Maya Bay Phi Phi Island – The Most Famous Beach in Thailand

Maya Bay, Phi Phi is one of the best beaches in Thailand IF not the world, and 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 environment as it had become ruined by over-tourism, and it reopened in January 2022 with new rules and regulations that help to manage the tourists and how they access the bay.

Host of 5 Star Marine YouTube Channel Jay Leshark with 5 Star Marine Guide Alex head to Maya Bay before it closes again in August for another few months, and see what it is like and how the new management of Maya Bay works and look for Black Tip Reef Sharks that since the closure has returned to the bay.

Maya Bay, Thailand with its towering limestone cliffs, clear waters, coral reefs, and white sandy beach, is one of the most beautiful locations in Thailand. The main beach on Maya Bay is about 200 meters long, with soft white sand and exquisitely wonderful Corals, in fact, the whole bay is one big beautiful Coral Reef.

Although small in size just 200 meters long and 15 meters wide — the bay has drawn global attention since it featured in the Hollywood movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, filmed there in 1999 and released in 2000.

The Beach movie was directed by Danny Boyle and was based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland. It was not a huge hit at the box office and Leonardo DiCaprio who played Richard, a young American seeking adventure, was actually nominated for a Raspberry award for the worst actor the year the movie was released. He lost to John Travolta as Terl from Battlefield Earth and as Russ Richards in Lucky Numbers.

Here’s a fact: Ewan McGregor was cast as the main character of The Beach, before leaving due to disputes with the director.

Maya Bay will be closing again on the 1st August 2022 for 2 months for the local authorities to do some research on how the opening has affected the bay and if the restrictors that they have put into place are working to help the environment.

Who Is Shaun Stenning Founder Of 5 Star Marine

Shaun Stenning moved to Thailand in the early 2000’s after successfully exiting a business in Sydney, Australia. After moving to Thailand he based himself in Phuket, Thailand right on Bangtao Beach.

During the first 6 months that Shaun was in Phuket, he started exploring the islands by hiring private boats from beach vendors. Shaun Stenning instantly fell in love with the islands, snorkeling, and boating, and started researching the market.

Shaun did not have any real boating experience. In his earlier days, he used to Ski on the Murray River and owned a Jet Ski while in Australia, but he did not have experience operating a large-scale Private Boat Charter business.

Prior to investing in his first boat, Shaun Stenning rented over 1,000 private boats for himself, friends, family, and clients. In this process, Shaun discovered what he wanted in a boat he was going to purchase.

This led Shaun to his first-ever boat purchase which was Lucus 1. This was a 39-foot private speedboat. In the early days of owning Lucus 1, Shaun Stenning went on every single private tour training his team and staff on how he wanted his private charter business to operate.

After successfully operating Lucus 1 and learning more about the private boat business in Phuket Shaun purchased Lucus 2. This was his first step into operating multiple boats on a single day that he owned.

Shaun Stenning found that he loved doing this and as such moved towards purchasing, renovating, and operating more Private Boats. This is where 5 Star Marine now operates and is the business that Shaun Stenning loves the most out of the assets in his portfolio.

You will meet Shaun and his wife Lisa on the pier at departure and return from your tour and Shaun still regularly goes out on tour with his crew.

Coconut Island: The Village Coconut Island

Located just minutes from mainland Phuket, The Village – Coconut Island is the perfect getaway holiday destination for overseas tourists and locals like Jay Leshark and his family, and they headed over to where it all started for Jay 15 years ago

After working for Sunsail Watersports Holidays teaching sailing in Turkey, Greece and Antigua Jay got a phone call back in 2007 from the owner of The Village, Coconut Island and then Jay arrived in Phuket to work at The Village in sales and marketing manager for their luxury villas.

Located on the idyllic Coconut Island or “Koh Maprao” as it is known in Thai, The Village offers true luxury and seclusion just 500m off the coast of Phuket, Thailand.

Set in a stunning position in Phang Nga Bay, the gateway to some of Thailand’s most beautiful beaches, islands, and scenery.

Jay and the kids took the short boat trip on their 24-hour water taxi service which whisked them to The Village, Coconut Island.

Discovered initially by shipwrecked explorers hundreds of years ago, Coconut Island has always retained it’s sense of mystery and adventure, and all of the elements of its resort are designed to reflect this.

They offer Jacuzzi suites, Grand Villas, and Pool Villas all have been built to cater for couples, families, groups and singles with all of the options encapsulating the privacy and luxury that has come to define The Village, Coconut Island.

While Jay was on Coconut Island, he went to visit the local village which had suffered like many other small local Thai villages, during the COVID pandemic. It was an opportunity for Jay to see the amazing work that Living Waters Phuket has done for many of the local people not only living in Phuket but also for those living in islands around Phuket.

Living Waters Phuket helped to provide portable water for 300 students at the Coconut Island School, as well as critical equipment for the school’s kitchen including a fridge, freezer, and fans.

Check out the video to see the adventures on Coconut Island as well as a walk around the local village on the island and a look into the school.

Who are Living Waters?

Living Waters Phuket is dedicated to building brighter futures for disadvantaged communities across Thailand.

They help by awarding financial grants which assist in funding essential relief projects (including sustainable food security, education requirements, renewable energy, and environmental issues) in Phuket, Koh Samui, and across Thailand.

Thailand Pass Update – May 2022

Breaking News:

The Thailand Pass (for international travelers wishing to enter Thailand) has moved from an approval process to a simple registration process. On May 20th the CCSA (Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration) held a meeting to discuss the latest entry rules. You can watch the latest update here, plus we have outlined the changes below for ease.

The New Registration Process:

For international arrivals from June 1st 2022, the Thailand Pass has been eased significantly. So, when you submit your information, you will automatically get your QR code and approval to enter Thailand. Essentially it has moved from an approval system to a simple registration process only. For more information on this, you can visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand dedicated page.

Thailand Pass

What Is Different?

With the old version of the Thailand Pass, you had to go into the Thailand Pass system and submit more types of documentation. Then you would have to wait to be approved, or otherwise to enter Thailand. It was an approval system vs the new Thailand Pass registration process.

What Information To Submit:

The Thailand Pass has been updated and streamlined in the process. The rules are simple, you only need to show your vaccination status and proof of travel insurance. Please note, that for the Thailand Pass you are not required to be vaccinated, but you do need to declare your vaccination status. You can apply here for the new Thailand Pass.

Thailand Pass

Streamlined Entry Into Thailand:

So that’s basically it; just enter your vaccination status and proof of travel insurance and your Thailand Pass will be registered, a QR code is given automatically and you can enter Thailand. It really did just get that simple. We are happy to say that this is the end of the more complicated Thailand Pass, although we foresee you will need to pre-register your information to be able to travel into Thailand for the next couple of months; then it could possibly be scrapped altogether.

Why Come To Thailand Now?

It is now easier than ever to enter Thailand, so you get the chance to come on holiday here easily for the first post Pandemic (or even Endemic) low season. Phuket has so much to offer, a tropical paradise just waiting to be explored. There is also lots to see and do, with a good percentage of the island opened up; and with more tourists we expect even more restaurants, bars and tourist attractions to reopen their doors.

Keeping Up To Date:

5 Star Marine has been providing informative and up-to-date information on all aspects of entry rules, from the Thailand Pass updates right back to when they were giving information on the Sandbox schemes and entry measures, since around July 2021.

Holiday Inspiration:

5 Star Marine runs fully customized private tours on their luxury fleet of speedboats. Here’s some  inspiration you can plan with them for your upcoming Thailand adventure:

So, what are you waiting for? With the simple Thailand Pass now in place, we look forward to welcoming you to Phuket.

For bookings or Information:

www.5starmarinephuket.com

+66-93-720-6221

[email protected]

The Beach, Maya Bay Closing AGAIN and Other Phuket News and Weather MAY 2022

After a big reopening early in 2022, Krabi’s Maya Bay, at Phi Phi, is to temporarily close again on the 1st August for 2 months to allow time for the Thailand authorities to check the impact of the last few months of the bay being open, after allowing tourists back on to the beach, and also giving the bay time again to let the wildlife and environment breath.

