Maya Bay, in Phi Phi, the most famous beach in Thailand, if not the world, is back open as of 1st October 2022. The iconic Maya Bay, in Phi Phi, closed on the 1st of August 2022 so that the Thailand National Park Authorities could assess the effect that the new rules and regulations that they had put into place since January, have had on the bay and the beach.
YouTube host Jay Leshark and his kids, got up before sunrise to head down to Maya Bay, with Cameraman, and 5 Star Marine Phuket tour guide Alex to try to be the first people on Maya Bay and see what it’s like after the 2 months that it had been closed.
Arriving at 8 am they were the first people, apart from the National Park Staff, to come back to Maya Bay.
There was some very encouraging news, as they saw some very young Black Tip Reef Sharks feet from the beach, and not only baby sharks but also some young juvenile Black Tips as well. It seems that even though the new rules and regulations they set out in January did allow people back on to “The Beach” the sharks that had returned after the over 2-year closure are still there and still breeding. This is very good news.
As of writing this, we have not seen the full report from the Thailand National Park Authorities about the effects on Maya Bay, and when we do get this report, we will be sure to share it here.
The rules and restrictions that they put in place in January are still in effect, so many tourists will be restricted per day and no swimming in the bay, plus boats are only allowed to drop tourists off at the backside of Maya Bay.
We recommend that if you want to see Maya Bay on one of our Private Phuket Boat Tours then you leave as early as you can, as the Bay early in the morning is so beautiful and you will definitely miss the crowds. CLICK HERE to see the Phi Phi Tour
Maya Bay, Phi Phi is one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Thailand the bay and the beach were featured in the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio filmed over 20 years ago.
In the past few weeks, Maya Bay and the movie producers of “The Beach”, known as 20th Century Fox, now named 20th Century Studios have been in the news as the Thailand Supreme Court has fined them 10 million Baht to restore the beach.
The 10 million Baht will be used by Thailand’s Department of Forestry to restore the natural environment at Maya Bay to its natural state.
It will be very interesting to see what happens with this news story.
This October brings renewed excitement as our guests will be able to enjoy a number of re-openings giving access to more tropical beach destinations.
This time of year also marks the transition from the Monsoon to the dry season, when calmer winds and sea conditions make for an ideal mix. As these destinations are perfect for either day or multi-night private speedboat trips from Phuket, we have pulled together a list of the top 4 places to visit from October 2022 to help inspire you:
Maya Bay (Reopens 1st October 2022)
Maya Bay, located on Phi Phi Ley, is one of the most iconic sites in the Phi Phi islands. It became renowned after featuring as the main location for the 2000 film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The plot focuses on a group of travellers wanting to create their own haven from the outside world at Maya Bay.
The stunning Bay will now reopen this October after being shut for two months (August and September 2022). Tourists were originally allowed to return in January 2022 after Maya Bay was closed for almost three and a half years.
This year’s closure was put in place in order to rebuild the island’s infrastructure and give the protected area a respite from visitors who had already returned to its beautiful bay. The shutdown of the stunning location serves as a reminder that an enormous amount of work has gone into repairing this bay.
From October when Maya Bay reopens, you will be able to see how the wildlife has returned and thrived; the bay is now home to clownfish, lobsters, and blacktip sharks!
Similan Island – (Reopens 15th October 2022)
The breathtaking Similan Islands will also reopen in mid-October again this year. A fantastic island-hopping site off Phuket’s west coast, the islands are teeming with incredible aquatic life, lush coral, and sandy white beaches.
Enjoy a spectacular private speedboat excursion to the legendary Similan Islands, a picturesque archipelago of 9 islands in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. These islands are only accessible for six months of the year – from the middle of October to mid-May; which means that everyone here at 5 Star Marine is extremely excited about this year’s reopening.
This is one of the most well-known island groups in the region, and it is famous for having some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. When you first arrive you will see large rocks on the coasts of numerous islands, which form a particular characteristic of this location.
5 Star Marine’s fleet of luxury VIP speedboats has already been granted permission to visit the Similan Island National Park area, so you get to appreciate the natural marine richness and crystal-clear blue seas that this area has to offer.
Surin Island – (Reopens 15th October 2022
The Surin Islands are the ideal underwater playground for scuba diving and snorkelling in Thailand thanks to the beautiful coral reefs and soft, white sand beaches. Mu Ko Surin National Park houses the Surin Islands; which consists of a group of five islands located around 100 kilometres north of the Similan Islands.
