Can Sandbox Customers Go Island Hopping?

Here’s what you need to know about the island hopping, the check-in process, the do’s and the don’ts for your first 14 days as a Sandbox customer:

Where can you go in the first 14 days?

Within the first 14 days of arriving in Phuket, Sandbox customers are currently able to go to:

  • Racha
  • Coral Island
  • Mai Ton
  • A combination of these 3

Where do Sandbox customers depart from?

There are 3 sandbox customer departure points in Phuket, these are:

  • Ao Por
  • Chalong Pier
  • Rassada Pier

What paperwork is required?

Before the departure date, Sandbox customers need to provide:

  1. Passport copy
  2. Vaccination documentation

On the day of the tour please also bring your mobile phone with MorChana app installed.

What happens when you get to the pier?

  1. Check-in on your MorChana app on your mobile phone
  2. Your temperature will be checked
  3. 5 Star Marine team will help submit your documents and paperwork to the Marine Department

After these 3 steps, you are cleared to get onto the boat and can enjoy your day trip!

What happens when you return to pier?

  1. Once again, you will need to check in on your MorChana app on your mobile phone
  2. Your temperature will be checked
  3. You can then get on the bus to return to your hotel

So, as you can see there is plenty that Sandbox customers can enjoy, see and do for a day out at sea. Snorkel or relax on the sandy beaches at Coral Island, try your luck at spotting the friendly dolphins around Mai Ton, or go a little further to the white beaches and fantastic marine life at Racha.

5 Star Marine can help at each step of the way, they have tried and tested the process, are TAT SHA Plus certified, and will make sure you have a day to remember.

Contact us on 093 720 6221 to book your Sandbox-approved day trip.

Stamp and You Shall Receive

Here at 5 Star Marine, we love seeing how much our guests enjoy their travels onboard our private speedboats to Phi Phi, the Similan Islands, Hong Krabi, and beyond. For the past 16 months, our loyal residents have kept us busy exploring the islands around Phuket and Krabi, and now we feel that it is our turn to say ‘Thank you back. 

Say hello to the new and exclusive 5 Star Marine ‘Rewards Passport’ – the ultimate way for us to thank you; our loyal speedboat junkies. We have certainly missed international travel and passport stamps, so we are giving you the chance to feel the travel bug again. Dedicated to our loyal customers, each time you take a VIP speedboat trip with us to the islands in the Rewards Passport, you receive the relevant stamp. Simply collect all 7 destination stamps and you will receive your FREE day trip! No hidden extras, fuel costs, or charges; just a FREE day out with friends or family to create more memorable experiences with us.

For some inspiration on travel within 45 minutes of our pier at Boat Lagoon (and remaining in Phuket waters), you could consider a day trip to Coral Island returning via Mai Ton to try your luck spotting the friendly pod of dolphins. Perhaps a family-friendly day out to the Khai islands where you can enjoy shallow water snorkeling, relaxing on the beaches, and even a picnic lunch which can all be arranged by us.

Alternatively, if you are looking to get away for a night or two, why not enjoy the stunning snorkeling, wildlife, and beaches at Raya with a custom multi-day tour. In addition, from July 11th, 2021 you can explore the iconic and stunning Phi Phi islands again, as these open up to Phuket tourists.  

Wherever you chose for your next booking, just remember to collect your Rewards Passport before you set off, and start collecting your loyalty stamps for Phi Phi, Khai Islands, Raya, James Bond, Hong Krabi, Mai Ton, and the Similan Islands. Once filled with traveling stamps, you can collect your well-deserved reward, a FREE 5 Star Marine day trip experience. 

Thank you once again to all our loyal customers, we are proud that you have put your trust in us and look forward to welcoming you back onboard

Explore more to get more; contact 5 Star Marine on 093 720 6221 to book.

The Life of a Life Bag – Video by Chris Parker

5 Star Marine was thrilled to welcome Chris Parker, (from Retired Working For You), as he joined their usual weekly efforts to see exactly what goes on behind the scenes of each vital life bag.

Chris Parker got an inside glimpse of how things work right from the organized packing efforts by volunteers at Sutai Muay Thai, to the distribution to some of the most suffering communities in and around Phuket. He joined the distribution efforts by truck and then headed out on the sea to get to some of the harder-to-reach places which the 5 Star Marine have been able to serve using their speedboats for deliveries.

In his follow-up, hard-hitting video, you get to see where these life bags go, and how vitally important they have become for the worst-hit communities around us here. 

In Chris’ own words: What 5 Star Marine in Phuket, Thailand have done during the past 14 months is nothing short of unbelievable. This video will tell the story about how, when the pandemic struck, one man decided to begin helping those in need on his home island and as the need grew, so did the effort. Today, One Phuket has handed out more than 210,000 ‘Life Bags’ with daily essentials for a local family who have no income. On Phuket, where tourism is basically everything, this has provided a lifeline and gotten many through this challenging year. 

The news in Bangkok and Thailand has been mostly bad this past year, but the Phuket Sandbox is reopening travel and bringing hope to the locals who are looking to get back on their feet. So book a ticket and be a hero!”

5 Star Marine is so grateful to Chris for filming this emotional and honest video and for helping to raise awareness by sharing this story on his YouTube platform also; all much appreciated. 

5 Star Marine – TAT SHA Plus Approved

5 Star Marine pride themselves on continuously striving to remain an industry leader in all areas; and they were in fact one of the first private boat companies in Phuket to be awarded the TAT SHA Certification in 2020, followed by the TAT SHA Plus Certification in 2021.

As the Phuket Sandbox officially reopened to international guests on July 1st, 2021, this means that international travelers can be assured of their safety with 5 Star Marine’s speedboat tours. The Tourism Authority of Thailand awarded 5 Star Marine with this certification, as a tourism-related business on the island; and the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is now proudly held by the company. 

The TAT SHA Plus symbol shows customers that the business has been certified as adhering to all public health measures set up for Covid-19 safety. Although it only requires 70% of employees to have been fully vaccinated as part of the “Phuket Must Win” vaccination rollout – 5 Star Marine have gone over and above with 100% of employees having been fully vaccinated.   

This private speedboat tour company has taken extensive measures to ensure that its speedboats, staff, crew, policies, and procedures are industry-leading. Not only have they been accredited by the Thai Government by proving they competently following ‘Covid-19 Safe Guidelines and Principles’, but they have also gone the extra mile so that you can rest assured of all aspects of health and safety during this unprecedented time.

5 Star Marine is proud to be one of the first TAT SHA Plus certified tourism services and looks forward to welcoming more domestic and international travelers onboard for once-in-a-lifetime experiences on their private speedboats in 2021. 

What Should I Bring On My Private Boat Charter?

Once you’ve decided to book a Private Boat Charter with 5 Star Marine your mind naturally wonders what should you bring to the boat to ensure you have a wonderful day?

The answer is really quite simple.  On each private charter with us we will provide on the boat the following:

inclusion

In addition to these items that we provide we recommend that you bring the following:

  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash (For National Park Fees)
  • Drinks (Alcoholic If You Require – No Additional Charge)
  • Snacks (In Addition To The Fruit We Have On Board)

International and Domestic travellers, please also note the following requirements:

  • International Travellers – Passport, vaccination certificate, and your phones (with the Morchana App installed) Also please send us a copy of your passport and vaccination certificate prior to travel.
  • Domestic Travellers – On the day please bring your passport and vaccination certificate (and send a copy of your passport and vaccination certificate prior to travel)

These simple things will ensure that you have a great charter with 5 Star Marine.

A Snapshot Of Our Life Bag Program In May​ 2021

If you didn’t know, for the last 14 months our business has been helping our local community survive through one of the most economically trying times ever seen.

As a tourist island, Phuket was devastated by Covid leaving so many without work, businesses closed and the local community needed help.

Seeing this need we stepped up and financed the purchasing, packing, and delivery of life bags all over Phuket.

Here’s a quick look at what we did in May:

360 Degrees, Yes Please

Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos are typically quieter than the more popular Phi Phi or Phang Nga Bay areas. However, the area provides you with everything you could want from a day out with your friends or family – snorkeling, discovering white sandy private beaches, hiking, or sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy. 

Ko Hong Krabi sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland and already had a great name for itself with its stunning lagoon. Entering through a narrow passageway 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.   

You could even get to enjoy the mystical sense of being in this bright turquoise lagoon all to yourselves as 5 Star Marine have the knowledge and expertise to miss the rush and give you the most private and memorable time here.  

After taking in the vibrant colors of Ko Hong Lagoon, let your adventurous side loose and make your way around to the most recent addition to the island; the breathtaking 360o Viewpoint. This impressive metal staircase structure was built in 2020, during Covid, and was designed to give panoramic 360o views of Krabi and the surrounding islands. It certainly delivers 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 from anywhere. 

The climb is not for the fainthearted as you need to ascend the metal stairs (all 419 of them) and progress along wooden walkways for around 10 – 15 minutes in the heat before reaching the top viewing platform. Here, your efforts will be greatly rewarded with the most spectacular view. At around 109 meters above sea level, it is definitely a steep climb, but totally doable and worth the exertion to get to the top to see views of tropical islands and karst limestone mountains jutting out of the emerald waters. This experience is perfect for a group of friends or families with children; just remember to take shoes with you.

Once you have had your fill of these stunning panoramic seascapes, make your way back down to the shore and catch your breath before heading out to your pick of fantastic snorkeling and island locations nearby. With clear waters, secluded lagoons, and abundant marine life in the shallow and deep-water coral reefs; you could even get lucky enough to spot a reef shark on your adventure. 

With so much to see and do, the Krabi Islands are a perfect mix for sightseeing, adventure, snorkeling, and private white sandy beaches. 

360 view hong krabi island

Photo credit – sunny_rung

How do you like my island, Mr Bond?

With virtually no tourists around, why not take some time now to visit one of the (normally) busiest islands in Ao Phang Nga National Park – the one and only James Bond Island. 

With a custom Phang Nga Bay tour, 5 Star Marine will guide you around hidden coves and lagoons, as well as stopping off at the iconic island which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.  

Phang Nga truly is one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. In fact, with the sheer number of unique formations, you could explore here for days. 

On your private day trip, you could stop by Panak Island to float along gently inside one of the hidden caves surrounded by mangroves, before enjoying a peaceful golden bay all to yourself. Move onto Ko Kudu Yai to take in the exquisite beauty of the clear turquoise water in this stunning lagoon. 

At lunchtime make a stop at the small island community of Koh Panyee; where huts, houses, and restaurants are built on stilts over the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to see their unique floating football pitch either! Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you make your way to James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned tourist destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga. 

Boats are not allowed too close, as this is a protected marine area, but you can view the famous sight from Koh Ping Ghan; an island with an immensely tall leaning rock and some small caves to explore. With the tourists gone you can see the island properly minus the crowds. Take your time to stroll around, in peace and quiet for the first time in around 40 years. 

After getting your fill of this notorious island, you can continue on to enjoy some sea canoeing or more cave exploring before making your way back to base. Perhaps you might make a final sunset stop at Koh Pear, a small strip of an island that looks and feels like you are walking on water – a perfect end to the day. 

5 Star Marine’s Phang Nga Bay tour creates an unforgettable time at this world-renowned destination. 

Bon Appetit!

5 star marine picnic menu

With so many stunning locations on offer with our range of private speedboat tours, you might just want to just sit back, relax and enjoy all the experience has to offer – and not worry about what to pack for lunch, or if restaurants will be open or not.

With this in mind, 5 Star Marine has ensured that all guests can leave the lunch preparations and logistics behind; and instead, enjoy our new expanded range of super convenient and tempting day trip menus.

The new menu features some firm favorite set lunches, as well as the newly added Thai sharing buffet menu. We cater to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike with a selection of set and buffet lunches on offer.

Here’s a glimpse of some of our menu highlights to get your mouth watering:

  1. Grilled vegetable and tofu ciabatta sandwich served with crisps
  2. Chicken pasty served with crisps
  3. NEW Thai sharing buffet menu, (a few dishes you can select from including the Green Chicken or Massaman Chicken Curry, Tom Yum, Vegetable Fried Rice, Fried Fish with Sweet Chili Sauce, etc.)
  4. The Thai sharing buffet menu is also available as a vegetarian option

For added convenience, all lunch orders are delivered to our pier in Boat Lagoon ready for your boat trip. So, all you have to decide is where to enjoy these delicious options; perhaps on a deserted beach, hidden lagoon, or even at a stunning viewpoint. The team will ensure you can sit back and enjoy your lunch in comfort.

Please click here for the full menu – and remember to order at least 48 hours before your trip by messaging Shaun on 093 720 6221

Bon Appetite!

Overnight Sea Life Safari

Thailand’s local wildlife has been given a much-needed chance to recover since the disappearance of tourists flooding in. Islands and national parks have seen sea and wildlife populations start to return, making right now a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get out and explore. 

The Sea Life Safari offers a chance to relax and enjoy the abundance of marine animals over 2 days and 1 night, where the 5 Star Marine team uses their experience and expertise to take you to little-known coves, bays, and secret spots to glimpse the fantastic wildlife on offer.  

The two idyllic Racha Islands, (Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi), provide the ideal destination to enjoy nature; with some of the best snorkeling reefs in Thailand, tropical white powdery beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Koh Racha Yai has situated a mere 45-minute speedboat ride away. However, to experience the plethora of marine life on offer, you need to venture a little further to its smaller twin, Koh Racha Noi – An uninhabited rocky island, with plenty of fantastic snorkeling bays. 

During this 2-day trip, you can take your time to relax on stunning deserted beaches, snorkel at both islands and dine at local restaurants in beautiful bays. When you want to explore the local wildlife, 5 Star Marine knows all the best spots. 

You might get lucky enough to encounter a pod of inquisitive dolphins playing near your boat, or even see some Green or Hawksbill turtles who are fundamental to our marine ecosystems.  Look up to the skies to catch sight of the unusual Hornbills, which are characterized by their long, down­curved bill with a bright yellow casque (or horn) on top. 

Get the opportunity to glimpse some smooth-coated sea otters, which have even been known to try to get aboard! How about dragon spotting? OK, not exactly, but Thailand’s Monitor Lizards can grow up to a staggering 2 meters long. 

Last, but certainly not least; the stunning coral reefs around these twin islands are just teeming with aquatic life, and make for excellent snorkeling.  There are opportunities to see giant starfish, pufferfish, or sea turtles, and reef fish like Parrotfish, snapper, and angelfish can be found in the shallow waters just steps from the beach where you have your pick of snorkeling spots. 

Although sightings of these creatures cannot be guaranteed, one thing is for sure; when tourists do return, spotting some of these animals will again become a rarer opportunity. 

2 day / 1 night Sea Life Safari itinerary with FREE round trip private minibus transfers available now.