Owner of 5 Star Marine Shaun Stenning and host of the 5 Star Marine YouTube Channel host Jay Leshark from Shark 13 Productions discuss the closure of Maya Bay as well as talk about other Phuket News stories and also talk about the Phuket Weather during the Low season, or Rainy season, or Green season. It has many names.

Maya Bay is the most notable “Beach” in the Phi Phi Island group, made famous by the 2000 film “The Beach’. The Beach is an adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle, from a screenplay by John Hodge, based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland. In the movie, Richard, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of an odd map that is rumored to lead to an island paradise. Accompanied by a few friends, he sets out to find it.

Since the reopening, almost 100,000 people have visited Maya Bay, bringing in over 20 million baht of income, according to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

Maya Bay’s 3-year closure was very successful at bringing back plant and animal species that had disappeared due to tourist overrun. The most notable animal to return to breed in the bay is the blacktip reef shark. In March, a park ranger told NPR that before the park closed, when there could be over 6,000 tourists a day, no one would ever think of seeing the local sharks. He said now, on a good day, 160 sharks can be seen.

Phi Phi Island & Maya Bay Private Boat Tour

Enjoy 5 Star Marine’s Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour, where you and your select group of friends can experience the ultimate and iconic scenery on your very own luxury day trip. Discover this world-famous location in style, onboard a 5 Star Marine VIP and upgraded speedboat.

Maya Bay

The renowned Bay reopened to day trippers earlier this year, on 1st Jan, after being completely closed to tourists for almost 3 ½ years (by order of The Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation).

However, for purposes of natural rehabilitation, Maya Bay will once again close for 2 months from August this year. However, fear not – this does not mean you cannot enjoy Maya Bay on your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour. As per the original closure period, you can still take in the beauty of the Bay from our private speedboats, yet you simply cannot walk on the actual beach during this short rehabilitation time.

Maya Bay still remains one of the most iconic areas you should visit on your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour; whether the beach is open to walk on or not.

5 Star Marine will ensure that you enjoy the beauty of Maya Bay, whilst practicing responsible tourism to help keep the area protected and allow it to continue regenerating; all this can be part of your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour.

The Marine Park have worked tirelessly to get Maya Bay back to its previous paradise condition; so, we ensure that our tours adhere to the new rules and help demonstrate respectful tourism.

Phi Phi Islands Private Tour Highlights

  • Start your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour by heading to Maya Bay at Phi Phi Ley, where you can (August / September 2022) experience this beautiful and famous cove from the comfort of your 5 Star Marine speedboat.
  • Cruise around to Loh Samah Bay; a small bay on the other side of Maya Bay which offers some beautiful marine life and makes for a good snorkelling stop.
  • Enter into Pileh Lagoon to swim in the clear turquoise waters. Another famous stop on your Phi Phi Private Tour as this lagoon also featured in “The Beach” when Leonardo DiCaprio dived off into the stunning aquamarine waters.
  • Explore Small Monkey Beach, where you can see these cheeky little creatures sitting on the karst rocks and relaxing on the beach.
  • Your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour could take you to Wong Long Bay, which we can still access despite the narrow entrance.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch, including Thai sharing dishes that we can arrange for you (at an additional charge), on a sandy cove with shallow bay at Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don.
  • Experience snorkelling at Ao Nuoi and discover rich corals and marine life together with a picturesque beach setting.
  • Complete your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour by taking in the beauty of Bamboo Island – a stunning setting, with shallow clear blue waters and a picturesque beach. Enjoy some snorkelling in this area and you might even spot a black tip reef shark.

Phi Phi Islands Private Tour Inclusions:

private-boat-charter-inclusions

Our experienced captains and crew know just how to miss the crowds on your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour, so you can sit back and relax knowing you are in safe and capable hands.

During your tour you will get the chance to enjoy the stunning coral reefs around Phi Phi which are bursting with colourful marine life, as well as experiencing the natural beauty of the area. Take your time swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear tropical lagoons as our captains guide you around the area.

