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.
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
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:
For over 20 months the 5 Star Marine team has been purchasing dry food supplies, packing life bags, and then distributing them into the community. This project started during the first Covid Lockdown in Phuket. From there it has grown from a few hundred bags a week to a few thousand bags a week.
In fact, just recently the 5 Star Marine team packed over 8000+ super life bags with over 4 tonnes of rice. This project is funded by the 5 Star Marine Founders and is expanding now beyond just food relief.
As tourism starts to return employment becomes available, not at a scale yet where the problem ceases, but it is becoming more accessible. As this return tourism continues the 5 Star Marine team are focusing on projects to help support the community in its recovery.
Find out more in the video below:
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.
The first united Foundation in Phuket to provide grants in support of vulnerable communities!
A Brighter Future For Phuket
Shaun Stenning, CEO of 5 Star Marine explains: “Phuket has needed a credible and well thought out Foundation for years, so I decided to set one up with 5 Star Marine being the major funding source behind Living Waters Phuket. This new Foundation can carry forward the work we completed during the Pandemic, providing Life Bags to over 360,000 families; but will also provide financial grants for other vital initiatives. Living Waters Phuket will continue on in our community, providing sustainable solutions to food security, education, and environmental issues.”
A United Foundation
This brand-new Foundation is combining the efforts of registered charities, foundations, private companies, and government organizations. Living Waters Phuket aims to provide strategic and viable aid by issuing financial grants to projects around relief and solutions for sustainable food security, education, renewable energy, and environmental issues.
The Foundation officially launched on 1st November 2021 with an unparalleled financial grant from Living Waters Phuket and 5 Star Marine for the largest single food donation to date in Phuket. This initiative consists of over 8,700 ‘Super Life Packs’ to help families in need. The execution of this initiative is a collaborative effort between Living Waters Phuket, 5 Star Marine, the Phuket Red Cross, Phuket Has Been Good To Us, and various government departments.
Over 88,700 ‘Super Life Packs’ which contain enough staple food items to feed a family of 4 people for 1 whole week will be going out this week. This effort will include a staggering 44 tonnes of rice, along with noodles, tinned fish, and nearly 9,000 liters of cooking oil and sauces.
Where It All Began…
Shaun Stenning and his 5 Star Marine team have been diligently running their ‘Life Bags’ food donation program for over 20 months; dedicating efforts towards the most vulnerable communities across Phuket and the surrounding islands with non-stop weekly funding, sourcing, packing, and delivery efforts taking place.
A Natural Extension
Living Waters Phuket formed a strategic transition from the last 20 months’ worth of relief efforts. It sits in synergy as the next stage for 5 Star Marine who founded and funded this first-of-a-kind Foundation in Phuket. The Foundation will now provide a more long-term, sustainable, and ongoing means to continue providing relief via funds for projects where the community needs the most help.
Grants and Support
Grants are currently being awarded to community groups, Not-For-Profit organizations (NFPOs), and individuals who want to bridge a gap by finding solutions to sustainable food security, education, renewable energy, and environmental issues. The independent board of advisors at Living Waters Phuket will review each grant application objectively, fairly, and impartially.
If you wish to know more about Living Waters Phuket please visit the below: