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:
This is one of our most popular VIP private speedboat day trips. This combination tour has a little something for everyone; from snorkeling with rich marine life, swimming in bright turquoise lagoons, seeing famous beaches and coves; to canoeing, spectacular karst rock seascapes, and of course the iconic James Bond Island.
Phi Phi is a particularly well know location in the Phuket region, with one of its iconic islands made famous after being featured in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Phi Phi Islands have some stunning coral reefs abound with marine life, ready to give you an unforgettable experience, swimming, and snorkeling in crystal clear tropical waters.
Whereas the second part of the day trip is to Phang Nga which is truly one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. This area is all about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring, versus the underwater scenery and beaches around Phi Phi.
With so much to do and see in just one day, we recommend touring from 8 am – 6 pm for the full experience. So, let’s take a look at a sample itinerary (please note all tours are private and fully customizable to your requirements):
- Depart from the 5 Star Marine pier in Boat Lagoon and head out towards Phi Phi. Make a stop at Maya Bay, the most notable “Beach” from the 2000 hit movie, on Phi Phi Leh. Although you cannot currently, walk on the beach, it is still a fantastic experience to visit this beautiful and famous cove and take photos from a distance or swim off to the side of the Bay.
- Head around to Loh Samah Bay, which is a small bay on the other side of Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh. It offers some beautiful marine life and therefore makes for a good snorkeling stop-off point.
- Enter into Pileh Lagoon and enjoy a swim in the clear turquoise waters. This lagoon also starred in “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, as a spot where he dived off into the aquamarine waters.
- Explore Small Monkey Beach, where you can see these cheeky little creatures sitting on the karst rocks and relaxing on the beach!
- Continue onto Wong Long Bay, which is only accessible to smaller boats due to the narrow entrance to a bay. Luckily our private speedboats can fit inside so you get the opportunity to have a quiet bay potentially all to yourselves.
- Move onto Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don, which is a great place for a picnic lunch with a soft sand cove beach going into a shallow bay.
- Stop for some more snorkeling at Phi Phi Don at Ao Nuoi and discover rich corals and marine life together with a picturesque beach setting.
- Take in the beauty of Bamboo Island – a stunning setting, with shallow clear blue waters and a picturesque beach. Enjoy some snorkeling in this area and you might even spot a blacktip reef shark.
- Head towards Phang Nga Bay and enjoy some canoeing and exploring amongst the caves and rock formations.
- Make your way towards the iconic James Bond island, which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun. Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you stand in front of James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga.
November 1st, 2021 Phuket and greater Thailand are opening without Quarantine to 46 countries. These 46 countries will not have to complete the Phuket Sandbox, just a single covid test on arrival, and then the travelers are free to explore.
Here is the list of countries:
Don’t worry if you are not on the list, then the Phuket Sandbox is open and available to all countries of the world as long as the travelers are vaccinated. If you are NOT vaccinated then there is also Alternate Quarantine.
With these three ways of entering Phuket now officially announced find out the full details in the video below:
One of our most popular tours during the Phuket Sandbox has been our Dolphins and Snorkelling experience. This is a great family-friendly trip that allows our guests to snorkel the waters of Mai Ton, spend some time spotting the local pod of dolphins, and then onto Coral Island for some lunch.
There are a number of activities available at Coral Island including Parasailing, Banana Boats, and more. Follow along with us as we launch our business into the Dry Season with over 100 guests joining us for this once-off-season launch.
See more here:
BREAKING NEWS – Thailand Prime Minister Announces No Quarantine For Travellers From Some Countries.
As Phuket and Thailand in general move to a “Live With Covid” model and look to restart tourism the National Government are making positive announcements to support the reopening of Thailand.
In a recent televised announcement, the Prime Minister suggested that from November 1st that travelers from some low-risk countries will be able to enter Thailand without any quarantine or sandbox needed.
Now the full rules and process for entry have not yet been decided but for a look at what we expect to happen please watch our latest update video below:
As Phuket transitions away from its wet season towards the dry (or high) season, the Thailand Government has made a major and positive update to the Phuket Sandbox program.
Instead of being a 14-day Sandbox Program or the 7+7 Day Sandbox Model, it is now just a simple and easy ‘7 Day Sandbox’.
Along with the reduction in the Sandbox days, the number of RT-PCR Covid-19 Tests required while staying has also come down. As of now, with the new update, there are just 2 tests required; the first on the day of arrival and the second on day 6 of your stay.
The good news continues as island hopping by private speedboat is now easier than ever before with a wide-ranging 11 destinations now open. Plus, none of these stunning destinations require additional Covid-19 tests for Sandbox Travelers.
The return of the dry season, the reduced Sandbox days model, fewer Covid-19 tests and new island destinations are all pointing in the right direction for our Sandbox Guests.
For full details watch this short video update below:
The weather is starting to turn, the seas are getting calmer and in addition, the islands around Phuket are still quiet.
So, this really is the best time to appreciate a VIP speedboat day out on the water with friends and family.
For clarity, 5 Star Marine have broken down the rules per destination for all our DOMESTIC / EXPAT guests; effective 1st October 2021.
Phuket Provincial Islands:
For the following islands, we simply need your Passport Copy, (on your phone is sufficient). That is it, no further requirements:
Out of Phuket Province Islands:
For the following islands we simply need your Passport Copy and Vaccination Certificate:
* Covid-19 tests are NOT required for any of the above islands.