To book your Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour:

Shaun Stenning

+66 (0) 93720 6221

www.5starmarinephuket.com

[email protected]

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Rustic And Blue By The Sea

Rustic and Blue by the Sea is one of Phuket’s top restaurants and Jay Leshark heads down to Rawai to check out the food and chat with the awesome owner K.Meen and gets to try the Pumpkin gnocchi.

Rustic And Blue By The Sea

Rustic and Blue by the Sea is set on a hillside in Rawai Phuket, and has stunning sea views overlooking the very South of Phuket. Rawai Beach can be seen from the restaurant as can all the Long Tail Fishing boats that come in daily with their fresh catch.

Rawai and in fact the whole of the South of Phuket is quickly becoming the food capital of Phuket, with a host of new and exciting artisan restaurants opening up. It started a few years ago when RAW and Vegan food started to gain popularity and since then vegan cafes and restaurants have popped up all over Phuket, but the South is where the main focus is.

But it’s not just vegan food that is a big hit in Rawai, artisan coffee shops and cafes are everywhere, and with the easing of the laws on cannabis products, this is now becoming the next growing food and drink trend in Phuket.

Rustic and Blue by the Sea

Opened in 2014 Rustic and Blue by the Sea works closely with local Phuket farmers and producers and brings nourishment to the body and soul, and brings friends, family, and people together.

Whether it’s a brunch or dinner party, or casual catch-up with mates, the Rustic and Blue by the Sea menu has food for everyone and every occasion.

Reservations are encouraged but are not required.

Phone number 0612108548 

Line ID: 0612108548

Whatsapp: 0612108548

Website – www.rusticandblue.com/by-the-sea

There are many other interesting things to do in Rawai, besides relaxing at Rustic and Blue by the Sea.

  • Phromthep Cape offers excellent views of Phuket and the Andaman Sea
  • Rawai Park offers a small waterpark, a semi-indoor playground, and an air-conditioned kids’ club. A great place for young families.
  • The Phuket Orchid Farm is one of the largest nurseries on the island and has over 15,000 different species of flowers

 

 

Testing a Mini Scuba Tank with a Hand Pump That Lets You Dive for 10 Minutes The Scorkl Pro

Scorkl is a mini scuba device that can be pumped up by hand and it allows you to dive for up to 10 minutes. Well, that’s what the marketing words say.

SCORKL – Breathe underwater with TOTAL freedom

5 Star Marine YouTube host Jay Leshark spent 2 days testing the Scorkl at Blue Tree Phuket to see how easy it is to use.

The Scorkl is sold as a shallow diving kit that lets you breathe freely under the surface with no bulky scuba equipment to get in the way of your exploring. No scuba certification is required. The starter kit, which includes a hand pump, sells for around $500 USD The Scorkl cylinder is manufactured to the same specifications and manufacturing standards as a normal SCUBA cylinder. Scorkl is lightweight, portable, refillable via hand pump, and gives you up to 10min underwater.

They say the benefits are:

  • Compact, portable, and Lightweight
  • Breath underwater for up to 10 minutes
  • Refillable by hand pump

Watch the Video about this benefit……

Scuba diving can be very dangerous and although Snorkl makes diving more accessible, we do not recommend that anyone uses it unless they are trained.

More Than 1 Million Life Bag Donations Over 2 Years

5 Star Marine has dedicated over 2 years to packing, distributing, and donating of emergency food relief; giving their time and energy by providing continuous support to those in need throughout the Pandemic.

This devoted effort has now seen an estimated 1 million life bags go out to disadvantaged and underprivileged communities around Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Phang Nga, Koh Lipe, Koh Yao Islands, and further afield. Often strategically planned when areas were struck with major isolation or community lockdowns plus the previous lack of tourism due to entry restrictions.

Community Efforts and Preparing for the Road Ahead

In the last year efforts have escalated to meet the growing needs of the communities, often supplying over 1,000+ normal or super-sized life bags per day. These are filled with dried foods such as rice and noodles, canned fish, oils, sauces and household products and help to feed a family of 4 for up to 4 days.

