The Phuket high season is coming and many of the islands surrounding Phuket are reopening after being closed for the Thailand low season. One of the most anticipated openings is that of Maya Bay in Phi Phi which will be reopening on the 1st of October 2022.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand IF not the world. The beach was featured in the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio which was filmed over 20 years ago. It was closed on the 1st of August to give the Thailand National Park Authorities time to check and assess the last few month’s effects of tourists being allowed back on the beach.
Many of the other islands around Phuket and Krabi are opening on the 15th of October 2022. These include the stunning Similan Islands.
The Similan archipelago consists of eleven beautiful islands, and The Andaman Sea around the islands is one of the best-kept secrets of Thailand. The crystal-clear blue water is filled with marine life, which makes spotting, sharks, barracudas, triggerfish, and various tropical fish not a problem at all. It has some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world.
Also opening up on the 15th of October are the Surin islands. The Surin Islands are an archipelago of five islands and are very popular for their awesome coral gardens and fine white sandy beaches. The Surin Islands are one of the most famous diving and marine life viewing sites in the world, and arguably the best in Thailand.
5 Star Marine Phuket is also opening up some of its tours which it has put on hold during the Phuket low Season, so back open from the 15th of October are the tours to Koh Ha and Koh Rock. These two islands combine stunning water clarity with a diverse range of colorful marine life and corals and therefore offer some of the best snorkeling opportunities you can find. (And they are number one on my list of Phuket Islands to visit)
Also opening up are the Private Phuket Tours to Koh Lip, famous for its white powdery sand beaches and coral-rich turquoise waters, and the Koh Mook 3 day 2-night tour which also includes Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan, and the stunning Emerald cave.
With many Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, and Phang Nga islands opening up and some amazing private Phuket boat tours from 5 Star Marine Phuket coming back, it is looking like after 2 years of Covid-19 this coming high season is going to be fantastic.
This October brings renewed excitement as our guests will be able to enjoy a number of re-openings giving access to more tropical beach destinations.
This time of year also marks the transition from the Monsoon to the dry season, when calmer winds and sea conditions make for an ideal mix. As these destinations are perfect for either day or multi-night private speedboat trips from Phuket, we have pulled together a list of the top 4 places to visit from October 2022 to help inspire you:
Maya Bay (Reopens 1st October 2022)
Maya Bay, located on Phi Phi Ley, is one of the most iconic sites in the Phi Phi islands. It became renowned after featuring as the main location for the 2000 film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The plot focuses on a group of travellers wanting to create their own haven from the outside world at Maya Bay.
The stunning Bay will now reopen this October after being shut for two months (August and September 2022). Tourists were originally allowed to return in January 2022 after Maya Bay was closed for almost three and a half years.
This year’s closure was put in place in order to rebuild the island’s infrastructure and give the protected area a respite from visitors who had already returned to its beautiful bay. The shutdown of the stunning location serves as a reminder that an enormous amount of work has gone into repairing this bay.
From October when Maya Bay reopens, you will be able to see how the wildlife has returned and thrived; the bay is now home to clownfish, lobsters, and blacktip sharks!
Similan Island – (Reopens 15th October 2022)
The breathtaking Similan Islands will also reopen in mid-October again this year. A fantastic island-hopping site off Phuket’s west coast, the islands are teeming with incredible aquatic life, lush coral, and sandy white beaches.
Enjoy a spectacular private speedboat excursion to the legendary Similan Islands, a picturesque archipelago of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. These islands are only accessible for six months of the year – from the middle of October to mid-May; which means that everyone here at 5 Star Marine is extremely excited about this year’s reopening.
This is one of the most well-known island groups in the region, and it is famous for having some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. When you first arrive you will see large rocks on the coasts of numerous islands, which form a particular characteristic of this location.
5 Star Marine’s fleet of luxury VIP speedboats has already been granted permission to visit the Similan Island National Park area, so you get to appreciate the natural marine richness and crystal-clear blue seas that this area has to offer.
Surin Island – (Reopens 15th October 2022
The Surin Islands are the ideal underwater playground for scuba diving and snorkelling in Thailand thanks to the beautiful coral reefs and soft, white sand beaches. Mu Ko Surin National Park houses the Surin Islands; which consists of a group of five islands located around 100 kilometres north of the Similan Islands.
