Phi Phi and Maya Bay Private Boat Tour Phuket, The Best Islands to Visit

Do you want to visit Phi Phi, but don’t know what to expect?

The Phi Phi islands are an archipelago of 6 islands, with the 2 main islands being Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. These picture postcard islands are excellent tropical getaways in Southeast Asia and are one of the most popular private Phuket boat tours.

Phi Phi has pristine beaches, stunning limestone rock formations, and clear turquoise waters teeming with colourful sea life.

Phi Phi Don is the largest and most populated island of the 6. The second largest island, Ko Phi Phi Le is visited by many people and does have stunning beaches, and the other 4 islands which are not much more than large limestone rocks jutting out of the sea, such as Bida Nok, Bida Nai, and Bamboo Island.

History of Phi Phi and Maya Bay

Phi Phi Don was populated by Thai Malays fishermen during the late-1940s, and later became a coconut plantation.

The islands came to worldwide prominence when Ko Phi Phi Le, Maya Bay was used as a location for the 2000 movie “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio. After the movie was released Maya Bay became one of the world’s most popular beaches with thousands of tourists and locals wanting to visit Maya Bay and swim in the stunning crystal-clear waters. Over the years the huge number of tourists had massive negative effects on Maya Bay, and the ecosystem.

It wasn’t until 2020 when COVID stopped all travel that the local Thai National Park Authorities took control and realized that when no one came the ecosystem started to repair itself.

They then took more control and banded boats from coming to close to the beach, as well as building a proper entrance to the bay from the backside of Maya Bay, as well as limiting the number of people who can visit the beach each day, and stopped everyone from swimming in the bay.

They also have implemented a plan to close Maya Bay every year for a few months to give time for the ecosystem to rest so that the Thai National Park Authorities can assist with the situation.

What can you see and do in Phi Phi?

Phi Phi Islands Private Boat TourPileh Lagoon – This stunning inlet is found near the equally stunning Maya Bay beach. It is among the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand. It can get quite busy as you can only access Pileh lagoon during certain tide times.



Monkey BeachMonkey Beach – Monkey Beach is located in Yong Kasem Bay; on the west coast of the larger Island of Phi Phi Don. Just be careful as the monkeys can be very naughty and are used to people so don’t show much fear.



Phi Phi Islands Private Boat TourCamel Rock – A rock that looks like a camel, hence the name Camel Rock




Phi Phi Islands Private Boat TourViking Cave – Viking Cave is one of the most notable natural sites on Koh Phi Phi Leh. Located at the bottom of a tall limestone cliff it is home to a colony of swiftlets which are the birds that produce the nests for birds nest soup. The harvest of bird’s nests is rather a risky job – scaffolds are built with bamboo, on which the hunters climb in the dark to collect these valuable nests. Viking Cave owes its name to the paintings found in the cave – they represent various types of boats, including what resembles a Scandinavian Drakkar (Viking ship)

By selecting to go on a private VIP speedboat tour of Phi Phi Islands with 5 Star Marine you will ensure that you discover the area in the best possible conditions, with the least number of tourists, and also get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours. To book a Phi Phi Private Speed Boat Tour then click here

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.

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.

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

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

5-Star-Marine-Staff 1

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.

News About Traveling To Thailand

UPDATE 10th JAN – Thailand CANCELS All Travel Restrictions” As of 10th January 2023, the travel restrictions that were put into place have fully been removed.


Entry To Thailand Requirements for January
The Thailand authorities have issued these new travel rules for COVID-19-related restrictions as of the 9th January 2023, amid rising international disease activity and the opening up of China for international travel.

The new entry rules for Thailand start today (9th January 2023) amid a lot of confusion. All we have is the NOTAM sent out by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) to airlines around the world.

Here are the UPDATED Guidelines on the New Thailand Travel Restrictions starting January 9, 2023 – Please note that these are correct as of 10am Monday the 9th January and there may be changes over the next few days or weeks.

