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1,000 foreign tourists expected to travel to Koh Samui in July

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1,000 foreign tourists expected to travel to Koh Samui in July | Thaiger
Photo by Yavor Punchev for Unsplash

Koh Samui may have 1,000 foreign visitors arrive on the island in July. As part of the “sandbox” tourism scheme, also set to launch in Phuket on July 1, allows tourists who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to specific destinations in Thailand that have reached herd immunity.

Thailand just launched its vaccination campaign a month ago. Now, both Koh Samui and Phuket are aiming to vaccinate 70% of their populations within the next few months to prepare for the reopening under the sandbox model.

Around 1,000 foreign tourists are expected to arrive on Koh Samui within the first week of July, according to president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, Ratchaporn Poolsawadee. Tourists are required to book a stay at an alternative local state quarantine hotel or resort. So far, 10 certified quarantine hotels and resorts are prepared for the first foreign arrivals.

Koh Samui is calling their reopening campaign “Wonder Island.” Flights to the island from Singapore, the United States, Europe and Australia will be offered under the Koh Samui travel campaign by the Bangkok Airways, which has monopolised the flight route to Koh Samui.

Tourists will be transported to a certified quarantine hotel of their choice. They will be tested for Covid-19 on the second day of their stay. If the results are negative, the next day, they will be able to travel and do activities in designated “sealed routes” on the island. This will most likely be with a tour guide.

Activities in the sealed routes, which are away from other tourists and residents, include sunset viewing, dinner cruises, yoga and spa treatments.

After a week, the tourists will be allowed to travel throughout Koh Samui as well as to neighbouring Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. On the fifteenth day, tourists would be tested for Covid-19. If they are negative, they will be allowed to travel throughout Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Most boring and overpriced island after the corrupted Phuket.

  2. Avatar

    Bill

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Lipstick on a pig. Asq, testing, someone following you at all times. Not worth it.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Agreed, Bill.

    An expensive 14 day ASQ, nothing more, for the tourist, and an absurd risk for minimal return for everyone else involved.

  4. Avatar

    Bill

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks IJ. Yea, and what if the person does end up positive (or false positive)…

  5. Avatar

    Marco

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Eravate un paese libero e allegro ,siete diventati un paese militare e di cagasotto.secondo voi un turista deve sopportare tutto questo per venire in thailandia? Voi siete dei pazzi

  6. Avatar

    Leonidas

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Will the guide take me to happy massage shop too?

  7. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    How can they dare to set up this new joke , its not yet April 1st Fool day !!!!

  8. Avatar

    luca

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    I can’t understand why they continue with this ASQ story, or are they so desperate that even a few hundred tourists are okay with them or they are just stupid.
    Real tourism is freedom, if you have to be tested, checked and locked up, what kind of tourism is it?
    As long as they do not vaccinate the necessary percentage of the population there will be no tourism, with today’s rhythms perhaps summer 2022 is the opening date

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    “Thanks IJ. Yea, and what if the person does end up positive (or false positive)”

    The issue to me isn’t so much the problem for them if they (the tourist) test positive “on the fifteenth day”, but what about everyone else they’ve had contact with?

    During days 2 – 7 they’ve been in contact with others on “sunset viewing, dinner cruises, yoga and spa treatments” and from days 8-15 anyone anywhere on Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao.

    At present anything between 6 and 20 arrivals are testing positive in quarantine every day – most, very probably, being Thai returnees but at least some being foreigners who either caught the virus post pre-flight check or were still incubating the virus.

    Some of those 6 – 20 per day will, inevitably, not test positive until after day 2 (but before day 15). Now, because of the more relaxed ASQ rules, not only will they have to be quarantined if they test positive but so will everyone they’ve come into contact with.

    A totally unnecessary risk given the probable minimal return.

    … and that’s without even considering the similar risk with at least 24% of those vaccinated with AZ’s vaccine who could still carry the virus but who will do even less ASQ, if any.