Ko Surin Nuea and Ko Surin Tai are the two main islands which have several unspoilt bays and are separated by barely 200 metres of clear water, which creates a shallow and popular snorkelling spot. These islands are still undeveloped, making this a natural habitat for an array of marine life and pristine coral gardens. The area is also known to attract whale sharks, which you might get the chance to see whilst out snorkelling with 5 Star Marine.
As with the Similan Islands, Surin Islands are also only accessible for six months of the year (from mid-October to mid-May).
Koh Ha and Koh Rok – (Accessible 15th October 2022)
By the middle of October, the Monsoon season is ending and the dry season begins, bringing with it more favourable wind and sea conditions. This is a great time to get out and explore, especially if you are searching for something a little more exotic and less well-known.
A private day or multi-night private trip to these magnificent locations will provide some of the greatest snorkelling in the world, combining spectacular water purity with a broad variety of colourful marine life and reefs for a truly unique experience. Whale sharks may also be seen between these islands throughout the season.
Koh Ha and Koh Rok are small islands located immediately south of Koh Lanta, situated within the Mu Ko Lanta National Park. By selecting to explore these islands you will be assured of fantastic snorkelling, lovely soft sandy beaches and fewer crowds than some of the more well-known islands. A bit longer to go compared to most of our other day trip options (which is why many happy clients select a multi-night approach); yet well worth every minute for the assured natural splendour.
We hope you are just as excited as we are about the opportunity to discover the reopened and accessible islands from October 2022!
For Bookings / Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand? New tourist visa rules, plus a brand-new café opening in Phuket and 5 Star Marine Phuket has a brand-new Phuket weatherman (kind of). All this is discussed in this month’s Breaking Phuket News by the owner of 5 Star Marine Phuket Shaun Stenning and YouTube host Jay Leshark, all while drinking coffee at the brand-new café “Next Door” to the 5 Star Marine towers.
How Long Can You Stay in Thailand?
Are you planning a trip to Thailand in the near future? If so, good news for you and good news for anyone working in the tourism industry, Thailand has decided to extend the stay period for those who enter Thailand on a Visa On Arrival. Starting on October 1st, 2022, Thailand CCSA has announced that the Visa extension stay period will be extended from 30 days to 45 days.
“We are looking to extending their stay, This will help boost tourist spending, revive the economy and reduce impact from the coronavirus pandemic.”A CCSA official said.
But Who can take advantage of these new rules?
The Visa extension rule will allow tourists from 64 different countries to come into Thailand without applying for a visa before they arrive. Which countries are on the list? please see below the full list:
The new visa extension is all part of the Thailand government’s efforts to increase economic recovery post-pandemic as it looks to gain 8-10 million foreign arrivals this year. This was the figure reported in The Bangkok Post.
In August, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said some 1.07 million foreign tourists had entered Thailand in July, which is the first time that monthly arrivals have exceeded 1 million since the pandemic.
But even better news for travelers from Korea, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, as you will receive permission to stay in Thailand for up to 90 days under Visa Exemption.
New Coffee Shop open in Phuket
Always wanted a have a coffee overlooking the 5-Star Marine Towers, well now you can. The Next-Door Café has opened right next door to 5 Star Marine offices, so when you come on a 5 Star marine private boat tour you can grab a freshly brewed coffee or a snack before you go.
And finally, 5 Star Marine has a brand-new Phuket Weather Station that can accurately tell you what the weather is doing live, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The new station has been in creation for many years using NASA scientists to help with the hard stuff, hence why their rocket launch for Artemis I was delayed. Many people may say it’s just a coconut on a string, and well to be honest they might be right.
Here is the full list of countries that can get the NEW 45 days Visa on Arrival.
12 Czech Republic
19 Hong Kong
42 New Zealand
51 San Marino
53 Slovak Republic
55 South Africa
61 United Arab Emirates
62 United Kingdom
63 United States
The Phi Phi Islands
Thailand is home to a group of islands known as the Phi Phi Islands. The islands are conveniently positioned halfway between Phuket and Krabi, making them equally accessible from both. Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Le are two of the largest and most visited islands in Phi Phi, and in addition, Bamboo Island is another popular destination due to its beautiful beaches and crystal blue water.
