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The island of Koh Phra Thong is an idyllic unspoiled wilderness just north of Khao Lak on Thailand’s Andaman coast. A place where you can truly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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No noise except the gentle waves lapping the empty beach and early morning birdsong, no crowds, no shops, just you, a hut on the beach, a hammock, with crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs just a short snorkel away.

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Koh Phra Thong is 120km north of Phuket and while it’s only 43km from bustling Khao Lak, it takes a bus, boat and 4WD transfer to get here, so by the time you get here you feel very remote. The island is relatively flat, with thick mangroves facing a meandering lagoon system on one side and white sandy beaches on the other.

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Back in the 90s there were a few emerging resorts here, but most were destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, along with several nearby villages, and it’s taken a long time to rebuild. 10 years later a few new resorts have opened their doors, and visitors to the island now will find an island almost frozen in time, a snapshot of coastal village life in Thailand many years ago.

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If you get bored of lazing in a hammock or strolling along the pristine beach, there are several options available for nature lovers. Birdwatchers will love a sunrise 4WD tour of the island’s savannah, an expansive golden grassland where you can watch the sunrise over mountains in distant Khao Sok National Park while the birds awaken all around you.

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You can also grab a kayak and explore Koh Pra Thong and the fringing reefs of two nearby small islands Koh Pling Lek and Koh Pling Yai, or go further afield by long tail boat to Kho Khai to snorkel through coral gardens full of colorful sea fans.

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Trips to the local fishing village and turtle sanctuary are also on offer, as well as night fishing excursions on the squid fishing boats or to the nearby Pling Islands.

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At the southern end of the beach at the Golden Buddha Retreat, you can attend yoga and meditation classes,, and at the northern end, grab a fantastic Thai meal at Moken Eco Village.

Where to stay

Moken Eco Village is a boutique resort with a handful of bungalows, each powered by solar panels on the roof. There’s no air conditioning, but the bungalows are cooled naturally, being raised on stilts, with louver windows and two ceiling fans.

Your four-poster bed has a mosquito net, and there are fly screens on all windows so you won’t be bothered by insects while you sleep. The huts all have a raised veranda for lounging on, and there are hammocks dotted throughout the gardens.

There are 12 bungalows, with a few different configurations. Some that suit couples, and one large duplex for families or larger groups.

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Getting Here

The resort will organise longtail boat transfers from Khura Buri, the nearest port. Khura Buri is about an hour’s journey by bus or taxi from Khao Lak. Transfers via overnight coaches are also available from Bangkok. More information

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Banana Beach Koh Hey – Phuket

Banana Beach Koh Hey – Phuket

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Banana Beach is all about nature. It was a stunning place long before any person stood on its shore, and that natural beauty is still there today. So, when you embark on this fantastic daytime activity in Phuket, notice how boat noise is kept to a minimum around the beach and how most boats park out on the water, not on the sand. Watch the fish that swim around curiously in the crystal blue water, and see how the trees hug our buildings and Great Hornbill birds (the inspiration for our restaurant design) fly down from the hillside to have a look around. This is all part of keeping the beach’s identity.

We not only wanted to preserve the character of Banana Beach Phuket, but add to it as well, with respect for its beauty and environment. That is why our buildings make large use of natural tropical materials, such as bamboo, and also take shapes that connect you to Koh Hey’s wildlife. You get to play and rest in nature here without taking anything away from it except some lovely memories of your Phuket sightseeing adventure.

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Nui Beach – Phuket

Nui Beach – Phuket

Phuket ‘Secret’ Beaches

Nui Beach is one of the most beautiful ‘secret beaches’ in Phuket. Renamed Water Beach Club after the company that takes care of it, this 120 m strip of sand dotted with large boulders is located roughly 3 kilometres through the jungle after Kata-Karon Viewpoint, on the road linking Kata and Nai Harn beaches. Nui Beach is really a tropical dream destination come true: perfectly maintained and cleaned up by the staff of Water Beach Club, it features a bar/restaurant, as well as many activities – snorkelling, beach volley, sea kayaking, and a stylish spa at which you can have a massage and enjoy a sauna.