  1. Airline passengers 18 years old or older must provide proof of full vaccination or proof of Covid-19 recovery not more than 6 months (180 days). Passengers who have not been vaccinated must have a letter from a doctor providing a reason.
  2. Passengers from countries that have requirements which may prevent passengers from going back due to Covid-19 shall be required to have health insurance covering at least USD $10,000 of treatment of Covid-19 for the itineraries in Thailand plus 7 days.
  3. Holder of official and diplomatic passports, United Nations Laissez-passer are exempted from health insurance requirements.
  4. Holders of Thai passport and transit/transfer passengers are exempted from vaccination check and health insurance requirements.
  5. The airlines must check the documents as required. If a passenger fails to produce documents proving these requirements are met, the passenger is subjected to being tested at the port of arrival.
  6. The airlines must adhere to related regulations and comply with the guidance as appropriate, such as asking passengers to wear masks at all times except during meals or emergency situations.
  7. Any passenger having symptoms of Covid-19 during travel shall be recommended to have a test at the time of arrival.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand

Passengers who are unvaccinated

Unvaccinated tourists can fly to Thailand without being refused boarding due to a last-minute update to the latest Notice to Airmen (Notam). Point 5 above says:

  • The airlines must check the documents as required. If passenger fails to produce document proving these requirements are met, the passenger is subjected to be tested at the port of arrival.

Highlights of New Thailand Travel Restrictions starting January 9, 2023 at 1:00AM

Airline passengers the age of 18 year or older must provide the following:

  1. Proof of VaccinationOR a letter from a doctor stating you have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days.
  2. Proof of Insurance  (if traveling onward to another country whereupon a RT-PCR or ATK is required for entry).

Exempted persons:

  1. Thai Nationals
  2. Children below the age of 18 years
  3. Passengers who are transiting at the airport

We highly recommend that you check with your airline before you travel as these restrictions are changing daily.

Phuket News Update December 2022

The latest Phuket News for December 2022 is brought to you by 5 Star Marine Phuket.


Join Shaun owner of 5 Star Marine Phuket, and 5 Star Marine Phuket YouTube host Jay Leshark as they discuss the latest Phuket News and update you on the current Phuket weather, Phuket roads, travel, and which islands are open and ready for you to book a tour.


Phuket Weather


Phuket has two main weather seasons, and if you are looking for the time of year when you get the least amount of rain in Phuket and the most amount of sun then high season is between November and April. Now that doesn’t mean that during these months that the sun is shining every single day, and you have to remember that Phuket is in the tropics and so we get tropical weather, which can mean the odd rain shower here and there.


One thing we also have to explain to people when they come to Phuket is that just because it’s raining in one location in Phuket, that doesn’t mean that it’s raining over the whole of Phuket. In fact; you can be driving down the road and one side is 100% dry and no rain at all, and on the other side of the road it’s raining.


If you have booked a 5 Star Marine Phuket private boat tour and you are worried about the weather, we have some top tips for you.


WAIT until the morning of your trip to really check the weather. The Phuket Weather forecast for high season, will generally say, Sunny with a chance of Thunderstorms. This is the go-to weather forecast for high season weather in Phuket.


If you are staying in Patong and it’s raining on the morning of your tour, don’t worry as Patong is on the West Coast of Phuket and your tour is going to the East side of Phuket and the weather can be very different. Phuket has lush jungles and mountains in the middle of the island which have huge effects on the weather in Phuket.


Phuket Roads Update


A month or so ago the road between Kathu and Patong collapsed due to a landslip which was an effect from all the rain and flooding that we had at the start of November. You would have seen all the floods that we had. This road was a vital connection between the West and East of Phuket and the Patong Hill Road collapsing caused major transport and traffic issues on the two other routes that take you into Patong. Traffic going or coming into Patong had to go either south down the West Coast through Kata and Karon or North up the West Coast through Kamala and Surin. This did cause a few longer journeys for many locals and tourists BUT now the Patong Hill Road is open for what they are calling “Light Traffic” Please do not ask me what “Light Traffic” is, as I have no idea. BUT the good news is that mini buses, cars, motorbikes and light trucks (not sure what that is either) are now all allowed to use the Patong Hill Road, which is very good news as we are now coming into Peak Season.


Phuket Marine Life


Some super great news. The past few years have been difficult for many people, however the marine life not only here in Phuket, but across the world seemed to have really benefited from the past few years. So much so that the Phuket pod of dolphins has grown and are much more active than they were 3 or 4 years ago, and even more amazing news is that humpback Whales have been seen in the past few weeks up in the Similan islands as well as a small pod of orca’s (Killer Whales). This adds to the already stunning marine life we have here in Phuket, with the sea turtles, Whale Sharks and Rays. This is just a small amount of the stunning underwater life you can see here in Phuket; I have not even mentioned the Black Tip reef sharks at Maya Bay, the clown fish, the moray eels, Star Fish, Parrot Fish, snappers, and so much more. We are so lucky to live in such a stunning location.


If you want to see some of these stunning animals then book up quickly and some of these beautiful marine creatures are only here for a short time. So click here NOW to book.