Ko Surin Nuea and Ko Surin Tai are the two main islands which have several unspoilt bays and are separated by barely 200 metres of clear water, which creates a shallow and popular snorkelling spot. These islands are still undeveloped, making this a natural habitat for an array of marine life and pristine coral gardens. The area is also known to attract whale sharks, which you might get the chance to see whilst out snorkelling with 5 Star Marine.
As with the Similan Islands, Surin Islands are also only accessible for six months of the year (from mid-October to mid-May).
Koh Ha and Koh Rok – (Accessible 15th October 2022)
By the middle of October, the Monsoon season is ending and the dry season begins, bringing with it more favourable wind and sea conditions. This is a great time to get out and explore, especially if you are searching for something a little more exotic and less well-known.
A private day or multi-night private trip to these magnificent locations will provide some of the greatest snorkelling in the world, combining spectacular water purity with a broad variety of colourful marine life and reefs for a truly unique experience. Whale sharks may also be seen between these islands throughout the season.
Koh Ha and Koh Rok are small islands located immediately south of Koh Lanta, situated within the Mu Ko Lanta National Park. By selecting to explore these islands you will be assured of fantastic snorkelling, lovely soft sandy beaches and fewer crowds than some of the more well-known islands. A bit longer to go compared to most of our other day trip options (which is why many happy clients select a multi-night approach); yet well worth every minute for the assured natural splendour.
We hope you are just as excited as we are about the opportunity to discover the reopened and accessible islands from October 2022!
For Bookings / Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand? New tourist visa rules, plus a brand-new café opening in Phuket and 5 Star Marine Phuket has a brand-new Phuket weatherman (kind of). All this is discussed in this month’s Breaking Phuket News by the owner of 5 Star Marine Phuket Shaun Stenning and YouTube host Jay Leshark, all while drinking coffee at the brand-new café “Next Door” to the 5 Star Marine towers.
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand?
Are you planning a trip to Thailand in the near future? If so, good news for you and good news for anyone working in the tourism industry, Thailand has decided to extend the stay period for those who enter Thailand on a Visa On Arrival. Starting on October 1st, 2022, Thailand CCSA has announced that the Visa extension stay period will be extended from 30 days to 45 days.
“We are looking to extending their stay, This will help boost tourist spending, revive the economy and reduce impact from the coronavirus pandemic.”A CCSA official said.
But Who can take advantage of these new rules?
The Visa extension rule will allow tourists from 64 different countries to come into Thailand without applying for a visa before they arrive. Which countries are on the list? please see below the full list:
The new visa extension is all part of the Thailand government’s efforts to increase economic recovery post-pandemic as it looks to gain 8-10 million foreign arrivals this year. This was the figure reported in The Bangkok Post.
In August, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said some 1.07 million foreign tourists had entered Thailand in July, which is the first time that monthly arrivals have exceeded 1 million since the pandemic.
But even better news for travelers from Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, as you will receive permission to stay in Thailand for up to 90 days under Visa Exemption.
New Coffee Shop open in Phuket
Always wanted a have a coffee overlooking the 5-Star Marine Towers, well now you can. The Next-Door Café has opened right next door to 5 Star Marine offices, so when you come on a 5 Star marine private boat tour you can grab a freshly brewed coffee or a snack before you go.
And finally, 5 Star Marine has a brand-new Phuket Weather Station that can accurately tell you what the weather is doing live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new station has been in creation for many years using NASA scientists to help with the hard stuff, hence why their rocket launch for Artemis I was delayed. Many people may say it’s just a coconut on a string, and well to be honest they might be right.
Here is the full list of countries that can get the NEW 45 days Visa on Arrival.
12 Czech Republic
19 Hong Kong
42 New Zealand
51 San Marino
53 Slovak Republic
55 South Africa
61 United Arab Emirates
62 United Kingdom
63 United States
There are many things to do in Phuket and as we are in low season, rainy season, or green season we thought we would show you a few things you can do in Phuket when it’s raining.
Of course, don’t forget that you can still come on a 5 Star marine tour to Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, Phi Phi, or any of our trips. In fact, Phang Nga Bay is stunning in the rain.
