What's wrong w/ Southeast Asia - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 34 Old 08-02-2007 Thread Starter
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What's wrong w/ Southeast Asia

Curious.

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.
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post #2 of 34 Old 08-02-2007
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Recently read an account of a single-hand circumnavigation during which the sailor was approached on the high seas twice -- entering the Red Sea, and wending his way through SE Asia where fishermen moonlight as Blackbeard.
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post #3 of 34 Old 08-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Curious.

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.)

Andrew B

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Southeast Asia is somewhat unstable politically, in many cases outright dangerous. Not too great for visiting sailors...and somewhat risky.

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That's simply not true, Dog.

Indonesia is probably the only place I would not recommend-they've just never been too friendly to Americans.

As the Wombat says, the distances are probably the biggest issue. but one could spend years just exploring the Phillipines alone. Westerners, especially Americans, are genuinely liked and it is difficult to not have a good time there.

The recent unpleasantness in Viet Nam has not prevented visitors from being welcomed and enjoying a good visit.

Unfamiliarity with the peoples and culture may account for much of the reticience.

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post #6 of 34 Old 08-02-2007
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Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
That's simply not true, Dog.

Indonesia is probably the only place I would not recommend-they've just never been too friendly to Americans.

As the Wombat says, the distances are probably the biggest issue. but one could spend years just exploring the Phillipines alone. Westerners, especially Americans, are genuinely liked and it is difficult to not have a good time there.

The recent unpleasantness in Viet Nam has not prevented visitors from being welcomed and enjoying a good visit.

Unfamiliarity with the peoples and culture may account for much of the reticience.
Sway,
It's really only parts of Indonesia that are a problem. Too many people make the mistake of thinking of Indonesia as some kind of homogeneous society when it fact it's made up of a number of religous and ethnic groups many of whom have bugger all in common with each other. Unfortunately many of the areas that would most interest me are not open to foreigners, Iryan Jaya being the obvious example.

On the other hand I reckon the Philipines is the more interesting destination with Vietnam not far behind.

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Batty,
Absolutely, Indonesia is a huge country. My experiences were only on the big island.

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From the ICC website:

Quote:
Piracy prone areas and warnings
S E Asia and the Indian Sub Continent
  • Bangladesh : Chittagong anchorages and approaches – Though the number of attacks have fallen the area is still listed as very high risk.
  • Indonesia : Balongan, Balikpapan, Belawan, Tanjong Priok (Jakarta). Generally be vigilant in other areas. Many attacks may have gone unreported.
  • Malacca straits : Though attacks have decreased due to increased patrolling by the Littoral States, ships advised to maintain strict anti piracy watches when transiting the area.
  • Singapore Straits
  • Vietnam: Vung Tau
Also, some of the areas in question are politically unstable, like Timor, and have guerilla groups operating openly.

However, personally, I plan on visiting most of the Southeast Asia countries, since I have friends and family scattered throughout them. But I am also of Asian descent, and probably do not look as out of place as some others might.

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Man...if you want to see exotic places and their exoctic populants vist Manhattan!!!!

Its not far...
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Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
Man...if you want to see exotic places and their exoctic populants vist Manhattan!!!!

Its not far...
Been there, done that... got the lousy t-shirt...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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