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

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

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?

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’

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.

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. 

Why Does 5 Star Marine Private Charters Look So New?

If you’ve read the history of 5 Star Marine you’d understand that for many years prior to starting 5 Star Marine we operated private tours through our tour agency, Lisa Phuket Tours.

Our Agency was one of the top agencies in Phuket for Private Boat Tours, but on most tours, we were using boats that we leased. In 2019 we decided to make a change and invest in building a fleet of our own private VIP Speedboats.

The advantage of using private boats that we owned is we had full control over the experience you would receive with us. The quality of the private boat, the equipment on the boat, the crew, everything we could control, resulting in a better overall experience for you, our customers.

Now with that said, if you read any of the reviews on the Lisa Phuket Tours facebook page you would realize that we were highly recommended and our tours were much loved.

This is because we were very particular about the boats that we leased. Now we can take our business to the next step, we can enhance our guest’s experience and ensure 5 Star service across the board.

That’s why 5 Star Marine looks new, when in fact it’s not new. 5 Star Marine is just an extension of our Lisa Phuket Tours business, which has been running for 3 family generations here in Phuket.

So if you’re looking for a Private Boat Charter in Phuket then contact our team at 5 Star Marine or Lisa Phuket Tours.

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!