Koh Lipe The Maldives of Thailand

Paradise on Earth: Koh Lipe, Thailand

Thailand, a country renowned for its stunning beaches and lush tropical landscapes, is home to an island that encapsulates the essence of paradise – Koh Lipe. Situated in the southernmost part of Thailand, near the border of Malaysia, Koh Lipe is a small, pristine island that offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Koh Lipe is a must-visit destination.

Koh Lipe boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in Thailand. Imagine powdery white sand caressing your feet as you stroll along Sunrise Beach, Pattaya Beach, and Sunset Beach. These pristine stretches of shoreline are bordered by crystal-clear waters, making them ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and simply basking in the sun.

The underwater world here is equally enchanting, with vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine life waiting to be explored.

If you’re a fan of aquatic adventures like snorkeling, Koh Lipe won’t disappoint. The island is situated within the Tarutao National Marine Park, a protected area known for its remarkable biodiversity. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore an underwater wonderland filled with colorful coral gardens, tropical fish, and even the chance to spot majestic creatures like sharks and sea turtles.

Find out more about our private boat tour to Koh Lipe – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/private-boat-tour-to-koh-lipe/

Koh Lipe a melting pot of cultures

Despite its small size, Koh Lipe is a melting pot of cultures. You’ll find Thai, Chao Leh (Sea Gypsies), and expatriates living together harmoniously. This cultural diversity is reflected in the island’s cuisine, where you can savor authentic Thai dishes and fresh seafood, along with international fare.

Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties like grilled squid and mango sticky rice from the street vendors.

As the sun sets on Koh Lipe, the island transforms into a lively hub of activity. The Walking Street, the main thoroughfare, comes alive with vibrant street markets, shops, and a wide array of beach bars. Enjoy the laid-back island vibe with a cocktail in hand, listening to live music or watching fire dancers perform on the beach. Koh Lipe offers a perfect balance between relaxation and entertainment.

Koh Lipe Eco Friendly

Koh Lipe is committed to preserving its natural beauty. Many accommodations on the island are eco-friendly, and efforts are made to reduce plastic waste. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in nature while also respecting and contributing to its conservation.

Beyond the enchanting shores of Koh Lipe lie numerous other islands and islets waiting to be explored. Take day trips or overnight excursions to nearby gems like Koh Adang, Koh Rawi, and Koh Tarutao, where you can hike through lush jungles, discover secluded beaches, and connect with nature on a deeper level.

Koh Lipe in Thailand is an idyllic destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking adventure beneath the waves, romantic sunsets on the beach, or simply a place to unwind and rejuvenate, Koh Lipe has it all. As a serene island paradise, it beckons travelers from around the world to experience its unique charm and make cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Find out more about our private boat tour to Koh Lipe – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/private-boat-tour-to-koh-lipe/

The TOP 25 Restaurants In Phuket -2023 Awards

Top 25 Restaurants Phuket highlights the best Phuket has to offer in terms of food and gastronomy. In September, Travelindex owned online website TOP25 announced the TOP25 Restaurants Awards Phuket 2023. In this third edition, more restaurants represented the island’s distinctive and flavorful cuisine, as well as its remarkable natural & cultural heritage. TOP25 Restaurants Guides celebrate exquisite dining in each gastronomic destination highlighting culinary diversity and chefs supporting local community products.

Top 25 Restaurants is a division of Travelindex. For Top 25 Restaurants, Travelindex has developed a unique index, the “Restaurant Rating Index”.

To deliver the most trusted restaurant rating, their Restaurant Rating Index (RRI) combines the power of a mathematical algorithm driven by artificial intelligence and re-assessed through the human discernment of some of the world’s top culinary experts.

Modern Thai
Chef: Ricardo Nunes
Location: West Coast

hom is located in the Sawan Pavilion of the InterContinental Phuket Resort. All ingredients at hom are sourced from around Phuket, dishes incorporate ancient fermentation techniques.

Modern French
Chef: Yannick Hollenstein
Location: West Coast

Located at Kalim Bay in Phuket, L’Arôme by the Sea features an elegant minimalist design offering a dining experience with breathtaking sea views.

Innovative Thai
Chef: Rick Dingen
Location: West Coast

JAMPA’s concept is farm to fork based serving creative food with a menu of sophisticated, tasty and nutritious dishes that changes daily, based on what is fresh that day.

Modern Thai
Chef: Jimmy Ophorst
Location: West Coast

PRU is a fine dining restaurant located at the award-winning Trisara resort on the west coast of Phuket. PRU is pursuing its own culinary ambition, to raise regional foods and use nautral ingredients from their own farm.