    The only solution is what it’s always been – mass country-wide vaccination – and there’s NO chance of that happening by July 1, and very little chance of it happening by October 1.

  10. Avatar

    Bill

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    IJ. I see your point regarding people they are in contact with after arrival. They do mention that activities on ‘sealed routes’ will be away from other tourists, I guess it will be private dinner cruises then! However, we exist on different ends of the spectrum regarding the gravity of a covid infection and the proper course of action by governments.

  11. Avatar

    G

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    It’s irrelevant no one will come anyway. That’s been shown time and time again with these half baked schemes.

  12. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    The most obvious point that’s somehow been missed in all the shouting by Phuket’s business interests is that Koh Samui should have been trialled BEFORE Phuket, starting on May 1 allowing time for two vaccinations, not after or in parallel two months later.

    A massive opportunity for a gradual first step, completely missed.

    A far smaller population so far fewer to vaccinate, and travel in and out that can be controlled far more easily with far less of a transient Thai population.

    If Thailand’s going to potentially have it’s own Anthrax Island, far better for it to be Koh Samui than Phuket.

  13. Avatar

    AC

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    1.000 tourists in the first week of July ? It looks like that the Ko Samui tourism president got the wrong clairvoyance crystal ball …
    I live in West Europe still waiting for the health authorities to call me for the vaccine and most of international airlines are still grounded. On one side , how can they espect tourists to reach Tailand,, by bus,by car on foot, and on the other all the restrictions won’t stimulate tourism at all.

  14. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    All of this is too soon. The opening of Phuket has more chance of happening than this. I understand the desire of the tourist industry to reopen, but it needs to have a gradual plan of reintroduction that has steps and a certain path. The people have had enough of “false starts”.

  15. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Why would a tourist visit Kho Samui and quarantine for 7 days instead of traveling to Phuket and being free of quarantine? Even if your intent is to make it to Kho Samui, it’s better to spend those first 7 days in Phuket and then travel onward. They are fooling themselves if they think 1K tourist will willingly go into quarantine the first week of July. Just not going to happen.

  16. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Pop the champayne………

  17. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:36 pm

    “However, we exist on different ends of the spectrum regarding the gravity of a covid infection and the proper course of action by governments.”

    Indeed we do, Bill, but what matters isn’t what “we” think but the reality of what Thais think, and after a year of being told and believing that it’s serious they’re not going to change now.

    Even if, for the sake of argument, you’re correct and it’s all a big storm in a teacup that will only affect the number of fatalities not the economy when there’s a backlash if anything goes wrong.

    At best 1% of the population (those on Phuket) stand to gain while the other 99% (those elsewhere) stand to lose.

    That’s a pretty poor risk.

    Far better, surely, to try it out on Koh Samui FIRST, without Phuket as an option, so that Jason would have it as the first step in his “gradual plan” and Ed V’s tourists would have the choice of Samui or nothing?

    If it works, then two months later Phuket would be the next logical step, and if it doesn’t and Samui becomes Anthrax Island for a while, so what?

  18. Avatar

    LaughingOutLoudAgain

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    About 63,000 people live on Koh Samui.
    70 percent vaccinated would be about 44,000

    Good luck with that one. I doubt that many poor Thai people would come forward and get the vaccine, even if free. Even if given 2 years.

    And add to that, I haven’t seen any evidence anywhere in Thailand where the government has its act together as it relates to anything about the vaccine or rollout.

    Another false information release to the media, about another program that’s going to get magical international tourists flocking to Thailand or specific regions of Thailand.

