Phuket Tourism News | Episode 1 | January 22, 2023
Welcome to the first episode of our brand-new Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.
Maya Bay Closed for 2 days
Maya Bay in Phi Phi, was closed for 2 days, 15th and 16th of January as the Thailand National Parks fixed a few issues with the back entrance to the Bay. Maya Bay is arguably one of the best beaches in the World and with that, it does bring some problems. The major issue is the number of people that want to set foot on the white sand of Maya Bay, which was made famous by the 2000 film “The Beach” staring Leonardo DiCaprio. The Thailand National Parks over the past 2 years started to manage Maya Bay much better with restricting the number of people that visit the bay and managing the bay, with stopping boats enter from the front and not allowing people to swim in the bay which all has some major positive effects, such as Black Tip Reef Sharks coming back to the bay after years of not being there.
We do think that the bay will be shut again in August and or September and once we get official word from the Thailand National Parks then we will let you know.
Changes to the payment of National Park fees
As reported by Shaun and Jay a week ago the way National Park Fees are to be paid has changed. Before when you book a Boat Tour with 5 Star Marine Phuket, we would inform you to bring cash (Thai Baht) with you so that you can pay the entrance fees to the National Parks when you arrive at the park. This could be when you visit Maya Bay in Phi Phi, or James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay. Most Thailand National Park entrance fees are pretty standard, from around 200 THB to 500 THB per adult, and then generally 50% discount for kids and free for infants. As of the 17th of January 2023, ALL Thailand National Park fees will need to be paid online and you will be issued with a digital ticket.
No More Covid Restrictions for arrivals to Thailand
With the Chinese New Year coming, and Chinese now allowed to travel after years of lockdowns many countries had put in restrictions for travelers from China and Thailand had followed suit, however it had not just made these restrictions for travelers from China, but for travelers from every country. This was a few days of crazy back-and-forth information from the Thailand Government, and local Thai Authorities. But after 3 days of not really knowing what would happen it was announced that all restrictions would be dropped straight away. Great news for the people coming to Thailand and for the Thailand Travel industry. So as of writing, there are NO COVID restrictions for people coming to Thailand.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays in China, and it all starts on January 22nd. Thailand is expecting over 1.8 million tourists to come into the Kingdom during the Chinese New Year. The year of the Rabbit is a symbolic one, as for the past 2 years due to COVID 19 most Chinese New Year celebrations have been very muted. Phuket has a rich Chinese history and Chinese New Year is celebrated across the whole island. One of the best places to go to celebrate this Chinese New Year is in Phuket Old Town where you will find a host of events and happenings as well as traditional lion dances and celebrations at the many Chinese temples located within Phuket Town. Oh, and get ready to eat, as there are hundreds of Chinese street foods and classic traditional Chinese foods to sample.
129 Leatherback turtle eggs found in Phang Nga
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle in the world and they are the only species of sea turtle that lack scales and a hard shell. Last week 129 leatherback sea turtle eggs were discovered in Phang Nga Bay. Growing up to seven feet long and exceeding 2,000 pounds it will be exciting to see what happens over the next few months and we will keep you updated on any hatching news.
Where is the best place to watch a Phuket Sunset?
Phuket has many stunning beaches and viewpoints that all claim to say that they are the best place to watch a Phuket Sunset. As the sun sets on the West Coast you can watch as the sun slowly drops below the horizon, from any of the West Coast beaches, such as Patong beach, Kata beach, Karon beach, Surin beach, Bang Tao beach, and Layan beach. Or if you’re lucky enough to be staying on any of the hillsides at any of these beaches you will also get a stunning Sunset. However, you can also head over to the East Side of the island as the sunsets on this side are as beautiful. Ok, you don’t get the big ball of flame dropping below the horizon, BUT what you do get is the stunning skies changing to a fiery orange, and you could also be having a local Thai BBQ and a cheeky cocktail on Rang Yai Island, at one of the 5 Star Marine’s Sunset BBQ tours.
Shaun is the Co-Owner and Founder of 5 Star Marine Phuket. After visiting Phuket for a holiday he never left and over 13 years later he calls Phuket home with his wife and kids. Shaun is passionate about Phuket and the Islands surrounding Phuket and loves helping fellow travellers explore.