Innovative Thai
Chef: Chatchawan Varahajeerakul
Location: Chalong & South

Samut restaurant is located in the Nai Harn area of Phuket and serves fine Thai cuisine focusing on local seafood enhanced with local ingredients and spices.

Innovative Thai
Chef: Pom
Location: Town & Central

At Nitan the chef’s creates gastronomic experiences using contemporary culinary techniques to prepare southern Thai classics with local fresh produce and refined ingredients from their own farm at Surat.

Modern Thai
Chef: Tammasak Noi Chootong
Location: Town & Central

At SUAY Cherngtalay Chef Noi ensures your dining experience is memorable serving unique and tasty dishes, infusing European techniques with traditional Thai dishes.

Rustic Thai
Chef: Anongrat Piak Meklai
Location: Airport & North

Black Ginger is located at The Slate hotel and is designed like a traditional mansion hovering over a luminescent lagoon.

Modern Thai
Chef: Chalermwut Srivolalkul
Location: West Coast

Located within the five-star beach resort, InterContinental Phuket, cocooned by jungle-covered hills and superb views of the Andaman Sea, Jaras serve modern Thai cuisine.

Italian Fine Dining
Chef: Alessandro Frau
Location: West Coast

In a chic and futuristic design with great views of the Andaman sea, Acqua restaurant offers a wide range of culinary creations focused on the attentive selection of local produce.

Chef: Nattaphon Othanawathakij (Oat)
Location: Town & Central

We are right in Phuket old town with plenty of car parking space and walking distance from walking street.

Chef: Natchapol (Ice) Sangsorn
Location: West Coast

Tengoku restaurant, located within the luxury InterContinental Phuket Resort, Kamala, is inspired by the traditional techniques and presentation of Osaka’s cooking masters.

Chef: Tanasub Trisub
Location: Airport & North

Takieng restaurant at Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa, serves classic Thai and Phuket’s favorite dishes with premium local ingredients.

Rustic Thai
Chef: Uncle Nun and Aunt Yai
Location: West Coast

Ta Khai is Rosewood Phuket seafood restaurant offering a menu planned around the local fishermen’s daily catch to ensure that only the freshest bounty from the sea appears on the menu.

Chef: Worapong Panchoo
Location: West Coast

Saffron Phuket at the Banyan Tree Phuket is overlooking the Andaman Sea and presents the authentic tastes of Thai cuisine, with graceful service in the contemporary yet classically elegant.

Chef: Nicola Testino
Location: Airport & North

Located within the five-star Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, Age is a premium restaurant featuring classic designs with great views serving delicious meat and the freshest seafood.

Chef: Pantid Jindaj (Eat)
Location: West Coast

Semi Di Tsubu is the first Itameshi restaurant in Thailand, blending the best of Japanese and Italian cuisine into a unique dining experience.

Royal Thai Cuisine
Chef: Nooror Somany Steppe
Location: Town & Central

At Blue Elephant Phuket, Chef Nooror created a special Peranakan menu. The restaurant is located in one of the most remarkable colonial palaces, built more than 115 years ago.

Chef: Charlie Chen
Location: West Coast

Bon Pan Asian Tapas offers a blend of cultures across Asia, from Chinese, Vietnamese, Mongolian to Japanese specialties, fused with European flavors to deliver a broad range of tapas.

Chef: David C Hands
Location: West Coast

Siam Supper Club is located in the heart of Laguna, one of Phuket’s most affluent area. Since 1991, the Siam Supper Club continues to attract visitors from around the island.

Modern Thai
Location: Chalong & South

Akoya Star Lounge is a rooftop bar at V Villas Phuket, soaring 55 metres above sea level with 360° night sky and ocean views.

Baan Rim Pa

Royal Thai Cuisine
Chef: Praiwan Wan Klongkleaw
Location: West Coast

Baan Rim Pa is located just north of Kalim beach and occupies two and half levels with every table having a stunning sea view.

Modern Thai
Chef: Franko, Younghoun Oh
Location: West Coast

Talung Thai at Paresa resort is perched on the side of a clifftop and surrounded by lush tropical forest on the Millionaires Mile coastal road between Patong and Kamala.

Chef: Atanu
Location: Town & Central

Located inside Aquaria Phuket’s state of the art aquarium, Su Va Na provides guests with a world class marine dining experience like no other.

Chef: Daniel Leah
Location: Airport & North

Nestled on the golden sands of Nai Yang Beach, overlooking the Andaman Sea as part of the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa.

