Many Thai food dishes have been voted in the world’s top 50 dishes such as Tom Yum Kung Spicy prawn soup, Pad Thai noodles, Som Tam Papaya Salad, Massaman Curry, Green Curry, Chicken Fried Rice, and Mu Nam Tok or spicy minced pork salad.
Each Thailand region has its own traditional dishes such as the Chaing Mai sausage which is one of the most fragrant sausages in the world, and very spicy too. Phuket also has some traditional dishes, BUT the difference with Phuket food is the vast influences it has had in its history with regards to food, thus making Phuket a hot pot of different flavors and different styles.
Jay Leshark headed off into Phuket’s capital city, Phuket Town on A Chef’s Tour. The lunchtime Phuket food tour took Jay on an experience to discover the secrets behind the Phuket food flavors and restaurant spots known only to Phuket locals.
As mentioned before, Phuket Food is very diverse and A Chef’s Tour in Phuket takes you on a food journey of all the different styles and flavors and influences that have shaped the dishes in Phuket as well as getting a personal tour of Phuket’s capital, Phuket City and seeing some of the sights and sounds of this stunning city with its long and interesting history.
Starting in the largest fresh market in Phuket Town, the Phuket food experience takes you first to look at the stunning fresh food as well as some not-so-fresh. There are dried fish and ships, fermented all sorts, as well as pastes to make any curry, and of course, the not-so-pleasant smelling shrimp paste that seems to be in every Thai dish.
They do say that some of the best foods are always found in and around the fresh markets in any country and Phuket is no different as the first stop on the tour takes you to a pork noodle shop in the comer of the fresh market.
From there the food experience just keeps simmering as you get to walk around the stunning Sino Portuguese buildings of Phuket Town while getting a history of each restaurant that you visit. From the classic full flavor pork noodle soup with pig ear, intestines, liver, and blood, to the Massaman Curry and homemade roti, hand-rolled Hokian style fresh rolls, Thai style crepes cooked on charcoal, Burmese curry with wood fire Naam bread, Hokkien noodles with shrimp broth and then finally the classic sweet Thai desserts from a beautiful dessert shop. Most of these are family-run restaurants and the whole family is involved.
Here is the full list of restaurants that were visited in the latest 5-Star Marine YouTube Video
- Koyjub pa mai
- Arun Pochana
- Lock tian local food court
- Apong Mea Sunee
- Mingalar coffee shop
- Ko Yoon Hokkien noodle
- Prem dessert bar.
About A Chef’s Tour
A Chef’s Tour was started with one simple aim: to create and curate food experiences good enough for chefs.
After traveling the world over, they became bored with the same mediocre food tours. They wanted a tour that helped them truly understand regional food, its history, and its ingredients. A tour that pushed their limits and didn’t pander to western palates.
If you want to book this tour from A Chefs Tour here is the link to the Phuket Old Town Tour – www.achefstour.com/tour/phuket-old-town-food-tour
The Phuket high season is coming and many of the islands surrounding Phuket are reopening after being closed for the Thailand low season. One of the most anticipated openings is that of Maya Bay in Phi Phi which will be reopening on the 1st of October 2022.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand IF not the world. The beach was featured in the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio which was filmed over 20 years ago. It was closed on the 1st of August to give the Thailand National Park Authorities time to check and assess the last few month’s effects of tourists being allowed back on the beach.
Many of the other islands around Phuket and Krabi are opening on the 15th of October 2022. These include the stunning Similan Islands.
The Similan archipelago consists of eleven beautiful islands, and The Andaman Sea around the islands is one of the best-kept secrets of Thailand. The crystal-clear blue water is filled with marine life, which makes spotting, sharks, barracudas, triggerfish, and various tropical fish not a problem at all. It has some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world.
Also opening up on the 15th of October are the Surin islands. The Surin Islands are an archipelago of five islands and are very popular for their awesome coral gardens and fine white sandy beaches. The Surin Islands are one of the most famous diving and marine life viewing sites in the world, and arguably the best in Thailand.
5 Star Marine Phuket is also opening up some of its tours which it has put on hold during the Phuket low Season, so back open from the 15th of October are the tours to Koh Ha and Koh Rock. These two islands combine stunning water clarity with a diverse range of colorful marine life and corals and therefore offer some of the best snorkeling opportunities you can find. (And they are number one on my list of Phuket Islands to visit)
Also opening up are the Private Phuket Tours to Koh Lip, famous for its white powdery sand beaches and coral-rich turquoise waters, and the Koh Mook 3 day 2-night tour which also includes Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan, and the stunning Emerald cave.