1st stop was a trip to the Aquaria Aquarium located in the center of Phuket beneath Central Phuket Floresta. Aquaria is the best aquarium in Phuket and the biggest in Thailand. The aquarium takes you on a magical underwater journey through the wonders of the ocean and the mysteries of the rivers. There are over 25,000 animals and you can also interact with some of them.
Next to Aquaria Aquarium is Happy Kids Club, which is a high-quality and safe indoor children’s playground where kids connect through play, fun, and educational activities as well as special celebrations. Happy Kids Club also offers both Thai and western workshop activities. They cater to Babies right up to 12-year-old.
The cinema experience in Phuket at SFX Cinema is a must for everyone. Although top tip, make sure you take warm clothes as they have their aircon set on “South Pole”. There are three cinemas in Phuket, one at Central Festival, one at Jungceylon shopping mall in Patong and a brand new SFX Cinema at the new Robinson’s Shopping mall in Talang. All the blockbuster movies are in English and Thai.
If you like to bounce and have a fun indoor adventure then Village Adventure at Blue Tree Phuket is a great place for kids of all ages. Adventure Village is an indoor family entertainment center, with a commitment to bringing fun to everyone. The park includes an incredible wide range of entertainment options including trampoline arena, foam pit, zip line, donut slide, fun slide, roller skating, net climbing, pirate ship playground, Lego zone, carousels and more. Adventure Village brings fun to a new level.
And finally, don’t forget that even when it’s raining you can still enjoy an amazing 5-Star Marine Private Boat Tour. In fact, as I said at the start if this, we often tell people that Phang Nga Bay in the rain is beautiful, and of course, we live in the tropics, so even if it’s raining first thing in the morning then chances are it will not be raining later in the day and in the same way, just because it might be raining in Patong, doesn’t mean it’s raining in Phang Nga or Phi Phi.
So rain or shine there are many things to do in Phuket after you have had a fantastic Private Tour with 5 Star Marine.
Get together with your loved ones for a day on the water that will never be forgotten. Our private Phuket Sunset Cruise gives you the freedom to explore the islands surrounding Phuket at your own pace on one of our luxurious 5 Star Marine speedboats.
An ideal combination of snorkelling, dolphin watching, and a private beach BBQ at sunset sets this luxury trip apart from the others. Each reservation is unique and we work with you to ensure you have the best experience possible. Our Phuket Sunset Cruise typically involves setting sail from our Boat Lagoon dock and spending the day cruising around the beautiful islands in the waters that surround Phuket. Enjoy snorkelling in pristine seas teeming with tropical marine life. To make the day seamless, there is no need to worry about bringing snorkelling gear along, as it is all provided onboard for you.
Private Phuket Sunset Cruise
Unlike on group tours, when you may feel pressured to rush through attractions in order to keep to a strict timetable, you may take your time and see everything at your own pace while travelling with 5 Star Marine on your Phuket Sunset Cruise.
In the afternoon, you will get to participate in our respectful dolphin spotting. We at 5 Star Marine know how lucky we are to have the chance to watch dolphins in their natural environment. Due to the fact that dolphins are curious by nature, they frequently approach our luxury speedboats during the Phuket Sunset Cruise to have a closer look, and so this special itinerary allows you the opportunity to enjoy an up-close encounter with these amazing animals.
Sunset Beach BBQ
Just before sunset, indulge in the late afternoon sun by relaxing on a private, tropical beach as our dedicated staff grill beef and chicken satay in the traditional Thai way, right on the stunning soft sands. In between invigorating swims in the turquoise water, enjoy our “Mocktail of the Day” on the beach, while the sun sets in a tropical kaleidoscope. Photo opportunities are abundant as you snap away to remember your truly special Phuket Sunset Cruise.
Phuket Sunset Cruise Inclusions:
Our experienced captains and crew know just how to miss the crowds and make your Phuket Sunset Cruise a truly memorable experience.
Book Our Luxury Phuket Sunset Cruise:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
Maya Bay is due to close again on the 1st of August 2022 for 2 months. This is part of the National Parks revised plan to maintain the newly restored marine environment. This closure is in line with the closure of other National Parks, for example, the Similan and Surin National Park areas and the Koh Ha and Koh Rok National Park areas.