Things NOT To Do in Thailand

Don’t do this in Thailand

Thai culture is known for being one of the most courteous and friendly cultures in the world, but just like any culture, there are cultural etiquette norms that are appreciated among Thai people themselves, and for guests visiting their homes and homeland. Here are some of these customs and etiquette that you should know before visiting Thailand.

Here are just a few DON’T’s in Thailand

As with any culture, there are things in Thailand that you simply don’t do if you want to be courteous to your Thai hosts.

Don’t Touch People’s Heads

In Thailand, the head is considered to be sacred. It is also believed to be the cleanest body part and thus should never be touched. Just like in most countries around the world, it is considered rude to touch a stranger’s head. It is also disrespectful to touch the head of a statue, especially a statue of Buddha.

However, close friends and family members often touch each other’s heads or hair, which is not considered rude. If you accidentally forget and touch a stranger’s head/hair, politely beg his or her pardon. If you need to reach something above someone’s head, say ‘excuse me’ first.

Don’t Prop Your Feet On Tables or High Up

Because feet are the lowest part of the body and are by nature dirty, they should never be propped up on tables or other surfaces. In Thai culture, feet are considered the least important and most unclean part of the body.

If you are at a temple, do not stick your feet out in front of you, especially if your feet are pointing towards a monk or an image of Buddha. Other objects, like books, and food are considered high status in Thai culture, so don’t prop your feet on a coffee table or point your feet towards food. This is considered vulgar.

Avoid Being Overly Affectionate In Public

Though Thailand is a loving country and open to many expressions of love, they are modest when it comes to public displays of affection. Thus, it is best to not be overly affectionate in public places.

Do Not Collect Coral Fragments Or Shells From Their Natural Habitat

There are many practical reasons to not collect shells and coral fragments from their natural habitat. First and foremost it affects the ecology of the area. These pieces help create the pristine sand on Thailand’s famous beaches. They can also be used by native species for homes.

Due to global warming, the coral population in Thailand has been declining. This is why the country has increased its effort to protect corals in the past few years. If you take any corals or shells from the waters of Thailand, there will be a fine and you may get arrested.

Don’t Point

Just like in many cultures, pointing is considered rude in Thailand. If you must gesture towards a person, it is recommended that you gesture by lifting your head and indicating with your chin. It is sometimes considered acceptable to point at objects and animals, however, it is preferred that if you must do this, you should use your whole hand to point, not just one finger.

Don’t Step On Thresholds

If you are walking through a doorway, it is customary to walk over the door threshold, and do not step on it directly, as it is believed that spirits live in the door threshold, and by stepping on these you are upsetting the spirit, who may then retaliate against the residents of the home and bring them bad luck.

Right now, for some Do’s which will help you when you are here in Thailand.

Do Remove Your Shoes

The first rule of etiquette for entering a Thai residence, temple, or palace is to remove your shoes. This is a courteous gesture made to protect the home or temple you are visiting from the dirt tracked in by your shoes.

It is disrespectful not to take shoes off before entering Thai homes and temples.

You may also be expected to remove your shoes at some cafes and restaurants. This is because some smaller establishments are set up in homes. To gauge whether or not you should remove your shoes, just look and see what others in the shop or restaurant are wearing on their feet and act accordingly.

Do Dress Properly

While Thailand is very open-minded and free, it is proper etiquette to dress modestly when entering a temple or palace. This is a sign of respect to the monks and residents of these historic landmarks. It is considered respectful to at a bare minimum have your knees and shoulders covered when entering a palace or temple.

For men, you may be able to get away with wearing shorts, but for women, the safest bet is to wear a long skirt or long pants. You should not wear tank tops, revealing sports attires, or t-shirts with inappropriate designs.

Always Return a Wai Greeting

A Wai greeting (pronounced “why”) is a traditional greeting in Thailand. It is usually accompanied by the phrase “Sawasdee” and is offered as a greeting, thank you, goodbye, and apology. While it is not expected that tourists offer Wai greetings to Thai people first, it is expected that they return a Wai greeting when one is presented.

Monks do not need to return Wai greetings, and Wai greetings do not need to be offered to those who are younger than you.

Do Respect the Monks And Do Not Touch Them

Monks are highly respected and revered in Thailand and are expected to be respected by visitors to Thailand as well. Please do not touch a Monk, especially if you are a woman. This is because Monks believe that a woman’s body goes against their Buddhist vows. Thus, many temples do not allow women in certain areas, and women should never touch a Monk.

When you meet a monk, you can bow or wai but don’t ask any overly-personal questions about them. It is important for Thai people to interact with them appropriately since monks are so well-respected. For example, people usually give up their seats for monks on the bus.

