One of our most popular tours during the Phuket Sandbox has been our Dolphins and Snorkelling experience. This is a great family-friendly trip that allows our guests to snorkel the waters of Mai Ton, spend some time spotting the local pod of dolphins, and then onto Coral Island for some lunch.
There are a number of activities available at Coral Island including Parasailing, Banana Boats, and more. Follow along with us as we launch our business into the Dry Season with over 100 guests joining us for this once-off-season launch.
See more here:
As we continue to provide Day Tours to the islands around Phuket, we have been busy making sure we are up to date on Phuket Sandbox Travelers Day Tour rules, as well as which destinations they are able to experience.
Today, we are pleased to launch the “Phuket Sandbox Info” section of our website which is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date news, information, and rules for travelers currently within the Phuket Sandbox. The aim is to answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding taking a Day Tour.
All you need to do is select whether you are visiting Phuket on the 7+7 Program or the 14 Day Program; from here click through to find out the most up-to-date news and information. If you are already here in Phuket and would like to get out on tour and explore, then head straight to our SHA Plus Approved Day Tours and Transfers section.
As one of the first Private Boat Tour companies in Phuket to become SHA Plus approved, we take pride in understanding, translating, and providing the most up-to-date information there is related to the Phuket Sandbox, Day Tours, rules, and restrictions.
We are updating these pages on a daily basis, whenever rules change, we also make sure updates occur. Our YouTube Channel is a great source for the most up-to-date information on rules, destinations, and more!
If you prefer to talk to someone, feel free to contact us as we provide a FREE concierge service for guests traveling to Phuket.
Deciding where you want to explore on a Phuket Private Boat Charter, as well as who to book the tour with can lead to a confusing choice overload. To help determine what to look for we have considered the more important criteria, so you can focus on what matters when looking for a Sandbox Phuket Private Boat Charter.
Certified for Safety – TAT SHA Plus
Since 2020, 5 Star Marine have run Phuket Private Boat Charters under their TAT SHA approved status. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) awarded 5 Star Marine with this certification, as a tourism-related business on the island; and the TAT Safety and Health Administration Plus Certificate is proudly held by the company.
As one of the first tourism services to gain TAT SHA Plus status in 2021, this recognized that 5 Star Marine is certified as adhering to all public health measures set up for Covid-19 safety, and as such allows guests to feel safe and secure onboard their fleet of private speedboats.
Responsible Employee Vaccinations
5 Star Marine has gone over and above with 100% of their employees (all crew, captains, and office staff) being fully vaccinated and up to date with boosters. Although TAT SHA Plus status only requires 70% of employees to have been fully vaccinated, the company took the extra steps and preventative measures as your safety on board is absolutely paramount.
Rules – Practice Makes Perfect
It is of uttermost importance that tour companies keep updated with the latest rules and regulations, so here at 5 Star Marine, we do the hard work to understand how new regulations affect you getting out on the water.
Management and crew go out to newly opened locations under the Sandbox rules to personally check the requirements for themselves. This means you can be 100% comfortable when you go out on your Phuket Private Boat Charter, knowing that 5 Star Marine’s knowledge of the rules have been tried and tested in advance.
Flexible Cancellation Policy
Payments for your Phuket Private Boat Charter can be made on the day, 5 Star Marine do not take deposits so there is no need to worry about refunds or lost money if the weather turns poor. Obviously, we cross our fingers and toes for smooth seas and bright skies, but in the event that the tour date is predicted to be poor weather, 5 Star Marine will re-schedule with you.
To make sure you have the best time on your Phuket Private Boat Charter, 5 Star Marine add in a few little extras for your comfort and convenience during the trip:
- Masks and Snorkels
- Fins (Adults)
- Life Jackets
- Beach Mats
- Tour Photos and Video
- Fresh Fruit
- Soft Drinks and Water
- Picnic or Thai Sharing Lunch (available on request / extra cost)
- Licensed Guide
- Hand Sanitiser
Please feel free to contact us to help you get out and explore your Phuket Private Boat Charter; right now you can experience the stunning islands like never before, with so few tourists around. We look forward to welcoming more international travelers onboard for once-in-a-lifetime experiences with 5 Star Marine.
Sandbox Day Tour
Enjoy a day sightseeing, caving, and even experiencing a picnic lunch minus the hordes of tourists around the fantastic seascapes of Phang Nga Bay and the world-famous James Bond Island – this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience James Bond Island in peace and quiet.
Here at 5 Star Marine, we have a tried and tested Sandbox day tour to get you out enjoying the islands surrounding Phuket. In fact, we were once again the 1st company in Phuket to take sandbox guests out to surrounding islands; this time it was Phang Nga Bay
So if you are in Phuket and part of the Sandbox program, contact us to make this iconic day trip possible.
- Depart from our main pier at Boat Lagoon and head to Koh Yao Noi (which is part of Phang Nga Bay) to take a quick but necessary covid test (along with our crew also)
- Head onto Koh Panak for some sightseeing and stunning stalagmites
- Get your adrenalin fix canoeing and cave exploring at Koh Hong Phang Nga
- Enjoy a picnic lunch at the renowned James Bond Island
- Make a stop at the famous floating village of Koh Panyee floating village
- Make a quick stop to pick up the test results
- Then finally enjoy swimming at Naka Noi before the stunning sunset views captured whilst returning to the pier at Boat Lagoon
We are on hand to help you through each step of the process, but as an overview we simply need:
- ID card or passport per passenger (required the day before the tour)
- Vaccination record copy per passenger (required the day before the tour)
- We require this information to register you with the national park and local gov in Phang Nga Bay
- The MorChana application should be on your phone to check in and out
- 1 x Antigen Covid-19 Test per passenger (our fully vaccinated crew will take this test also)
How Many Nights?