While Maya Bay will be closed to walk on, sightseeing, swimming, and taking photos from behind the roped line will continue to be available. These are the exact same rules that were instigated during the multi-year closure.
Here at 5 Star Marine we fully support the sustainable nature of closing the park. While some visitors will be sad to realize they can not walk on the iconic beach, it is for the long-term health of the Bay.
Prior to the initial closure a few years ago Maya Bay had a significant amount of reef damage and the Marine Life was scarce to nonexistent. Since the closure the reef has started to restore, Marine Life has come back in abundance and Maya Bay is now the home to some reef sharks.
If you are visiting Phi Phi during the closure period you can still visit the Iconic Pileh Lagoon, Monkey Beach, Viking Cave, Bamboo Island, Camel Rock, Phi Phi Don, and more. While Phi Phi is well known for Maya Bay it is not all it has to offer.
With 5 Star Marine, you can hire one of our luxury VIP speedboats for an exclusive Hong Krabi Private Boat tour. Take the opportunity to experience the stunning beauty of Ko Hong Krabi and the smaller Krabi province archipelagos in deluxe comfort. Plus, you get to enjoy all of this at your own pace when you book a Hong Krabi Private Boat tour with us.
The sheer natural beauty you encounter on our Hong Krabi Private Boat trip is breathtaking. This area provides you with everything you could want from a day out. Indulge in a swim to cool off in the emerald green lagoons, try a spot of snorkeling, discover the white sandy, private beaches, or take a hike to enjoy an incredible 360o viewpoint and sightseeing – there is something to keep everyone happy.
Our Hong Krabi Private Boat VIP tour is completely flexible, so you can customize your day with the help of our expert crew and captains to get an experience that is perfect for you.
Ko Hong Krabi is the perfect stop on your Private Boat tour; it sits in-between the Koh Yao Islands and Krabi mainland and boasts a remarkable emerald green lagoon which you enter through a narrow passageway. Once inside 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 underwater on the soft sand.
For a little more on the adventurous side; why not make your way around to the more recent addition to the island on your Hong Krabi Private Boat. The breathtaking 360o Viewpoint has an impressive metal staircase structure which was just built 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.
With so much to offer at Ko Hong Krabi, you might get your fill just here. However, if you feel inclined to, then after enjoying these stunning panoramic seascapes, you can 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 Hong Krabi Private Boat day. In the afternoon, you could enjoy some snorkeling at Chicken Island or explore the nearby Ko Poda beach.
The choice really is yours, because when you book your Hong Krabi Private Boat 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 Book a Hong Krabi Private Boat?
With so much to see and do, the Hong Krabi Private Boat 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 Hong Krabi Private Boat will include the following:
Explore the best spots on and around Hong Krabi in ultimate luxury, with your very own, bespoke Hong Krabi Private Boat.
Contact us to book your Krabi Private Tour:
With 5 Star Marine, you can hire one of our luxury VIP speedboats for an exclusive Phang Nga Bay Private Boat tour. Phang-Nga Bay, (or Ao Phang Nga National Park), has long been a popular destination for travelers from around the world and consists of numerous, beautiful islands.
Phang Nga Bay was a famous destination long before hit movies that were filmed there came out, including the 1974 Bond movie The Man With The Golden Gun, which made ‘James Bond Island’ a world-renowned site.
With a custom Phang Nga Bay Private Boat, you will get guided around hidden coves and lagoons, as well as have the chance to stop off at the iconic James Bond Island if you wish. Our Phang Nga Bay Private Boat VIP tour is completely flexible, so you can customize your day with the help of our expert crew and captains to get an experience that is perfect for you.
On your Phang Nga Bay Private Boat day trip, you will see some stunning seascapes, including the huge jutting-out limestone formations and numerous caves. The whole area is a spectacular bay that offers a multitude of natural wonders just waiting to be explored.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous on your Phang Nga Bay Private Boat trip, why not do a little spot of sea kayaking and explore the incredible caves inside the towering karst formations in the area. Our crew knows exactly where to take you for these types of experiences, and are experts at beating the crowds too.
While on your Phang Nga Bay Private Boat trip, you will be taken on a tropical journey, and we would suggest making a stop off at the picturesque Gypsy Village (the floating Muslim community of Koh Panyee) during your day, perhaps for lunch. Here you will get to see huts, restaurants, and even a floating football pitch which are all built over the water.
