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
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 thrilled to welcome a LOAD of new destinations to enjoy from 1st October; and yes, these are going to be open to both Sandbox and Domestic guests.
With the change in season, the seas become calmer so let’s take a look at the exciting new destinations which now become accessible; working our way out from our base pier in Boat Lagoon:
1. Khai Islands
Three popular and family-friendly islands offering shallow snorkeling only 15 minutes from the pier. These islands are close together and are especially good for beginner snorkellers as you can go straight off the beach and experience a plethora of tropical fish. Also, a great spot for a beach picnic.
2. Mai Ton & Coral Combination
5 Star Marine runs a respectful dolphin spotting program at Mai Ton Island which is around 30 minutes from Boat Lagoon, where you can also snorkel before making your way to Coral Island, with beautiful snorkeling, plus relax on the beach with great vibes on Banana Beach Club, which also offers activities, massages, lunch, etc.
3. Racha Islands
The two idyllic Racha Islands; Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, provide some of the best snorkeling reefs in Thailand and quiet, tropical white powdery beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters. With Manta Rays and Whale Sharks hopefully coming back again this October / November, don’t miss your chance to spot these magnificent creatures.
4. Phi Phi
Phi Phi is a particularly well know location in the Phuket region, and now with the change in season you can take advantage of some stunning location all to yourself – literally, you might just be the only boat out there! Enjoy Phi Phi Ley and Bamboo Island and chance spotting turtles and clownfish.
5. Krabi Islands and Hong Krabi
The turquoise waters of the Hong Krabi Lagoon are to die for, and why not get your adrenaline going with a climb up to the new 360-degree viewpoint on Hong Krabi? This is arguably one of the best seascape views of the Krabi island sets, Phang Nga Bay, and surrounding islands in the national park that you can get from anywhere. It might be a long climb but it is worth the reward. Enjoy the infamous Railay beach for a lunch stop and gorgeous scenery too.
6. Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga truly is one of natures’ spectacular works of art; where the vast karst rock scenery presents a visually stunning location. This location provides a different type of tour, it is not a snorkeling tour, but more about the seascapes, canoeing, caving, and exploring.
7. Koh Rok
The sea becomes like a lake in high season, making Koh Rok and Koh Ha idyllic destinations to make the most of when the season comes around. This area combines stunning water clarity with a diverse range of colorful marine life and corals and therefore offers some of the best snorkeling opportunities you can find. In season, you can also regularly see whale sharks between here and Koh Ha also.
8. Koh Ha
This offers some of the best snorkeling, stunning soft sandy beaches, and is less crowded than the better-known Similan Islands. A little further to travel compared to most of our other day trip locations; but well worth every minute for the guaranteed natural beauty and a great stop on the way to Koh Lipe.
9. Koh Lipe
This will open up in the next few weeks and boy are we raring to go! Koh Lipe is bursting with things to see and do; enjoy a romantic time at Sunrise or Sunset Beach, explore the coral reefs snorkeling at Red Coral, head to Monkey Beach or Stonehenge Rock. You might even get to spot the odd whale shark, Manta Ray, or turtle.
10. Similan & Surin Islands
Two phenomenal island-hopping destinations are situated off the West Coast of Phuket. These areas are bursting with amazing marine life, rich coral, and sandy white beaches. Enjoy a memorable boat trip to the renowned Similan Islands; a stunning archipelago in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand, which is made up of 9 islands. We can’t wait for it to open from October 15th to May 15th. Further away and only open 6 months per year, due to the monsoon season plus in an attempt to preserve the marine environment.
11. Phuket By The Sea Tour
This unique program leaves from Boat Lagoon and travels under the Sarasin bridge then you make your way down to the banana beach past Surin, Kamala, and Patong for example, where you can stop off at a beach club or two!
So there you have it – 11 amazing tours opening up from 1st or 15th October. There are a few rules and regulations for Sandbox and Domestic customers, but please contact us to find out more, and in most cases just need your passport and proof of vaccination.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore while you can!
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.
Often we have guests ask us via message or at one of our agent locations across Phuket why the native weather applications on iPhones or Android devices often predict rain each day but the predictions are incorrect.
The answer is difficult, to be honest. When we are running Private Boat Tours we often use a combination of applications to predict the weather and then on the day of a tour we will also use a number of other applications as well.
When it comes to forecasting rain or sunshine a lot of people make the mistake of taking the forecast for Phuket and applying it to the island destination that they are intending to visit.
For example, we may have a forecast for rain in Phuket, but no rain in Phi Phi. So it’s important to look at the correct forecast model, for your intended destination and then also check things like wind condition, radar, tide, and waves.
For each of these things we use different apps as in our experience, no single app gives you an accurate prediction of Phuket’s weather conditions.
Often we can be out on the boat in beautiful sunshine snorkeling while our offices in Phuket are being drenched with torrential rain. A good Private Boat Charter company will be able to tell you the best time to leave the pier, the best time to come back, and how to avoid the rain.
Where a Group Tour provider is restricted by route and Gasoline allowances, this is not something that you will find here at 5 Star Marine. We will adjust programs to suit weather conditions and ensure you are a smooth, comfortable ride.