What’s Left To Explore? Some Ideas for The Upcoming Christmas Break!

With travel looking like it will still be restricted in the upcoming Christmas break some of us are looking at what we can do to keep our kids entertained and maybe explore something that we have not seen before.

The good news is that in the December / January period we are past the Wet Season and into our Dry Season which means flat seas, clear water, sunny skies, and the opening of all of the national parks around the Phuket area.

As an owner of a Private Boat company, my recommendations are a little biased but they are based on firsthand experience.

Multi-Day Island Hopping Trip

Over the last past few weeks, we have done trips like this.  Where we pack onto the boat and head off exploring.  Booking accommodation last minute, jumping from island to island, and just living a free life on the sea.

The first trip we did was a 3 Day 2 Night trip that took us to Phi Phi, Krabi, Yao Yai, and beyond.  We had some adventurous customers on board so we went snorkeling, swimming, lagoon hopping, and even went and snorkeled with some reef sharks.

The second trip we did was a 3 Day 2 Night trip that took us to Koh Haa, Koh Rok, Koh Lipe, and Koh Lanta.  A truly stunning trip with some of the most amazing snorkeling that you have ever seen.  If you really want to find the untouched paradises this is the trip for you and it’s suitable for people of all ages.

Koh Haa / Koh Rok / Koh Lipe

Out past, Phi Phi is these 3 paradise islands.  Koh Haa is a beautiful spot for snorkeling where you have a high chance of seeing turtles and other amazing marine life.  The coral reefs are alive with color and marine life.  Do yourself a favor and while the international borders are restricted take a break out to Koh Haa.

Koh Rok is just 35 minutes past Koh Haa and again has the most amazing reef.  You will see heaps of Clown Fish and other amazing varieties.  What we love about Koh Rok is the colorful reef as well as the clear water.

Koh Lipe is a bit of a ride from Phuket, so take a few days to stay over while out there and explore things like 8 Mile Rock and the Black Beach.  See Whale Sharks and more at locations like this.  Truly an idealistic paradise.

Similan Islands / Surin Islands

With the change of season islands like Similan Island and Surin Island open up as possible destinations and are great places for relaxation, snorkeling, and exploration.  Similan is a set of islands and Surin is just a beautiful untouched paradise.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started on what you could be doing this Christmas holiday.  If you would like some custom recommendations just contact us and let us know what you’d like to experience and we will tailor something for you.

Can You Do Overnight Tours With 5 Star Marine?

 

I’ve had some interesting conversations over the past few weeks with customers about the types of tours that a private boat company like 5 Star Marine can do.

As a True Private Boat company, and what I mean by that is we cater only to the Private Boat Market, we are not a group tour boat offering you a private service, we have full flexibility on what we can offer.

For example, if you’d like to visit Phi Phi Island, do a day tour, stay the night and come back the next day we can do a 2-day 1-night tour.

Maybe you want to explore for longer?

Then we can head out past Phi Phi to Koh Lanta, Koh Rok, Koh Haa, Koh Lipe or beyond. All of these locations we have visited before and we can build 2, 3, 4 or even 5-day tours.

Each day we would go exploring, sightseeing, swimming, relaxing and at the end of the day find a hotel that suits your budget to stay the night.

These kinds of tours are invigorating and give you more time to explore places that normal tours do not go. This is truly the beauty of having a private boat and booking with a true Private Boat Company.

So, if you are thinking about getting away from Phuket for a few days chat with us about your options, what would work for you and the kind of experience you are looking for.

If you like remote, we even have a floating villa in the Mangroves of Phang Nga Bay completely away from everyone else.

As I said if you have an idea, or dream just reach out and we will work something out for you.

Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai Transfers

Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai Transfers

Our team were lucky enough to recently visit and stay at Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai as they are offering Post Covid specials which are simply spectacular.  The Santhiya Resort has been one of our dream places to visit and stay as we often do return Private Boat Transfers to the resort as well as Private Boat Excursions from the resort.