Koh Phi Phi Don is a vast archipelago off the coast of Phuket. Visitors are attracted to this stunning island for its pristine beaches and the variety of exciting activities available.
Located in the south, Koh Phi Phi Leh is the island that was made famous by “The Beach.” Maya Bay, located nearby, is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax by the water and take in the scenery. However, in order to protect the natural resources of the area, this beach is closed to the public beginning 1st August 2022 for two months for rehabilitation purposes.
Although it is only a small island, Bamboo Island is a popular picnic lunch and relaxing spot due of its picturesque landscape and romantic atmosphere.
So, Is It Worth Going To Phi Phi Islands?
Well, if you are looking for a private speedboat day trip from Phuket then the islands area ideal for lounging on the beach, snorkelling amongst colourful fish and coral, photographing stunning karst structures made of limestone, and soaking in the breath-taking scenery.
The Phi Phi Islands are home to some absolutely stunning sights that are increasingly difficult to see anywhere else in Thailand. You can conveniently take a luxury private speedboat with your friends and family to day trip to the Phi Phi Islands, and our experienced crew and captains can assist you in planning you perfect day out in paradise.
A Luxury 5 Star Experience
Through the assistance of our knowledgeable crew and captains, your tour to the Phi Phi Islands may be tailored to fit your specific needs, whether you’re looking for a day trip or an extended stay. As a result, you get to craft your own unique itinerary and take pleasure in the results of your collaborative planning on the day of your trip.
Sample Phi Phi Itinerary
- For your private trip to the Phi Phi Islands, start at Maya Bay on Phi Phi Ley as the perfect place to begin your tour. This stunning and well-known cove can be seen from the comfort of your private 5 Star Marine speedboat. Take as many pictures as you like to remember this beautiful bay.
- Snorkel in Loh Samah Bay, a small bay on the opposite side of Maya Bay with beautiful fish and coral reefs.
- Pileh Lagoon features crystal clear, turquoise waters that are inviting for a refreshing dip. In “The Beach,” Leonardo DiCaprio took a dive into this lagoon, making it a must-see on your adventure.
- Visit Small Monkey Beach to witness these mischievous little critters lounging on the karst rocks.
- Even though the entrance to Wong Long Bay is somewhat small, it is still possible to see this beautiful spot on your Phi Phi Islands tour.
- For an additional fee, we can set up a picnic for you in a sandy cove with a shallow bay at Big Monkey Beach on Phi Phi Don, complete with western style or Thai sharing dishes.
- Make a stop in Ao Nuoi for some more snorkelling and explore the area’s beautiful beaches and abundant aquatic life.
- Finally, Bamboo Island is the perfect way to round off your private trip to the Phi Phi Islands as it offers a lovely beach and turquoise seas. You can go snorkelling here, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see a black-tip reef shark
Boat Trip to Phi Phi Island from Phuket Inclusions
Our experienced captains and crew know just how to miss the crowds and make it worth your while travelling to the Phi Phi Islands; so, you can rest assured knowing that you are in safe hands.
Is It Worth Going to Phi Phi Island? Yes indeed, and you may book here:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
Phuket to James Bond Island
Our Phuket to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay is one of the most talked-about day trips in all of Thailand. Phuket to James Bond Island by speedboat is a luxurious day excursion that offers both iconic views and more athletic hobbies, such as cave searching and canoeing among the striking rock formations.
Our Phuket to James Bond Island speedboat tour will take you to a region of Phang Nga Bay that is unlike any other in the world because of the striking karst limestone seascapes that rise dramatically from the emerald ocean.
The Famous Island
If you choose our Phuket to James Bond Island private speedboat tour, our skilled crews will take you to the famous Koh Tapu (James Bond Island) so that you may take in the sights of Phang Nga Bay’s most iconic location. Since this is a marine protected area, boats cannot go too close, but nearby Koh Ping Ghan is an island with a huge leaning rock and several caves to explore and serves as a great vantage point for taking pictures of the renowned site.
Tourists have flocked to James Bond Island since the 1970s when the island played host to Bond’s villain Scaramanga in the film The Man With the Golden Gun. Because of this well-known film, many satisfied customers have chosen the James Bond Island Speedboat Tour offered by 5 Star Marine.
Phuket to James Bond Island Tour Highlights
Whatever your needs may be, 5 Star Marine will do its very best to meet them. In order to give you a day to remember, our seasoned captains and crew will assist you in avoiding the masses. Some possible places to visit during a speedboat tour from Phuket to James Bond Island are:
- 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 yourselves.
- Move onto Ko Kudu Yai to take in the exquisite beauty of the clear turquoise water in this stunning lagoon.
- At lunchtime why not make your way to the small island community of Koh Panyee; where huts, houses, and restaurants are built on stilts over the water?
- Then get your Bond Instagram to pose ready as you make your way to James Bond Island, which is viewed from Koh Ping Ghan.
- Continue on your James Bond Island Speedboat Tour with some sea canoeing or cave exploring before making your way back to base.
- 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.
Phuket to James Bond Island Tour Inclusions:
In order for you to have a Phuket to James Bond Island private speedboat tour that will make lasting memories, we are looking forward to having you join us on board a luxury speedboat provided by 5 Star Marine.
Bookings and Enquiries:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
Phuket to Phi Phi Island with 5 Star Marine
Enjoy travelling from Phuket to Phi Phi Island with 5 Star Marine, where you and a chosen group of friends or family members may have a luxurious day excursion to see the famous area. Explore this well-known site aboard one of the brand-new, completely updated VIP speedboats when you choose to explore from Phuket to Phi Phi Island.
Exclusive Phuket to Phi Phi Island Tour
When you take a day trip from Phuket to Phi Phi Island, you can spend your time exploring the island’s beautiful beaches and snorkelling among the vibrant marine life found in the island’s coral reefs. Soak up the sun and swim about in tropical lagoons while our captains show you the sights.
Booking our Phuket to Phi Phi Island tour grants you exclusive use of a high-end speedboat, so you may explore the islands in whatever order that best suits you. Unlike on group excursions, where you may feel hurried along with other visitors to meet a set schedule, you won’t have to worry about missing anything.
In order to ensure that your Phuket to Phi Phi Island tour with 5 Star Marine is precisely suited to your needs, you will be able to create your own personalised itinerary and interact with your guide on the day of your trip. On the day of your Phuket to Phi Phi Island tour, the sea, wind, and tide may all play a role, and our crew may provide some advice depending on these and other factors.
Maya Bay & Conservation
On January 1, 2022, after over three and a half years of being closed to visitors, the world-famous Bay once again welcomed day-trippers (by order of The Department of National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation).
For natural restoration efforts, however, Maya Bay will be closed for two months beginning August 1, 2022. Even so, a visit to Maya Bay is still possible on your Phuket to Phi Phi Island excursion. You may still enjoy the Bay from your own, chartered 5 Star Marine speedboat as per the initial closure period; however, you will not be permitted to stroll on the actual beach itself for the duration of this brief rehabilitation time.
Whether the beach is available for walking or not, Maya Bay is always a must-see on any Phuket to Phi Phi Island tour. 5 Star Marine is an ethical business that will make sure you get to experience the wonders of Maya Bay without causing any harm to the environment.
The Marine Park has put in a lot of effort to restore Maya Bay to its paradisiacal state, so we make it a point that all of our Phuket to Phi Phi Island tours follow the guidelines and do our part to show how responsible travellers can help preserve this precious resource.
Phuket to Phi Phi Island Tour Inclusions:
Our experienced captains and crew know just how to miss the crowds on your Phuket to Phi Phi Island tour, so you can relax in the knowledge that you are in safe and capable hands.
To book your Phi Phi Island Tour from Phuket:
+66 (0) 93720 6221
12 months on from the introduction of the Phuket Sandbox the Thailand Government has announced that the Thai Pass, Sandbox, and all related programs will end as of the 1st of July 2022.
This is the clearest announcement to date that Tourism, Travel, and the Economic Plans of the Government are returning to a more normal approach. While the rules for wearing masks are still a little unclear, what is clear is that Phuket is OPEN, Thailand is OPEN and there has never been a better time to visit.
The local community here in Phuket had a really tough covid with our island reliant so heavily on tourism so it’s good to see some smiles returning to the faces of locals here. There is hope that we can survive, there is hope that we can rebuild a better Phuket.
All we need is YOU. Book a flight, book a hotel, book a tour, and get here to Phuket and see the amazing marine life, amazing island hopping, and more importantly the amazing people of Thailand.