- You can enjoy this fantastic day tour from day 15 onwards of the Sandbox Program
- You will need to provide proof that you have completed 14 nights in Phuket to qualify
- It is not possible to go pre-day 15; however, there are different day tours to Coral Island, Racha Islands, or Mai Ton you can still enjoy
Please Contact Us for our free concierge service to help with all requirements.
“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!
International Travellers – What You Need to Know
Phuket will be the first destination in Thailand to reopen to overseas tourists, from July 2021. This comes after over 15 months of the island being closed off to tourists; and now the local businesses, restaurants, hotels, and shops are looking forward to welcoming travelers back. Thailand has a full Covid-19 plan to reopen the whole country, and this starts in July where fully vaccinated tourists can fly to Phuket without the requirement to quarantine.
Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ program, Phuket will be the first destination to lift quarantine requirements for vaccinated foreign tourists, starting from 1 July 2021. Tourists will be required to spend the first seven days on the island, before being allowed to travel to other Thai destinations. (source TATNEWS.org)
Phase 1: Phuket
From the 1st July 2021, fully vaccinated travelers can visit Phuket without the need to quarantine on arrival.
The main requirements for overseas tourists are set out below*
- Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required (full vaccination)
- Obtain a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before departure
- Travel insurance with Covid-19 cover
- Download the Thailand Plus tracking application before departure and upload the required information
- Must fly directly to Phuket International Airport*
- Present a negative PCR test result (issued a maximum of 72 hours before departure)
- Covid-19 test on arrival
- Stay in Phuket for a minimum of 7 days
*Please enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in your own country for up-to-date travel requirements and to ensure you are eligible for quarantine-free arrival into Phuket.
5 Star Marine Private Boat Tours
From July 1st, we are looking forward to welcoming back our international market VIP guests with a range of private boat trips. We are excited to give our staff the opportunity to work with international guests again and we also want to give you the chance to explore some exciting destinations whilst the islands are still blissfully quiet and beautiful.
From 1st July 2021 we are able to offer private tours to the following destinations:
Please contact us to book your bespoke VIP boat tour experience.
With virtually no tourists around, why not take some time now to visit one of the (normally) busiest islands in Ao Phang Nga National Park – the one and only James Bond Island.
With a custom Phang Nga Bay tour, 5 Star Marine will guide you around hidden coves and lagoons, as well as stopping off at the iconic island which became a major attraction after featuring in the 1974 Bond movie, The Man With The Golden Gun.
Phang Nga truly is one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. In fact, with the sheer number of unique formations, you could explore here for days.
On your private day trip, you could stop by Panak Island to float along gently inside one of the hidden caves surrounded by mangroves, before enjoying a peaceful golden bay all to yourself. Move onto Ko Kudu Yai to take in the exquisite beauty of the clear turquoise water in this stunning lagoon.
At lunchtime make a stop at the small island community of Koh Panyee; where huts, houses, and restaurants are built on stilts over the water. Don’t miss the opportunity to see their unique floating football pitch either! Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you make your way to James Bond Island, (Khao Phing Kan); An internationally renowned tourist destination since appearing as the hideout for Bond’s antagonist, Scaramanga.
Boats are not allowed too close, as this is a protected marine area, but you can view the famous sight from Koh Ping Ghan; an island with an immensely tall leaning rock and some small caves to explore. With the tourists gone you can see the island properly minus the crowds. Take your time to stroll around, in peace and quiet for the first time in around 40 years.
After getting your fill of this notorious island, you can continue on to enjoy some sea canoeing or more cave exploring before making your way back to base. Perhaps you might make a final sunset stop at Koh Pear, a small strip of an island that looks and feels like you are walking on water – a perfect end to the day.
5 Star Marine’s Phang Nga Bay tour creates an unforgettable time at this world-renowned destination.
I often see people asking whether they should book tours before arriving in Phuket or on arrival at Phuket at the street vendors. Whenever someone posts something like this the local community has different thoughts, ideas, and advice for the person writing the post.
After 11 years here booking tours myself, being part of a tour company, and also running a private boat marine business my advice is a little conflicted. If you plan to do a group tour, then generally you will find it best to book once you arrive in Phuket as you can compare prices at different agents.
The only exception to that is if you wish to book one of the premium tour providers like Phuket Sail Tours or Simba Tours. These companies generally book out well ahead of time and as such it’s best to at least reserve a spot prior to arriving.
So if you plan to book a group tour that sits in the “general” category and not in the small group or VIP tour category then I would strongly recommend to you that you should research before you arrive and then book on the ground.
We Recommend Booking Private Boats In Advance
But if you are booking with a popular tour provider in the VIP or Small Group category then I would suggest that you reserve. Then when it comes to Private Boats you should also reserve the boat if you wish to go with a reputable private boat provider.
For example here at 5 Star Marine, we pre-sell more than 75% of our month weeks or months in advance as we are a popular and reputable provider. If you land in and try to secure a private boat you may not get the date you want, the price you want, or even the boat you want.
If you’d like more advice feel free to contact us.
We receive a lot of inquiries 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 idyllic beach locations.
To do this kind of customized tour means that we are limited to just Private Tours. This means it’s just you and your traveling 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 that 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 for you and ensuring that you have the most memorable time we can give you.