The Beach, Maya Bay Closing AGAIN and Other Phuket News and Weather MAY 2022

After a big reopening early in 2022, Krabi’s Maya Bay, at Phi Phi, is to temporarily close again on the 1st August for 2 months to allow time for the Thailand authorities to check the impact of the last few months of the bay being open, after allowing tourists back on to the beach, and also giving the bay time again to let the wildlife and environment breath.

Owner of 5 Star Marine Shaun Stenning and host of the 5 Star Marine YouTube Channel host Jay Leshark from Shark 13 Productions discuss the closure of Maya Bay as well as talk about other Phuket News stories and also talk about the Phuket Weather during the Low season, or Rainy season, or Green season. It has many names.

Maya Bay is the most notable “Beach” in the Phi Phi Island group, made famous by the 2000 film “The Beach’. The Beach is an adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle, from a screenplay by John Hodge, based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Alex Garland. In the movie, Richard, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of an odd map that is rumored to lead to an island paradise. Accompanied by a few friends, he sets out to find it.

Since the reopening, almost 100,000 people have visited Maya Bay, bringing in over 20 million baht of income, according to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

Maya Bay’s 3-year closure was very successful at bringing back plant and animal species that had disappeared due to tourist overrun. The most notable animal to return to breed in the bay is the blacktip reef shark. In March, a park ranger told NPR that before the park closed, when there could be over 6,000 tourists a day, no one would ever think of seeing the local sharks. He said now, on a good day, 160 sharks can be seen.

Krabi Private Tour

With a Krabi Private Tour onboard one of 5 Star Marine’s luxury private speedboats, you will get to experience the stunning beauty of Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos. Plus, you get to enjoy all of this at your own pace when you book a Krabi Private Tour.

The sheer natural beauty you encounter on a Krabi Private Tour is breathtaking. This area provides you with everything you could want from a day out. Indulge in a swim to cool off in an emerald green lagoon, try a spot of snorkeling, discover the white sandy, private beaches, take a hike or enjoy a 360o viewpoint and sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy.

Visit Ko Hong on your Krabi Private Tour; it sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland and boasts a remarkable lagoon which you enter through a narrow passageway after which 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.

If you wish to pick up the pace a little, why not make your way around to a more recent addition to the island whilst on your own Krabi Private Tour. The breathtaking 360o Viewpoint has an impressive metal staircase structure that was just built-in in 2020. It gives panoramic 360o views of Krabi and the surrounding islands 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.

After enjoying these stunning panoramic seascapes, make your way to Railay Beach for a walk around, discover some caves or stop for a spot of lunch. Alternatively, we can arrange a private western or Thai menu lunch on the beach during your Krabi Private Tour; simply let us know and we can organize this. In the afternoon, you might want to enjoy some snorkeling at Chicken Island or explore the nearby Ko Poda beach.

The choice really is yours, because when you book a Krabi Private Tour with us you get to carve out your bespoke and unique itinerary with the help of our professional and knowledgeable guides. Enjoy your collaborated itinerary planning on the day, for a perfectly balanced experience.

Why Pick Our Krabi Private Tour?

With so much to see and do, the Krabi Private Tour is a perfect mix of sightseeing, adventure, snorkeling, and some of the best beaches in the area. 5 Star Marine are experts when it comes to the wide selection of islands and sightseeing spots around Krabi, and can sometimes get you to stunning locations with nobody else around.

Krabi Private Tour Inclusions

We like to look after all our guests, so you can sit back and relax knowing that your Krabi Private Tour will include the following:

private-boat-charter-inclusions

Explore the best destinations around Krabi in ultimate luxury, with your very own, bespoke Krabi Private Tour.

Contact us to book your Krabi Private Tour:

 

www.5starmarinephuket.com

+66937206221

[email protected]

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Private Boat Hire Phuket – Reclaim Your Sense of Adventure

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.

Luxury Inclusions

 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
  • Insurance

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

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


Contact Information:

Location: Boat Lagoon, Pier L, Phuket, Thailand

+66937206221

[email protected]

5 Star Marine Phuket

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BREAKING NEWS – Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi Sandbox Open – Test And Go Closed

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/


Apologies for all the updates lately but as we stay on top of the changing nature of entry into Thailand we feel it is important to keep our customers updated. On Friday the CCSA held a meeting to discuss new measures and restrictions as it relates to Thailand in response to the rising case numbers caused by the latest variant.