Do Be Mindful When Taking Pictures

When visiting a temple, taking a photo of the temple and Buddha are usually allowed in Thailand. However, be mindful and respectful of the people praying and in some worship areas. Before taking a photo, look for the temple’s rules written outside on notice boards or just ask locals.

Furthermore, show your gratitude for being allowed to take the photo by leaving a donation in the donation boxes. Donations from visitors help maintain the upkeep of the temples and palaces.

Do Smile

Thailand is known as “The Land of Smiles.” No wonder smiling is so important to Thai etiquette! When you are in Thailand, be happy and smile, and return smiles offered to you by others that cross paths with you on your journey.

You should also be aware, however, that smiling in Thailand does not always mean the person smiling is happy. A smile in Thailand can mean many things: embarrassment, frustration, apprehension, and much more. Returning a smile to someone who is smiling for a reason other than happiness could just be what they need to turn their mood around.

Like every destination, Thailand has its norms that are customary when it comes to common courtesy expected from visitors entering the country. While visitors are not expected to know all these cultural norms, learning them and practicing them while in Thailand is certainly the courteous thing to do.

Big Buddha Phuket | Best Things to do in Phuket

Unveiling the Mystique of Phuket’s Giant Guardian!

Big Buddha Phuket

When you head down the East coast of Phuket on the way to Phi Phi and you look up at the tropical green hills of Phuket, at one of the highest points you will see an awe-inspiring gleaming white marble statue of Buddha. Known simply as the Big Buddha

So, we sent Jay Leshark down to the Big Buddha and checked out the magnificence of this colossal guardian of Phuket.

Watch the video here – LINK TO VIDEO

Big Buddha Phuket

Big Buddha PhuketPerched high on the top of Nakkerd Hills is a gleaming white marble statue of Buddha. Known simply as the Big Buddha (its official name is Mingmongkol Buddha image), the statue has slowly become one of the most popular attractions on the island.

Right hold on, I need to do a history lesson:

Big Buddha Phuket: History

The idea for the statue came about when a group of friends discovered the spectacular views from what was to be the Big Buddha statue’s future location on Nakkerd Hills.

Instead of simply transforming this into a popular viewpoint like Laem Phromthep, the friends decided that they needed something much more significant for the people — an enormous statue of Buddha.

Construction for the Big Buddha began in 2004

The Big Buddha statue, which is 45 meters tall and spans 25 meters at the base, was built entirely with donations from locals and foreigners!

How to get to the Big Buddha?

Getting to the Big Buddha is fairly straightforward, but the road up to the Big Buddha statue is very steep so be careful.

Also If you are heading to the Big Buddha yourself, the signpost is rather small so you might miss it.

Here is the Google map location –  https://goo.gl/maps/XAAcYusY4Jzmdn9u7

Would you like a few tips when visiting the Big Buddha?

Visit the Big Buddha early in the morning to beat the heat and crowd

More than a thousand visitors come here to pay respects to the Big Buddha daily and it can get crowded during the day.

If you are feeling peckish, you can stop at any of the restaurants on the way uphill or downhill.

Make sure you have your camera as not only will get epic pictures of the big Buddha BUT also from the top you get stunning views of Phuket Town, Chalong Bay, Rawai, Karon and more, alongside lush greenery and scenic beaches.

You can even see (on a clear day) Phi Phi and Phang Nga bay in the distance.

Check out our 5 Star Marine Phuket tours – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/

As this is a religious site, do dress appropriately. That means no tank tops and short shorts — this is not a Full Moon Party, so please cover up!

You can hire sarongs at the big Buddha if you don’t have anything to cover up.

So, there you go. The Big Buddha Phuket

It’s well worth the trip and something that you definitely need to see when you come to Phuket.

The World’s Most Beautiful Beach 2023, Koh Kradan Thailand

Koh Kradan Thailand – The world’s Best Beach 2023

Thailand’s unspoiled Koh Kradan island off the coast of Trang province was ranked the best of the ‘Top 100 Beaches on Earth 2023‘ by the UK website World Beach Guide.

Despite only being a couple of hours south of Phuket and even closer to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Kradan is a world apart, sharing all the natural beauty but without the crowds and noise.

Nestled in the embrace of the Andaman Sea, Koh Kradan Beach boasts a mesmerizing stretch of powdery white sand that meets the crystal-clear waters in a seamless union. The untouched natural beauty of the beach, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and breathtaking coral reefs, creates a visual feast that leaves visitors in awe.

The pure Unspoiled Natural Beauty of Kok Kradan is what makes it truly stunning.

