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Living long-term on a boat in Thailand or Cambodia


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Has anyone got relevant experience or knowledge of living long-term on your own boat? How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc. Would a Work Permit be required in Cambodia?

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"Would a Work Permit be required in Cambodia?"

The Cambodia forum might be better to ask then a Thai forum.

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Much depends where the boat is moored. Have a goodly number of liveaboards here in Phuket, including a very good friend who was in the process of a circumnavigation but stopped at Phuket. Has been living here now for about five years (retirement visa) but will continue on to the Caribbean later this years, or next year, fer sure. He has been at Boat Lagoon, which is a world-class marina and almost no crime other than occasional petty theft (none to his boat). His boat is a 50-ft ketch, very good for two people for very long term. Another good friend has been sailing the Mediterranean for more than 5 years now with his wife, that's aboard a 36-ft sloop, a bit tight but they love it, usually stay for a month or so at a time in a marina but often just drop the hook. Best place to check the national requirements is the well-know Jimmy Cornell site: noonsite.com.

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Much depends where the boat is moored. Have a goodly number of liveaboards here in Phuket, including a very good friend who was in the process of a circumnavigation but stopped at Phuket. Has been living here now for about five years (retirement visa) but will continue on to the Caribbean later this years, or next year, fer sure. He has been at Boat Lagoon, which is a world-class marina and almost no crime other than occasional petty theft (none to his boat). His boat is a 50-ft ketch, very good for two people for very long term. Another good friend has been sailing the Mediterranean for more than 5 years now with his wife, that's aboard a 36-ft sloop, a bit tight but they love it, usually stay for a month or so at a time in a marina but often just drop the hook. Best place to check the national requirements is the well-know Jimmy Cornell site: noonsite.com.

The marinas will probably be too expensive long-term, so swinging on the hook is preferable. It's a 45ft trimaran and can run up the beach near a 7-11 if need be. ;)

noonsite is an interesting source of info - been reading that for years. Previously lived on board an old 48ft Gaff Ketch and went from Croatia around and about and ended up in Scotland.

The issues which are not clear are more to do with clearance in, anchoring permission(?), visa, retirement extension (already have one for 3 years) and associated beaurocracy. I have mostly avoided yottie destinations. ;)

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In a marina is like being in a condo the management take care of things.

Mooring out or anchoring in a bay

You are not treated well by immigration they would prefer to take you under their wing and sort it for you just like they do for marina boys or .. Be a yachty and go away.. Doing it on the cheap it needs to be a thai registered boat so no in out of boat no overstay extensions or tea money..then normal visaa use guest house /hotel addresses or yacht club .

Its done by many in many different ways and different budgets Yes I have done it in Thailand but no knowledge of Cambodia.

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My sister and her husband spent a year and a half on their boat in Phuket....but a rental car was necessary....the marinas are nice and they were able to get their 62 ft. Trawler painted for a fraction of the cost in USA.

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I did it for 5 years on the Andaman side. That ended 4 years ago. It was an amazing experience and I saw everything from Ranong to Langkawi and west to the Andaman Islands. In those days I got away with listing one of the marinas as my address even though I was only there occasionally. i expect that you still could succeed with that approach. Like any bureaucratic topic here there's a certain amount of pain to endure regarding registering your boat and entering exiting Thailand. I second the recommendation for noonsite.com

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Much depends where the boat is moored. Have a goodly number of liveaboards here in Phuket, including a very good friend who was in the process of a circumnavigation but stopped at Phuket. Has been living here now for about five years (retirement visa) but will continue on to the Caribbean later this years, or next year, fer sure. He has been at Boat Lagoon, which is a world-class marina and almost no crime other than occasional petty theft (none to his boat). His boat is a 50-ft ketch, very good for two people for very long term. Another good friend has been sailing the Mediterranean for more than 5 years now with his wife, that's aboard a 36-ft sloop, a bit tight but they love it, usually stay for a month or so at a time in a marina but often just drop the hook. Best place to check the national requirements is the well-know Jimmy Cornell site: noonsite.com.