With many Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, and Phang Nga islands opening up and some amazing private Phuket boat tours from 5 Star Marine Phuket coming back, it is looking like after 2 years of Covid-19 this coming high season is going to be fantastic.
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand? New tourist visa rules, plus a brand-new café opening in Phuket and 5 Star Marine Phuket has a brand-new Phuket weatherman (kind of). All this is discussed in this month’s Breaking Phuket News by the owner of 5 Star Marine Phuket Shaun Stenning and YouTube host Jay Leshark, all while drinking coffee at the brand-new café “Next Door” to the 5 Star Marine towers.
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand?
Are you planning a trip to Thailand in the near future? If so, good news for you and good news for anyone working in the tourism industry, Thailand has decided to extend the stay period for those who enter Thailand on a Visa On Arrival. Starting on October 1st, 2022, Thailand CCSA has announced that the Visa extension stay period will be extended from 30 days to 45 days.
“We are looking to extending their stay, This will help boost tourist spending, revive the economy and reduce impact from the coronavirus pandemic.”A CCSA official said.
But Who can take advantage of these new rules?
The Visa extension rule will allow tourists from 64 different countries to come into Thailand without applying for a visa before they arrive. Which countries are on the list? please see below the full list:
The new visa extension is all part of the Thailand government’s efforts to increase economic recovery post-pandemic as it looks to gain 8-10 million foreign arrivals this year. This was the figure reported in The Bangkok Post.
In August, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said some 1.07 million foreign tourists had entered Thailand in July, which is the first time that monthly arrivals have exceeded 1 million since the pandemic.
But even better news for travelers from Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, as you will receive permission to stay in Thailand for up to 90 days under Visa Exemption.
New Coffee Shop open in Phuket
Always wanted a have a coffee overlooking the 5-Star Marine Towers, well now you can. The Next-Door Café has opened right next door to 5 Star Marine offices, so when you come on a 5 Star marine private boat tour you can grab a freshly brewed coffee or a snack before you go.
And finally, 5 Star Marine has a brand-new Phuket Weather Station that can accurately tell you what the weather is doing live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new station has been in creation for many years using NASA scientists to help with the hard stuff, hence why their rocket launch for Artemis I was delayed. Many people may say it’s just a coconut on a string, and well to be honest they might be right.
Here is the full list of countries that can get the NEW 45 days Visa on Arrival.
12 Czech Republic
19 Hong Kong
42 New Zealand
51 San Marino
53 Slovak Republic
55 South Africa
61 United Arab Emirates
62 United Kingdom
63 United States
There are many things to do in Phuket and as we are in low season, rainy season, or green season we thought we would show you a few things you can do in Phuket when it’s raining.
Of course, don’t forget that you can still come on a 5 Star marine tour to Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, Phi Phi, or any of our trips. In fact, Phang Nga Bay is stunning in the rain.
1st stop was a trip to the Aquaria Aquarium located in the center of Phuket beneath Central Phuket Floresta. Aquaria is the best aquarium in Phuket and the biggest in Thailand. The aquarium takes you on a magical underwater journey through the wonders of the ocean and the mysteries of the rivers. There are over 25,000 animals and you can also interact with some of them.
Next to Aquaria Aquarium is Happy Kids Club, which is a high-quality and safe indoor children’s playground where kids connect through play, fun, and educational activities as well as special celebrations. Happy Kids Club also offers both Thai and western workshop activities. They cater to Babies right up to 12-year-old.
The cinema experience in Phuket at SFX Cinema is a must for everyone. Although top tip, make sure you take warm clothes as they have their aircon set on “South Pole”. There are three cinemas in Phuket, one at Central Festival, one at Jungceylon shopping mall in Patong and a brand new SFX Cinema at the new Robinson’s Shopping mall in Talang. All the blockbuster movies are in English and Thai.
If you like to bounce and have a fun indoor adventure then Village Adventure at Blue Tree Phuket is a great place for kids of all ages. Adventure Village is an indoor family entertainment center, with a commitment to bringing fun to everyone. The park includes an incredible wide range of entertainment options including trampoline arena, foam pit, zip line, donut slide, fun slide, roller skating, net climbing, pirate ship playground, Lego zone, carousels and more. Adventure Village brings fun to a new level.
And finally, don’t forget that even when it’s raining you can still enjoy an amazing 5-Star Marine Private Boat Tour. In fact, as I said at the start if this, we often tell people that Phang Nga Bay in the rain is beautiful, and of course, we live in the tropics, so even if it’s raining first thing in the morning then chances are it will not be raining later in the day and in the same way, just because it might be raining in Patong, doesn’t mean it’s raining in Phang Nga or Phi Phi.