Koh Kradan’s azure waters are a gateway to an underwater wonderland. The crystal-Clear Waters and Marine Diversity make Koh Kradan a snorkeler and diver’s haven. You will be treated to a kaleidoscope of vibrant coral formations, teeming marine life, and if you are very, lucky gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays.

Watch Jay Leshark our YouTube host at Koh Kradan – https://youtu.be/4BdfDIVRkSk?si=zCNaG7dcNS52JrLv&t=293

Unlike some of the more commercialized beach destinations, Koh Kradan Beach has managed to preserve its tranquil and secluded ambiance. Fingers and toes are crossed that this award will not change that, as the absence of large crowds is one of the reasons it is so beautiful.

Koh Kradan’s recognition as the best beach in the world is not just a testament to its natural allure but also to its commitment to sustainable tourism. The local authorities and businesses have taken measures to protect the fragile ecosystem, such as enforcing strict waste management and conservation efforts to safeguard the beach’s pristine state for generations to come. The Thailand authorities are also looking to manage the beach with closures at certain times like that have done with other popular beaches such as Maya Bay.

Maya Bay Closed – Read More –  https://5starmarinephuket.com/2023/08/01/maya-bay-is-closed/

While Koh Kradan retains its unspoiled allure, it is not isolated from the wonders of its neighboring islands. Visitors can easily explore nearby attractions, such as snorkeling at the renowned Hin Muang and Hin Daeng dive sites, kayaking through hidden coves, or taking a boat trip to the iconic Emerald Cave on Koh Mook.

5 Star Marine Koh Mook tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/koh-ngai-koh-mook-koh-kradan/

Koh Kradan Beach’s recognition as the best beach in the world for 2023 is a testament to its untouched natural beauty, commitment to sustainable tourism, and the enriching experiences it offers to travelers. As we celebrate this pristine paradise, let it serve as a reminder that preserving the Earth’s most exquisite treasures is not just a responsibility, but a privilege that allows us to revel in the splendor of destinations like Koh Kradan for years to come.

The Koh Kradan tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/koh-ngai-koh-mook-koh-kradan/

Samet Nangshe Phang Nga | The Most Incredible View in Thailand

Part of our new and exclusive collection of luxury day tours, carefully put together by the 5 Star Marine Phuket crew and captains the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint and James Bond Island Tour is something very unique.

This experience will provide you with a whole day of enjoying viewpoints, famous islands, floating restaurants, sightseeing, and even sea canoeing into caves.

Click here to see the Brand-New Tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/samet-nangshe-viewpoint-james-bond-island-private-tour/

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, Phang Nga Bay Thailand

Nestled in the heart of Phang Nga, Thailand, lies a hidden gem that promises breathtaking panoramic views that will leave you spellbound – the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint. The awe-inspiring spot offers a tranquil escape into the natural beauty of Phang Nga Bay.

For those seeking an unforgettable and famous adventure, look no further than the private boat tour to Samet Nangshe Viewpoint & James Bond Island.

Before we look at the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint and James Bond Island Tour in detail let me tell you about the awe-inspiring Samet Nangshe Viewpoint.

The Journey to Samet Nangshe

Reaching the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint is an adventure in itself. The viewpoint is located approximately 25 kilometers northeast of Phuket International Airport. Many travelers visit Samet Nangshe viewpoint by road that winds through picturesque landscapes. Lush forests, quaint villages, and scenic coastal stretches, all set the tone for the mesmerizing views that await.

Panoramic Views of Phang Nga Bay

From the viewpoint’s elevated perch, you are treated to a sweeping view of Phang Nga Bay’s distinctive limestone formations. The karsts, islands, and emerald waters below form a mesmerizing tableau that seems to belong to another world.

The bay’s unique topography has earned it a place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, making the experience of witnessing it from Samet Nangshe even more special.

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint in Phang Nga, Thailand, stands as a testament to the unspoiled natural beauty that this region has to offer. With its breathtaking sunrise views, panoramic vistas of Phang Nga Bay, and opportunities for outdoor activities, it’s a destination that holds something special for every traveler. As you stand on the edge of this captivating viewpoint, you’ll not only witness the beauty of nature but also find a deep connection to the serene tranquility that only such untouched landscapes can provide.

Click here to see the Brand-New Tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/samet-nangshe-viewpoint-james-bond-island-private-tour/

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint & James Bond Island Private Tour

Starting from the 5 Star Marine Phuket pier at Boat Lagoon Marina, you will head up into the stunning Phang Nga Bay. A few stops on the way will let you enter a hidden cave enveloped by lush mangroves and a visit to the floating island of Panak Island.

Don’t forget to check out the only floating football pitch in the world.

Then it’s time to get your cameras ready as we stop at Samet Nagshe pier and get a pick-up truck to take us up to the incredible viewpoint.

Once the selfies are taken, we head back to the boat and visit the world-famous James Bond Island, which was the backdrop in the James Bond Movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”.

Lunch and sightseeing at a traditional floating restaurant and then we head to Hong Island for some canoeing.

But wait it’s not over yet.

Our final stop is on the tropical beach paradise of Naka Noi for a swim in the crystal-clear waters or just relax on the beach.

The Samet Nangshe Viewpoint and James Bond Island Tour is truly a one-of-a-kind tour, exclusive to 5 Star Marine Phuket.

It was designed and created by guide Charlie who has had years working and living in this area, it’s his backyard and now he is letting you come and play in it, and showing you the best parts that only the locals know about.

Click here to see the Brand-New Tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/samet-nangshe-viewpoint-james-bond-island-private-tour/

Koh Kradan Claims Title of World’s Best Beach

#1 Beach In The World

Koh Kradan, a pristine island situated off the Trang province coast in Thailand, has claimed the top spot on the ‘Top 100 Beaches on Earth 2023‘ list; compiled by the UK website, World Beach Guide.

According to the insights provided by the World Beach Guide, you need not venture far from the beaten track to discover this tranquil beach: “This stunning stretch of powdery white sand remains a relative haven despite being only a few kilometers off the mainland”, this Guide continued on by commenting: “The waters of the Andaman Sea which surround the island are relatively sheltered and shallow, which means they are always warm i.e. ideal for swimming. On top of that they are crystal clear making for some excellent snorkeling in the protected waters.

Take Me To Paradise

5 Star Marine offers private VIP speedboat tours to Koh Kradan, which can also include an island-hopping experience to Koh Ngai and Koh Mook. This fully customisable itinerary usually takes around 1.5 hours from Phuket, to reach the first of these 3 lesser-known islands

During your customized day excursion, you could opt to commence your journey at the pristine shores of Koh Ngai, where crystal-clear waters, vibrant corals and marine life will welcome you. Proceeding to Koh Mook, you will can encounter the renowned Emerald Cave, appropriately named due to the emerald hue cast by the sunlight reflecting off the cave’s entrance. This natural wonder presents a unique opportunity to swim through the entrance into a small cave system, revealing a hidden mangrove (during the appropriate tide, which 5 Star Marine’s experienced crew can advise on).

Koh Kradan Claims the Title of World’s Best Beach, with tranquil atmospheres, emerald lagoons, and breathtaking beaches. Numerous captivating snorkeling sites and vibrant reefs make for an exceptional day of exploration on the water. Experts have long debated that this secluded beach stands among the most stunning and tranquil in Southern Thailand. This assertion has now been unequivocally validated, as it secures the coveted title of the world’s best beach.

World Beach Guide

The World Beach Guide is a UK guide positioned as a gateway to the most exquisite shores on Earth. They pride themselves on tireless exploration and meticulous research across global coastlines, which have culminated in their definitive collection of breathtaking beaches.

On their #1 spot on the world’s top 100 beaches, Koh Kradan Claims the Title of the World’s Best BeachFor those looking to just relax and soak up the sun and calm Koh Kradan is perfect. There are numerous hammocks suspended between the palm trees that fringe the beach. The main beach at Koh Kradan is the aptly named east-facing Paradise Beach. However, there is another, equally appropriately named, beach on the other coast. Easily reachable by a short trail through the forest is Sunset Beach where you can enjoy a peaceful view of the sun setting over the Andaman Sea.”

Book a bespoke trip to The World’s Best beach now! Contact us directly to discuss your private day trip itinerary to discover Koh Kradan’s stunning natural beauty, impressive coral reefs and snorkelling spots.

Shaun Stenning

+66 (0) 93720 6221


[email protected]

Shaun’s 2nd Annual Birthday Bash

Shaun’s Annual Phuket Charity Birthday Bash in Support of Living Waters Phuket

After a year off in 2022, the 5 Star Marine Shaun’s 2nd Annual Phuket Charity Birthday Bash in Support of Living Waters Phuket is back.

Come and spend the day with the 5 Star Marine family and help to support the awesome Living Waters Phuket. A day cruising to Maiton Island dolphin spotting and snorkeling and then an afternoon on Coral Island playing beach games, snorkeling and of course plenty of time to relax.

Happening on Saturday the 7th October, 2023 the fun family day starts at the 5 Star Marine Office, located at Phuket Boat lagoon Marina on the East coast of Phuket.

