Phuket Tourism News, Increased flights to Phuket, how to beat the crowds

Phuket Tourism News | Episode 8 | March 12

Welcome to the Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay Leshark will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News that is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.

Increase in Flights to Phuket

International flights to Phuket airport are expected to continue growing in numbers on March as more carriers get permissions to add the island to their networks of routes.

The Phuket branch of the Airports of Thailand (AoT Phuket), lists 3,710 inbound and outbound flights by 52 carriers in March. There is also a continued growth on domestic flights to Phuket and the number arriving to Phuket airport is expected to reach almost the same amount as the international flights, 3,760 in March.

Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and AirAsia Berhad all have 56 flights per week coming in to Phuket with Aeroflot Russian Airlines coming in with 54 flights per week.

The number of Chinese flights may well increase the numbers further as some carriers are still waiting for approval of their applications to come into Phuket. Currently only Juneyao and Spring Airlines arrive from China with a 40 flights from Juneyao and 28 flights from Spring.

Phuket Tourism News now in audio format

Don’t have time to watch a video? We have added the Phuket Tourism News in audio format and you can now listen to it on Apple Music and Spotify or on your favorite podcast provider.

Just search Phuket Tourism News or click the icons below:

Hong Island Krabi – Is This The Best Island In Krabi?

Among the more than 150 islands of the stunning Phang Nga Bay, Koh Hong is by far one of the most beautiful destinations with possibly some of the best views of Phnag Nga Bay from it’s awesome viewpoint.

Koh Hong is off the east coast of Phuket, in fact Koh Hong is closer to Krabi than it is to Phuket. Koh Hong island is known for its stunning natural beauty, soft white sand, and sparkling, crystal clear waters, making it a one-of-a-kind place for relaxation and island adventure.

“Hong” means room in Thai and the island gets its name from this ‘room-like’ interior lagoon surrounded by limestone cliffs with only a small channel to the open sea. We spent our afternoon enjoying a quiet swim inside this untouched beauty that consists of amazing emerald waters, cool ocean breezes, and incredible vibe which seems to wrap everyone in comfort. I forgot the world for a while. This place needs to be seen to be believed.

Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos are typically quieter than the more popular Phi Phi or Phang Nga Bay area tours. However, the sheer natural beauty you get to encounter really is something else. This area provides you with everything you could want from a day out with your friends or family – whether it be snorkelling, discovering white sandy private beaches, hiking or sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy.

Krabi Islands Private Boat TourKo Hong sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland, and already had a great name for itself with its stunning lagoon. Entering through a narrow passageway you are greeted by the scenic and mesmerising Ko Hong Lagoon. This striking turquoise body of shallow water is surrounded by high rock walls lined with lush mangroves giving a forgotten world feeling to it. Only accessible by small boat or longtail, some areas are so clear and shallow you can easily see your feet on the underwater sand.

Krabi Islands Private Boat TourAfter taking in the vibrant colours of Ko Hong Lagoon, let your adventurous side loose and make your way around to the most recent addition to the island; the breath-taking 360o Viewpoint. This impressive metal staircase structure was built in 2020, and was designed to give panoramic 360o views of Krabi and the surrounding islands. It certainly delivers, and is arguably one of the best seascape views of the Krabi island sets, Phang Nga Bay and surrounding islands in the national park that you can get from anywhere.

After enjoying these stunning panoramic seascapes, make your way back down to shore and catch your breath before heading out to your pick of fantastic snorkelling and island locations nearby. With clear waters, secluded lagoons and abundant marine life in the shallow and deep-water coral reefs; you could even get lucky enough to spot a reef shark on your adventure.

Phuket Tourism News, Phuket Airport, Airline Pricing, Phuket Lost Animals

Phuket Tourism News | Episode 7 | March 5

Welcome to the Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay Leshark will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News that is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.

Airport effectiveness

The Phuket immigration had to open all its passport control counters at Phuket International Airport last week when seven flights all landed one after an another. However even thou they were overwhelmed with tourists, the average waiting times from the planes landing and guests coming out was only 90mins. That includes passport control and bag collection, and some 1,450 passengers passed checks within 40 mins.

It is impossible to say how many total passages passed through during the rush, as the Phuket Information Center has stopped posting daily arrival reports. The daily average for January 2023 was 11,486.

Russia, India, Kazakhstan, UK and China are the top nationalities coming into Phuket with Russia being way out in from with almost 4 times as many pax 153,449 compared to the 33,873 from India and the 33,756 from Kazakhstan which are 2nd and 3rd on the list.

Airlines are optimistic about the recovery this year with the opening up of China being the key driver.

Thailand government is warning airlines

The Provincial Public-Private Joint Economic Development Committee in Phuket has warned airlines not to sell overpriced tickets to tourists who wish to travel to the resort island, especially during long holidays.

The committee pointed out that overpriced airfares during New Year and Valentines were off putting to travelers. Tickets prices were set to be increase again, for the long Maka Bucha Day and the up coming Songkran festival.

The committee have also added that they are going to look bringing in fines for anyone found to be ticket gouging on popular routes and possible jail time.

Blood donations in Thailand

Some Blood type reserves in Thailand are very low and even more so on Phuket. In the past some foreign nationals who wanted to give blood were turned away due to some very old blood donation rules that have been out of date for decades.

Foreigners in Phuket and nationwide have been invited to join the never-ending blood donation campaign to replenish much-needed reserves.

Emphasis is on donating Rh-negative blood types, which are not common among Asians, but critically needed for providing help to other foreigners especially so on Phuket where the high season has seen an increase of accidents manly due to tourists riding motorbikes.

The Phuket Red Cross outreach campaign has stared and will continue throughout March.

What is the Best local Thai Food?

We all know that Thai food is awesome and when you’re here in Phuket eating Thai food is a huge part of your holiday experience. Exotic flavours and fragrances, make Thai cuisine so popular around the world, BUT there is more to Thai food that a simple Pad Thai, or a Green Curry or a Tom Yum Goon.

When in Phuket, try some of the local Thai dishes rather than the more popular western Thai Dishes.

If you need some help, just check out these videos when 5 Star Marine YouTube Host Jay Leshark took an amazing food tour in Phuket Town – Click Here

And when Jay took a cooking class in Phuket – Click Here

Upcoming Events in Phuket

Legendary Night of Music

Shadow Play performance by Nong Diaw

ADCC Thailand Open

International Women’s Day Lunch

Phuket Tourism News now in audio format

Don’t have time to watch a video? We have added the Phuket Tourism News in audio format and you can now listen to it on Apple Music and Spotify or your favorite podcast provider.

Just search Phuket Tourism News or click the icons below

What is the best Phuket Boat Tour to go on? Phi Phi, James Bond or Krabi?

One of the biggest things that I have learned in life, is that Freedom is something that many of us take for granted. I grow up in a country that gave us freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to move around, freedom to do almost anything.

In the good old USA, they have a constitution that is basically a document that states “YOU ARE FREE”. Ok, I have somewhat paraphrased the 4 page 4,543 words. William Wallace did a whole battle cry on the English taking their Freedom, (Good work Mel Gibson)

Why, am I talking about Freedom? The simple reason is that we at 5 Star Marine Phuket offer you FREEDOM.

Unlike many other Phuket Boat tours, we offer all our tours the freedom to choose, the freedom to do what you want to do, to get the experiences that you want to get from your very own private boat tour, hence why our Captains Choice tour is one of our most popular.

What is the Captain’s Choice Tour?

When you get to the 5 Star Marine Phuket office one of our guides will meet and greet you and then take some time to talk to you to find out what YOU want to do, What YOU want to see, what YOU want to eat, where you want to go?

Once the guide has this info, they will consider the weather, the tides, and all other conditions and then create a tour there and then, just for YOU.

  • If you want to do lots of snorkeling – YOU CAN
  • If you want to have a 2-hour long seafood lunch at a floating restaurant? – YOU CAN
  • If you want to see Maya Bay and James Bond Island in one tour – YOU CAN

I think you get the idea here

Our team has years and years of experience and many of our guides are from this area, they grow up in Phi Phi, in Phang Nga, in Phuket so this is their back yard and they are dedicated to making your time on the sea a 5-star experience in every way. So, whether you are looking to go snorkeling in deserted spots, have a romantic beach picnic off the beaten track, want to explore hidden caves or need help creating your perfect private beach celebration – we have something to delight everyone.

They know the best spots and the best times to go to those spots.

We are here to make your Captain’s Choice Tour exactly what you desire – so ask us.

Phuket Tourism News, Jelly Fish, Phuket Weddings, and Phuket Markets

Phuket Tourism News | Episode 6 | February 26

Welcome to the Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay Leshark will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News that is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.

