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.

New Offices, Same 5 Star Service

We are excited to announce that we have been keeping ourselves busy in the last few days by taking a giant (out of water) leap and moving into our brand-new office space. This has been a natural progression for us, as we continue to expand our business to meet new domestic and international market demands. 

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation, we are not able to do our grand opening just yet and invite you all to see our new space; however, with our tours now resuming, and international bookings coming in, plus our valued customers coming into our offices it is important you all know where we are now located. 

Don’t worry, we are still based in Boat Lagoon, Phuket; and to make things easy we have remained on the same side of the pier, just a little further down (about 150 meters) in our new two-story glass office. 

We are just settling into our new space, and as we all know things take a little time to get just right, but we hope to welcome you for the grand opening as soon as we are able to.

Please follow the Google Maps link below to meet us for your tour, or feel free to drop by if you fancy saying hello and seeing the team!

https://g.page/5StarMarinePhuket?share

Limited VIP Trips Re-Starting on 1st June 2021

During the last few weeks, our private boat tours have been put on hold to help keep Phuket safe. During this time, we have been able to concentrate on our charity efforts as well as finding safe and responsible ways to get our VIP guests back out on the water. Our piers, boats, and office have all been thoroughly cleaned by Government provincial teams, plus staff members have been PCR Covid-19 tested – and we are happy to report that all of our fantastic team are officially Covid-19 free.

Therefore, from 1st June 2021, we are looking forward to welcoming back our existing VIP guests as we will be re-opening with a range of limited private trips. Please note that all guests will be required to complete a short Declaration Form prior to being accepted on board, and also must comply with all Provincial announcements. These precautions and regulations will enable us to re-open our operations on a smaller scale to keep staff and guests safe.

Re-opening at this point is important to give our staff the opportunity to work again and keep motivated during these difficult times. We also want to give you the chance to explore some exciting destinations whilst the seas are still calm, and the islands are blissfully quiet and beautiful.

From 1st June 2021 we are able to offer private small group tours to the following destinations:

If you would like to book a trip to the aforementioned areas, please get in contact to book and fill in our Declaration Form.

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

All Good Things Must Come to an End

 

Last Chance Tourism isn’t a new concept. The enthralling social and psychological notion has been around for several years, feeding tourists with a desire to visit or experience a place at risk of vanishing, (or altering due to climate change), while they still can. Now, I am not suggesting that Thailand is about to disappear, however, a huge shift is most certainly on its way, so this might well be your Last Chance Tourism window of opportunity. 

With a strong push by the Thai government to reopen Phuket by this summer, and a relaxation in minimum mandatory quarantine days for vaccinated travelers starting imminently, it is inevitable that tourists will be coming back. 

The month of April provides one of the last periods to see the islands around Phuket as they currently are – think Phi Phi, Koh Racha Yai, Similan Islands, Hong Krabi, Railay Beach, Phang Nga Bay, Koh Lanta, etc. The list goes on and on with numerous stunning day trip options and multiple day itineraries easily accessible with 5 Star Marine’s private VIP speedboats. 

So, for those of us in or around Phuket right now, we do have a small opportune timeframe in which to enjoy these islands in all their natural beauty, minus the crowds before the tourists return. April bestows fantastic water clarify to us also, which makes for an even more memorable day out on the water especially if your private VIP trip fancies a spot of snorkeling. Towards the end of April / beginning of May, this will all start to change.

Which islands around Phuket are on your bucket list? Maybe there are some on your list that you have never been to. Or perhaps you have already been to one of the islands, however, it was so crowded with tourists that it just didn’t live up to your dreams. So, take the time and take the opportunity NOW while you still can, as this literally is your last possible chance to experience the islands around Phuket in peace and quiet, before the rainy season, rougher seas, and borders reopen. 

Put simply, why not embrace last chance tourism and make the effort to see somewhere you’re unlikely to ever see again in its present state?

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!

Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai Transfers

Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai Transfers

Our team was lucky enough to recently visit and stay at Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai as they are offering Post Covid specials which are simply spectacular.  The Santhiya Resort has been one of our dream places to visit and stay as we often do return Private Boat Transfers to the resort as well as Private Boat Excursions from the resort.

We were not disappointed by Santhiya Resort.  The infinity pool looking out into Phang Nga Bay and over to Phuket has to be the highlight of the entire resort.  Relaxing in the pool, having a quiet drink, and watching the sunset in one of the most picturesque areas of Phuket cannot be missed.

yao yai
Resort view

Also, all rooms at the resort have fantastic views out into Phang Nga Bay, and the rooms we stayed in all held spas on the balconies making for a nice touch.  The resort has some amazing woodwork making it all have a very authentic Thai feel.

The beach that affronts Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai is always quiet.  It’s not an extremely well-known tourist destination but it is fantastic for swimming and young children.  Lucus, our 7-year-old, had a great time playing on the beach, chasing crabs, and swimming in the calm seas.

Being a Private Boat company here in Phuket we are happy to offer the services of our boats and crew for anyone looking to get away from the mainland and have a break.  Santhiya is offering amazing deals right now.  Contact us to find out how we can offer you a Private Boat Transfer to Santhiya Resort or combine a day trip with a stopover at Santhiya Resort.

beach view
5 Star Marine view

Can You Still Go Island Hopping During Low (Wet) Season In Phuket

Anyone who has been in Phuket the last few days will have noticed that the season is starting to change. For the locals here, that is amazing news considering that our water supplies on the island were starting to run bare.

For Tourists, though this can be concerning. If you had grand plans to visit Phi Phi Island, Raya Island, or James Bond Island you may be wondering if that’s even possible right now.

The answer to the question is simple, YES you can still go island hopping but you need to be careful to select the right day, the right company, and the right tour itinerary.

For example, during High Season when we run our private boat tours most of the time we suggest a later leave and spending sunset on a private beach. This is because typically in High Season we have the very low wind in the afternoon, making it great conditions for being on the sea.

During Low Season though, we recommend a sunrise tour or a tour leave time around 7 am or 8 am because during Low Season we expect a high wind in the afternoon which makes traveling back from the islands a little bumpy and less fun.

This is just one example of how things can change in the Low Season. The reality is that most companies in Phuket will go every day of both High and Low Season as they want to make income.

Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket, we care about making your Private Boat Charter a wonderful experience so we will only recommend going out on tour when the weather is right for your selected tour program.

If you’d like to know what we recommend for you, please get in contact with us!