When Will Phuket Open Post Covid?

When Will Phuket Open Post COVID?

One of the most asked questions on Facebook Groups that are related to traveling to Phuket is “When Will Phuket Open?”

The answer to the question until now has been “no-one knows”. There were reported efforts of a travel bubble, which would allow entry of certain citizens from certain countries.

This though was put on ice when a foreign diplomat arrived on a special request entry and ended up testing positive for COVID triggering a lockdown of the areas that he visited and mass testing.

The reality is the government doesn’t want to affect the continuing economy that it has by injecting large cases of COVID into the country.

The alternate to that reality is that tourism is a large chunk of the GPD of Thailand so at some point, the amount of economic pain caused by closed borders will be so great that they are forced to open.

This “Tipping Point” appears to be happening now, to be honest. The government is now talking about “Safe and Sealed” zones where they will allow long-stay travelers who wish to visit islands like Phuket for at least 30 days.

The first 14 days will be a quarantine in a 1km zone at approved resorts and then after that, they are free to travel.

The details are still being worked out, which sometimes means that maybe this won’t happen at all as it’s difficult to manage is too hard.

So the answer to the question still remains, We Just Don’t Know.

Is Maya Bay At The Phi Phi Islands Open?

Is Maya Bay At The Phi Phi Islands Open?

One of the highlights of touring around Phuket via Private Speedboat is visiting Maya Bay.  For those of you who may be a little younger, you may not know why Maya Bay is so well known.  You see, Maya Bay was featured in a movie that had Leonardo DiCaprio as the major actor.  Ever since this movie was released crowds of tourists have rushed to Phuket to board a Private Boat and head to Maya Bay and walk on the same sand that Leo walked on and swim in the beautiful blue water that he swam in.

The problem this caused was that due to a lack of a Tourism Management Plan there were thousands of people visiting Maya Bay every single day which led to the destruction of the reef and Marine Life leaving the bay.  While this is a horrible side effect of the popularity of the bay for the local people of Phuket and Krabi the movie was a great way to feature the beautiful area to the rest of the world.

Due to the Coral Reef destruction and over-tourism, the Thailand Government made a decision to close Maya Bay for restoration. 

Maya Bay at Phi Phi Island is still closed and will remain closed most probably until 2021. 

Here at 5 Star Marine, we hope that it stays closed even longer as the coral regrowth rate is slow, and while marine life is returning to the bay, opening up the bay will just destroy the good work that has been done.

In fact, if you ever come with us on a Private Boat to Phi Phi Island you’ll realize that we don’t even below Maya Bay to be the most beautiful Bay out of all of the Bays out at Phi Phi Island.  For example, you have things like Camel Rock, Pileh Lagoon and more to go and explore.

Just like James Bond Island is an icon attracting people into Phang Nga Bay, Maya Bay is just an icon attracting people to go visit, swim, snorkel and explore the Phi Phi Islands.  While it’s worth a photo, a visit and a little reminiscing of the movie The Beach in our opinion it is not the only reason why you should be visiting Phi Phi Island.

The Hidden Features of Phang Nga Bay

The Hidden Features of Phang Nga Bay

Having just arrived back from a wonderful day exploring Phang Nga Bay I found myself wondering, is James Bond Island really the Jewel of Phang Nga Bay or are there other equally stunning locations within the Bay?

The answer it seems was pretty obvious. Prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic when we ran James Bond Island Tours the shortest amount of time that we spent at one spot was at James Bond Island. I was always of the thought that this was because that James Bond Island was so busy.

Now that Covid 19 has decimated the tourist Industry here in Phuket we found ourselves out exploring bays, Island and lagoons without the crowds. This means that we are now actually regularly stopping at James Bond Island, spending more time there than we have ever before.

James Bond Island Is Still A Big Draw Card To Phang Nga Bay

But I don’t think It’s the most beautiful location out of the locations in Phang Nga Bay. For Example, canoeing through the Hongs at Koh hong Island at mid to high tide is life changing. Recently I had two groups of expat travellers tell me that this was the single best thing that they’ve done in there entire life.

Then of course there are the beautiful green lagoons for swimming. Lagoons like at Panak Island, Koh Kudu or Koh Roi. These lagoons are stunning in thereselves and allow for a great place to swim, relax and just let nature rush over you.