Jelly Fish in Phuket

5-Star-Marine-JellyfishLast week some of Phuket beaches issued jellyfish warnings after there was an increase in stings. Phuket Marine Resources Conservation Centre with local administrative organisations have been stocking up the Phuket West Coast lifeguard stations with extra bottles of vinegar and other medical supplies to help treat stings. The west coast, including Patong Beach, has seen an increase in stings in the past week. The reports of jellyfish stings have all be minor with most people getting treated at the beach with vinegar.

“More than 30 people have recently been stung by jellyfish while playing in the water at the beach. Most of the people were not seriously harmed.”

“There are many species of jellyfish. For normal jellyfish stings, vinegar can be poured over the area continuously for at least 30 seconds to help, but never pour fresh water, drinking water or alcohol onto the sting.” Said Suchart Ratanaruangsri, who is the director of the Phuket Marine Resources Conservation Centre.

Phuket Weddings – Over 100 on Valentine’s Day

5-Star-Marine-JellyfishMore than 100 Thai and foreign couples in Phuket celebrated Valentine’s Day by registering their marriage across the island. For the special mass weddings here in Phuket, District Chiefs from around Phuket Island gave away gifts and souvenirs for the couples. In Mueang District every couple that registered was put into a lucky draw for more gifts including gold worth over 7,500 THB.

Congratulations to all the couples and remember if you want to celebrate your honeymoon in style then you can book a 5 Star Marine Phuket private boat tour.

Best Island destination for families

There are 100’s of islands to visit in Phang Nga Bay, Phi Phi and Krabi, BUT what are some of the best to visit for families.

Khai Islands

Private Khai Islands 5 Star MarineThe close by Khai islands day trip is very good for families.

The Khai Islands is made up of 3 separate islands:

  1. Khai Nai
  2. Khai Nau
  3. Khai Nok

Each of the three Islands offers something slightly different for you to experience; Khai Nai offers clear, shallow water and snorkelling which is perfect for families with young children. Khai Nau is also an excellent spot for some snorkelling right off the boat, and has a great variety of coral and marine life to explore. Finally, Khai Nok has some good off the beach snorkelling and offers you the opportunity to relax on the beach.

Accessible in only 15 to 20 minutes from the 5 Star Marine pier at Boat Lagoon.

Coral Island

coral islandCoral Island, also known locally as Koh He, is an easy and family friendly day-trip destination from Phuket.

This beautiful island has 2 main beaches (Long Beach and Banana Beach), where you can find a handful of restaurants, enjoy a few different snorkelling spots or just relax on its sandy beaches.

At Long Beach, you can rent a canoe and explore or just relax at one of the restaurants on the white sandy beach. Just around the island, Banana Beach Club serves a good selection of dishes, plus offers massages, canoes and plenty of Instagram-worthy set ups. You can enjoy some decent snorkelling from the shore there also. It is both kid and adult friendly with big loungers, tables in the shade and fun areas to explore for all.

You can also combine this tour with an afternoon stop at Mai Ton on the way back to try your luck spotting the dolphins there.

Upcoming Events in Phuket

Maiton Island Phuket A perfect destination for Snorkeling, Fishing and seeing Dolphins

A perfect destination for Snorkeling and Fishing and MORE

The meaning of the name Maiton represents idealism, intuition, romance, generosity, creativity, wisdom, and tolerance

Maiton island is an understated paradise. A beautiful tropical island just off the Southeast coast of Phuket

It’s a fantastic day out and only 30 minutes from the 5 Star Marine Phuket pier.

The island is small and only spans 2.5 km across at its widest point but with a large and quiet beach and a lush green hill as a backdrop. It has beautiful white sands and tropical palm trees, as well as pristine waters that are home to vibrant coral reefs.

The island is still relatively untouched by tourism, the white sandy beaches are soft, pristine, and full of stunning washed-up corals and seashells, and the natural environment of Maiton Island has not been disturbed by mass tourism.

dolphin at mai tonThere are not too many things to do on this island but if you are feeling fit and strong you can hike up the hill to get stunning views looking south towards Phi Phi and north towards Phang Nga Bay.

Maiton Island is famous for its unspoiled nature and the spectacular underwater world, and the best things to do at Maiton Island all happen in the clear tropical waters around the island.

Maiton Island offers some fantastic snorkeling. The coral reefs are alive and teeming with a variety of tropical fish and you can also Enjoy a mesmerizing experience through a giant clam garden. The best time for snorkeling at Maiton island is from December to May when the sea around Maiton is crystal clear like a blue mirror.

