I wonder why more people don't cruise through countries in Southeast Asia. I know Indonesia is kind of a special case because it is difficult to get access to the country because of the cruising permits, or at least I have read about that in Jimmy Cornell's Cruising Guide. But what about Thailand, Burma, South Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and all these other interesting countries ? Even people who circumnavigate seem to try to breeze right on through on their way to the Med. What's wrong with Southeast Asia ? I mean there's a serious lot of interesting things there, I am surprised more people don't want to visit.
A lot of it has to do with prevailing winds and currents but in general t'aint nuffink wrong with S.E.Asia as a cruising destination provided you are prepared to put in the miles.
Indonesia - Bit up in the air in some regions due to religion and the ongoing aggro between Australia and Indonesia. Nonetheless it's doable with some areas to be avoided. You can get a cruising permit in Australia and Indonesia is only a hop and a skip from Darwin.
Thailand - Very popular, has been for years. Preferable to avoid the Straits of Malacca en route.
Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam are doable but don't expect too much in the way of facilities.
Phillipines - out of the way for craft transiting the Pacific but it is a viable cruising destination with much to see. Some areas have been known for piracy but this seems to be a much diminished problem.
My perspective on this is that far too many people are obsessed with this circumnavigation nonsense and all else if secondary. Methinks they have it arse about face. Mind you, don't advertise these out of the way places or next thing you know they will be riddled with bloody Americans.
(none of the above is to be taken as being from personal experience although hopefully that will change.)