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
With 5 Star Marine, you can hire one of our luxury VIP speedboats for an exclusive Phuket Private Charter. Take the chance to experience stunning seascapes, tropical islands and limestone karsts around Phuket and the surrounding islands on board your very own Private Charter.
Your Phuket Private Charter is completely flexible, so you can customize your day with the help of our expert crew and captains to get an experience that is absolutely perfect for you. After understanding your requirements, we are able to put together a suggested itinerary.
The choice really is yours with our custom Phuket Private Charter offering; because when you book with 5 Star Marine, you get to carve out your bespoke and unique itinerary and can enjoy your collaborated itinerary planning on the day, for a perfectly balanced experience. Our experienced crew might also discuss a few suggestions based on variables outside of our control such as the sea, wind condition, and tide on the actual day of your Phuket Private Charter trip.
On your Phuket Private Charter, you might select to explore hidden bays, canoe through caves, relax on deserted white beaches, experience exotic marine life in crystal clear waters or even adventure up to breathtakingly high viewpoints. When you book a Phuket Private Charter with 5 Star Marine, we are able to tailor a bespoke day trip or multi-night tour for you.
Phuket Private Charter Inspiration:
A few examples of tropical journeys you can make with 5 Star Marine on your own bespoke Phuket Private Charter include:
- Phang Nga Bay to visit the infamous James Bond Island
- Phi Phi, including getting photos of Maya Bay from the boat- the location of The Beach film
- Racha Islands soft white sandy beaches and abundant marine life
- Dolphin spotting at Koh Mai Ton
- Coral Island with full beach club, massage and restaurant amenities at Banana Beach Club
- Krabi, Hong Krabi lagoon and the 360-degree viewpoint
- Koh Ha and Ko Rok for something a little more exotic and lesser known
- Easy to access and family friendly shallow snorkelling at the Khai Islands
- Tropical paradise in Koh Lipe
Premium Phuket Private Charter Features:
- Our crew will be dedicated entirely to you, your family, or friends on board; attending to your requirements for the ultimate Phuket Private Charter
- We tailor a unique and customized program, to ensure the day exceeds your desires
- We are flexible on pick-up and drop-off locations to suit you (hotel, pier, beach, etc.)
- You can choose to remain at a lagoon or private beach for longer if you would like; you never have to fit in with a tour group timetable with 5 Star Marine’s tours
- With a small and intimate group of people, you get the flexibility to make the day what you want
- You will get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours
- We can organize a private beach picnic for your Phuket Private Charter
Phuket Private Charter Inclusions
We like to look after all our guests, so you can sit back and relax knowing that your Phuket Private Charter will include the following:
Explore the best destinations around Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and beyond in ultimate luxury, with your very own, bespoke Phuket Private Charter.
Bookings and Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
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.
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.
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.
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.
Luxury Private Speedboats
5 Star Marine has a growing fleet of VIP, luxury speedboats available for private boat hire in Phuket. Experience stunning seascapes, tropical islands, and limestone karsts around Phuket and the surrounding islands in absolute comfort. Their entire fleet has been custom built and enhanced to ensure you get the most luxurious time on the sea as a family, couple, or group of friends during your very own customizable private boat hire in Phuket.
5 Star Marine specialize in private tours, whether you want to explore hidden bays, canoe through caves, relax on deserted white beaches, experience exotic marine life in crystal clear waters or even adventure up to breathtakingly high viewpoints; if you book a private boat hire in Phuket with them, they can tailor a bespoke itinerary just for you on your day / multi-night tour.
For the ultimate private boat hire Phuket experience, you can trust 5 Star Marine’s Captain’s Choice to bring you itineraries that are only available to small and private groups, and not offered with any other boat tour company. So, why not sit back and relax whilst you enjoy the bespoke selection of untouched paradise locations on offer with 5 Star Marine?
Private Boat Hire Phuket Advantages
When we talk about a private boat hire in Phuket with 5 Star Marine, you can get so much more out of the experience versus a group speedboat charter:
- Our Captain and crew will be dedicated entirely to you, your family, or friends on board
- 5 Star Marine are able to tailor a unique and customized program, to ensure the day exceeds your desires
- We can be flexible on pick-up and drop-off locations to suit you (hotel, pier, beach, etc.)