After a couple of hours of snorkeling, it’s time to catch dinner.

Head out a little deeper and drop in a hook and bait and you will soon catch a fish or 3, and if they are big enough then you have dinner sorted as well, which you can give to the 5 Star Marine Phuket Team and they can take care of this for you and have it cooked up with Thai flavors and spices on the BBQ while watching the sun set behind Phuket.

And finally, is seeing dolphins in Phuket on your bucket list?

Maiton Island is also home to a pod of dolphins, and if you’re lucky enough, you will be able to see these incredibly playful animals. The best time to see the dolphins is first thing in the morning or around the early evening.

Maiton Island is a fantastic destination for a 5 Star Marine Phuket private tour, as it has so much to offer.

You will definitely have a 5 Star Experience when you book a 5 Star Marine Phuket private tour to Maiton Island.

For information on this and all our 5 Star Marine Phuket Tours click here

Phuket Tourism News, Movies in Phuket, Phuket Traffic and Leatherback Turtles

Phuket Tourism News | Episode 5 | February 19

Welcome to the Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay Leshark will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News that is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.

Patong motorbike racing

Last week a large group of French motorbike racers in Patong were arrested and charged with various traffic offenses.



Phuket, Patong police received a number of complaints that a group of tourists was racing motorbikes in Patong. Footage of the racers also went viral on local social media platforms, causing outrage among many Patong residents.

Patong locals complained that the racers were disturbing them when they were trying to relax, and posing a threat to the safety of the people. Most of the riders were not wearing the required protective motorcycle helmets as per Thai law.

Patong Police have also taken action against the motorbike rental operators who allowed foreign tourists to rent vehicles without a valid driving license. These operators were fined 1,000 baht each for their actions.

Hollywood movies here in Phuket

5-Star-Marine-Hollywood movies here in PhuketPhuket and its surrounding areas have been the backdrop for plenty of movies, and as a whole Thailand has always been eager to attract Hollywood and the international cinema industry as a way to promote tourism in the country.


Some of the films shot in Phuket:

Shot in 2000 and directed by Danny Boyle, The Beach is based on the eponymous Alex Garland novel. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this movie made a small cove on the western side of Koh Phi Phi Leh world-famous: Maya Bay.

Shot in 1974, The Man with the Golden Gun was the 9th James Bond movie. Featuring Roger Moore as the iconic British spy and Christopher Lee as the villain, Francisco Scaramanga.

Shot in 2004 and directed by Beeban Kidron, this sequel to the successful Bridget Jones’s Diary reunites the same cast members: Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones, Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, and Hugh Grant as Daniel Cleaver.

Shot in 1993, Heaven & Earth is a superb film by Oliver Stone about the Vietnam War and its consequences. Based on a true story written by Le Ly Hayslip.

Shot in 1995, Cutthroat Island is a romantic/comedy/action/pirate movie starring Geena Davis. The film was a big flop, credited for ending the production of any pirate-themed Hollywood movies until the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Shot in 1997 and directed by Roger Spottiswoode, Tomorrow Never Dies was the 18th James Bond movie of the series, and the second using Thai locations to represent other Asian countries

Shot in 2005 and directed by George Lucas, the 3rd episode of the world-famous Star Wars movies saga has a few scenes filmed in southern Thailand. The tall limestone cliffs and lush vegetation of Krabi Province were used to represent Kaashyyk, the home planet of the Wookiees.

Shot in 2012 and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, The Impossible is based on the true story of a British family that was staying in a Khao Lak beachfront resort for Christmas 2004, when the tsunami occurred.

Leatherback turtles have been seen in Phuket

5-Star-Marine-Leatherback turtles have been seen in PhuketThe leatherback sea turtle is the largest turtle in the world. They are the only species of sea turtle that lack scales and a hard shell. They are named for their tough rubbery skin and have existed in their current form since the age of the dinosaurs.


No marine life encounter is guaranteed but the chance of snorkeling with sea turtles whilst in Thailand is pretty high. Turtles can be seen almost anywhere, the most common places are the Similan Islands (mooring rocks, island number 9), the Surin Islands and the Phi Phi Islands.

Where is the best place for Thai Food

5-Star-Marine-Where is the best place for Thai FoodThai food emphasizes on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. It’s all about the juggling of elements to create a harmonious finish.