The marinas will probably be too expensive long-term, so swinging on the hook is preferable. It's a 45ft trimaran and can run up the beach near a 7-11 if need be. wink.png

noonsite is an interesting source of info - been reading that for years. Previously lived on board an old 48ft Gaff Ketch and went from Croatia around and about and ended up in Scotland.

The issues which are not clear are more to do with clearance in, anchoring permission(?), visa, retirement extension (already have one for 3 years) and associated beaurocracy. I have mostly avoided yottie destinations. wink.png

yottie cheesy.gif clap2.gif

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how you exit Thailand by boat? , just sail 20 miles away to be in international water and come back same day?

how they can check anyway? or do they ask to see an entry/exit stamp from another country.?

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In Phuket probably the best mooring place is Chalong bay. Generally safe and good onshore facilities. Bit sticky finding a good place for the dinghy when going ashore. For a day trip can tie up at the big pier, either on the side or even better at the new marina construction (good laugh, been under construction now for over 2 years with no clear end in sight). Also good to park the dinghy at the Ao Chalong Yacht Club, good people and very safe.

Don't try to fool around with the entry/exit formalities at Phuket. The Marine Police are cruising around, checking for AIS being active (make sure it is). Use the one-stop immi/Customs/Harbormaster at the landward end of the big Chalong pier. Decent people there, minimum hassle. Re in/out most cruisers run down to Langkawi, about 22 hours sailing @ 5 knots to Telaga Harbor there, extra 2-3 hours to the big town with tieup at RLYC.

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if you value your life, you should avoid living on a boat here...

Several years ago, they found a couple hammered to death(i think the woman survived) on their boat. The police caught two illegal burmese fisherman...dejavu?

A couple of years ago, they found two beheaded tourist floating near their boat around koh larn....

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  • 1 month later...

In Cambodia you can do what you want for very cheap.

In Thailand you also do what you want but it's more expensive.

What about living on your boat at the Cambodia border near Trat ? Seems very easy for visa run as you can keep your boat at Koh kong and drive 15 minutes to the border to get a Thai visa.

If I do it I will buy an Elite card, it's so cheap compared to the boat prive anyway...

And to people talking about murders, do you think that people die more on a boat than in the street in Thailand ? Just don't stay somewhere alone where you are the only boat if far from the pier.

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How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc?

Ah haarr shipmates, shiver me timbers, I come ere to renew me retirement extension. Or a short, hello sailor may suffice.

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Too many reported cases of murders on boats in the region.

Thugs see you as a easy prey, a golden goose alone in the sea.

Not only at sea. Even at any given anchorage outside a secured marina.

The whole of SEA seas and shores are pirate infested.

Don't take it too easy.

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You biggest problem will be security. Aside from Phuket, there are not many boater friendly long term marinas or anchorages. Without that, you or your boat may become targets for criminals.

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How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc?

Ah haarr shipmates, shiver me timbers, I come ere to renew me retirement extension. Or a short, hello sailor may suffice.

I will explain nothing, I will just show my Elite card. I do not speak to officials anywhere, they are not my friend, they are here to do the job they are paid for.

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How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc?

Ah haarr shipmates, shiver me timbers, I come ere to renew me retirement extension. Or a short, hello sailor may suffice.

I will explain nothing, I will just show my Elite card. I do not speak to officials anywhere, they are not my friend, they are here to do the job they are paid for.

Wish i was in that Elite Club .I feel Elite but my wallet and Bank account do not .

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How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc?

Ah haarr shipmates, shiver me timbers, I come ere to renew me retirement extension. Or a short, hello sailor may suffice.

I will explain nothing, I will just show my Elite card. I do not speak to officials anywhere, they are not my friend, they are here to do the job they are paid for.

Oh dear, another arrogant tough guy full of himself.

You are in for a rude awakening old mate.

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Oh dear, another cheap charlie ashamed of himself.

How would one explain to Thai immigration when renewing the retirement extension, etc?

Ah haarr shipmates, shiver me timbers, I come ere to renew me retirement extension. Or a short, hello sailor may suffice.

I will explain nothing, I will just show my Elite card. I do not speak to officials anywhere, they are not my friend, they are here to do the job they are paid for.

Oh dear, another arrogant tough guy full of himself.

You are in for a rude awakening old mate.

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  • 9 months later...

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