Andy’s Top Tips – Thailand Pass Hints

ANNOUNCEMENT – Thailand Pass Rules Update Frequently, The Information In The Below Post Is Now Out Of Date For Latest News Please Visit: https://5starmarinephuket.com/phuket-sandbox-rules-and-updates/


What Is The Thailand Pass?

The Thailand Pass is an online system designed to support the country’s ‘Ease of Travel’ thus making the documentation and process for travelers entering Thailand more efficient than the previous Certificate of Entry (COE).

As per the old COE, the Thailand Pass will collect data for entry forms, however, it is a more concise and efficient system.

How Do You Apply For The Thailand Pass?

You can apply for the Thailand Pass yourself by visiting this website Thailand Pass Application and following the directions given. There is information in Thai and English and is available for Thai Nationals and Non-Thai Nationals alike.

Andy’s Experience:

Andy recently returned to Phuket from the UK and has been updating us on his first-hand experience of the Thailand Pass process. As he has just gone through the process himself, he has offered us some great tips and advice to help you guys get out here more smoothly.

Andy’s Bottom Line:

With the Thailand Pass it is critical that you provide and load your details in the correct order online. So, you need to go to website (link provided above) and provide all necessary details”:

The hurdles are manageable, and it is all certainly doable, but just take Andy’s advice and remember to do things in the right order– if you think your visa is going to take 2 weeks then apply for this first, then move on your Thailand Pass with all the documents needed. The document process is outlined below for ease:

  1. Your visa is the first item that needs uploading
  2. Then upload your Thailand Pass
  3. You will need Covid insurance for when you are in Thailand, an SHA Plus hotel, and SHA Plus taxi/transportation
  4. Upload a copy of your passport
  5. Provide your test from the departure side (in Andy’s case this was the UK), plus your test for the Phuket side:
    • For the Thailand side test, there are 2 systems: one in Bangkok which is inclusive so your hotel will arrange the transport, transfer, and test all for you. The other system is for Phuket, where you need to do this yourself individually.
    • For the Phuket Side, you arrange everything individually, pay for your test in advance (the actual test will take place at the airport), plus book your SHA Plus transport and hotel.
  6. Once approved you will get an email notification with QR code (you can print this or just use this on your phone as it is ). There is also a new online system so you can log on and use your reference number to check on your application.

Andy’s Top Tips:

  • Insurance – Andy took out a local Thai insurance policy that had the minimum amount of coverage required.
  • Have all documents (passport copy, etc.) in JPEG format versus PDF – this will make the upload process faster.
  • Use Google Chrome when applying.
  • Have a Gmail email address for ease of the application.Thailand Pass

What Happens When You Arrive In Phuket?

Andy explained that when he got off the plane in Phuket, he thought the new system has been improved dramatically. There were supervisors and people to help in each area, whose role is to guide you to the correct area and be on hand for any questions you might have. On arrival, the Thailand Pass is more organized and guided, compared to the previous more confusing methods.

  1. You wait 1-2 minutes whilst they check you have all the correct paperwork and then you are free to head over to the desk to present your negative Covid-19 test, your hotel booking plus transportation information.
  2. Next, you head over to Immigration who check your paperwork.
  3. Then you move straight through to baggage reclaim to collect your luggage.
  4. The last airport stage requires you to line up for your Covid-19 test, which took Andy just a few minutes only.
  5. Lastly, you get into your SHA Plus transport and go directly to your hotel to check in.
  6. The RT – PCR test results will be back with you anywhere from 4 – 24 hours.
  7. And that’s it – you are then free to go out and explore.
  8. The only remaining item is that you must test on day 6 days, (a self-antigen test)

See For Yourself:

Watch the video for more information, handy tips, and helpful advice from Andy and Shaun on the Thailand Pass process.

Andy and Ann:

Andy is married to Ann, the owner of Ann’s Kitchen in Boat Avenue, which serves Thai and Western dishes. Ann has been serving up great food in Phuket for over 9 years, and the menu has evolved over time. 5 Star Marine us Ann’s Kitchen for their picnic menus for private boat day trips, where you can order from a selection of Thai dishes, vegetarian options,  sandwhiches, wraps, and salads to take on board.

For any further information on the Thailand Pass, or private speedboat bookings please contact us.

 

Maya Bay To Reopen in January

The Iconic Bay

Maya Bay is one of the most iconic areas in the Phi Phi islands, situated on Phi Phi Ley it was made famous after featuring in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Closure

The Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation shut the bay down completely to tourists in June 2018, after staggering mass tourism destructed the coral life, reefs, and marine ecology.