Traditional Thai cuisine loosely falls into four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and kaeng (curries). Deep-frying, stir-frying, and steaming are methods introduced from Chinese cuisine.

Back in 2017, seven Thai dishes appeared on a list of the “World’s 50 Best Foods”, an online poll of 35,000 people worldwide by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country: tom yam kung (4th), pad thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and nam tok mu (36th).

There are so many amazing Thai restaurants to choose from, and our top tip is to head into Phuket Town and go on a food tour so you can really experience the amazing Thai food.

A Chefs tour offers amazing Food tours

Upcoming Events in Phuket

Phuket Tourism News – Coral Reef restoration, Patong Tunnel, Phuket Expat life

Phuket Tourism News | Episode 4 | February 12

Welcome to the Phuket Tourism News. Each week Shaun and Jay Leshark will bring you weekly Phuket Tourism News. Phuket News that is for you, Phuket News for those coming to Phuket, and Phuket Tourism News that is what you need to make sure you have an amazing time when you come on holiday to Phuket.

Plane stuck on Phuket Airport runway

Phuket International Airport is the second busiest airport in Thailand. Millions of passengers each year visit Phuket to enjoy a wide range of tourist services, natural beauty of the world-famous Phuket beaches and fascinating tourist attractions. Last week there was a minor incident with a Russian plane that was spotted by the air traffic control staff that smoke was coming from the right side (Starboard) engine of the Boeing 767-300ER.

The Azur Airplane was meant to be heading to Moscow, and it was about to take off when the Phuket Airport staff saw the smoke. The plane blocked the taxiway for other flights from landing and taking off. It took a few hours to remove the plane and after that flight services returned to normal.

The incident affected nearly 50 flights, with some having to circle over Phuket and others being diverted to Krabi, Samui, and Bangkok.

Phuket Coral Reef restoration

5-Star-Marine-Phuket Coral Reef restorationTwo chapters of the Rotary Club in Phuket have come together to help restore the coral reef at Maiton island, about 10 km south of Phuket. They will supply 39 3D-printed concrete frames and will drop them around the island. An MOU has been signed and the Rotary club will supply the frames to the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO). The project is being funded through the “Save Underwater World” project with funds raised by the Rotary Clubs and SCG. The frames will help corals grow naturally and also provide a habitat for a variety if marine animals.

Patong Tunnel Project

5-Star-Marine-Patong Tunnel ProjectIf you have lived in Phuket over the past 20 years you would have heard about the New Patong Tunnel coming soon, every year. But, it seems that 2023 is different and that the tunnel is finally happening. The famous Patong hill that every tourist and local has to go over to get to Patong beach will finally get a tunnel. Discussion on the tunnel has been going on for over 20 years, and it has been a stop, start the project. But after all the delays and meetings, Thailand’s cabinet has now approved the 14.7 billion bath budget to construct the expressway connecting Kathu and Patong. The project should be starting in mid-2023 and should finish by July 2027.

Where is the best place for a romantic dinner in Phuket

There are many awesome restaurants and resorts where you could spend a romantic dinner this Valentine’s but one location that we think is perfect is the stunning Baan Rim Pa Restaurant.

Baan Rim Pa Restaurant

The name Baan Rim Pa is well known not only in Thailand but around the world. This multi-award-winning restaurant has proven to be a favorite to international travelers, ex-pats and locals. Baan Rim Pa boasts an incredible cliff-side location directly over the Andaman Sea. Every table has a magnificent panoramic view of the blue waters across to the beach at Patong.

How did 5 Star Marine Phuket Start

The Story of 5 Star Marine Phuket

I arrived in Thailand about fifteen years ago for a holiday. I was in a transitional phase of my life looking for a bit of a change, so it was either going to be at the Gold Coast or somewhere else in Australia. But when I got here to Phuket, I fell in love with Layan beach.

After I decided to stay here in Phuket, I started to go on some private boat tours, and I discovered that they weren’t what I was expecting. They were following the same route, as all the group tours I went on, and the only difference was that it was a boat with just us on it. So, I thought there was a gap in the market.

There were expensive yachts or group tours. So, I wanted to create something that was in the middle, something that wasn’t a group, something that wasn’t a yacht, but we provide yacht-like service, and that’s when we created 5 Star Marine.

Through this entire process, I managed to get married to a Thai lady, named Lisa, and she taught me so much about the tourism business in fact, her family’s been in tourism for three generations. Then we were lucky enough to have our son Lucus. Everyone tells you that when you have a child, your whole world changes, and those of us who have never had children before, don’t believe it, they say ‘No, nothing’s going to change, everything’s the same as normal’, but the very first time that I ever met Lucus my whole world changed, everything that I had planned for in my life immediately was ripped up, thrown away.  From that day forward, I decided I wanted to create a legacy for my son, something that as he grew older, he could have the choice of what he wanted to do with it, he could keep it, he could sell it, he could manage it, he could operate it, he could be somebody who owned it. And that’s why we put a huge investment behind 5 Star Marine, in both time energy, and money. And this has been the driving force for me at 5 Star Marine, I wanted to create something for my family, and I wanted to create an experience here in Phuket, that was all about the customer.

When I went on private tours before, the captains were always worried about fuel, they’re always worried about what time the boat needed to come back, they always worried about what time they need to be there for lunch. I wanted to break out of these concepts and say the only thing we ever worry about is the customer, is the customer happy? are they having an experience that they can remember? and they’re going to come back? and are they going to go home and tell everyone about this amazing 5 Star Marine experience that they had? That’s exactly what I’ve been focusing on, we threw out the concept of how much fuel to use with we threw out the concept of following a plan and we said to turn up to the pier our guide will take you exactly where you want to go and recommend some places that you’ve never heard of before, and that’s exactly what the 5 Star Marine experiences are.

5 Star Marine is a family business

We have built 5 Star Marine as a family business, I don’t know how many staff we are now, almost a hundred staff, but we have managed to keep that family feel because we wanted to invest, invest in what is the most important part of a team which is “The Team”. That’s the most important part of our company, and so we invest in them, we spend time with them, and we train them, but we do more than that, we care for them, they are our family. We have family dinners, we have staff parties, we have training events and everything that’s going on in our staff lives we want to know about, so we can help them to go on to the next level.

My goal in this business is not for me to be the leader, I want to build leaders in my business, Thai leaders, male leaders, and female leaders and I want them to step up and I want them to show them that there’s a new way that you can run a business in Thailand, that is customer centric focused, that is all about the experience. Our tagline is “Experiences the 5 Star Marine difference” and the reason is that 5 Star Marine is all about the experience.

Our team takes care of you all the time, they will be in the water with you pointing out the different coral, pointing out the fish, serving you fresh fruit, whatever you want, whatever you need, we have requests from honeymoons to proposals, to 50th wedding anniversaries, to 40th birthdays, we have post-wedding parties, you name it we have done it. We want you to go back with an experience that you’re never going to forget, that’s what to me is the goal of 5 Star Marine.

Why is it called 5 Star Marine?

When we were building 5 Star Marine, we were thinking about what should we call this entity, this company, and this experience. And everyone asked me, is there a big story behind it? It just naturally seemed that we wanted to make this big brand promise, we wanted to say to you when you come with this company, everything we do is about servicing you and making this the best experience. And the only way to do that was to make this big brand promise, which is 5 Star Marine. I say to my staff every day they wake up, today you wake up as 5 Star Marine, that means everything that you do today from the moment you wake up until the moment you go back to bed needs to be reflective of the name, we can’t be late ten minutes, we can’t forget to put something on the boat, we can’t skip a stop, we can’t miss lunch, this is what 5 Star Marine is, everything has to be at that level. In hindsight, it was the worst decision I made in my life because it puts pressure on us every day to wake up and act in this way, but with that said the great thing is that customers are constantly feeding back to us that this is the perfect name for our company in fact some people are saying we should change it to six or seven Star Marine, which is an amazing idea, but from my end, I would prefer to change it to 4 Star Marine because then I think someday I could wake up a little a bit later or sleep in or miss an appointment, but you know that’s not what we are.

There is this concept in Thailand that service is not as good as it should be, there is the expression that we are on “Island Time”, our business is all designed to not ever be on Island Time. If your schedule is to be picked up at 8:30, the driver has to be there 8:15. Even this morning, I was texting customers that their drivers were there and customers texted me back “You’re forty-five minutes early”, and I’m like, I would rather be early than be late, and that’s exactly what five-star service is all about, that’s what 5 Star Marine is, we want to be waiting for you, not you waiting for us, we want to be doing everything we can to make your experience exactly as you planned.

Why are all the boats called Lucus?