- You have the flexibility on timing; it is your own private boat hire in Phuket
- You can choose to remain at a lagoon or private beach for longer if you are would like; you won’t have to fit in with a group timetable
- With a small and intimate group of people, it is a more Covid-19 safe environment, with fewer people on board and more space to yourselves
- You will get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours because time does not allow
- We can organize a private beach picnic to enjoy for your private boat hire in Phuket
In 5 Star Safe Hands
5 Star Marine has been providing private boat hire in Phuket under their TAT SHA approved status since 2020. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) awarded this certification, and the TAT Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is proudly held by the company also.
As one of the first tourism services to gain TAT SHA Plus status in 2021, 5 Star Marine was recognized as adhering to public health measures regarding Covid-19 safety. This means that all guests can rest assured and feel safe and secure on board a 5 Star Marine during your private boat hire in Phuket.
To make sure you have the best time on your private boat hire in Phuket, 5 Star Marine add in a few little extras for your comfort and convenience during your trip:
- Tour Photos and Video
- Masks and Snorkels
- Fins (Adults)
- Fresh Fruit
- Soft Drinks and Water
- Picnic or Thai Sharing Lunch (available on request at an extra cost)
- Licensed Guide
- Life Jackets
- Beach Mats
- Hand Sanitiser
Flexible Cancellation Policy
Payments for your private boat hire in Phuket can be made on the day; 5 Star Marine do not take deposits so there is no need to worry about refunds or lost money if the weather turns poor. Obviously, we cross our fingers and toes for smooth seas and bright skies, but in the event that the tour date is predicted to be poor weather, 5 Star Marine will re-schedule with you.
Private Boat Hire Phuket Destinations
- Phang Nga Bay to visit the infamous James Bond Island
- Similan Islands abundant sea life
- Phi Phi, including Maya Bay – the location of The Beach film starring Leonardo di Caprio
- Racha Islands soft white sandy beaches
- Dolphin spotting at Koh Mai Ton
- Coral Island with full amenities at Banana Beach Club
- Hong Krabi lagoon and the 360-degree viewpoint
- Koh Ha and Ko Rok for something a little more exotic and lesser-known
- Easy to access and shallow snorkeling at the Khai Islands
- Tropical paradise in Koh Lipe
Contact 5 Star Marine now to get out and explore, there are so many places to be discovered on your private boat hire Phuket.
We look forward to welcoming you on board for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
From the 5 Star Marine Team
Location: Boat Lagoon, Pier L, Phuket, Thailand
We are pleased to introduce a new series of videos to our YouTube channel called Jays Challenges. Jay has been having way too much fun fishing, snorkeling, swimming with sharks and more so it’s time he does some of the hard work around the office.
Shaun asked Jay to complete his first challenge in this video which is to scrub 3 of the 5 Star Marine fleet and prepare them for upcoming tours.
As always with Jay, he took a little nap, stopped for some tea, and had a shower on the pier. All this and more in today’s video:
As 2022 starts off with a few shaky steps we look back over 2021 with satisfaction knowing that the Food Relief project that we started back in 2020 had a dramatic impact on our local community as well as our staff, team and volunteers involved in the project.
Across 2021 we delivered in excess of 410,000 life bags, this is a staggering number of life bags when you consider that this project started off in a spare room, at a house, with a team of 3-5 packing 300 – 500 bags a time.
Here’s a look back at some of the key milestones of 2021 in our Life Bag Project:
January 30th 2021 – This was our first large group pack held at the Sutai Muay Thai Gym where we packed over 1000 life bags in a 2–3-hour period with the help of over 80 Volunteers. This was the start of weekly large group packing sessions that we conducted during the times where Covid was under control and the rules allowed us to. These large group packing sessions led to relationships with the International Schools, Hotels, and alike who proved to be valuable partners in packing life bags across the year.
February 10th 2021 – We had the Bangkok Mission President visit with his family to help pack and distribute life bags using the Church Members. This was the start of our project to invite members of the church to be involved in packing life bags and delivering them to their friends and family who are not Church members.
March 1st 2021 – This was our first official “Packing Pod” where we delivered life bag supplies to the UWCT school who then packed the life bags for us, we then picked them up and delivered them. This turned out to be invaluable throughout the year with Packing Pods across all of Phuket picking up packing when normal packing operations could not be conducted.
March 8th 2021 – Throughout the network of village chiefs we discovered a large number of immigrant workers that were in need and we delivered life bags to the immigrant workers. We also worked on a media campaign to bring awareness to the issues in immigrant worker camps.
March 10th 2021 – A large pack occurred at Blue Tree Water Park as part of a combined effort between local businesses to work together to provide relief to the villages that their employees came from. This was further growth on the community packs we started in January.