Shaun Stenning, CEO of 5 Star Marine explains “Maya Bay needed to close because it was in a devastatingly poor state; with too many boats, oil in the water, and harmful reef destructions. The closure did not affect our tours to the area, we simply respected the closure and enjoyed the view of the bay from afar.”

At its peak, the bay welcomed far beyond what the area could cope with; seeing over 4,000 tourists and more than 200 boats each and every day resulting in devastating damage to the area. Although the actual Bay was closed off, it remained a popular location to take photos of from a distance or swim off to the side of the bay.

The Rehabilitation Project

Since the closure over 3.5 years ago, the Maya Bay area has been undergoing a rehabilitation project which has included planting new corals on the reefs over more than 4 acres in and around the bay. Parts of the beach have been regenerated, and protective walkways have been constructed.

The marine recovery during the pandemic has helped speed this along, with no tourists near the area at all, the water is much clearer and the corals have had a chance to regenerate with the added help of coral planting.

The Scheduled Reopening

Reopening is set for January 1st, 2022, as announced by the National Resources and Environment Minister. However, there will be new rules in place to preserve the rehabilitated beach and bay from another ecological ruin.

“I actually hoped that Maya Bay would keep closed forever, but we understand there is a need to rebuild tourism after the pandemic and the bay is being used for this purpose. I am hopeful that the tough restrictions on access are strongly enforced and total visitor numbers are capped per day at 1,000 maximum” said Shaun Stenning

Currently, Koh Phi Phi National Park is finalizing an improved piper to the island and defining the swim zones for visitors. There are expected to be new rules limiting opening times from 10 am – 4 pm each day; visitors will only be allowed to spend 1 hour in the designated swimming zones, and all boats will need to anchor at another bay on the other side of the island.

Respectful Tourism

Let’s hope that the paradise it once was, and what the Marine Park have worked so hard to get Maya Bay back to will remain just that, and we will not abuse the natural beauty as we did before; this time adhering to the new rules and trying to respect nature far more.

Phi Phi / James Bond Combo Day Tour

This is one of our most popular VIP private speedboat day trips. This combination tour has a little something for everyone; from snorkeling with rich marine life, swimming in bright turquoise lagoons, seeing famous beaches and coves; to canoeing, spectacular karst rock seascapes, and of course the iconic James Bond Island.

Phi Phi is a particularly well know location in the Phuket region, with one of its iconic islands made famous after being featured in the 2000 movie, “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. The Phi Phi Islands have some stunning coral reefs abound with marine life, ready to give you an unforgettable experience, swimming, and snorkeling in crystal clear tropical waters.

Whereas the second part of the day trip is to Phang Nga which is truly one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. This area is all about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring, versus the underwater scenery and beaches around Phi Phi.

With so much to do and see in just one day, we recommend touring from 8 am – 6 pm for the full experience. So, let’s take a look at a sample itinerary (please note all tours are private and fully customizable to your requirements):

  1. Depart from the 5 Star Marine pier in Boat Lagoon and head out towards Phi Phi. Make a stop at Maya Bay, the most notable “Beach” from the 2000 hit movie, on Phi Phi Leh. Although you cannot currently, walk on the beach, it is still a fantastic experience to visit this beautiful and famous cove and take photos from a distance or swim off to the side of the Bay.
  2. Head around to Loh Samah Bay, which is a small bay on the other side of Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh. It offers some beautiful marine life and therefore makes for a good snorkeling stop-off point.
  3. Enter into Pileh Lagoon and enjoy a swim in the clear turquoise waters. This lagoon also starred in “The Beach” featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, as a spot where he dived off into the aquamarine waters.
  4. Explore Small Monkey Beach, where you can see these cheeky little creatures sitting on the karst rocks and relaxing on the beach!
  5. Continue onto Wong Long Bay, which is only accessible to smaller boats due to the narrow entrance to a bay. Luckily our private speedboats can fit inside so you get the opportunity to have a quiet bay potentially all to yourselves.
  6. Move onto Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don, which is a great place for a picnic lunch with a soft sand cove beach going into a shallow bay.
  7. Stop for some more snorkeling at Phi Phi Don at Ao Nuoi and discover rich corals and marine life together with a picturesque beach setting.
  8. Take 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.
  9. Head towards Phang Nga Bay and enjoy some canoeing and exploring amongst the caves and rock formations.
  10. Make your way towards the iconic James Bond island, which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun. Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you stand in front of James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga.

Please contact us to book your very own Phi Phi / James Bond combination private boat tour.

Thailand Pass Adventures: James Bond Island And Phi Phi Island In The Same Day

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/


We are quite often asked if it’s possible to do both James Bond Island and Phi Phi Island on the same day, so we sent Jay out on tour with some of our customers to see if it’s really possible.

