How To Avoid the Crowds – Early Bird Phi Phi Tour or Sunset Tour?

So, as we start to see trickles of tourism return to the island, we have been answering lots of questions from many of our 1st time bookers as well as our return guests. Let’s explore some of the most common questions we’ve been asked:

Q: What is the tour itinerary?

When you hire a private boat with 5 Star Marine, you get sent a proposal with a suggested itinerary. Now, we stress the ‘suggested’ part, and this is why; when you arrive at the pier for your private luxury tour, we will talk through the plan for the day. We make suggestions because there are variables outside of our control such as the sea, wind condition, tide, etc. Our concept is a joint idea between you and your guide on the day, for the best experience.

We take into account your requirements for your day out, and we apply the variables to come up with the best tour itinerary for the day. For example, if the tide is high on your Phi Phi private luxury tour date, we suggest you go to Phi Phi Ley first (explore Maya Bay, Pi Ley Lagoon, go snorkeling near the Viking cave), and then in the afternoon head over to Phi Phi Don.

However, on another day there will be low tide in the morning and high tide in the afternoon; therefore, the itinerary would need to change in order to see Maya Bay at its most beautiful, for example.

This is why the itinerary is suggested, not set in stone. We allow for you to add in more snorkeling stops if you please, and take your time; there are no set schedules of rushing for the next stop like you might experience on group tours.

Q: How long do we get for lunch?

The answer is simple, it is however long you want it to be. As it is a private boat, essentially the boat is yours and your captain and crew on the day are there to give you the ultimate day out so they will take into account your requirements and help guide you.

Q: Should we leave super early to avoid the crowds?

We are starting to see a slight uplift in tourism, and hope that towards December we will see further recovery.

We get asked a lot; how do we avoid the crowds? As a private boat hire you do have the option to go out early, however, this isn’t the only way to avoid the crowds. What we suggest is that we help you retime your tour.

Our experienced guides know that Maya Bay, for example, will be busy between 10 am -11 am but afterward, when the group tour boats leave to go for lunch you can take the opportunity to miss the crowds then. We might suggest you leave the pier at 10 am and get to Maya Bay at 11 am, as other group tours will go to lunch between 12:30-2:30 at Phi Phi Don, so you can find quieter spots by retiming – not necessarily by leaving super early or later.

Out teams know how to create better timings for the destinations, which we refer to as “reverse timing” so we are not following the group tour timings/program. With our private boats, you get the ultimate flexibility and privacy to allow for this.

Although there are now more crowds than during the peak of international shutdowns with Covid-19, there are still plenty of stunning and beautiful places to explore, so now is a great time to get out and see for yourself whilst tourism isn’t back at the same level as before.

Watch Full Vlog Here:


Contact us to book your private tour:

www.5starmarinephuket.com

+66-93-720-6221

[email protected]

 

Phi Phi Island Private Tour

Enjoy our Phi Phi Islands Private Tour, where you get to experience the ultimate and iconic scenery on your very own private day trip. With 5 Star Marine, you can discover this world-famous location in luxury, onboard one of their VIP, upgraded speedboats.

Our experienced captains and crew know just how to miss the crowds on your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour, so you can sit back and relax knowing you are in safe and capable hands. During your Private Tour, you will get the chance to enjoy the stunning coral reefs around Phi Phi which are bursting with colourful marine life, as well as experience the natural beauty of the area. Take your time swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear tropical lagoons as our captains guide you around the area.

Hello Maya Bay

Maya Bay only just reopened in January 2022 (and is definitely one of the most iconic areas you can visit on your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour); made famous after being featured in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

This widely-known bay was completely closed to tourists for 3.5 years, by order of The Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation. This was necessary after sadly mass tourism destructed the coral life, reefs and marine ecology.

However, during this time the whole Maya Bay area underwent a significant and impressive rehabilitation project, which included planting new corals on the reefs over more than 4 acres in and around the bay. Parts of the beach were regenerated and protective walkways were constructed.

5 Star Marine will ensure that you enjoy the beautiful sandy Maya Bay, whilst practising responsible tourism to help keep the area protected and allow it to continue regenerating; all this can be part of your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour experience.  The Marine Park has worked tirelessly to get Maya Bay back to its previous paradise condition; so, we ensure that our tours adhere to the new rules and help demonstrate respectful tourism.

Phi Phi Islands Private Tour Highlights

  • Start your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour by heading to Maya Bay at Phi Phi Ley, where you can now actually walk on the “beach”, and experience this beautiful and famous cove for yourself.
  • Cruise around to Loh Samah Bay; a small bay on the other side of Maya Bay that offers some beautiful marine life and makes for a good snorkeling stop.
  • Enter Pileh Lagoon to swim in the clear turquoise waters. Another famous stop on your Phi Phi Private Tour is this lagoon also featured in “The Beach” when Leonardo DiCaprio dived off into the stunning aquamarine waters.
  • Explore Small Monkey Beach, where you can see these cheeky little creatures sitting on the karst rocks and relaxing on the beach.
  • Your Phi Phi Island Private Tour could take you to Wong Long Bay, which we can still access despite the narrow entrance.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch, which can include Thai sharing dishes that we can arrange for you, on a sandy cove with a shallow bay at Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don.
  • Experience snorkelling at Ao Nuoi and discover rich corals and marine life together with a picturesque beach setting.
  • Complete your Phi Phi Islands Private Tour by taking in the beauty of Bamboo Island – a stunning setting, with shallow clear blue waters and a picturesque beach. Enjoy some snorkeling in this area and you might even spot a blacktip reef shark.

