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5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020

The Thaiger

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5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: loveandroad.com

Thailand’s “coconut island” has come a long way since it’s hippy hey-day in the 1970s. Today, jet-set travellers rub shoulders with the tabloids’ favorite celebrities, while major golf events and regattas have become annual pilgrimages. So, now you’re thinking about a lazy leisurely holiday on this tantalisingly tropical island? Only question is … when to go?

5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

January – BBQ Season @ Banyan Tree

After several months’ closure for renovations, the long-awaited return of Banyan Tree Samui’s fabulous restaurant Sands is upon us. Chef Rainer Roersch promises to roll out a new “8 Fires” concept with everything from flaming woks to wood-fired ovens to fire pits, where he will sizzle up Wagyu beef steaks and fresh seafood while you enjoy sundowners at the resort’s quirky tuk-tuk cocktail bar on the beachfront.

Make reservations HERE.

5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

February – Samui Open Beach Volleyball

Bounce along to North Chaweng Beach on February 21- 23 to catch some 40 to 50 teams from around the world competing in this annual beach volleyball tournament. And when the spikes, digs and blocks are all over and the sun begins to set, expect some carnavalesque party fun at the brand new Seen Beach Club.

5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

May – Samui Regatta

Few international events have put Koh Samui on the map like the annual regatta which attracts more than 500 sailors, mostly from around Asia, at this time each year. Hosted in 2020 for the first time by Synergy Samui’s La Vida Resort, the event is the biggest and most competitive sailing race of its kind in Asia. Perch yourself anywhere along the eastern coast of the island from May 23- 30 – preferably with a set of binoculars – and set your sights on some competitive and intricate yacht racing.

5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

September – Samui Festival

A kaleidoscope of parades, culture, music, food and fun for all the family is in store at this 5-6 day event, the dates of which are yet to be officially announced. However, we do know that the Samui Festival Marathon will take place at 5am on August 30, so expect the fun n’ games to begin soon after. Singing competitions, a beauty contest, artwork, handicrafts, Thai boxing bouts and Buddhist ceremonies are all part and parcel of this colorful extravaganza. Perhaps the highlight of the week is the array of street-food stalls where you can sample and savour some of southern Thailand’s most exotic delicacies, such as maret’ leaf rice cooked in a bamboo tube, oysters, fruits, and super-sweet desserts.

5 good reasons to visit Koh Samui in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

November – Loy Krathong – The Festival of Lights

Thailand’s most exquisite festival is a time when Buddhists float banana boats on the river to take away bad luck and worries, while praying for a better year ahead. And nowhere could be more majestic to join the ceremony than at Chaweng Lake on Koh Samui on the night of 1 November when you make your own krathong, or banana boat, with the help of locals. And of course, there will be music, street stalls, and much merriment all round.

Koh Samui enjoys a year-round climate heaven-made for beach-lovers, High season is Cool Season – that’s from Christmas through to March, and by “cool” we mean a gentle breeze, and a gorgeous 29-30 °C (84- 86°F) sunshine to bask in. April and May are the hottest months, but then again, you have the Songkran Water Festival on April 13-14 to cool you down. June through to September is thoroughly pleasant with light showers every other day, and October- November is the low season with its monsoon rains.

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Tourism

Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry

Maya Taylor

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Academics call on government to hurry up and help the tourism industry | The Thaiger

Leading Thai academics are calling on the government to get a move on and help the tourism industry before it’s too late. Addressing a gathering arranged by the Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion, Kiriya Kulkolkran from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Economics, pointed to the 80% drop in international tourism as a result of the Covid-19 fallout. His estimate includes the first few months of the year when there was actually a functional tourism industry in Thailand.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Kiriya says just 4% of businesses in the tourism sector say they’ve made the same amount or more than they did before Covid-19. She adds that a survey shows employees in the industry are concerned about debt accumulation and “extremely worried about the future”.

Bovorn Subsing, from Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, has backed up the comments, saying tourism workers have seen their wages drop by 60%, while still facing the same, or higher, cost of living. The result is that most are now in debt.

Kiriya predicts the devastation could continue for over 3 years, affecting not just tourism operators but the entire supply chain, as well as new graduates and those seeking their first job. She says that until the sector recovers, the government needs to provide tailored help for businesses, singling out Phuket hotels, who are struggling to survive without foreign guests.

The islands of Phuket and Samui, plus the other ‘tourist’ islands around Thailand, are facing a particular problem as they’re mostly geared for the international tourist market. Domestic tourism, rebooted last July when the local airlines were permitted to fly again, has mostly shunned the popular tourist islands.

One worker at a Phuket hotel, 52 year old Anchisa Sirinanthasak, addressed the forum in support of a possible co-payment scheme for hotel workers. It’s understood most hotel operators are paying employees 62-75% of their normal salary, which works out at around 8,000-9,000 baht per person and is not enough to cover their costs.

Meanwhile, Manop Kaewphaka from Homenet Thailand, a non-profit that protects home-based workers, has called on the government to allow foreign tourists back into the Kingdom and to provide more support for informal workers, in the form of wage guarantees and co-payment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Visa

Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreigners report alleged visa scam in Koh Samui | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77kaoded

A Thai woman in Koh Samui allegedly ripped off at least 8 foreigners by offering visa extension services and taking off with the money. A group of foreigners reported the scam to officers at the Bo Phut police station, saying they placed deposits ranging from 10,000 baht to even 100,000 baht, but the services were never fulfilled.

A man posted a video on Facebook warning people about the alleged scam and saying he believes the woman stole around 10 million baht. A Thai TV news report shows a J&R Accounting business card for “Joy” which advertises accounting and work permit services.

“Be careful with your visa… There are a lot of people that just want your money and they don’t give the service.”

Apparently, some of the foreigners paid a deposit 6 months ago. They say Joy kept reassuring them that their applications processing. Now that visa amnesty is up, the foreigners worry about potential problems with immigration, Thai media reports.

Police told Thai media that this isn’t the first time they’ve heard of Joy. They issued a summons for her in the past. If she does not respond to the second summons, the police may go to court and request a warrant for her arrest.

A little over a week ago, at the neighbouring island Koh Pha Ngan, a language school allegedly ripped off more than 100 foreigners, claiming they were able to issue them with a 1 year education visa.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Tourism

Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO | The Thaiger

Phuket and Samui are both islands, fed mostly by arrivals at their international airports. Of course, both remain closed and the islands are trying to survive on a dribble of domestic tourists. And there’s no sign of hope any time soon for the future. Bill Barnett is ‘Mr Hotel & Hospitality’ for Thailand and the region. What does he see as the short and long term solutions? Your comments are also welcome, below. You can also watch our stark report about how empty Phuket actually is HERE.

Bill is the MD and leading consultant forc9hotelworks.com

 

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