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Nui Beach Highlights Nui Beach has buildings on several levels down the hillside, most of them built from bamboo and thatch. On the way down the hill to the beach, you’ll also pass through a small coconut grove. A natural stream from the mountain ends with a pretty two-level pond, where visitors can enjoy refreshing dip. This is at the foot of an elevated area, which also features a spa that overlooks Nui Bay. Equipment is available to rent at Nui Beach includes snorkelling equipment (250 baht), sea kayaks (300 baht). A massage (any type – foot, oil, Thai) is 600 baht per hour.

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Water Beach Club Bar & Restaurant Water Beach Club restaurant & bar has a short menu of classic Thai and international dishes such as fried rice and fried noodles (with seafood, prawns, squid, chicken, or pork) at 200 baht; sandwiches (tuna, fried egg, or crab stick) at 200 baht and pasta (Bolognese or Water Beach) also at 200 baht. Despite the remoteness and simplicity of the place, the food is excellent quality and tastes great. The drinks list hosts the usual suspects: soft drinks at 60 baht, Thai beers at 100 baht – Heineken at 120 baht, and fruit shakes at 150 baht.

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Getting to Nui Beach Take the dirt road to the right, some 350 metres after Kata-Karon Viewpoint when heading south toward Rawai/Nai Harn; you will find a parking area approximately 1 km from the main road. From there, you can choose how to get to the beach. The access to Nui Beach is free if you decide to go there by yourself on foot or with a moped. It roughly takes 15 minutes to walk down to the beach. The slope is steep. It is bumpy terrain, and features rocks of various sizes, gravel and sand. If you are not confident in your driving skill, you’d better take the pickup truck waiting at the parking area at the top of the hill. It will take you down safely to this secluded beach. The price for a one-way transfer is 100 baht per person. Nui Beach (Water Beach Club) is just the right place if you want to escape the crowds and spend a day surrounded by picture-postcard beauty. The fact that Nui Beach is run by a private company may not be in tune with the actual government policy, but tourists visiting this lovely beach do not mind if it’s legal or not.

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Source http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/nui-beach.htm
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hoto credit: Mr. Stephan Audiger and AsiaWebDirect

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Santhiya Koh Yao Yai – Phuket

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

Santhiya, on the island of Koh Yao Yai, is a remote hideaway offering hand-carved Thai architecture, an empty white beach, and rooms with swoon-inducing views of Phang Nga Bay.

Location

Koh Yao Yai is the larger of two beautiful tropical islands located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, almost exactly equidistant between Phuket and Krabi. The hotel’s speedboat departs from Ao Por Grand Marina on the east coast of Phuket and takes around 25 minutes to reach the island.

Style & character

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This is one of the few hotels in the south of Thailand that actually has an entirely Thai aesthetic. There are soaring thatched-roof salas, heavy hand-carved furnishings and swathes and swathes of teak and (faux) silk. Buggies, which have been converted into cute wooden carriages, shuttle guests up and down the hillside between the enormous free-form swimming pool (complete with waterfall), the snow-white beach, and the stilted sea-view rooms and villas. It ain’t fashionable or on-trend but it is impossibly pretty and because of the hotel’s close proximity to the sea, there’s always a refreshing breeze swishing across the resort.

Accommodation

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There are 60 rooms and 39 villas hewn from teak and boasting soul-lifting views of Phang Nga bay’s limestone islands peeking out of the emerald-green Andaman Sea. At 60-square metres, the entry-level rooms are spacious – even with an extra bed (and a couple of towel swans), a family of four could fit quite happily. Ask for one with a bathtub on the balcony if it’s just the two of you. Pool villas are a more luxurious option and get bonus points for privacy, outdoor space and free bottles of wine included in the price.

Food & drink

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Beachside restaurant Chantara dishes up an adequate breakfast spread (orange concentrate instead of fresh juices; frozen pastries instead of newly-baked) in the morning, and reasonably tasty set meals in the evening (Thai set 650THB/£12; Western set 1050THB/£19.50; glass of wine 400THB/£7.50). There’s also a relaxed bar for snacks throughout the day. There are few other eating and drinking options nearby.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/phuket/ko-yao-yai/hotels/santhiya-koh-yao-yai-resort-hotel/

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POWER PLAY impresses during sea trials

The recent sea trials of POWER PLAY demonstrate the 55.5-metre DAMEN Yacht Support vessel’s carrying capacity with an impressive 15-metre DAMEN Interceptor (50 ft) on aft deck. This summer POWER PLAY will be the sixth delivery of the popular YS 5009 design from the DAMEN Yacht Support range.