So rain or shine there are many things to do in Phuket after you have had a fantastic Private Tour with 5 Star Marine.
On the 1st of August, Maya Bay Phi Phi will close to give the Thailand National Park Authorities time to check and assess the last few month’s effects of tourists being allowed back on the beach.
Jay Leshark and his kids headed down to Maya Bay with Tour Guide Charlie from 5 Star Marine Phuket on the 31st of July 2022, to get the last walk on the sand before it closes for a few months.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand IF not the world. The beach was featured in the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio which was filmed over 20 years ago.
Maya Bay Beach was closed for over 2 years by the Thai Government to help the ecosystem recover as it had become ruined by over-tourism. It reopened in January 2022 with new rules and regulations that helped to manage the tourists and how they access the bay.
Maya bay become worldwide known after the 2000 film “The Beach” which was an adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel by Alex Garland.
There was some controversy during the making of the film, with the production team accused of landscaping some of the beach and removing some of the coconut trees to make it more like the descriptions in the book.
The bay reopened on 1st January 2022 with the new restrictions in place to manage the thousands of tourists that visit Maya Bay each year. Measures were put in place to protect the local ecosystems and these included, not allowing boats to close into the bay and drop anchor, but they now had to go around to the back of the bay and drop off guests at a newly built pier and stairs.
The numbers of guests visiting each day was also restricted as well as not allowing anyone to swim in the waters or even go too deep into the waters. These changes had made a difference, and when YouTube host Jay Leshark and Tour Guide Alex from 5 Star Marine Phuket, visited Maya Bay back in June, they saw baby reef sharks right next to the beach, you can see that video here:
Is the closing of Maya Bay a good thing? Very simply – YES it is!
If you still wish to visit Maya Bay then our tours do still head down to Phi Phi, and you can see the bay from a distance, and then head to visit the stunning Pileh Lagoon, or check out the monkeys on Monkey beach.
You can book these tours here:
What’s Open in and around Phuket
In the Phuket News today we find out what Islands around Phuket are open and which islands are closed or closing. Shaun the founder of 5 Star Marine Phuket also talks about the new Phuket Waterpark Andamanda Phuket and gives you an update on Phuket Charity work that is being done by Living Waters Phuket.
The biggest news is that Maya Bay, Phi Phi, one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand IF not the world is closed from the 1st August 2022.
Maya Bay Beach was closed for over 2 years by the Thai Government to help the environment as it had become ruined by over tourism and closing it allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of thousands of visitors each day
It reopened in January 2022 with new rules and regulations that help to manage the tourists and how they access the bay.
Other islands around Phuket that are currently closed are:
- Surin Islands which are an archipelago of five islands in the Andaman Sea, 60 km from the Thai mainland and part of the Phang Nga Province.
- Similan islands which are also part of Phang Nga province and also an archipelago is closed as normal for 6 months of the year, May 1 to October 31 each year, to help preserve the nature
- Koh Haa and Koh Rock which are some of the best scuba diving spots in Thailand. Located within the Koh Lanta Marine Park, Andaman Sea, Krabi Province are also closed from May to October
Our tours to Phi Phi Islands, and Phang Nga Bay to see James Bond Island are all still running as well as our tours to the awesome Khai Islands, coral islands are all open.
What’s open in Phuket right now?
The brand new Andamanda Phuket, which opened in June this year is arguably Phuket’s only real waterpark, although Splash Jungle up in Mai Khao is a waterpark, but not on the scale of this brand-new feature to Phuket. Blue Tree Phuket, has also been described as a waterpark, but that is really an activity lagoon with a host of different activities to do, it does have Thailand’s longest Superfly (slip and slide).
So, there you have it. What’s open and what’s not here in Phuket
Please take a minute to check out the amazing work done by Living Waters Phuket.
5 Star Marine is extremely honored to have once again been given a ‘Travelers’ Choice Award’ for 2022; which recognizes businesses that consistently deliver great service.
Shaun Stenning, CEO of 5 Star Marine commented: “We feel extremely grateful to receive this achievement from Tripadvisor for the 2nd year in a row. It gives us all at 5 Star Marine a sense of pride to know that our customers are consistently delighted with the whole experience they get with us.” He added thanks to his team also. “We sincerely thank all our wonderful guests for their continued support throughout the last few years, and of course our crew and staff for their dedication, hard work and continued efforts.”
This award makes 5 Star Marine part of an exclusive group, ranking among the top 10% of listings on Tripadvisor. It highlights only the top companies who consistently manage to deliver the very highest levels of customer satisfaction for their experiences. With luxury speedboat day and multi-night bespoke and private trips, 5 Star Marine is delighted to have continued to earn top guest reviews.
