Samui Wining & Dining

Venture off-island for some eyes-wide-open adventures with Sa-ard’s Watersports Center.

Venture off-island for some eyes-wide-open adventures with Sa-ard’s Watersports Center.Did you know that there are over 70 islands and islets surrounding Koh Samui, with dozens upon dozens of gorgeous, secluded white sandy beaches, some of which are only accessible by boat? Done sunbathing around your pool or on the beach, hiking through the mountainous interior, visiting temples and shopping? Sa-ard’s Watersports Centre is here to magically transport you away towards the horizon and new adventures, far from the busy tourist trail and crowds.


Owner, Khun Sa-ard Panyawan, represented Thailand in windsurfing at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He has also won five gold medals for windsurfing at the South-East Asia Games. Living and sailing the local archipelago for over 20 years, Sa-ard and his team know the best ways to navigate the beautiful waters and islands that surround Samui. They are the first choice to help you make the most out of the variety of trip options or to organize a bespoke trip.


Around Koh Samui. Starting from the north of the island in Bangrak, this trip passes by the busy beaches of Chaweng and Lamai as well as the smaller and quieter ones like Choeng Mon, Na Kai and Bang Kao Bay. 


You get a whole different perspective seeing the island from the sea. Two kilometres south of Samui lies Koh Taen, with some great snorkelling and swimming, with an abundance of coral and tropical fish. From here you will be guided through Koh Taen’s nature trails, including a walk through a mangrove forest.Venture off-island for some eyes-wide-open adventures with Sa-ard’s Watersports Center. After lunch, you will have further opportunities to explore the quiet beaches for sunbathing, swimming and more snorkelling. 


Around Koh Phangan. Forty-five minutes north of Samui by speedboat is Koh Phangan, with its idyllic, quiet and cosy beaches. Whilst circumnavigating the island, you will have time to for swimming, snorkelling and exploring the secluded sandy beaches, with the option of a short hike to a picture-perfect waterfall. Jump in and cool off, nature’s own bliss! 


Angthong National Marine Park is an archipelago lying some 31 kilometres northwest of Samui, and is a one-hour speedboat ride away. Here you will discover an enchanting wonderland of magnificent gorgeous green islands, clear blue lagoons, mysterious caves and exotic rock formations. Visit a saltwater lake within a lush green volcanic mountain. Afterwards, there is time for swimming, snorkelling and discovering the smaller islands that appear like perfect tropical fantasies. 


The snorkelling trip to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan is a 90-minute speedboat ride away from Samui. More perfect conditions for snorkelling, with crystal clear water, bountiful corals, colourful fish and beautiful unspoilt beaches, all just waiting for you. 


Sunset cruises head out around the north-east coast of Samui from Bangrak, returning via Big Buddha in all its glory, hopefully backdropped by the glorious red, pink, orange and gold, of a spectacular sunset. 


Fishing tours provide fishing rods and all the bait that you need. Let the crew dictate the locations… they know the best weather dependent spots! 


All tours include water, soft drinks, lunch, snorkelling equipment, transfers to and from your resort or villa and full insurance. The boats leave from either Bangrak or Bophut in the north of Samui, depending on the weather and tide. 


The latest edition to Sa-ard’s fleet is the impressive ‘Sting’. A super customised 40 foot, Gulf Craft touring speedboat, powered by twin 300 HP engines with a top speed of 40 knots. Sting has all the latest navigational equipment as well as a flat-screen TV, DVD and CD player, Bose speakers,Venture off-island for some eyes-wide-open adventures with Sa-ard’s Watersports Center. electric toilet, fresh water shower at the rear, fridge, large cooler boxes and plenty of storage facilities. The lounge area has seating for up to 13 people, with another four at the back. This is a true multipurpose speedboat, perfect for day trips. 


The star of the fleet however, is the ‘Kindred Spirit’. A 13 by nine-metre twin-hulled luxury catamaran sailing boat. Capable of taking up to 20 people for a day trip or sunset cruise, and comfortably sleeps up to six people for overnight trips. There are three air-conditioned double bedrooms, one with an ensuite bathroom. The fully equipped vessel has a large, fully air-conditioned indoor living area complete with flat screen TV, CD/DVD player and a kitchen with fridge-freezer, oven and stove. Spread yourself out across a comfortably-cushioned netted area at the front of the boat and let your senses enjoy the smell and feel of the sea-spray as you glide through the deep clear and glassy water. At the rear, relax in a shaded outdoor area with a big table and plenty of comfortable seating. 


Join one of the organized trips, or both boats are available for charter to the outer islands, the marine park, fishing trips, and full moon party taxi services. Sa-ard’s Watersports Center also offers windsurfing and sailing lessons, sea canoe, snorkelling equipment hire, and banana boat fun. The maritime world of the Gulf of Thailand is entrancingly beautiful, and will provide adventures and memories that’ll stay with you forever, both above and below the water. It’s definitely worth venturing off-island. With Sa-ard’s team, seeing it isn’t just believing it, it’s feeling it all around you and being part of it!


 Karan Ladd


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