We were not disappointed by Santhiya Resort.  The infinity pool looking out into Phang Nga Bay and over to Phuket has to be the highlight of the entire resort.  Relaxing in the pool, having a quiet drink and watching the sunset on one of the most picturesque areas of Phuket cannot be missed.

Resort view

Also all rooms at the resort have fantastic views out into Phang Nga Bay and the rooms we stayed in all held spas on the balconies making for a nice touch.  The resort has some amazing wood work making it all have a very authentic Thai feel.

The beach that affronts Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai is always quiet.  It’s not an extremely well known tourist destination but it is fantastic for swimming and young children.  Lucus, our 7 year old, had a great time playing on the beach, chasing crabs and swimming in the calm seas.

Being a Private Boat company here in Phuket we are happy to offer the services of our boats and crew for anyone looking to get away from the mainland and have a break.  Santhiya are offering amazing deals right now.  Contact us to find out how we can offer you a Private Boat Transfer to Santhiya Resort or combine a day trip with a stop over at Santhiya Resort.

beach view
5 Star Marine view

Cheap Phi Phi Island Tours

Prior to providing Private Boat Tours to island sets like the Phi Phi Islands we were heavily involved in the resale and promotion of Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours.  The kind of tours where 35 to 50 people are on a boat and they quickly move from stop to stop.

As a reseller of these tours we were frequently changing providers as our clients often came back dissatisfied with the Phi Phi Island Group Tour.  Complaints we often received were:

  • Cheap Phi Phi Island ToursTravel Time – Due to the nature of a group tour the bus that transfers you to the pier has to stop at multiple hotels to pick up other guests. Sometimes those guests are late and you stuck waiting on a bus adding an extra 1hr each way onto your travel.
  • Boat – The quality of the boat is poor and has too many people on the boat for you to really enjoy the sights. Additionally when snorkeling it takes some time to get into the water as too many people are trying to get off at once.
  • Equipment – The equipment on the boat is faulty. Life jackets don’t close properly, masks leak, snorkels are broken, no fins are available.
  • Snorkelling – The area where they are snorkeling is too crowded as multiple boats with 35 – 50 people are in the same area and they keep getting kicked in the head.
  • Lunch – The buffet lunch is poor quality with the food luke warm and of a low quality.

These are just some of the complaints we heard and helped to solve.  Out of the frustration of sending customers to companies that really didn’t care about delivering quality experiences we created 5 Star Marine.

5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island

The 5 Star Marine team, boats and equipment are all high quality.  Our boats are some of the newest and best maintained on the water.  Our crew and guides are constantly receiving training and are instructed to avoid the crowds.

So while 5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island may be more expensive than Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours the difference in experience is not comparable.  Decide to make your Phi Phi Island trip memorable for all the right reasons and chat with the team at 5 Star Marine today.

You’ll be amazed at how affordable we are!

What Is A Traditional Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?

Often when we are discussing with potential clients a Private Boat Charter to the Phi Phi Islands we are asked what is a traditional Phi Phi Island tour.  Our answer is generally direct and maybe a little confusing for our guests.  You see, we say we don’t have a traditional Phi Phi Island tour, every single tour we run out to Phi Phi Island is unique, customised and tailored to the customers on the Private Boat.

As a Private Boat Charter company we encounter a wide range of guests.  We have guests who love snorkeling, guests who want to see reef sharks, guests who want to snorkel from the boat, guests who want to snorkel from the beach, guests who want to sightsee.

Camel Rock At Phi Phi Island

Due to the wide range of guests we have and the wide range of tours they wish to experience we build a custom program for every single guest.  When building that program for a Phi Phi Island tour we consider the guests desires, the sea conditions, the water clarity and the wind direction.