April 2nd 2021 – Fulltime Volunteer Coordinators Pete and Nina took over the logistics of all packing, delivery, and supply auditing. They had previously been providing support from 2020 and this was their move into the role as full-time volunteers on this project and others in the future.
April 8th 2021 – On a personal note Lucus packed 1000+ life bags and delivered them personally after noticing a community on his own that needed help.
May 1st 2021 – Packing pods continued with UWCT students and teachers packing over 2000 life bags in a day.
May 3rd 2021 – The largest ever boat-based island delivery took place with 5 Star Marine providing 5 boats to transfer Life Bags from Phuket to Koh Yao Yai where we were joined with Village Chiefs from across the entire islands. One of the largest coordination projects ever undertaken in this Project.
May 5th 2021 – Our Community Isolation program for delivering life bags to community members ordered into quarantine continues with a spike in cases causing greater need in these programs.
May 20th 2021 – BISP starts their community service project with us, packing life bags with the students as another signed on packing Pod.
May 24th 2021 – The Governor and the President of the Phuket Red Cross make contact requesting help in the form of Life Bags for residents across Phuket that are registered with the Provincial Government and the Red Cross.
May 29th 2021 – Hot meals are once again cooked and prepared by the Volunteer team for local communities using left over food supplies from previous packing sessions.
June 7th 2021 – Covid case numbers are forcing creative ways to pack and prepare life bags with our family home turning into a make-shift packing center and all family members getting involved.
June 8th 2021 – The President of the Phuket Red Cross contacts us again seeking assistance with communities on Phuket who are in need of Emergency Food Relief.
June 10th 2021 – The Telegraph from the UK joins us onboard as we work with the Sheriff of Phang Nga to deliver Emergency Life Bag supplies to communities that are isolated on Islands around Phuket.
June 11th 2021 – The single largest 3-day pack is undertaken by 5 Star Marine and the Volunteer team packing, delivering and preparing 5000+ life bags across 3 bags as a combined project with the Governor and the President of the Phuket Red Cross.
July 10th 2021 – Incremental weather does not stop the Donation Volunteers and Team packing and delivering life bags in all kinds of weather, across all hours of the day and days of the week.
July 17th 2021 – Jim and their Family join the volunteer team to pack and deliver life bags across Phuket and the surrounding Islands.
July 23rd 2021 – Nighttime packing is resumed to keep up with demand for Life Bags across Phuket as the community still struggles despite the opening of the Phuket Sandbox. Economic effects of the Phuket Sandbox are really low.
July 28th 2021 – Our community isolation life bag project continues on with our team providing life bags to those that are isolated in communities.
July 31st 2021 – Some of the most shocking images of our entire Life Bag Project emerge with lines so long we just can’t keep up with demand. Villagers are upset that we are unable to help them and they have nowhere to turn.
August 1st 2021 – With large numbers of villages fully closed we are delivering bulk supplies to the Covid Safe staging centers where we have members of the village that are covid negative coming to pick up supplies and distribute with Government Health workers.
August 2nd 2021 – Lines continue to get longer; need continues to grow and our team are exhausted both physically and emotionally.
August 11th 2021 – K. Zeera and the team receive an emergency call for support at 10pm at night. K. Zeera loads up her motorbike and takes life bags immediately to Phuket Town to help out those in urgent need.
August 14th 2021 – Head Start International school joins our packing pod program and helps to pack life bags onsite at their school.
August 25th 2021 – Koh Lipe, an island 4hr and 30 minutes from Phuket is isolated with no tourism or means to survive so working with partners in the Marine Industry we organize a boat full of supplies to be delivered to Koh Lipe and surrounding islands.
September 2nd 2021 – Working with Dave from the Halfway Inn in Patong food relief is delivered into some of the hard-hit areas around Patong and the nightlife areas of Patong.
September 5th 2021 – The 5 Star Marine boat team undertake an even more significant deliver of Life Bags to the outer islands with over 2500 Life bags on boats and delivered.
September 30th 2021 – Our team return from a delivery day exhausted emotionally and physically, having been going for over 18 months they need a rest and break but they won’t take it.
October 10th 2021 – Shaun’s Birthday delivery of life bags, packing and delivering life bags across his birthday and the day after.
October 13th 2021 – Our team goes into some of the hardest-hit covid areas and help community members who are too sick to leave their rooms, homes, or beds.
October 27th 2021 – Living Waters Phuket with 5 Star Marine The Phuket Red Cross and The Phuket Governor pack and deliver 8000+ life bags across 5 days in the single largest private donation ever given to Phuket communities.