You could also add to that list the many caves in Phang Nag Bay. You have the Ice Cream Cave, Mangrove Cave, Elephant Cave and some caves that I am not even certain have a name or if they do everyone has a different name for them.

So if you are looking to explore Phang Nga Bay but don’t like the tourist trap of James Bond Island I would suggest to you that you don’t even need to visit James Bond Island to truly enjoy the bay.

Covid 19 Hotel Specials 2020

Covid 19 Hotel Specials 2020

Here at 5 Star Marine we have been lucky enough to help happy travellers from Phuket, Bangkok and surrounds to reach there intended destination.  With the effect of Covid 19 being felt across Phuket, Koh Yao Yai, Koh Yao Noi, Phi Phi Island and beyond there are a number of great hotel specials being offered.

We ourselves here have taken advantage of specials at hotels like Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai, Phi Phi Island Village Resort, Rayavadee Resort Krabi and the Anantara Mai Khao.  If you are supporting local tourism businesses and resorts by booking and staying at hotels offering deals and need transfers please contact us here for discounted transfer rates.

Quite often you will find that we are cheaper than you can find online, through the hotels or at the piers.  Our company policy is to support local tourism businesses and resorts and if we can make it affordable for you to transfer to and from these island destination resorts we are happy to help out.

You can read more about 5 Star Marine Transfers here and Santhiya Resort Koh Yao Yai transfers here.

Covid Safe Private Boats Phuket

Covid Safe Private Boats Phuket

5 Star Marine aims to be an industry leader and when it comes to Covid Safety, Health and Cleanliness we have taken extensive measures to ensure that our boats, our crew, our policies, and procedures are industry-leading.

Take a look at some of the steps we’ve taken to ensure your safety while on the water with us.

Cheap Phi Phi Island Tours

Prior to providing Private Boat Tours to island sets like the Phi Phi Islands we were heavily involved in the resale and promotion of Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours.  The kind of tours where 35 to 50 people are on a boat and they quickly move from stop to stop.

As a reseller of these tours we were frequently changing providers as our clients often came back dissatisfied with the Phi Phi Island Group Tour.  Complaints we often received were:

  • Cheap Phi Phi Island ToursTravel Time – Due to the nature of a group tour the bus that transfers you to the pier has to stop at multiple hotels to pick up other guests. Sometimes those guests are late and you stuck waiting on a bus adding an extra 1hr each way onto your travel.
  • Boat – The quality of the boat is poor and has too many people on the boat for you to really enjoy the sights. Additionally when snorkeling it takes some time to get into the water as too many people are trying to get off at once.
  • Equipment – The equipment on the boat is faulty. Life jackets don’t close properly, masks leak, snorkels are broken, no fins are available.
  • Snorkeling – The area where they are snorkeling is too crowded as multiple boats with 35 – 50 people are in the same area and they keep getting kicked in the head.
  • Lunch – The buffet lunch is of poor quality with the food lukewarm and of a low quality.

These are just some of the complaints we heard and helped to solve.  Out of the frustration of sending customers to companies that really didn’t care about delivering quality experiences we created 5 Star Marine.

5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island

The 5 Star Marine team, boats, and equipment are all high quality.  Our boats are some of the newest and best-maintained on the water.  Our crew and guides are constantly receiving training and are instructed to avoid the crowds.

So while 5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours to Phi Phi Island may be more expensive than Cheap Phi Phi Island Group Tours the difference in experience is not comparable.  Decide to make your Phi Phi Island trip memorable for all the right reasons and chat with the team at 5 Star Marine today.

You’ll be amazed at how affordable we are!

5 Star Marine Helping The Local Community During Covid 19 Pandemic

If you follow us Facebook or Instagram you’d notice that the team at 5 Star Marine are working closely with the local community to help get support to those who need it.

Over the last few week we have been donating rice, water, chicken, beef and more to communities that have been significantly affected by the Covid 19 pandemic.  To understand Phuket is a tourism town.  When our government made the decision to lock our borders almost all of the people of Phuket were out of work.

This led to a lot of people running out of money and food.  Seeing this need our team snapped into action and started organizing food and supplies for families that needed it.  Through our work over the last few weeks we have donated over 4000 Kilograms of Rice, over 3000 bottles of water, more than 200 Kilograms of Chicken and so much beef we lost count.