** If you are unvaccinated a simple Antigen Test in most cases is all that is needed to visit these locations.
Here is a great graphic that summarises this all:
With the requirements hugely easing, please contact us to book your memorable day out on the water, or if you have any questions about the new rules.
We are thrilled to welcome a LOAD of new destinations to enjoy from 1st October; and yes, these are going to be open to both Sandbox and Domestic guests.
With the change in season, the seas become calmer so let’s take a look at the exciting new destinations which now become accessible; working our way out from our base pier in Boat Lagoon:
1. Khai Islands
Three popular and family-friendly islands offering shallow snorkeling only 15 minutes from the pier. These islands are close together and are especially good for beginner snorkellers as you can go straight off the beach and experience a plethora of tropical fish. Also, a great spot for a beach picnic.
2. Mai Ton & Coral Combination
5 Star Marine runs a respectful dolphin spotting program at Mai Ton Island which is around 30 minutes from Boat Lagoon, where you can also snorkel before making your way to Coral Island, with beautiful snorkeling, plus relax on the beach with great vibes on Banana Beach Club, which also offers activities, massages, lunch, etc.
3. Racha Islands
The two idyllic Racha Islands; Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, provide some of the best snorkeling reefs in Thailand and quiet, tropical white powdery beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters. With Manta Rays and Whale Sharks hopefully coming back again this October / November, don’t miss your chance to spot these magnificent creatures.
4. Phi Phi
Phi Phi is a particularly well know location in the Phuket region, and now with the change in season you can take advantage of some stunning location all to yourself – literally, you might just be the only boat out there! Enjoy Phi Phi Ley and Bamboo Island and chance spotting turtles and clownfish.
5. Krabi Islands and Hong Krabi
The turquoise waters of the Hong Krabi Lagoon are to die for, and why not get your adrenaline going with a climb up to the new 360-degree viewpoint on Hong Krabi? This is arguably one of the best seascape views of the Krabi island sets, Phang Nga Bay, and surrounding islands in the national park that you can get from anywhere. It might be a long climb but it is worth the reward. Enjoy the infamous Railay beach for a lunch stop and gorgeous scenery too.
6. Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga truly is one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. This location provides a different type of tour, it is not a snorkeling tour, but more about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring.
7. Koh Rok
The sea becomes like a lake in high season, making Koh Rok and Koh Ha idyllic destinations to make the most of when the season comes around. This area combines stunning water clarity with a diverse range of colorful marine life and corals and therefore offers some of the best snorkeling opportunities you can find. In season, you can also regularly see whale sharks between here and Koh Ha also.
8. Koh Ha
This offers some of the best snorkeling, stunning soft sandy beaches, and is less crowded than the better-known Similan Islands. A little further to travel compared to most of our other day trip locations; but well worth every minute for the guaranteed natural beauty and a great stop on the way to Koh Lipe.
9. Koh Lipe
This will open up in the next few weeks and boy are we raring to go! Koh Lipe is bursting with things to see and do; enjoy a romantic time at Sunrise or Sunset Beach, explore the coral reefs snorkeling at Red Coral, head to Monkey Beach or Stonehenge Rock. You might even get to spot the odd whale shark, Manta Ray, or turtle.
10. Similan & Surin Islands
Two phenomenal island-hopping destinations are situated off the West Coast of Phuket. These areas are bursting with amazing marine life, rich coral, and sandy white beaches. Enjoy a memorable boat trip to the renowned Similan Islands; a stunning archipelago in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand, which is made up of 9 islands. We can’t wait for it to open from October 15th to May 15th. Further away and only open 6 months per year, due to the monsoon season plus in an attempt to preserve the marine environment.
11. Phuket By The Sea Tour
This unique program leaves from Boat Lagoon and travels under the Sarasin bridge then you make your way down to the banana beach past Surin, Kamala, and Patong for example, where you can stop off at a beach club or two!
So there you have it – 11 amazing tours opening up from 1st or 15th October. There are a few rules and regulations for Sandbox and Domestic customers, but please contact us to find out more, and in most cases just need your passport and proof of vaccination.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore while you can!
With all the different rules and regulations depending on if you are a domestic guest or a Sandbox visitor, we thought that this needed breaking down; so here it is:
|DOMESTIC GUESTS||SANDBOX TRAVELLERS|
|Pier||Boat Lagoon, Chalong Pier||Chalong Pier|
|Destinations*||Coral Island, Racha Islands, Mai Ton Island||Coral Island, Racha Islands, Mai Ton Island|
|Vaccination||Proof not required||Vaccination certificate required|
|MorChana App||Not required||MorChana App on phone required|
|ID**||Passport copy or Thai ID||Passport copy or Thai ID|
|Rewards Stamp||Available for Racha and Mai Ton trips||Available for Racha and Mai Ton trips|
** Identification as indicated in the table has required a minimum of 24 hours prior to the boat trip departure.
AFTER 16th AUGUST?
For domestic guests, the following areas are due to open up after 16th August:
Please note that you will need to be fully vaccinated with the exclusion of children and those under 12 years old do who do not need a negative Covid-19 test. Fully vaccinated adults must provide a negative antigen test also (rules as of 8th August 2021)
Remember to request your Rewards Passport, to get stamps for your day trip experiences – collect all 7 destinations and get a totally FREE day trip, no hidden extra charges!