If the wind is coming from a certain direction it may make sea conditions more pleasant in different areas of Phi Phi Island.  So this is why every single time that we run a Private Charter Boat to Phi Phi Island we take a different course, we stop at different locations and we time the tour differently.

What Can You Expect From A Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?

Instead of giving an EXACT plan of what we will see and do at Phi Phi Island we allow our guides and captains to have complete flexibility on the day.  With that said there are a few things we can guarantee you’ll have the opportunity to experience.  Those things include 2 or more wonderful snorkeling spots, 1 or more great beaches for relaxing, 1 or more spots to view the local monkeys, 1 or more beautiful lagoons and a quiet spot for lunch.

Quiet Lunch Spot At Phi Phi Island

If you’d like to find out more about a Phi Phi Island tour, simply contact us and we’d happily discuss how we can customise a Private Boat Charter to Phi Phi Island for you.

What Is The Average Group Size On A Private Boat Tour In Phuket?

Often we are asked when we are out with clients what is the average group size we work with on our Private Boat. The answer is generally between 2 and 6 people. We find that generally our clients wish to explore the islands (like Phi Phi or James Bond) at there own pace, with there own space and the freedom to choose to stay, go or even sleepover if that’s what they want.

A true private boat like 5 Star Marine is a boat that is designed to be flexible to you, what you want and to ensure we deliver the best experience that you could possibly have on the day.

You want to stay longer on a beach no problems, you want to snorkel 4 times no problems, you don’t want to get wet, no problems.

Customized Private Boat Tours

There is literally nothing we cant do to customize our Private Boat Tours for you and this generally appeals to couples looking for something romantic, young families worried about kids getting tired or people who have visited Phuket before and just want to avoid the crowds and visit the best destinations at the best time.

So while our main Private Boat, 5 Star Marine Lucus 1 can hold up to 35 people we generally do not run the boat full and just create a luxurious space and environment for you and your family to enjoy the entire boat.

Are All Private Speedboats In Phuket The Same?

When I first came to Phuket over 11 years ago I hired a Private Speedboat to take me to Phi Phi Island and also on a separate day to James Bond Island. While the speedboat was ok (not amazing, but it didn’t sink) the tour was no different to a standard Group Tour, just done on a Private Speedboat.

Fast forward 11 years and with years of experiencing chartering, leasing, hiring and going on Private Boats in Phuket I’ve come to realize that when most tourists visiting Phuket ask an agent, tour desk or online operator for a Private Speedboat what they are really getting is a Group Tour boat, hired Private for the day.

This means your concept of arriving at destinations without the crowds, visiting remote spots, finding hidden gems are all pipe dreams. The captains of these group tour boats that are rented to go Private are not trained on how to avoid the crowds, devise routes that discover unique locations and generally give you a “True Private” experience.

For me, a true Private Boat Tour in Phuket experience is where I find beaches, snorkeling spots, lagoons, restaurants where there are very few people, that are probably not even on a brochure and are uniquely beautiful.

So, when you look at hiring a Private Speedboat in Phuket my answer to the question as it relates to this post is NO not all Private Speedboats are the same.

This is one of the reasons that 5 Star Marine is so popular and well reviewed. Our company designs programs and tours to suit the customers on the day, the conditions on the day and the tides on the day.

While we will provide an itinerary to you prior to booking, we will also advise you that this may be adjusted on the day as we visit and pass by locations that intrigue you. For example, yesterday we conducted a private tour of Hong Krabi, this tour included 7 stops at some absolutely stunning locations and each stop was completely private, no other boats.

When booking a Private Boat in Phuket we strongly advise that you ensure that the boat is a “True Private Boat” and not just a Group Tour boat that has been provided to your Privately for the day.

Because if it’s just a group tour boat, then you wont enjoy the tour as much and it wont be as memorable is if you take a true Private Boat like the 5 Star Marine boat here in Phuket.

Can I Do James Bond Island And Phi Phi Island In One Day?