Ride along with Jay and the 5 Star Marine team as they stop off in Maya Bay, explore Pileh Lagoon, snorkel with Reef Sharks, Canoe Through the Mangroves, go Pearl Shopping, and finally visit James Bond Island.

This action-packed tour is one to remember and you can experience it here with our 5 Star Marine team on your very own private boat. Watch the tour below:

Phuket Sandbox Update – Thailand Pass And More!

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/


As Thailand continues to adopt the “Live With Covid” model the national government announced a staged re-opening to Thailand. 63 countries have been announced as being able to enter Thailand quarantine-free.

5 star marine official list of countries

For those countries on the list, there is still the Sandbox Model as well as the Quarantine Model as well.

All of these can seem confusing, so watch on in the update below to find out what’s happening here in Phuket, Thailand:

 

 

Phuket Sandbox Update – 7 Day Sandbox, Bars Open, Island Hopping Easier Than Ever!

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/


As Phuket transitions away from its wet season towards the dry (or high) season, the Thailand Government has made a major and positive update to the Phuket Sandbox program.

Instead of being a 14-day Sandbox Program or the 7+7 Day Sandbox Model, it is now just a simple and easy ‘7 Day Sandbox’.

Along with the reduction in the Sandbox days, the number of RT-PCR Covid-19 Tests required while staying has also come down.  As of now, with the new update, there are just 2 tests required; the first on the day of arrival and the second on day 6 of your stay.

The good news continues as island hopping by private speedboat is now easier than ever before with a wide-ranging 11 destinations now open. Plus, none of these stunning destinations require additional Covid-19 tests for Sandbox Travelers.

The return of the dry season, the reduced Sandbox days model, fewer Covid-19 tests and new island destinations are all pointing in the right direction for our Sandbox Guests.

For full details watch this short video update below:

New Island Destinations for Phuket Day Tours

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/


From the 15th of October 2021, there will be additional day tour options available to both Domestic and Sandbox customers. This time of year brings with it a change from the Monsoon to the Dry Season; where you can enjoy calmer winds and sea conditions which unite for a perfect combination for a day out on the sea.

This time of year also welcomes the reopening of the Similan and Surin Islands, by the National Park departments.  Two phenomenal island-hopping destinations situated off the West Coast of Phuket.  These areas are bursting with amazing marine life, rich coral and sandy white beaches.  Similan and Surin islands are only available to visit 6 months of the year, so this is something we have been looking forward to.

This year 5 Star Marine has licensed its fleet of boats to enter the stunning areas in and around the Similan and Surin Island National Parks.

The great news is that this means that both Domestic customers and Sandbox guests can all enjoy the natural marine richness and crystal clear blue waters these locations have to offer.

In addition to these destinations opening, the islands of Koh Rok and Koh Ha will also be able to welcome guests.  These are another two fantastic snorkeling and Day Tour locations that are a “must-see” and feature on many bucket lists.

To find out all the details about these new openings as well as take a sneak peek at what these destinations have in store for you, check out the YouTube video below:

Here we go Again! – Phuket Sandbox Rules Update

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/


Today we are thrilled to report good, positive news – now doesn’t that make a change to the negative news cycle?

The new Sandbox rules mean that from now on it is easier than it has ever been before for Sandbox guests to explore Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island, Phi Phi, Hong Krabi, and beyond.

In fact, we were just out at Phi Phi enjoying the stunning Pileh Lagoon. Now, if you have ever been or seen photos you will know that this gorgeous lagoon is normally crowded with well over 100 boats at one time; but for this day trip the 5 Star Marine speedboat was the ONLY one in the lagoon – yes you read that right. Can you imagine having this all to yourself? A priceless experience, never possible before, so now really is the best time to explore exotic locations with a luxury speedboat day tour.

Let’s Explore

Private VIP Speedboat Day Tours Days 1-7 (Sandbox Guests)

  • Koh Mai Ton for some dolphin spotting
  • Coral Island for snorkeling and relaxing at the beach club
  • Koh Racha for superb underwater marine life

Private VIP Speedboat Day Tours Days 8-20 (Sandbox Guests)

  • Phi Phi – stunning lagoons and beaches
  • Hong Krabi – the new 360 Degree Viewpoint
  • Phang Nga Bay / James Bond Island – canoeing through the caves, enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the infamous island
  • Khai Islands – snorkeling in shallow waters
  • Koh Mai Ton – dolphin spotting
  • Koh Racha – stunning marine life
  • Coral Island – beautiful beach resort
  • Koh Lon – sunset cruise

Requirements Just Got Easier

All you need to give us is:

  1. A copy of your passport
  2. Your Vaccine certificate

That’s it – no long, confusing list anymore! You just provide us with these 2 items plus approval to talk to your hotel and we take care of EVERYTHING else. We coordinate with the SHA manager at your hotel to get the paperwork required, so you only need to worry about where to explore next.