With a Gross Tonnage of 489, POWER PLAY has a The 240 square-metre deck (2,583 sq ft) and 12-tonne deck crane still has lots of room over for more tenders, toys and submersibles.

POWER PLAY available for immediate delivery

The brand new 55.5-metre vessel (182 ft) is available for immediate delivery to an owner looking for a proven adventure machine, a blend of support and stand-alone yachting capability.

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The Winner of the world Superyacht Awards 2018: Semi-Displacement or Planing Three Deck Motor Yachts

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Once again it was modern lines, bright and tranquil interior spaces, and impressive performance that attracted the judges’ attention to the winner of this class, the 33 metre Custom Line Navetta 33, Telli. Her sleek contemporary exterior lines incorporate excellent deck spaces on three levels with optimum sunbathing, dining and lounging areas, while the builders’ desire to create a seamless join between deck and interior has meant that the volume of both appears to be greatly enhanced.

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The judges admired much of the detail that added to this effect, including the manner in which the aft deck’s teak planking continues without interruption into the main deck saloon through floor-to-deckhead sliding windows. Among other design features appreciated by the judges were the interior’s contemporary yet classic decorative style, the sense of calm induced by the high level of insulation against sound and vibration, and the volume of the owner’s cabin.

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Additionally, the ingenious ‘dual movement’ design of the stern door made it possible to combine a splendid beach club with a simple to operate ‘drive-in’ tender garage. The judges considered that this compact but extremely well designed yacht, which completely meets the needs of her experienced owner, is a worthy winner in this class.

First Riva 110 Dolcevita yacht debuts in Monaco

The first model in the new Riva 110 Dolcevita series has made her world premiere in Monaco, the Ferretti Group confirms. The new Riva flagship made her debut outside the Monaco Yacht Club, coinciding with the occasion of the Grand Prix Historique automobile race taking place in the principality. From May 11-13, yacht owners and car enthusiasts had a chance to see the new 34 metre Riva flagship.

“‘Dolcevita’ indicates a period and a style that could only be associated with a yacht of unrivalled beauty, one whose appeal will resonate in the yachting world for decades to come,” commented Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group CEO. “We chose Monte Carlo for its debut, because this is one of the most ‘Dolcevita’ locations in the world, and the Grand Prix Historique, which is an event where legends meet.”

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The Ferretti Group has also released a brand new video of the Riva 110, as seen below, which shows off her captivating details and high-speed performance.

The 34 metre yacht was launched in March of this year in La Spezia, Italy. This all-GRP flybridge yacht features styling by long-term partners Officina Italiana Design, including chrome inserts and extensive glazing that surrounds the main deck owner’s cabin and raised pilothouse.

The focus on al fresco living can be seen throughout the Riva 110 Dolcevita, from the foredeck seating area, complete with superyacht spa pool, to the aft sunlounging area on the upper deck.

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The Riva 110 Dolcevita has been fitted with the Ferretti Group’s unique submersible transom, which allows for quick tender launches as well as direct access to the sea. This patent-pending system features a garage door that can fold down to create a bathing platform before lowering into the water when needed. The yard adds that the tender garage on the Riva 110 Dolcevita is big enough to house a 5.7 metre Williams Dieseljet RIB and as well as a Jet Ski.

The main deck cockpit leads into the saloon, which has been described as a “luxury loft” due to the floor-to-ceiling windows and ability to open up to the elements on three sides. Accommodation is for up to ten guests split between a main deck master suite and four VIP cabins below decks, while the crew quarters allow for a staff of up to five people. Power comes from a pair of 2,601hp MTU 16V 2000 M94 engines that give the Riva 110 Dolcevita a sporty top speed of 26 knots and a fast cruising speed of 23 knots.

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What’s more, the zero-speed and fin stabilisation systems will ensure a smooth cruising experience, both underway and at anchor. Other Riva projects currently in development include the 28.6 metre Riva 90 yacht, which is due to launch before the end of the year.

