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.

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.

Is It Possible To Request Beachside Or Hotel Pick Ups?

By default, any private boat tour booked with the 5 Star Marine team direct will include a transfer from your hotel across to our pier.  For those of you who are looking for something a little more VIP or Unique, we offer a Hotel and/or Beachside pick up.

For a small additional fee, we will move our boat from our pier up to your hotel or beachside and pick you up directly.  This saves on transfer time and provides a unique and often romantic experience for you and your fellow guests.

Recently we have completed hotel pick-ups from Trisara Resort, The Surin, Panwa, Surin Beach, and Bangtao Beach to name just a few.  If you are looking for ways to customize your tour and make it unique just ask us. 

Nothing is too much for us and with our team of experienced captains and guides, we can navigate most beaches and hotel pick-ups.  All you need to do is ask!

Does 5 Star Marine Do Group Tours?

We receive a lot of enquiries via Facebook, WhatsApp and Email from Solo travelers looking to join tours with 5 Star Marine.  While we are aware that the experiences that we provide are extremely unique and memorable it’s important to understand that they are this way as no tour is the same.

We customize each tour to the customers on the boat.  If our customers love to snorkel then we go to multiple snorkeling locations.  If our customers love to relax on the beach, we go to multiple quiet and idealic beach locations.

To do this kind of customized tour it means that we are limited to just Private Tours.  This means it’s just you and your travelling companions on the boat with our crew and guide.

Now for a Solo Traveller this can be expensive as you are not splitting the cost with other travelers or with your family.  The reality is, if you compare our company, 5 Star Marine, to a typical group tour company we are more expensive.

But at a group tour company you’ll have anywhere from 25 to 75 people on the boat.  So if you have 75 people all paying 1300 THB per person then these group tour companies are making significantly more than us as a Private Boat Tour provider.

The reason we decided to do only Private Tours is we can craft, and execute programs which suit just you and ensure 100% satisfaction 100% of the time.  This is why we receive 5 Star Trip Advisor and Facebook Ratings and people rave about what we do.

We are customizing the tour to you and ensuring that you have the most memorable time we can give you.

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.

What Is The Average Group Size On A Private Boat Tour In Phuket?

Often we are asked when we are out with clients what is the average group size we work with on our Private Boat. The answer is generally between 2 and 6 people. We find that generally our clients wish to explore the islands (like Phi Phi or James Bond) at there own pace, with there own space and the freedom to choose to stay, go or even sleepover if that’s what they want.

A true private boat like 5 Star Marine is a boat that is designed to be flexible to you, what you want and to ensure we deliver the best experience that you could possibly have on the day.

You want to stay longer on a beach no problems, you want to snorkel 4 times no problems, you don’t want to get wet, no problems.

Customized Private Boat Tours

There is literally nothing we cant do to customize our Private Boat Tours for you and this generally appeals to couples looking for something romantic, young families worried about kids getting tired or people who have visited Phuket before and just want to avoid the crowds and visit the best destinations at the best time.

So while our main Private Boat, 5 Star Marine Lucus 1 can hold up to 35 people we generally do not run the boat full and just create a luxurious space and environment for you and your family to enjoy the entire boat.

Are All Private Speedboats In Phuket The Same?

When I first came to Phuket over 11 years ago I hired a Private Speedboat to take me to Phi Phi Island and also on a separate day to James Bond Island. While the speedboat was ok (not amazing, but it didn’t sink) the tour was no different to a standard Group Tour, just done on a Private Speedboat.

Fast forward 11 years and with years of experiencing chartering, leasing, hiring and going on Private Boats in Phuket I’ve come to realize that when most tourists visiting Phuket ask an agent, tour desk or online operator for a Private Speedboat what they are really getting is a Group Tour boat, hired Private for the day.

This means your concept of arriving at destinations without the crowds, visiting remote spots, finding hidden gems are all pipe dreams. The captains of these group tour boats that are rented to go Private are not trained on how to avoid the crowds, devise routes that discover unique locations and generally give you a “True Private” experience.

For me, a true Private Boat Tour in Phuket experience is where I find beaches, snorkeling spots, lagoons, restaurants where there are very few people, that are probably not even on a brochure and are uniquely beautiful.

So, when you look at hiring a Private Speedboat in Phuket my answer to the question as it relates to this post is NO not all Private Speedboats are the same.

This is one of the reasons that 5 Star Marine is so popular and well reviewed. Our company designs programs and tours to suit the customers on the day, the conditions on the day and the tides on the day.

While we will provide an itinerary to you prior to booking, we will also advise you that this may be adjusted on the day as we visit and pass by locations that intrigue you. For example, yesterday we conducted a private tour of Hong Krabi, this tour included 7 stops at some absolutely stunning locations and each stop was completely private, no other boats.

When booking a Private Boat in Phuket we strongly advise that you ensure that the boat is a “True Private Boat” and not just a Group Tour boat that has been provided to your Privately for the day.

Because if it’s just a group tour boat, then you wont enjoy the tour as much and it wont be as memorable is if you take a true Private Boat like the 5 Star Marine boat here in Phuket.