When people who visit Phuket are short on time, they are on a short stay or it’s just one of many stops we are often asked if it’s possible to do James Bond and Phi Phi Island all in the same day.

The answer is simple, yes.

BUT, and there is a big but, you have to rent a Private Boat and experience both Islands from the comfort of your own Private Charter.

The reason being that if you a group tour company attempted to do both locations in one day they could not possibly do it. With up to 90 people on a group tour boat, they could not do each stop with 90 people going on and off the boat all in one day.

By taking a Private Speedboat like our 5 Star Marine Private Boat you will be able to complete both trips in one day as there are less people on the boat (just you and your family or friends) and we can design a program that specifically suits you.

This is a popular program that we have run with clients who visit Phuket only just once in there lifetime so they can see some of the most popular sites as well as some of the hidden gems. When you do both James Bond and Phi Phi in the same day with us, we will create a program that ensures you are not transiting too long on the boat.

Generally the programs we design only have a maximum of 20 minutes travel time between each of the islands. How is that possible?

Again, it’s easy for Private Boats like ours where we can design the program to break up the transit and also ensure you see some spectacular sites.

If you are looking to do both wonderful locations in one day, just contact us for more details.

What’s Best, Sunset, Sunrise Or Traditional Day Trip?

We are active members of many different forums in the Phuket area and often see visitors asking for trip recommendations and past visitors often reply with comments like “Go Early Too Miss the Crowds.”

Now this may seem like a good recommendation as this is how some  group tour companies market themselves. But it’s important to understand that it’s not necessary to go early to miss the crowds, like it’s also not necessary to go late.

A great private boat tour company can design a program which avoids the crowds at any time. For example the team here at 5 Star Marine design programs that leave anywhere from 6am to 2pm from the pier.

Why such a big range in private boat tour start times?

The answer is simple, we are designing programs that suit our customers needs and also the wind, sea and rain conditions that we see occurring on the day. As every single private boat tour we conduct here in Phuket is customised and designed to meet you, our customers needs, every single private boat tour is different.

Some tours dictate we leave early, some dictate we leave late. For example, right now we are in Low Season (it’s the rainy / monsoon season in Phuket from mid May to October) which means that we have high winds in the afternoon, starting from around 2pm. This suggests that if we have a route plan that goes out into the open season, we should suggest an earlier leaving time.

How Can You Know What Is Your Best Leaving Time?

Again the answer is simple. Ask an experienced private boat tour provider who cares more about your experience than your money.  When you are booking with the tour provider ask what wind, sea and rain conditions they are expecting for the next day. If they answer you without checking any apps, then probably don’t trust them, they just wanted your money.  Instead just message us and we’ll let you know even if you’re not booking with us.

Can You Still Go Island Hopping During Low (Wet) Season In Phuket

Anyone who has been in Phuket he last few days will have noticed that the season is starting to change. For the locals here, that is amazing news considering that our water supplies on the island were starting to run bare.

For Tourists though this can be concerning. If you had grand plans to visit Phi Phi Island, Raya Island or James Bond Island you may be wondering if that’s even possible right now.

The answer to the question is simple, YES you can still go island hopping but you need to be careful to select the right day, the right company and the right tour itinerary.

For example, during High Season when we run our private boat tours most of the time we suggest a later leave and spending sunset on a private beach. This is because typically in High Season we have very low wind in the afternoon, making it great conditions for being on the sea.

During Low Season though, we recommend a sunrise tour or a tour leave time around 7am or 8am because during Low Season we expect a high wind in the afternoon which makes traveling back from the islands a little bumpy and less fun.

This is just one example of how things can change in Low Season. The reality is that most companies in Phuket will go everyday of both High and Low Season as they want to make income.

Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket we care about making your Private Boat Charter a wonderful experience so we will only recommend going out on tour when the weather is right for your selected tour program.

If you’d like to know what we recommend for you, please get in contact with us!