As the top 10% of businesses on Tripadvisor for two years in a row, 5 Star Marine is now celebrating being the ‘best of the best for ‘things to do in Phuket. Their team of dedicated and experienced crew, captains, and tour guides ensure that each and every trip is customized to their guests, working together to find the perfect itinerary to make each experience a memorable one.
As challenging as the past few years have been, 5 Star Marine has managed to maintain their consistently high service levels to ensure all of their welcomed speedboat guests received a truly 5-star experience.
“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travelers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Travelers’ Choice winners is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you’ve taken to meet travelers’ new demands. You’ve adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity.”
Maya Bay is due to close again on the 1st of August 2022 for 2 months. This is part of the National Parks revised plan to maintain the newly restored marine environment. This closure is in line with the closure of other National Parks, for example, the Similan and Surin National Park areas and the Koh Ha and Koh Rok National Park areas.
While Maya Bay will be closed to walk on, sightseeing, swimming, and taking photos from behind the roped line will continue to be available. These are the exact same rules that were instigated during the multi-year closure.
Here at 5 Star Marine we fully support the sustainable nature of closing the park. While some visitors will be sad to realize they can not walk on the iconic beach, it is for the long-term health of the Bay.
Prior to the initial closure a few years ago Maya Bay had a significant amount of reef damage and the Marine Life was scarce to nonexistent. Since the closure the reef has started to restore, Marine Life has come back in abundance and Maya Bay is now the home to some reef sharks.
If you are visiting Phi Phi during the closure period you can still visit the Iconic Pileh Lagoon, Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, Bamboo Island, Camel Rock, Phi Phi Don, and more. While Phi Phi is well known for Maya Bay it is not all it has to offer.
In the latest Breaking Thailand News, as of the 1st of July 2022, the national mask mandate was lifted and the wearing of masks in most places has been dropped.
In our latest YouTube video Shaun Stenning the founder of 5 Star Marine Phuket and the host of the 5 Star Marine YouTube Channel Jay Leshark, discuss this and then go out and about Phuket to find out what people on the street know about the NEW mask rules.
Why the relaxation?
The relaxation is in line with the fact that over the past few weeks there has been a steady decline in the number of new COVID infections as well as the decline in severe cases and fatalities, which enables the people of Thailand to start to resume a life close to how it was back in 2019.
So, no more masks?
Well, not 100% no more masks, and the Ministry of Public Health recommends that people consider the benefits of wearing them, which can reduce the risks of contracting COVID-19 or other respiratory diseases when they are in a crowded venue.
Regarding mask-wearing in Thailand:
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) recommends that people with underlying conditions, the elderly and pregnant women who have yet to get boosters to keep wearing masks. Those who are healthy can discard the mask when alone, exercising, eating, drinking, or in an open space where social distancing can be practiced, the DDC said.
Due to the decline of COVID-19 cases and fatalities, there has also been a relaxation in other restrictions, the main one for Phuket being the revocation of the “Thailand Pass” requirement for international arrivals effective July 1, which will have huge benefits for Phuket being it so heavily dependent on travel and tourism.
All in all, this is all fantastic news for Thailand
The Wet Season (also known as the Low Season or Green Season) starts in Phuket around May each year and continues through to the end of October. The signal of the change of seasons in Phuket is when the wind changes.
During our High Season or Dry Season, the wind blows from the East, during our Low Season or Wet Season the wind blows from the West. The West blowing winds brings more rain, monsoons, and unpredictable weather conditions.
Does It Rain All Day In Wet Season?
One of the biggest questions we see online and from our emails is whether it rains all day during the Wet Season. The reality is that it does not. We may have a passing shower or a storm for a day, but it is not raining all day every day. In addition to that, it can be raining on one part of Phuket and not another.
We live in a Tropical Climate, so the showers are generally passing and isolated.
Is It Safe To Go On A Private Boat In Wet Season?
It is very rare that we would need to cancel a tour in Wet Season. As I write this post right now we have low wind, blue skies, and calm seas. It’s the end of June and we feel as if this weather is going to continue for at least another week.
Due to the season though we always recommend to our customers to book the earliest available date in your holiday to go out on tour, so that we can then advise if the weather is not good to go another day.
During Wet Season we will time your tours a little differently to High Season. The high season is a great time to do sunset tours, whereas the low season is a great time to do early morning departures.
What Destinations Are Open In Wet Season?
Destinations like Koh Rok, Koh Ha, and Similan are closed during the wet season for coral rejuvenation as well as due to the rougher sea conditions on the way to these destinations.
Summary: If you are planning a trip during the wet season, feel free to contact us and let us help advise you on the best destinations and the best day and time to get there.