No More Tests

For Day Tours from days 8-20, the new rules mean that you DO NOT need to take another Covid-19 test which is great news and one less thing to think about.

SHA Approved

Of course, we are proudly TAT SHA Plus approved, but now are also SHA Plus Transportation Approved so the entire speedboat fleet is licensed and approved by the Government and Marine Department to go outside of the Phuket Province. For our Sandbox guests, this means that every single boat is safe, secure and Covid-19 approved. Plus, we test staff weekly as an added measure to make guests feel comfortable and safe.

Look What Is Around The Corner!

On October 15th we are more than a little excited to report that the Similan, Surin Islands, Koh Rok, and Koh Ha are all open and are ready for your to explore (Sandbox guests between day 8 -20). We have no doubt that it is going to be amazing to be out there at these paradise islands by yourselves – literally experience them like NEVER before.

Contact us to find out more or to book your Sandbox tour.

Team Work

The past 2 weeks have been a blur of activity trying to keep up with donation efforts, despite the tighter Covid-19 restrictions here in Phuket. These have unfortunately forced us to pause our mass packing efforts. However, even without our dedicated and fantastic volunteers being able to help out, we still need to pack, deliver and support the local communities.

It has been a challenging period where we have unfortunately also seen a combination of rising infections on the island, local villagers being sent into isolation, and workers camps being ordered to quarantine on site.

Right now, the need to get basic food and home supplies to those in need via our Life Bag program is greater than ever. So, our 5 Star Marine team combined forces with Sutai Muay Thai (just as we did at the start of the Life Bag journey over 17 months ago), and are still packing, still delivering, and still reaching out to the community.

As a result of our teams working together, over 11,000 life bags were delivered in the last 16 days – So we wanted to give a huge shout out to our teams for their amazing and continued efforts to help Phuket.

#savephuket

August Updates for Sandbox Guests

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/


There have been a number of brand-new Provincial rule changes, so make sure you are up to date with the latest information. Let’s take a look at what has changed: 

WHAT WAS THE 7+7 MODEL?

There was previously a planned 7+7 model; this was essentially where Sandbox tourists would have needed to stay in Phuket for 7 nights before being able to explore other provinces, like Phang Nga Bay, Krabi, and Phi Phi, etc.

THE 14 DAY MODEL

However, this 7+7 model has been delayed until at least 16th August 2021. So as of now, the latest Provincial rules state that Sandbox tourists must stay in Phuket for the 1st 14 days.

CAN I GO ON A BOAT DAY TRIP?

Yes, absolutely, you can still go island-hopping and experience day boat trips and make the most of your time on holiday if you are here on the Sandbox scheme. During your 1st 14 days, you can head out to stunning locations such as Koh Racha Yai, Koh Racha Noi, Coral Island, and Mai Ton.

One of our most popular island-hopping day trips at the moment is the combination Dolphin Spotting and Snorkelling Experience. Spend time at the beautiful beaches on Coral Island, with restaurants, snorkeling spots, canoes, and plenty of Instagram-worthy setups; then head to Mai Ton for the afternoon for some dolphin spotting.

NO GO ZONES

Unfortunately, Phi Phi and Phang Nga are currently no-go zones. This is a brand-new update and is scheduled to be in place from 3rd August until 16th August. So, put simply, you cannot leave the Phuket Province (but can still enjoy day trips to Racha Islands, Coral Island, and Mai Ton as mentioned above as they are Phuket Provincial Islands).

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?

Yes, we do have some rain during the monsoon season, however, it’s not all day, every day. We are still getting many great weather days to go out on our boat tours, and take wind conditions and our radar readings into consideration when planning the destinations. We are more than happy to help advise when is best to get out and explore.

THANK YOU!

As an island that relies so heavily on tourism, we wanted to thank you for choosing to come here on holiday, and extend a very warm welcome to Phuket. This restarting of tourism is critical for everyone here on the island. As a company, we have been supporting our community who need it most; so many people have had no income and no way to survive this period. We support through our Life Bag packing and distribution efforts, (with essential food and hygiene products).

We understand that Phuket is not exactly how it used to be; there are more rules and regulations, not everything is open, but you coming here as an international tourist is supporting the island and this is exactly what we need right now to rebuild our domestic economy – so, THANK YOU!