Phi Phi Islands Private Tour Inclusions:

private-boat-charter-inclusions

Bookings and Enquiries:

Shaun

+66 (0) 93720 6221

www.5starmarinephuket.com

[email protected]

Phi Phi Island

Phuket Sandbox – What Can You Do? Where Can You Go? Is Island Hopping Even Allowed?

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/


With Phuket and Thailand changing the rules for entry into the Country in January there has been a lot of questions from travelers around what they can and can’t do, where they can visit by boat, and what island hopping tours are allowed.

Shaun took some time to film a video complete with a map of Phuket and its surrounding islands to give you an idea of where you can go. The good news is that islands like James Bond Island, Phi Phi Island, and even Hong Krabi are allowed to visit areas.

Find out more in the video below:

Domestic Vs Sandbox Rules

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/


With all the different rules and regulations depending on if you are a domestic guest or a Sandbox visitor, we thought that this needed breaking down; so here it is: 

CURRENT REGULATIONS

 DOMESTIC GUESTSSANDBOX TRAVELLERS
PierBoat Lagoon, Chalong PierChalong Pier
Destinations*Coral Island, Racha Islands, Mai Ton IslandCoral Island, Racha Islands, Mai Ton Island
VaccinationProof not requiredVaccination certificate required
MorChana AppNot requiredMorChana App on phone required
ID**Passport copy or Thai IDPassport copy or Thai ID
Rewards StampAvailable for Racha and Mai Ton tripsAvailable for Racha and Mai Ton trips

* As we are unable to leave the Phuket province (until 16th August) the day trips are currently restricted to Coral Island, Racha Islands, and Mai Ton Island.

** Identification as indicated in the table has required a minimum of 24 hours prior to the boat trip departure.

AFTER 16th AUGUST?

For domestic guests, the following areas are due to open up after 16th August:

Please note that you will need to be fully vaccinated with the exclusion of children and those under 12 years old do who do not need a negative Covid-19 test. Fully vaccinated adults must provide a negative antigen test also (rules as of 8th August 2021)

Remember to request your Rewards Passport, to get stamps for your day trip experiences – collect all 7 destinations and get a totally FREE day trip, no hidden extra charges!

Whether you are a domestic or sandbox customer we at 5 Star Marine are ready to welcome you safely onboard our TAT SHA Plus certified fleet.

 

Phuket Needs You

So, let’s start with the good news; Phuket Sandbox successfully opened, and tourists are coming into Phuket – this helps start to fill the enormous gap that the island has faced as one of the most travel-dependent economies in the world.

However, let’s look at what else is going on here right now – Covid-19 cases are sadly rising and domestic travel has more or less stopped. Yes, international travelers are coming, but the numbers are so low that it cannot even bridge the gap in domestic arrivals. The bottom line is that we need more international tourists and domestic travel in order to increase tourism revenue that is so desperately needed.

So what can we do in the meantime? Well, here at 5 Star Marine we continue to pack life bags for people who need food and household staples and have no other means of getting these items. In the last 2 weeks, over 9,312 life bags were packed by our usual volunteers plus some Sandbox guests and were then delivered to the most vulnerable communities using our trucks and speedboats.

Deliveries were made to local communities and islands surrounding Phuket, including Kow Kaew, Koh Sirey, Rawai, Chalong, Bang Rong, Thasak, Koh Yao Noi, Naka Yai, Coconut Island, Phuket Town, Rassada, Mai Khao plus numerous other locations.

The life bag donation effort is continuing and despite the fact that it is approaching a year and a half, we have to keep going as the need is greater than ever before. There are so many we cannot help, and it is devastating to see, but we have to keep going, we keep reaching out to those we know need it most, we keep packing life bags and we keep supporting wherever we can.

You NEED to Know This: Can you go to Phi Phi?

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/


“Can I go to Phi Phi?” Well, with some requirements to be aware of, 5 Star Marine have broken these down for you. We know the rules, we have been through the process so that we know exactly what to do and how to do it. . so here is the lowdown:

WHO is allowed to go to Phi Phi National Park areas:

  • Sandbox customers cannot go to Phi Phi during the first 14 days after they arrive in Phuket. From day 15, Sandbox customers can go to Phi Phi with 5 Star Marine.
  • Expats living in Phuket are allowed to visit Phi Phi if they are fully vaccinated.

What are the REQUIREMENTS to go to Phi Phi?

  • Anyone going to Phi Phi needs to pre-register with the National Park one day prior to going to get approval.
  • 5 Star Marine will take care of the approval process for you, they simply need a copy of your passport and vaccine certificate.
  • When arriving at Tonsai Bay, 5 Star Marine staff will manage the process with the National Park and will hand over the relevant paperwork where vaccination documents will also be checked.

What about CHILDREN coming into the Phi Phi National Park?

  • Children 12 – 18 years old will need to show a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours.
  • Under 12-year-old children are allowed into the National Park, as long as they are with a fully vaccinated parent.

How LONG does it take to get there?

  • It takes 45 minutes from our pier in Boat Lagoon to reach the Phi Phi Islands.

WHERE is open?

  • Phi Phi Don has re-opened, where you can explore a number of coves, snorkeling spots, and even hidden lagoons. The water right now is stunning and turquoise with abundant marine life after having some time to rest.
  • You are allowed to access most of Phi Phi Don – including Laem Tong Bay, Monkey Beach, and Tonsai Bay, and the village itself. However, please note that Tonsai village itself is quiet with little open at the moment.

It’s the perfect time to get out there and support the island and small community, and the fact that it is still quiet is an added bonus. With only a few small requirements needed prior to departure which the team at 5 Star Marine can help you with, what are you waiting for? Book your Phi Phi adventure now and experience it like never before!

 

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.

What a Year!

We know that uncertainty remains at unprecedented levels globally, but we wanted to take a moment to look back on all the positive experiences from the last year, to realize how far we have come – and wow what a year it has been for us.

We took time to regroup and focus on reprioritizing our efforts in the last 12 months, and this meant rolling up our sleeves and getting busy. We re-evaluated in order to understand where new opportunities could open up for us and where they made sense. We continued supporting the vulnerable communities and the people around us via our charity efforts. 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.  

All in all, we are feeling positive about the future and wanted to share our top positive moments from the last year with you: 

1. Adding To Our Fleet

Let’s start with our speedboat fleet, which has doubled in size; we now have a total of 12 Private VIP Speedboats which offer day and multi-night tours out of Phuket and Krabi. We introduced our first VIP Luxury Cruiser, which is a proud extension to our current speedboat fleet and offers a truly unique experience on the water.

2. New Premises

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. Our new glass-fronted office is a more welcoming environment for all our loyal VIP customers and future private tours. 

3. Once In A Lifetime Experiences

We are humbled and know how lucky our crew, staff, and guests have been in the last year. We had the opportunity to experience Phuket and the Islands like NEVER before. Deserted beaches, empty turquoise lagoons and even being some of the first people to climb the new 3600 Krabi Viewpoint. We made unforgettable memories and feel blessed to have these with us forever.

4. New Tour Options

We introduced overnight and multi-day tours to our Phuket and Krabi markets. This included supplying private guests with island hotel return transfers, and adding new day trip locations such as Koh Ngai, Koh Mook, and Koh Kradan. We also had some exciting and memorable multi-night tours to paradise locations such as Koh Lipe, where our guests experienced manta rays and turtles amongst other stunning marine life. 

5. Our Charity Efforts Kept Going

We financed, packed, and delivered over 190,000 Life Bags to support the local, vulnerable communities; not only in Phuket but in the hard-to-reach surrounding islands where help was so greatly needed. Our teams of staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly ordering, packing, managing logistics, and delivering these food-based Life Bags for over 15 months now. Often exhausted from the sheer scale of efforts, our teams have stood strong and kept these efforts going each and every week –  We want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved in this critical effort.

Here’s to more positive times ahead in 2021 and beyond. 

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:

UWC Lends a Helping Hand to 5 Star Marine

 

5 Star Marine and Sutai Muay Thai continued to support vulnerable communities in and around Phuket and Phang Nga for over a year now, and to date, we have exceeded over 150,000 life bag donations, (each of the bags contains enough staple supplies to feed a family of 5 for around 4 days). 5 Star Marine’s speedboats enabled to access some of the most at-risk areas and allowed the charity efforts to go further afield. 

Given the complete scale of operations, they recently put out a petition, not for donations, but for more people to help packing of donation bags. So when UWC Thailand International School proposed that they could help as part of their community and Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA’s), this offer was gratefully received. More helping hands was exactly what 5 Star Marine was looking for!  

Packing and delivering over 2,000 life bags each and every week is an immense commitment and the 5 Star Marine team has committed a significant amount of time and effort already. Now thankfully, we have more willing volunteers, as students and teachers help out weekly both on and off-campus.

The school will be providing a 20+ strong team of students and teachers each Saturday to assist with the community packing at Sutai Muay Thai. These sorts of activities are a vital part of student life and learning; providing an opportunity to bring students, staff, and parents, (as well as the wider community), together.

In addition to the off-campus efforts, there will be a weekly group of students (up to around 50), who will aim to pack 1,000 life bags each week for this worthy initiative. In true UWC style, the school has launched a competition inviting all students to challenge the packing process and in particular to look at how to reduce plastic usage, reuse, or recycle elements of the current food packing practices. 

5 Star Marine team are grateful for the hands-on deck needed, and the response from UWC has been a perfect fit to help with these donation efforts. They continue to take the safety of all school and other volunteers, beneficiaries, and staff as of paramount importance, with all donation activities being overseen by public health officers and local arbiters; adhering to screening, sanitizing, and queuing with social distancing guidelines.