With the ease of entry measures from 1st May, lower reported daily cases, and Thailand opening up more to international tourism, this immense community relief effort will now come to a natural close, after over 2 years. 5 Star Marine will be able to focus back on its core business as a private speedboat operator. The toned-down entry measures are helping more international travelers return, bringing essential tourists back to our tourism-dependent economy.

5 Star Marine has worked with countless people and organizations to make these food relief efforts such a success over the last 25 months. To name just a few let’s start with a shout out to Nando and Amy from Sutai Muay Thai who helped from the very beginning in early 2020 with a makeshift packing base and distribution aid from their gym in Surin, Phuket.

Community Efforts and Preparing for the Road Ahead

Heartfelt thanks to Nina and Pete who have been committed volunteer coordinators for the last year, after previously providing critical support during 2020 to the emergency food relief efforts.

Khun Zeera and her team at 5 Star Marine have responded time and time again to emergency calls to support those in urgent need, often helping community members who were too sick to leave their rooms, homes, or even beds.

Community Efforts and Preparing for the Road Ahead

Thank you to so many others including the Governor of Phuket, the Phuket Red Cross, Phuket Has Been Good To Us, Kru Heidi and Kru Remke from UWC Thailand, Headstart School, BIS, KIS, the Phuket Hotels Association, community packing pods across the island, everyone who has helped pack and distribute – the list could go on and on, but you know who you are and we thank each and every one of you for being part of this incredible community initiative which has literally saved lives across Thailand during the worst years of the Pandemic.

As this chapter draws to a close, 5 Star Marine are humbled that they, together with countless others, have helped thousands of people across Thailand whose lives have benefited from this generosity and commitment.

5 Star Marine remains committed to helping the community recover from the Pandemic and those efforts will continue through their foundation Living Waters Phuket.

Thank you again, one and all for your support and help. Now we will focus on looking forward with optimism, for brighter times ahead.

Krabi Private Tour

With a Krabi Private Tour onboard one of 5 Star Marine’s luxury private speedboats, you will get to experience the stunning beauty of Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos. Plus, you get to enjoy all of this at your own pace when you book a Krabi Private Tour.

The sheer natural beauty you encounter on a Krabi Private Tour is breathtaking. This area provides you with everything you could want from a day out. Indulge in a swim to cool off in an emerald green lagoon, try a spot of snorkeling, discover the white sandy, private beaches, take a hike or enjoy a 360o viewpoint and sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy.

Visit Ko Hong on your Krabi Private Tour; it sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland and boasts a remarkable lagoon which you enter through a narrow passageway after which you are greeted by the scenic and mesmerizing 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.

If you wish to pick up the pace a little, why not make your way around to a more recent addition to the island whilst on your own Krabi Private Tour. The breathtaking 360o Viewpoint has an impressive metal staircase structure that was just built-in in 2020. It gives panoramic 360o views of Krabi and the surrounding islands 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.

After enjoying these stunning panoramic seascapes, make your way to Railay Beach for a walk around, discover some caves or stop for a spot of lunch. Alternatively, we can arrange a private western or Thai menu lunch on the beach during your Krabi Private Tour; simply let us know and we can organize this. In the afternoon, you might want to enjoy some snorkeling at Chicken Island or explore the nearby Ko Poda beach.

The choice really is yours, because when you book a Krabi Private Tour with us you get to carve out your bespoke and unique itinerary with the help of our professional and knowledgeable guides. Enjoy your collaborated itinerary planning on the day, for a perfectly balanced experience.

Why Pick Our Krabi Private Tour?

With so much to see and do, the Krabi Private Tour is a perfect mix of sightseeing, adventure, snorkeling, and some of the best beaches in the area. 5 Star Marine are experts when it comes to the wide selection of islands and sightseeing spots around Krabi, and can sometimes get you to stunning locations with nobody else around.

Krabi Private Tour Inclusions

We like to look after all our guests, so you can sit back and relax knowing that your Krabi Private Tour will include the following:

private-boat-charter-inclusions

Explore the best destinations around Krabi in ultimate luxury, with your very own, bespoke Krabi Private Tour.

Contact us to book your Krabi Private Tour:

 

www.5starmarinephuket.com

+66937206221

[email protected]

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