Full details on the reopening here:
Scorkl is a mini scuba device that can be pumped up by hand and it allows you to dive for up to 10 minutes. Well, that’s what the marketing words say.
SCORKL – Breathe underwater with TOTAL freedom
The Scorkl is sold as a shallow diving kit that lets you breathe freely under the surface with no bulky scuba equipment to get in the way of your exploring. No scuba certification is required. The starter kit, which includes a hand pump, sells for around $500 USD The Scorkl cylinder is manufactured to the same specifications and manufacturing standards as a normal SCUBA cylinder. Scorkl is lightweight, portable, refillable via hand pump, and gives you up to 10min underwater.
They say the benefits are:
- Compact, portable, and Lightweight
- Breath underwater for up to 10 minutes
- Refillable by hand pump
Watch the Video about this benefit……
Scuba diving can be very dangerous and although Snorkl makes diving more accessible, we do not recommend that anyone uses it unless they are trained.
Experience stunning seascapes, tropical islands, and limestone karsts around Phuket and the surrounding islands in absolute comfort onboard one of 5 Star Marine’s Phuket Private Tours.
On your Phuket Private Tour, we will send a proposal with a suggested itinerary. Why do we say “suggested”? Well, when you arrive at the pier for your Phuket Private Tour, our experienced crew will talk through the plan for the day. They can make suggestions based on variables outside of our control such as the sea, wind condition, tide, etc.
The choice really is yours because when you book a Phuket Private Tour with us, you get to carve out your bespoke and unique itinerary with the help of our professional and knowledgeable guides. Enjoy your collaborated itinerary planning on the day, for a perfectly balanced experience.
On your Phuket Private Tour, you might select to explore hidden bays, canoe through caves, relax on deserted white beaches, experience exotic marine life in crystal clear waters or even adventure up to breathtakingly high viewpoints. When you book a Phuket Private Tour with 5 Star Marine, we are able to tailor a bespoke itinerary just for you on your day trip / multi-night tour.
You can pick from a range of exotic and stunning island locations on offer, or why not try our “Phuket By The Sea Tour” which is our unique Phuket Private Tour program that leaves from the 5 Star Marine pier in Boat Lagoon and travels under the Sarasin bridge before you could make your way down to Banana Beach past Surin, Kamala and Patong for example, stopping off at a few of Phuket’s top-class beach clubs.
Phuket Private Tour Destination Inspiration:
A few examples of exotic journeys you can make with 5 Star Marine on your own bespoke Phuket Private Tour:
- Phang Nga Bay to visit the infamous James Bond Island
- Phi Phi, including Maya Bay (which opened again to guests in January 2022) – the location of The Beach film
- Racha Islands soft white sandy beaches and abundant marine life
- Dolphin spotting at Koh Mai Ton
- Coral Island with full beach club, massage, and restaurant amenities at Banana Beach Club
- Krabi, Hong Krabi lagoon, and the 360-degree viewpoint
- Koh Ha and Ko Rok for something a little more exotic and lesser-known
- Easy to access and shallow snorkeling at the Khai Islands
- Tropical paradise in Koh Lipe
Your Very Own Phuket Private Tour
- Our crew will be dedicated entirely to you, your family, or friends on board; attending to your requirements for the ultimate Phuket Private Tour
- We can tailor a unique and customized program, to ensure the day exceeds your desires
- We are flexible on pick-up and drop-off locations to suit you (hotel, pier, beach, etc.)
- You can choose to remain at a lagoon or private beach for longer if you would like; you won’t have to fit in with a tour group timetable
- With a small and intimate group of people, you get the flexibility to make the day what you want
- You will get to discover hidden coves and caves that you will not experience on group tours
- We can organize a private beach picnic for your Phuket Private Tour
Phuket Private Tour Inclusions
We like to look after all our guests, so you can sit back and relax knowing that your Phuket Private Tour will include the following:
Explore the best destinations around Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay, and beyond in ultimate luxury, with your very own, bespoke Phuket Private Tour.
Contact us to book your Phuket Private Tour:
Jump back on board with Jay, Alex, and the crew of Lucus 1 as they continue their 3 days 2 night exploration of Koh Mook, Koh Kradan, Koh Ngai, Phi Phi, Railay and beyond.
These overnight tours are a special addition that we set up here at 5 Star Marine when the pandemic started. If you are looking for something different, unique, and adventurous then this is the tour for you.
Watch along below: