beer and then head out to a nearby island, anchor the boat and swim for the shore where we would set up camp and break out the old camping stove and boil some rice and fry some chicken.
Having a guide along for the ride, would take the fun out of it a bit. Would be a little like Robinson Crusoe, times two and only one Friday. Sitting in the backseat is not the same as driving the car. Directions, well again, we wouldn't stray from the coastline more then a few 100 meter. Safe swimming distance if **** hit the fan.
I completely agree with you about the west coast line. Looked at google earth and looked like there was more to look at. The period hits our target too, since the trip is planed for January 2013.
Not being a writer, you would have to settle for my photoblog with a few odd comments alongside the pictures.
The whole idea was simply just cruising at slow pace along the coastline, camping at beaches when the tourists have left. Just kick it back and keeping it simple... Just my friend and I, a camping stove, a six pack of Buds, my Canon 5D and if i'm lucky, my laptop, powered by this one so i can cook and blog at the same time.
Now I only have to find someone that can rent us the boat for a month.
Hope that gave you a better insight to my level of saneness and the idea behind the journey
Be well, and please comment on any input you might have

#5 kaarup has been a member since 4/2/2012. Location: Denmark. Posts: 6
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Posted by busylizzy on 14/2/2012 at 21:20

Kaarup - I think it sounds like an awesome idea! As you as you're sensible, stick to the coast line, take a life jacket, and don't drink and float... it would be an awesome way to see the country that would otherwise be left unnoticed! I've been kind of considering something like that - but in a kayak - next summer along some parts of the NZ coastline.

#6 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by mwhlgmth on 23/2/2015 at 19:41

Hey there. I did buy a long tail boat in Luang Prabang and I took it down to Vientiane on the Mekong river. It was the greatest adventure of my life! I did this together with a friend. Well, now we want to sell the boat.

Let me know if you are interested. Ideasfor further trips: taking the boat back to Luang Prabang or down-river to Thakhek, Pakse (4000 islands).

Theboat is 13 meters long, 1 meter wide, 3 layers of wood and it comes with anengine. The engine is a Honda GX 200. We paddled for about one third of the way, but when we got tired we were happy to have the engine.

Price: 5’000’000 Kip / 620USD
Localtelephone: 95450087

pictures of the boat can be found here:

#7 mwhlgmth has been a member since 23/2/2015. Posts: 1

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