Just one fact for you – Killer Whales are Dolphins. That’s right, Dolphins.

Thai Food Cooking Class in Phuket | Learning to cook Thai food with Authentic Thai Recipes

Where Can I Learn to Cook Thai Food in Phuket? How can I learn to cook Thai food from the locals? Where is the best Thai authentic cooking class? Which is the best Phuket cooking class?

These are a few questions that many people ask us when they are coming to Phuket, and we 100% understand why you would want to learn to cook Thai food.

CNN recently updated its list of the “World’s Best Food” with 50 of the most delicious dishes ever created. The number one was Massaman Curry, described by CNN as “The king of curries and perhaps the king of all foods”. Also on the list were many other Thai dishes like Tom Yum Goong, Nam Tok Moo, Somtam, and of course Thai Green Curry and the classic Thai dish Pad Thai.

With all these amazing dishes it makes perfect sense that when coming to Thailand you take some time out to go on a Thai Cooking Course, and that’s what we did. Jay Leshark headed to the awesome Brasswok Thai Cooking class to learn how to make some authentic Thai Food.

On the menu was three more traditional style Thai Foods, not the standard dishes thats for sure, such as a spicy Jungle Curry with underdeveloped chicken eggs, or a Tom Yum style dish with chicken feet and a stir-fried prawn with lotus stems. Now, these were special dishes prepared by the awesome Chef Pui the owner, chef, and teacher from Basswok Thai Cooking, just for Jay’s visit. These dishes are the times of Thai food that the Phuket locals would eat at home, they are more like Thai comfort food.

Now on most Thai food cooking classes menus, you will get the standard dishes to cook, you might even get a choice, and if you do then try something different. Of course, Green Curry, Pad Thai, Spring Rolls, and even Massaman Curry are on most Thai cooking schools’ lists and are all fantastic to learn to cook, and of course, eat, but after the experience at Brasswok Thai Cooking Classes, cooking new dishes with ingredients that you may have never used, or even known about is a must.

So yes, when you are in Thailand, you must take a morning or afternoon to go on a Thai Cooking class.

The Australian Consulate-General Phuket. Are you Australian? Do you need help?

The Australian Consulate-General Phuket is Australia’s official diplomatic mission in Phuket, with accreditations to the provinces of Phang-nga and Krabi. We went to visit the Australian console in Phuket, to meet the Consulate General of Phuket Matt Barkley to ask him all sorts of questions about what does a console do, what can it help with, what can’t it help with and to get some top tips for Australian’s traveling to Phuket.

Firstly, a bit of background:

The Consulate-General was officially opened in August 2017 by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. In 2015 the Australian Government announced that its presence in Phuket would be upgraded from an Honorary Consul to a full Consulate-General, reflecting the strength of the Australia-Thailand bilateral relationship and the number of Australians travelling and residing in Phuket.

So, my first question to Matt was an easy one, what does a consult General do?

Matt: So, a consulate general is basically like a small Embassy, so we do the role of an embassy, but outside of the capital, so that’s why we’re based in Phuket. We look after Australians; we promote Australian interests and we’re basically here as a conduit between the Australian community and the Thai community.

Are you only covering Phuket?

Matt: So, we cover Phuket, Panna and Krabi. So, if you’re an Australian that gets in trouble somewhere else in the region, then you can call us for assistance and even if you’re in places like Songkhla or Chumpon, Ranong, Surat Thani, if you need something done in southern Thailand and don’t want to travel to Bangkok, then you can travel to Phuket and we can assist you.

What services or assistance do you offer?

Matt: We do quite a few things here, so we provide passports to Australians that need them, so if you’re an Australian that wants to renew your passport, we can do that here, if you lose or damage your passport and you need to travel urgently, we can issue an emergency passport here as well, that’ll allow you to travel back to Australia. We also do something called notarial services, so if you’re an Australian that’s buying a house, going through divorce proceedings or something like that, we can do the signatures necessary for you to Lodge those documents back in Australia. And then, another major part of what we do is what we call Consular assistance, so that’s when if you’re an Australian that gets into trouble overseas, we can provide assistance and guide you through the process to hopefully get you home in one piece.

Are your services for tourists or expats or both?

Matt: It’s really interesting. So, we have about 2 000 Australians that live in Phuket and we have about a quarter of a million Australians who visit every year. Now, we provide services to both those groups and I think people would be quite interested to know that we provide about 40% of our services to the expats that live here and about 60% of our services to the travelers. So, we’re here for everyone, if you’re an Australian, if you’re an Australian passport holder, then we’re here to look after you.