At 9am guests will be treated to a snack style Thai breakfast, music, and face painting and balloon animals for the kids (And the big kids)

At 10am boats will depart from the Boat Lagoon Marina pier and head to the first stop which is dolphin spotting at Maiton Island. Dolphin spotting gives you the chance to potentially see a pod of dolphins breaching out of the waves. However please note that these animals are wild so we cannot guarantee that they will be there, but lucky for us Maiton Island is also a great snorkeling spot so we will also be doing some snorkeling there.

We will then be heading to Coral Island for lunch (please note lunch is not included). The restaurant on Banana Beach is very good with a wide selection of Thai and Western dishes.

We will also be playing lots of fun games on the beach, and there is also some truly fantastic snorkeling right off the beach. Of course, if you don’t want to do anything you can sit back and relax and just watch the world go by.

At around 3.30 we will jump back on the boats and head back to the 5 Star Marine pier and hope to be back by 4pm.

To know more about this event, here’s a full video that we created:

So, what’s the cost?

Its FREE. That’s right FREE

The boats, soft drinks and water on the boats, snorkeling equipment if you need it, the Thai breakfast, all if this is FREE.

All we ask is that you give a donation to Living Waters Phuket.

Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.

To Book:

What’s App – +66 93 720 6221
Email – [email protected]
Date: 7th October, 2023
Time: 09:00 AM – 04:00 PM

We have also attached a PDF of the FAQs to this blog. Click here to learn more about the event:


09:00 AM – Pier registration
10:00 AM – Boat Departure
10:30 AM – Snorkeling at Mai Ton Island Head to Coral Island
11:30 AM – Head to Coral Island
12:00 PM – Lunch at Banana Beach (Not included)
01:00 PM – Games / Snorkeling / Relax at Banana Beach
03:30 PM – Leave Coral Island
04:00 PM – Back to pier

What if the weather is poor?

In the event that the tour date is subject to poor weather, we will cancel the tour and let you know when we can reschedule

Who are Living Waters Phuket?

Living Waters Phuket Foundation was established in late 2021 to help charities, foundations and government organizations.

LWPF operates both community projects and provides funding for existing relief projects. All team members are volunteers; working towards building brighter futures for those in need.

Founder, Shaun Stenning, set the precedent when LWPF was founded that it would be like no other foundation or charity. All money raised goes directly to the communities in need.

Read more about Living Waters – https://www.livingwatersphuket.com/

Phi Phi Vs James Bond, Phang Nga Bay Which one is Better?

Which Tour is for you?

Both the Phi Phi Islands and James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay are popular boat tour destinations in Phuket, Thailand, known for their stunning natural beauty and unique attractions. Boat tours to both locations offer different experiences.

BUT Which one is better?

James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay:

Phang Nga Bay is famous for its unique limestone karsts that rise dramatically out of the emerald-green waters. The bay is dotted with sea caves and hidden lagoons that you can explore by canoes or swim into.

Yes, it’s in the title BUT its one of the most famous attractions in Phang Nga Bay is James Bond Island

James Bond Island (Ko Tapu, which is its Thai name), which gained popularity after being featured in the James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

Many boat tours in Phang Nga Bay offer the chance to explore sea caves and hongs (enclosed lagoons) by canoe, providing a more immersive and up-close experience with the stunning natural formations.

James Bond Island Tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/james-bond-island/

The Phi Phi Islands are known for clear turquoise waters, and beautiful beaches. The landscape is more rugged and features iconic spots like Maya Bay, which gained fame from the movie “The Beach.”2

Snorkeling and diving are popular activities in the Phi Phi Islands due to the vibrant marine life and coral reefs.

The waters are teeming with colorful fish and other underwater creatures. There’s also the opportunity to relax on the pristine beaches and explore the island’s nightlife.

While many people mistakenly believe that Phi Phi is made up of just one Island, in fact it is a group of 6 islands in total. 5 of these islands are Virgin Islands.

Maya Bay is one of the true highlights of your Phi Phi private boat tour. Maya Bay stands out as a true gem. Nestled within the Phi Phi Islands, this captivating bay has captured the hearts of travelers and locals alike. Please note that Maya Bay, does close for 2 months of the year. Here are the details  https://5starmarinephuket.com/2023/08/13/maya-bay-opening-1st-october-2023/

You can also see, Camel rock, Pileh lagoon, Viking Cave, and Monkey Beach.

The beaches at Phi Phi are just what you are expecting from a tropical destination. White fine sands, with palm trees offering shade and crystal-clear waters.

Phi Phi Islands Tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/phi-phi-islands-2/

So which one is better?

Choosing between a private boat tour to Phi Phi Islands and one to James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay depends on the type of experience you’re looking for. If you’re interested in beautiful beaches, vibrant marine life, and a lively atmosphere, the Phi Phi Islands might be a better choice. On the other hand, if you’re more drawn to unique limestone formations, sea caves, and a quieter environment, then the James Bond Island tour in Phang Nga Bay could be more appealing.

Both destinations offer stunning natural beauty and memorable experiences, so it ultimately comes down to your preferences.

Why not do both?

Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket, we offer a unique tour that means that if you only have a few days in Phuket and you wish to experience both Phi Phi and James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay then you can.

Captain’s Choice is our unique luxury speedboat experience, offering you the balance of convenience plus flexibility.

It brings together a new collection of inspired day sea tours tailored to your personal expectations and sea condition of the day.

So, all you need to do is book, then simply turn up for your adventure.

Our experienced team of Tour Managers and Captains will ensure your expectations are met; whether it be snorkeling in Phi Phi above stunning coral reefs with an abundance of marine life, finding Instagram-worthy photo locations on James Bond Island, enjoying a secluded beach picnic lunch, trying your luck at spotting a playful pod of dolphins, canoeing through caves, exploring breath-taking viewpoints or experiencing hidden lagoons and coves – whatever your personal desires are, 5 Star Marine Phuket will ensure you have your perfect day on the water, leaving you with lasting fond memories and ready to book your next adventure.

Captain choice Phuket tour – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/captains-choice/

A true Phuket Experience in one Day

Khai Islands Are Perfect for Families

Family Paradise: Khai Islands, Phuket Thailand

When it comes to planning a Phuket family-friendly vacation, the beautiful Khai Islands in Phuket, Thailand, stand out as an ideal destination. With their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a myriad of activities tailored to suit families, the Khai Islands offer an unforgettable experience for parents and children alike.

Khai Nok Island: Where Nature and Adventure Unite

Khai Nok Island, the largest of the three, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and exciting adventures that families can enjoy together. The island is famous for its pristine white sandy beaches and inviting turquoise waters, making it an ideal spot for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Snorkeling is a fantastic family activity as it allows everyone to explore the underwater world teeming with colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs. The shallow and calm waters around the island provide a safe environment for even young children to participate in this mesmerizing experience.

Book a tour to the Khai Islands – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/khai-island/

Khai Nai Island: Tranquility and Relaxation

Khai Nai Island is often dubbed the “quiet island” in contrast to its busier neighbor of Khai Nok. This serene haven offers families a chance to unwind in a peaceful and intimate setting. The calm waters surrounding Khai Nai are perfect for swimming and kayaking, allowing families to bond over water-based activities while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

For families with young children, the shallow waters of Khai Nai are a blessing. Kids can splash around, build sandcastles, and safely explore the shoreline. Parents can recline on the soft sands, basking in the warm sun, knowing that their little ones are enjoying themselves in a safe and secure environment.

Khai Nau Island: A Secluded Escape

Khai Nau Island, the smallest of the trio, is very different from the other two islands. There are no real beaches (only a small something at low tide) and no sunbeds. Some would say it’s just a rock sticking up from the sea. However, when you jump into the sea you will get a whole different experience.

Khai Nau is an excellent spot for some snorkelling right off the boat, and has a great variety of coral and marine life to explore.

Book a tour to the Khai Islands – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/khai-island/

Why Khai Islands Are Perfect for Families

The Khai Islands’ family-friendly appeal extends beyond their stunning landscapes and diverse activities. These islands are easily accessible from Phuket, only 15 to 25 mins away. Additionally, the warm and welcoming Thai culture on the two larger Khai Islands, embraces families, making children feel at home and parents at ease.

Phuket’s monsoon season adds a unique dimension to your Phuket beach experience, but it also presents specific risks that require careful consideration. By staying informed about weather conditions, respecting warning flags, being cautious in the water, and taking proactive safety measures, you can enjoy the beauty of Phuket’s beaches while ensuring your well-being. Remember that your safety should always be the top priority, and adhering to these guidelines will help you make the most of your Phuket monsoon season getaway.

The opportunity to expose children to new cultures, foods, and experiences can be both enriching and educational.

The Khai Islands in Phuket offer an idyllic setting for families to create lasting memories. From adventurous snorkeling trips to tranquil beach days, these islands cater to a wide range of interests and age groups. With their natural beauty, variety of activities, and family-friendly atmosphere, the Khai Islands stand as a testament to the allure of a tropical paradise perfect for families to explore and enjoy together.

Book a tour to the Khai Islands – https://5starmarinephuket.com/locations/khai-island/