Get the latest news here:

And That’s A Wrap

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.

Find out more on the website You can also watch our YouTube video on some of our latest grants:

 

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 Youtube

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.

Thank you,

Shaun and the entire 5 Star Marine Team

Breaking News – Phi Phi, Phang Nga and Khai Islands Day Trips

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/


We have just received updated and encouraging new rules for Domestic and Sandbox guests which make day tours to locations such as Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay even easier.

Here at 5 Star Marine, we have already done the hard work to understand how this affects you getting out on the water, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that we are up to date with the latest requirements. Drum roll please, we have some BREAKING NEWS!

Breaking News (from 8th September):

So, let’s break this down and look at the main positive changes with the new regulations:

DOMESTIC CUSTOMERS

  • You can now take a day trip to Phi Phi, The Khai Islands, and Phang Nga Bay (previously you could only go to Coral Island, Racha, or Mai Ton) – please note all criteria below must be met
  • Now you only need 1x RTPCR or Antigen test from Phuket for a day trip to Phi Phi, Khai Islands, or Phang Nga Bay (previously 2x tests were required)
  • Domestic customers can depart from Boat Lagoon

Domestic Customers’ Requirements:

  1. Proof of vaccination
  2. RTPCR or Antigen Covid-19 test (within 72 hours of the tour)
  3. Register with us 6 hours before the tour
    • We will register you with the marine department and relevant national parks
  4. Passport copy

SANDBOX CUSTOMERS

  • If you are on the 7+7 Sandbox Program, you can now take a day trip to Phi Phi, The Khai Islands, and Phang Nga Bay from day 8 – please note all criteria below must be met

Sandbox Customers’ Requirements:

  1. Proof of vaccination
  2. RTPCR or Antigen Covid-19 test (within 72 hours of the tour)
    • This rule just got easier as you can use your day 6 or 6 test for the tour on day 8, for example
  3. Register with us 6 hours before the tour
    • We will register you with the marine department and relevant national parks
  4. Passport copy
  5. PLUS your MorChana app on your phone
  6. PLUS a transfer form from your hotel (issued after the 7th night of stay) for Phi Phi, Khai Islands, or Phang Nga Bay

Please feel free to contact us to help you get out and explore Phi Phi, the Khai Islands, and Phang Nga Bay now, whilst you can experience these areas like never before with so few tourists around.

Whether you are a Domestic or Sandbox customer we are ready to welcome you safely onboard our TAT SHA Plus certified fleet.

 

Sandbox Seascapes & James Bond Island

Sandbox Day Tour

Enjoy a day sightseeing, caving, and even experiencing a picnic lunch minus the hordes of tourists around the fantastic seascapes of Phang Nga Bay and the world-famous James Bond Island – this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience James Bond Island in peace and quiet.

Here at 5 Star Marine, we have a tried and tested Sandbox day tour to get you out enjoying the islands surrounding Phuket. In fact, we were once again the 1st company in Phuket to take sandbox guests out to surrounding islands; this time it was Phang Nga Bay

So if you are in Phuket and part of the Sandbox program, contact us to make this iconic day trip possible.

The Experience

  • Depart from our main pier at Boat Lagoon and head to Koh Yao Noi (which is part of Phang Nga Bay) to take a quick but necessary covid test (along with our crew also)
  • Head onto Koh Panak for some sightseeing and stunning stalagmites
  • Get your adrenalin fix canoeing and cave exploring at Koh Hong Phang Nga
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch at the renowned James Bond Island
  • Make a stop at the famous floating village of Koh Panyee floating village
  • Make a quick stop to pick up the test results
  • Then finally enjoy swimming at Naka Noi before the stunning sunset views captured whilst returning to the pier at Boat Lagoon

Requirements

We are on hand to help you through each step of the process, but as an overview we simply need:

  1. ID card or passport per passenger (required the day before the tour)
  2. Vaccination record copy per passenger (required the day before the tour)
  3. We require this information to register you with the national park and local gov in Phang Nga Bay
  4. The MorChana application should be on your phone to check in and out
  5. 1 x Antigen Covid-19 Test per passenger (our fully vaccinated crew will take this test also)

How Many Nights?