What are the main things that you are asked help for from tourists?

Matt: Yes, it’s a good one and this changes on a day-to-day basis, obviously passport is a big one and particularly tourists going swimming and forgetting their passports in their pocket or putting their washing in and forgetting that their passport is there, that’s a big one for us because you need a valid travel Document to be able to get back to Australia or to go somewhere else in your travel. So, helping people with their passports or even with their passports expire, that’s another big one that we help people with. The other major area is on what we call again Consular assistance, so that’s when you are sick overseas and you maybe need to go to hospital and you don’t understand the processes there, you maybe need to be in touch with your family. These are things that we can assist you with. Unfortunately, we have a number of Australians that die overseas every year as well, we’re here to be able to help the families to navigate that process to be able to get their loved ones back to Australia as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Then, there’s also Australians that maybe go down to Patong and get into some trouble down there as well and we’re also here to assist them, so if you’re arrested or if you get into an accident, you have trouble with the law, then we can help you navigate that process, it’s important to know that we can’t get you out of those situations, but what we can do is we can give you the tools to be able to work your way through it. So, for example, if you get arrested, we can provide you with a list of local lawyers who potentially speak English and Thai and can help you go through the process there. So, it’s quite a range of services that we provide and we really are there just to ensure that Australians can help themselves when they get into a situation here in Thailand.

What things can you not do or help within your role as Consulate General?

Matt: So, the key thing to understand is that Australians are subject to Thai law when they’re in Thailand, we can’t get you out of legal problems, we can’t get you out of jail, we also can’t issue visas, we can’t issue visas to Australia. We also can’t extend your Visa if you’ve got a problem with your Visa here in Thailand. We’re also unable to provide legal advice, I think people come to us and because we understand the system here, they want us to be able to give them an estimate on how long things will take to work through the system. Unfortunately, we’re unable to do that, but what we can do is we can provide you with contacts, so that you can speak to a lawyer, you can speak to an expert in these matters who can actually inform you of those things. So, while there are a range of things that we can’t do, we will always try to assist an Australian in need, we’ll always try to point them in the right direction, and if that doesn’t work, you can always come back to us and we can work on a strategy to get you the help that you need.

What are some of the top attractions and things to do in Phuket for Australians?

Matt: I came to Phuket first as a tourist, so I know what people love about Phuket and I’m so glad to be posted here now. So, my top tip is to go to Phuket old town. If you think you know Thai food, then you have no idea until you actually get to try it here in Phuket old town. Southern Thai food is something unlike what we get back in Australia we think of Thai food, but beyond that, it’s got beautiful architecture, it’s got beautiful street art and to be able to spend an afternoon wandering around there to go to The Walking Street, the markets, it’s absolutely incredible, and it’s the top thing that I do when people come and visit me. And otherwise I think Phuket got some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I find I love getting up early in the morning going for a great walk on Kamala Beach or down in Rawai as well, I mean it’s got some of the best walking trails anywhere in Southeast Asia and it’s just such an amazing thing to do to get out there, see people going about their morning routines and to just see the sunrise over the island here, it’s absolutely amazing.

What are some of the top tips and advice that you can give to Australian tourists coming to Phuket?

Matt: Well, I don’t think we have enough time to answer all of them, but I think there’s some really good tips that we can get from that. First of all, travel advice page called, my top tip is if you can’t ride a motorbike back in Australia, you can’t ride a motorbike here in Thailand, it’s not an ability you just suddenly pick up when you get on the plane in Sydney. Another thing is if you’re going to ride a motorbike as a passenger or as the rider themselves, wear a helmet, we see far too many motorbike accidents here and often they’re preventable and some of the worst injuries are preventable if you wear a helmet. So, go ahead wear that helmet when you’re on a bike. The other thing that I really recommend is to get travel insurance, we don’t know what’s going to happen on our travels, we don’t know what incidents or issues are going to happen and even the best prepared people can come across issues, so get that travel insurance before you get on the plane, and even while you’re here, if you’ve forgotten to get it, there are companies out there that can get you travel insurance Midway through a trip, so definitely think about it. Thanks very much, I’m looking forward to meeting you when you’re in Phuket, hopefully for the right reasons, but I hope everyone has a great time when they visit you.

So, that was awesome Matt Barkley the Australian Consul-General. So, if you’re Australian and you do need help; hopefully you don’t, then this is a place to come and they will look after you, because they are awesome. A big Thank you to Matt and a big thank you The Australian Consulate-General Phuket team.