All these donations have been financed by the team behind 5 Star Marine.  We have not sought donations from our customers we have worked with our team and the team from Sutai Muay Thai to put these donations together directly.

We don’t write this to hope for praise, what we hope for is your support.

Support The Businesses That Support The Community With Your Custom!

When travel restrictions are lifted, and they will be lifted, we hope that those of you who do choose to travel to Phuket that you choose to support businesses like ours that helped out in the time of need.

Don’t get me wrong, we are not the only business helping, there are restaurants, dive shops, hotels and more helping out.  What we hope to see is that you choose to eat at those restaurants, dive with those dive shops, stay at those hotels and go on private boats with companies that are helping.

These are the companies that are working with heart during these hard times and we should reward those companies with our custom.  Just like we plan to.  When we can we will visit these restaurants, eat there and we will repay there kindness with the thing that counts to them, customers.

What Is The Difference Between A James Bond Island Private Boat Tour and A Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour?

Generally, when we receive inquiries about private boats we are asked what is the difference between James Bond and Phi Phi Island. The immediate response out of our mouths is they are night and day tours.

The tours while taking place on the water are two completely different tours. For example, the James Bond Island Private Boat Tour takes place in lagoon-like water. There is very little clarity around the waters of James Bond (or Phang Nga as it is known locally). When you go on a James Bond Island Private Boat Tour you go to look at the wonderful limestone rocks, stalactite formations, hidden caves, lagoons, and of course the famous James Bond Island.

But when you go to Phi Phi you go see the crystal clear water, the white sandy beaches, the colorful marine life, rocky outcrops, and if you are really lucky maybe a reef shark or two. The Phi Phi Island Private Boat Tour is really about seeing what’s under the water, as well as what’s above whereas the James Bond Island Tour is about seeing what’s above the water.

Both tours are equally as beautiful, you just need to decide what kind of tour you want, do you want to go swimming, snorkeling and sitting on white sandy beaches or do you want to go sightseeing, sea canoeing and cave exploring?

If you are the adventurous type then you can do BOTH Phi Phi Island and James Bond Island at one time on a Private Boat.

Can I Do James Bond Island And Phi Phi Island In One Day?

When people who visit Phuket are short on time, they are on a short stay or it’s just one of many stops we are often asked if it’s possible to do James Bond and Phi Phi Island all in the same day.

The answer is simple, yes.

BUT, and there is a big but, you have to rent a Private Boat and experience both Islands from the comfort of your own Private Charter.

The reason being that if you a group tour company attempted to do both locations in one day they could not possibly do it. With up to 90 people on a group tour boat, they could not do each stop with 90 people going on and off the boat all in one day.

By taking a Private Speedboat like our 5 Star Marine Private Boat you will be able to complete both trips in one day as there are less people on the boat (just you and your family or friends) and we can design a program that specifically suits you.

This is a popular program that we have run with clients who visit Phuket only just once in there lifetime so they can see some of the most popular sites as well as some of the hidden gems. When you do both James Bond and Phi Phi in the same day with us, we will create a program that ensures you are not transiting too long on the boat.

Generally the programs we design only have a maximum of 20 minutes travel time between each of the islands. How is that possible?

Again, it’s easy for Private Boats like ours where we can design the program to break up the transit and also ensure you see some spectacular sites.

If you are looking to do both wonderful locations in one day, just contact us for more details.

Private Speedboat Agents In Phuket

We often see posts on Facebook forums and Trip Advisor where visitors to Phuket are asking who are the best agents on Phuket to book tours through, or hire Private Speedboats from.

Obviously as a Private Boat Charter provider in Phuket we have agents across Phuket who promote our private boats to visitors, but we always advise our agents to allow the potential customers to talk direct with our boat management team. We advise this so that you, the potential customers can hear the latest news on the weather, wind, wave and tide conditions.

Sometimes people make bookings with Agents and they just don’t realise that the agent may not have been on a private boat before, visited Phi Phi in the last 5 years or even seen the private speedboat that you are booking.

This is why we make our team available to any agent on Phuket who are promoting our private boat charter to potential customers. So when you are talking to your Private Speedboat Agent you can always feel free to request to ask to talk to the boat owner or manager directly so you can get the most up to date information.

When it comes to weather, sea conditions, pick up times and route planning the team who are out on the water everyday are the best people to talk to as they know the most current conditions and what to expect when you are booking.