  • You can enjoy this fantastic day tour from day 15 onwards of the Sandbox Program
  • You will need to provide proof that you have completed 14 nights in Phuket to qualify
  • It is not possible to go pre-day 15; however, there are different day tours to Coral Island, Racha Islands, or Mai Ton you can still enjoy

Please Contact Us for our free concierge service to help with all requirements.     

 

NEWS UPDATE – Sandbox Customers Island Tours

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/


PART 1: New Rules for Sandbox Customers  

Phuket recently announced some changes for Sandbox customers; what they can do and where they can go. A brand new update states that Sandbox customers can now go to some other islands after their 7th day of being in Phuket (they were previously only allowed to travel to a handful of different islands after day 14 here).

Sandbox customers can currently go to Koh Racha, Coral Island, and Mai Ton. From 1st August the Sandbox scheme will extend further to allow guests to travel to Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay which includes James Bond Island. Hong Krabi might also be added to this list, but this is not confirmed at this point.

PART 2: Why should Sandbox customers take a Private Tour?

We are not running ‘joining group tours’ for Sandbox customers. This is because we are simply trying to minimize the effect a potential positive Covid-19 test would do on our guests. For example, on a group tour if there was one positive case on the boat, then everyone else who went on the boat would need to quarantine too. So, the safest way to take a boat tour is with your friends or family you traveled herewith, (you probably came in on the same flight and are staying together also).

PART 3: How is Sandbox helping the local Phuket Community?

For over 16 months Thailand has been economically devastated, and we have been running a food relief program during this time for an island that depends on tourists to survive. So, the Sandbox is the first step to reopening Phuket and inject some much-needed funds back into the economy. It also provides opportunities for the locals to start working and earning again as demand very slowly starts to return.

Of course, we recognize there are risks associated, but by international tourists coming here, booking hotels, eating at restaurants, taking day tours, taxis, etc. it all helps local people start working again. The good news is that money is being injected into our economy by the Sandbox program, and for this we are grateful.  With our 5 Star Marine boats out on tour, it is supporting our captains, boat crew, admin staff, transfer drivers, plus we are supporting other local businesses like Ann’s Kitchen who provide our guest lunches, the shops that supply our soft drinks, and fruit for each boat, etc. The ripple positive effect is beneficial to a number of people and gives Phuket confidence to keep going.

So, we want to say Thank You for supporting us, so we can keep supporting Phuket.

 

Can Sandbox Customers Go Island Hopping?

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/


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.

We’re On a Roll

With the successful and highly anticipated reopening of Phuket via the Sandbox program on July 1st under our belt, which welcomed fully vaccinated international visitors with no need to quarantine; we have been busy making sure we were ready for our international bookings as well as our continued domestic support. 

From the get-go on July 1st, major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways International started flying or scheduling to fly direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore.

We are super proud of our TAT SHA Plus status and having the opportunity to work with overseas bookings as Phuket kick starts its tourism once again after quite a hive of excitement and certainly a huge effort to welcome tourists back to the region.

But wait, that’s not all… there is more positive news; and don’t we all love a bit of uplifting reading right now?! 

So, currently, 5 Star Marine are offering day and multi-night trips (which are open to all travelers – Sandbox, Expat, or Domestic), staying in Phuket waters to some utterly stunning destinations such as Raya where you can experience soft white beaches, an abundance of animal life and fantastic snorkeling bays; or head out to Coral Island for an easy daytrip with snorkeling spots, a choice of great restaurants and the famous hornbill birds; alternatively how about Mai Ton to experience dolphins in their natural habitat, elegantly swimming alongside the speedboat and charming everyone onboard. 

If this wasn’t perfect enough, there’s more on offer as (drumroll please) Hong Krabi is scheduled to open on July 8th with Phi Phi following shortly after with a  scheduled opening date of July 10th, and 5 Star Marine will be able to re-start their day and overnight tours to the area. This is yet another positive and economically important step in the right direction for Thailand, and we literally cannot wait to enjoy the idyllic coral reefs, hidden coves, turquoise lagoons, 3600 viewpoints, secret caves and create more unforgettable experiences swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear tropical waters there.

You may have the positive mindset saying ‘Expect nothing, appreciate everything’ – but here at 5 Star Marine we are more likely to say ‘Expect everything, and enjoy it all on board with us’