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:
We have been asked a lot the last month or so what happens to a Private Boat Tour if the weather is bad, the wind is high or the sea is rough. It’s a good question and relevant this September and October as we are still in the Phuket Wet Season.
The answer is different from company to company. For example, today as I write this the rain is bucketing down but I am seeing video footage of tours going out.
Now in some cases, the Private Boat Tours will go out in bad weather as the customer requests it but in other cases, the companies do not allow for cancellations.
Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket, we offer a flexible cancellation policy. The policy allows you to cancel a tour up to the day before the tour for any reason without needing to lose a deposit or make full payment.
On the day of the tour if the weather is poor cancellation is allowable weather. This means we will not force you, your family, or friends to take a tour in bad weather, sea conditions, or wind conditions.
We wish your private boat experience to be a GREAT experience and the only way to do that is to ensure we have good conditions for you, our customers. So to be clear, as a responsible Private Boat Company we will always give you the option to cancel ON THE DAY of your TOUR if the weather is bad.
IF you wish to go out this is your choice but we will never force you to take a trip just because you are booked. This is something that our company does differently from most private boat companies in Phuket.
We are active members of many different forums in the Phuket area and often see visitors asking for trip recommendations and past visitors often reply with comments like “Go Early Too Miss the Crowds.”
Now, this may seem like a good recommendation as this is how some group tour companies market themselves. But it’s important to understand that it’s not necessary to go early to miss the crowds like it’s also not necessary to go late.
A great private boat tour company can design a program that avoids crowds at any time. For example, the team here at 5 Star Marine design programs that leave anywhere from 6 am to 2 pm from the pier.
Why such a big range in private boat tour start times?
The answer is simple, we are designing programs that suit our customers needs and also the wind, sea, and rain conditions that we see occurring on the day. As every single private boat tour, we conduct here in Phuket is customized and designed to meet you, our customers needs, every single private boat tour is different.
Some tours dictate we leave early, some dictate we leave late. For example, right now we are in the Low Season (it’s the rainy / monsoon season in Phuket from mid-May to October) which means that we have high winds in the afternoon, starting from around 2 pm. This suggests that if we have a route plan that goes out into the open season, we should suggest an earlier leaving time.
How Can You Know What Is Your Best Leaving Time?
Again the answer is simple. Ask an experienced private boat tour provider who cares more about your experience than your money. When you are booking with the tour provider ask what wind, sea, and rain conditions they are expecting for the next day. If they answer you without checking any apps, then probably don’t trust them, they just wanted your money. Instead, just message us and we’ll let you know even if you’re not booking with us.
Anyone who has been in Phuket the last few days will have noticed that the season is starting to change. For the locals here, that is amazing news considering that our water supplies on the island were starting to run bare.
The answer to the question is simple, YES you can still go island hopping but you need to be careful to select the right day, the right company, and the right tour itinerary.
For example, during High Season when we run our private boat tours most of the time we suggest a later leave and spending sunset on a private beach. This is because typically in High Season we have the very low wind in the afternoon, making it great conditions for being on the sea.
During Low Season though, we recommend a sunrise tour or a tour leave time around 7 am or 8 am because during Low Season we expect a high wind in the afternoon which makes traveling back from the islands a little bumpy and less fun.
This is just one example of how things can change in the Low Season. The reality is that most companies in Phuket will go every day of both High and Low Season as they want to make income.
Here at 5 Star Marine Phuket, we care about making your Private Boat Charter a wonderful experience so we will only recommend going out on tour when the weather is right for your selected tour program.
If you’d like to know what we recommend for you, please get in contact with us!