5-Star-Marine-Lucus 1 Slider5-Star-Marine-Lucus 1 Boat5-Star-Marine-Lucus 1 Drone Photo

When Lucus was born, it was the first night that we were in hospital, the nurse came to us and said to me we’d like to move Lucus from the room back down to where the new babies stay, and I looked at her in shock, it’s like I can’t imagine a day of my life without this boy. And so, I said no, I’ll take care of Lucus, and the Thai nurse seemed shocked, she’s like oh, but your wife has had a baby, are you sure she can do it? I understand that my wife has been through a very big experience and she’s recovering, but I can do this, I can take care of him, I’ve never done it before, but I felt this overwhelming sense of love for him. And for me, that’s when the whole world reset, it was all about how I build something that is for him and it made so much sense to me that I’m building this company for him. As he gets older, whether he keeps it, he sells it, or manages it, who knows! I don’t have any set expectations and I’ve said the same thing to him, you don’t have to follow me, but what I wanted to do was to create the opportunity for him to have a choice in his life, which was if he chose to come and work at 5 Star Marine, then he can do it, if he chose to sell 5 Star Marine, then he could do it, he can chose to sell 5 Star Marine and use the money to go and do something else in his life, he could do it.

And so, it made sense that I centered this whole concept every single day around these thoughts, and what better way to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing every day than to have the entire fleet named after him? Where’s Lucus one today? where’s Lucus five today? whereas Lucus eleven today?, what’s Lucus six doing? and it creates these conversations at home as well where I’m talking to Lucus and I’m so, how’s your day, he was like oh I just want to know dad, where was the Lucus one captain today? What did the Lucus five boat boy do today? Where did Lucus eleven go? And he comes down to the pier and he has a sense of pride in that. This is his and he knows it, when the boat goes to water, the first customer on the boat is him, today he’s out on a boat fishing, he knows that this is something that is his, he is only ten I’m sure he doesn’t understand what that means right now, but I can imagine in ten years’ time that he’s going to have a sense of pride. So, naming the boats reminds me on a daily basis why I am doing what I am doing, and what is the end goal.

I listen to a lot of business mentoring podcasts and they say once you connect your passion and your purpose toward your financial goal, that everything becomes easy I think the same thing when I have to get up at four o’clock in the morning and check a message or an email or prepare a boat or reply or whatever it is I need to do, I don’t feel sad about it, because I’m like well I’m waking up and I’m preparing that customer to go onto Lucus six and I’m like that’s a reminder, an everyday reminder of why I’m building this company.

The 5 Star Marine Experience

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For us as a company, one of the cool things that we liked to think about is how we build this sense of team and a sense of pride and a sense of responsibility within our team. From our guides to our captains to our engineers to our mechanics to our admin team, all of them, realize that this company is different. It sounds weird and arrogant by saying are we better? I’m not saying we’re better, I’m saying that we’re different and we’re different in the essence of when you come here, you’ll see our team they’ll be talking and playing and having fun and if Lucus’s on the pier they’re kicking the football with him, they’re fishing with him, I say to Lucus when he’s having his birthdays, who do you want to invite your birthday party? and his answer always is the crew, I want them to come. So, every year, we do this big birthday party at the pier with food and toys and fun and whatever Lucus wants it to be, and we’ve never forgotten that even though our business has gone from 1 boat to now 15 boats we are still a family business, and this is centered around the concept of really caring for our staff, really caring for our customers, really caring for the experience that you have on board with us.

I built this entire company, with my wife Lisa selling the tours, and I would go on the boat and I would operate them, and not only that, if the boat broke down, I would fix it, fuel it, and I made fuel lines, I painted boats, I’ve done everything from the ground up. And you know, it’s like what Lucus’s path can be.

I said to him, at fifteen he can go and throw an anchor, at eighteen he can learn to fix an engine, at twenty-one he can drive a boat, that’s the path for him. I have this old-school mentality of, you have to work up the ladder and it’s the same way we get a new captain who wants to work with us tomorrow. That doesn’t mean tomorrow they can drive a boat, they have to start at the back again, they have to start throwing the anchor, working the engineering job, after the engineering job, then they can become a captain because we want them to learn that we to do things differently. When a guide comes here, the very first thing that I ever say to them is, welcome to 5 Star Marine, forget everything that you’ve ever been taught, and we’re going to start again because what they’re taught at other companies, are you go step A, step B, step C, step D and you do it at this time, this time, this time and this time and we’ll see you back at the pier at four o’clock. For us, we’re going to break that all apart and say you can go wherever you like, whatever you love about this backyard that is yours; that is your country, you know it better than anybody, take people and see and show them what you want to show them, not what the brochure says. And that’s the key, it’s like when you travel to a new country, you shouldn’t travel with this preconceived idea of what you want to do and what you want to see. Try some local Phuket curries rather than having a Pad Thai, and experience the culture of the location that you’re going to that’s the same when you come to a boat tour, don’t come to the boat with the idea of I want to go here, here, and here, come to the boat and say to the guides, what are the best places to go in your experience, you’ve lived here your whole entire life, take me to the places that you love.