Experience nature’s spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location on your luxury Phang Nga Bay Private Boat. However please note this is not for those looking to go snorkeling, the Phang Nga Bay trip is all about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring.
5 Star Marine’s Phang Nga Bay Private Boat tour creates an unforgettable time at this world-renowned destination. By selecting this day trip, you will get the opportunity to discover Phang Nga Bay in the best conditions, with the least number of tourists and also see parts of Phang Nga Bay that you will not experience on group tours.
Although our Phang Nga Bay Private Boat day trip is customizable, here is an idea of a sample itinerary you might enjoy:
- Visit a hidden cave around Panak Island
- Swim in clear turquoise waters at Ko Kudu Yai
- Lunch and sightseeing at Koh Panyee floating village
- James Bond Island tour (from Koh Ping Ghan)
- Canoeing/caving in the Phang Nga Bay area
Bookings and Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
The Wet Season (also known as the Low Season or Green Season) starts in Phuket around May each year and continues through to the end of October. The signal of the change of seasons in Phuket is when the wind changes.
During our High Season or Dry Season, the wind blows from the East, during our Low Season or Wet Season the wind blows from the West. The West blowing winds brings more rain, monsoons, and unpredictable weather conditions.
Does It Rain All Day In Wet Season?
One of the biggest questions we see online and from our emails is whether it rains all day during the Wet Season. The reality is that it does not. We may have a passing shower or a storm for a day, but it is not raining all day every day. In addition to that, it can be raining on one part of Phuket and not another.
We live in a Tropical Climate, so the showers are generally passing and isolated.
Is It Safe To Go On A Private Boat In Wet Season?
It is very rare that we would need to cancel a tour in Wet Season. As I write this post right now we have low wind, blue skies, and calm seas. It’s the end of June and we feel as if this weather is going to continue for at least another week.
Due to the season though we always recommend to our customers to book the earliest available date in your holiday to go out on tour, so that we can then advise if the weather is not good to go another day.
During Wet Season we will time your tours a little differently to High Season. The high season is a great time to do sunset tours, whereas the low season is a great time to do early morning departures.
What Destinations Are Open In Wet Season?
Destinations like Koh Rok, Koh Ha, and Similan are closed during the wet season for coral rejuvenation as well as due to the rougher sea conditions on the way to these destinations.
Summary: If you are planning a trip during the wet season, feel free to contact us and let us help advise you on the best destinations and the best day and time to get there.
We were pleased to welcome Vincent Modell from Phuket Basic Life Support to the 5 Star Marine Offices at Phuket Boat Lagoon, to train our team on the latest First Aid Skills.
Getting trained in first aid means that our team will be able to prevent issues that might make and first aid situation worse, especially in the case that one of our guests needs immediate first aid care while out on one of our private boat tours. The main aim of our training was to learn the skills to stabilize the person who is injured until emergency medical attention arrives or until we can get the injured person back to shore.
Safety is our number one priority at 5 Star marine and proper First Aid training is the only way to guarantee that our team can offer all our guests first aid IF the situation arises.
Vincent gave our team some valuable information such as:
- CPR – The most well-known, and most important first aid skill is CPR. CPR is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and it provides artificial ventilation that can preserve brain function, blood circulation, and breathing in a person. In an emergency situation, knowing how to perform CPR is invaluable, and Vincent showed the team how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants.
- Broken bones – If someone has a broken bone then what do you do? Vincent showed the team how to set a splint. If the injury is not set before moving the injured person, it could get worse and cause excessive pain, and imagine that out on a boat. Our staff learned how best to set a splint from items on the boat and how best to keep that split in place.
- Bleeding – Worse case here would be bleeding from a main artery or vein and Vincent showed the staff what to do in this situation as well as how to stop bleeding from other areas of the body.
- Lionfish, sea urchins, and other sea life stings and bites – Of course, our team and our guests come into contact with an array of beautiful sea life here in Phuket, yet, some of these can be beautifully deadly. Vincent gave the staff training on what to do if any other of our guests get stings or injuries from any of these beautiful creatures.
While we hope we never need these skills, it’s important to keep up to date. A big thank you to Vincent Modell from Phuket Basic Life Support