BY CHRIS JEFFERIES

Exciting Construction update on Feadship 696 project

Newest addition to the Feadship fleet

Very recently, the fourth Feadship of 2017 has exited the shed in Aalsmeer, Holland. The exterior styling is by Feadship, while the interior design of this brand new 69 metre yacht comes from the drawing boards of Redman Whiteley Design (RWD), who design for some of the most prestigious yacht interiors in the world.

This latest Feadship lady will soon be officially launched. To date she has been bathed in secrecy however soon more details will be disclosed.

For all those who have been following the progress, here are the first images of our newest addition to the fleet.

AALSMEER - Rangeren Casco 696. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER – Rangeren Casco 696.
© 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER - Rangeren Casco 696. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER – Rangeren Casco 696.
© 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER - Rangeren Casco 696. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER – Rangeren Casco 696.
© 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER - Rangeren Casco 696. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER – Rangeren Casco 696.
© 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER - Rangeren Casco 696. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

AALSMEER – Rangeren Casco 696.
© 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

New Ferretti 780 first hull sold on display at Cannes

First Ferretti 780 yacht hits the water

Italian yard Ferretti Group has revealed that the first hull of its new Ferretti 780 range of 24 metre flybridge yachts hit the water in Cattolica on June 22.

Designed in collaboration with Studio Zuccon International Project, the new all-GRP yacht features an aggressive aerodynamic profile, rectangular portholes and sleek lines.

Ferretti Group has placed a particular emphasis on outdoor living with the 780, which features a beach club area in the transom and a vast foredeck seating area, complete with two sofas and a large central sunpad.

Triple glass patio doors lead into the main deck saloon, which is fitted with armchairs and a C-shaped sofa. Cutaway bulwarks mean that plenty of natural light can permeate through to this key relaxation area. Further forward, a separate dining area provides seating for all eight guests.

All accommodation on board the Ferretti 780 is en suite and below deck, including a full-beam master cabin, complete with walk-in closet and a separate on-board office area.

Two doubles and a twin cabin complete the guest accommodation, while the separate crew quarters aft is large enough for a staff of up to three people.

Power comes from a pair of 1,400hp MAN diesel engines for a top speed of 28 knots and comfortable cruising at 24 knots. Optional extras include a stabilisation system and a 300hp engine upgrade, which makes speeds of more than 30 knots possible.

Other projects currently under development at the Italian yard include the 26 metre Ferretti 850 series, three of which have already been sold, and the first hull in the Ferretti 920 series, which is due to launch next month ahead of a public debut at the 2017 Cannes Yachting Festival alongside the new 780 yacht.

Glimpse Inside a Custom-built CdM Darwin 102 Under Construction

Due for delivery in the summer of 2018, this Darwin 102 steel explorer is under construction at Italy’s Cantiere Delle Marche and right on schedule.

The shipyard has been very busy with current works including final engine room piping, framing and partitions on main and upper decks. The external fairing is nearly completed in preparation for the painting of the hull and superstructure. The owner and his family are very excited with the prospect of the first cruise around the Med before bringing her to Asia to do some real ‘off the beaten’ track cruising.

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About CdM Darwin Class

Built of steel and aluminum, this new explorer yacht Darwin Class 102 (31.1m) commenced construction immediately at the Ancona based shipyard with a delivery time of 22 months. Featuring three decks, with the total of 244 GRT volume, the vessel will accommodate the owner’s large family.  The main deck houses a large Master cabin with four more generously sized cabins.

An adequate and livable space has also been designed for the crew. Hosted in three cabins, each has its own head and separate shower. The Captain’s cabin will be located behind the wheelhouse.  Like her sister ship M/Y Acala, great attention has been dedicated to toys and diving center. These are situated in the huge, fully equipped garage that measures just shy of 25 square metres.

Capable of a 5900nm range, this new edition explorer will be the fifth sold and have cemented CdM as the premier luxury explorer builder of this time. “The owner has a great deal of experience and wanted a genuine, world expedition yacht with a very high comfort level and unparalleled sea-keeping,” says Joshua Lee, founder and Managing Director of Lee Marine – yacht brokerage firm for the new CdM owner.