If you are living in Phuket then you would be fully aware of the escalating covid situation here. Cases are going up, workers are being ordered to stay at home, communities are being isolated.
This is not something new, in fact it’s something that countries worldwide have been battling now for almost 3 years. The problem here in Phuket is that we are an island that relies on tourism for most employment and economic opportunities. In fact over 90% of the the islands population are directly employed by tourism or tourism supporting activities.
When cases rise like this tourism confidence is affected, tourism arrivals decrease, tourism employers lay off workers and food security becomes a huge problem. Unfortunately this is also not a new experience here in Phuket. It is something that our team here at 5 Star Marine have been working to support over the last 20+ months.
Over the last few days our phones have not stopped calling with Village Leaders asking for help. As part of our large scale food security operation over the last 20 months we connected with over 130 village leaders and helped them and there community members to fight through and survive with “Life Bags”
We had hoped in 2022 the need for life bags would decline but this is not the case.
5 Star Marine is following its commitment to keeping helping provide Life Bags and is funding 1000’s of life bags a week. This is all being done through the Charitable Foundation that they founded called Living Waters Phuket.
ANNOUNCEMENT – Thailand Pass Rules Update Frequently, The Information In The Below Post Is Now Out Of Date For Latest News Please Visit: https://5starmarinephuket.com/phuket-sandbox-rules-and-updates/
With the latest outbreak of Covid starting to affect travel internationally Thailand has made changes to the entry requirements into Thailand. One of the major changes is that the Test and Go system for entry is now suspended indefinitely.
Right now the only way to enter Thailand without 14 days Quarantine is via the Phuket Sandbox program. To find out all the details join Jay and Shaun as they discuss the latest news:
We are excited to remain open for the entire Christmas and New Year period, and are looking forward to welcoming you on board for a tailor-made and festive private speedboat tour with us during this time!
Reflecting on the last 12 months, we would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for the level of support we received from all of our wonderfully loyal, local customers, who have helped us during the past 20 months. Without you, we would not still be operating as we are today, and for that our company, team, captains, and tour guides are immensely grateful.
As a company, we managed to take time to regroup and focus on reprioritizing our efforts, and this meant rolling up our sleeves and getting busy. We keep continuing to support the vulnerable communities and the people around us via our charity efforts, with 5 Star Marine involved in all packing and delivery efforts of essential food relief parcels and bags. We focused on the upside wherever we could see or create one. We wanted to look at where we could add value to our community and what we should be doing during this time.
Living Waters Phuket Foundation was born from this desire to help and continue to support our community; it was set up to build brighter futures for communities in need and provides financial grants for projects around relief areas including sustainable food security, education requirements, renewable energy, and environmental issues. We are excited to report that already in only 6 weeks, 4 major funded projects have been completed and many, many more have applied for funding and are undergoing our impartial review process for approval.
We were thrilled to see many new destinations open back up for our day tours, and now offer over 11 stunning destinations including the Similan Islands, Phi Phi, Racha, Phang Nga Bay, Coral Island, Krabi tours, Mai Ton Dolphin Spotting plus many more tailor-made options to ensure you had the perfect day out. We saw a rise in popularity of our dual tour to Phi Phi and James Bond Island which literally has something for everyone; plus, we are awaiting the much-anticipated opening of Maya Bay on 1st January 2022.
You can watch more on Maya Bay and Shaun’s personal thoughts here:
Our YouTube channel has gone from strength to strength and we appreciate all the love and support we are getting. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe and follow here:
5 Star Marine was lucky to welcome so much interest and publicity from bloggers and news reporters – we are grateful for the coverage and interest in our community efforts. Chris Parker, (from Retired Working For You), joined to see our food packing and delivery efforts first hand to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes of each vital life bag.
We also gained and appreciate hugely the support of local and international media, including but not limited to:
During the last year, we also had a chance to more than double the size of our fleet; we now have 15 Private VIP Speedboats and a VIP Luxury Cruiser which is a proud extension to our current speedboat fleet and offers a truly unique experience on the water. In addition, to accommodate our growing fleet size, the domestic market support, and prepare for the return of international tourists, we moved piers and into a new office at Boat Lagoon, Phuket. We love our new glass-fronted office which has been a more welcoming environment for all our loyal VIP customers.
So, to wrap it up – it has been a year of highs and lows, of challenges and new opportunities. We are thankful, grateful, and happy to be where we are and we will continue to help those in the community who need it most; and will always be grateful to our loyal customers for making 2021 the year it was for us.
Shaun and the entire 5 Star Marine Team