Where to eat in Phi Phi

So, you want to know where is the best place to eat in Phi Phi when you go on your 5 Star Marine Phuket tour to Phi Phi? Shaun, Andy and Jay head down to Phi Phi to check out some brand-new Phi Phi restaurants to see which ones you can choose when you head out on a 5 Star Marine Phuket private boat tour.

The Phi Phi islands are an archipelago of 6 islands, with the 2 main islands being Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh.

Phi Phi offers some of the most beautiful pristine beaches, stunning rock formations, and clear turquoise waters teeming with colourful sea life. The larger and inhabited Phi Phi Don attracts many travelers to its stunning shores, while the smaller uninhabited Phi Phi Leh has beautiful bays and beaches, including the iconic and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Thailand, if not the world Maya Bay.

When you come on a 5 Star Marine Phuket tour to Phi Phi, our team can take you to all the amazing places, such as Maya Bay, Camel Rock, Pileh Lagoon, Viking Cave, Monkey beach, and even snorkeling with clown fish and Blacktip Reef Sharks, but after that we know you will be hungry so where is there to eat.

Where to eat in Ko Phi Phi

When it comes to dining in Phi Phi, seafood is the island’s star attraction, with many restaurants displaying the day’s catch. You can also find plenty of Thai and Western options. There are many choices from beach front local restaurants, or international resort restaurants, and if you wanted you could also have a picnic on the beach. At 5 Star Marine Phuket we make sure we check every option for you.

Yes, I know that sounds like a tough job, going on a boat to Phi Phi and eating at lots of different Phi Phi restaurants, but we do it for you. Ok it is a fun day out too. Who wouldn’t want to head out to Phi Phi for the day.

Some of the new restaurant options we are looking at for our 5 Star Marne Private boat tours to Phi Phi:

Hippies Bar and Restaurant

5-Star-Marine-Hippies Bar and RestaurantHippies Bar and Restaurant is located on the beach and opposite the world-famous Maya Bay. It is one of the most popular bars on Phi Phi Don. With a unique atmosphere and good food, this place offers a unique setting and at night it has lots of entertainment and nightly fire dancing shows.


Nice Beach Hotel Hip

5-Star-Marine-Phi Phi Nice Beach HotelNice Beach hotel is a small boutique hotel located outside the busier areas. Having food at at Phi Phi Nice Beach Hotel Hip in Ko Phi Phi, you’ll be on the beach, steps from Ton Sai Beach and Ton Sai Bay.



Holiday Inn Phi Phi

5-Star-Marine-Phi Phi Holiday InnLocated on a heavenly beachfront of powdery soft white sand that gently merges with the Andaman Sea the hideaway resort is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Dining is a unique and pleasurable experience at the restaurants. The resort offers thee bars and three restaurants serving delicious seafood, Thai and international cuisine.


Malee Seafood

Malee Seafood is a simple beach restaurant, but the food is incredible. Everything is home made and fresh. The meals are delicious with numerous currys and lots of Thai sweets to try.

Phi Phi Natural Resort

Phi Phi Natural Resort rests on the stunning headland of Laemthong Beach surround by native flora and fruit trees. The spacious restaurant with a lovely sea views has an assorted choice of delicious Thai food dishes served in buffet style for lunch.




Zeovola a sustainable luxury resort with an air of rustic romance, located on the tranquil white sand Laem Tong Beach. If you are looking for something a bit more upmarket then Zeavola is a good choice. Zeovola will take you on a culinary journey with fresh delicious Thai cuisine and specialty dishes from around the world.

When you book a 5 Star Marine Phuket Private Boat Tout to Phi Phi the choice is yours if you want to enjoy a luxury resort lunch, or simple seafood BBQ on the beach or order a picnic and relax on the white beaches of a tropical island.

Book a Phi Phi private boat tour here.