    Wait… I hear a song playing…
    Dream On (Aerosmith)

  19. Avatar

    ziggy

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    What 7 days in “sealed routes” and there after another 7-8 days on some nearby islands? This is still a quarantine technically. Same story….the Thai government is too greedy and business minded. They just want to rip the tourists off in an expensive resort island and still call it quarantine free. It is even more hilarious that the Thai government is negotiating with other countries for Air Travel Bubble so that the tourists can return to their home country without having to quarantine!!!! See the irony? You go to Thailand with a kinda of “quarantine in sealed routes” and then the tourists can go home without a need for quarantine. By that time, the Thai government does not care because it has already ripped off THB500K from each tourist from spas, dinner cruises, sunset views, guided tours etc…..Come on man!!! Are you gonna spend the first 7 days watching the sunset everyday? It is the same view, same sun and I wouldn’t want to do it for a week. Stupidity, greed and pride never fail to prevail. Chai Mai?

  20. Avatar

    David Mann

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    AC, I’m also in Western Europe though luckily in the U.K. and have had my first vaccination a couple of weeks ago with my second set for May. I don’t think the Thais hope to get many European, Australian or American tourists in July. This is all aimed at Asian tourists, particularly Chinese and Indian. Maybe by October things will improve all round, but I still think 2022 is the more realistic option to have a vacation in Thailand.

    By the way, anyone else got a problem with replying to a particular comment. Seems they have stopped the threads of replies to individual postings here?

  21. Avatar

    LondonAl

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Some utter rubbish here from the doom mongers, over 25m vaccinated in UK, according to John “at least” 24% could be carrying the virus, that’s 6m people which is rather a lot, so odd that the case and death numbers are plummeting here and we haven’t heard of a single vaccinated person testing positive or passing it on to family members, etc.

    I repeat for the umpteenth time, if you have had 2 jabs along with a negative test before you leave and another when you arrive YOU DON’T HAVE COVID!

  22. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Don’t bother with the virus tests as it seems Thai people have ‘magic blood’ as can be seen from the number of reported cases over the last year.

    In the West we have detected millions of people with the virus, many hundreds of thousands dead, so a lock down happens and the cases go down to almost zero, then we open up again and another wave of deaths happens.

    Yet Thailand can carry on as though nothing has happened, the shops, restaurants, bars etc are all open, millions of people rubbing shoulders each day and no significant number of cases.

    It is illogical but everyone including the farangs in Thailand believe it.

    I do not know the fact we had hospitals overflowing in the UK by going there myself to see them or because there are piles of bodies in the street, I know the figures from the news and reports from doctors, such news must all be being suppressed in Thailand.

    Unless they have ‘magic blood of course, oh and you do actually have to test people to know if they have had/got the virus in the first place.

  23. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    “isn’t what “we” think but the reality of what Thais think” – I would argue it isn’t really what Thais think that matters either. Its only what the government thinks when it really comes down to it. Should a country only do what it’s people want? Most of the time yes, but not always. Sometimes what they want isn’t the best for the country. I’m not saying that is the case here, but there are plenty of examples in history to prove the point. Are you honestly saying only 1% of the Phuket population stands to gain from reopening? Get rich, yes. However anyone who goes from the ranks of unemployed to employed, anyone who can reopen their small business stands to gain. It does make more sense to have tried this experiment with Kho Samui first. Just seems there is something bigger driving this toward accepting a larger risk. Maybe the Thai economy is doing much worse than is generally believed? That Thai economist who use to work for the IMF and is posting OPeds in the BP sure thinks so.

  24. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 12:57 am

    “according to John “at least” 24% could be carrying the virus, that’s 6m people which is rather a lot, so odd that the case and death numbers are plummeting here”

    Two problems with that, London A1.

    First that 24% isn’t “according to” me, it’s simply doing the hardly difficult maths that if the AZ vaccine only gives 76% protection from mild symptoms ACCORDING TO AZ then that leaves 24% who have mild symptoms / are asymptomatic.

    Things may have changed, but AFAIK 76% still leaves 24%.

    The second problem is that “case and death numbers are” NOT “plummeting” in the UK. A quick check shows that while deaths have been dropping, as would be expected given the numbers of vulnerable who’ve been vaccinated, cases have remained steady at around 5,000 new cases a day all month.

    Oops 😢

  25. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 1:05 am

    “I repeat for the umpteenth time, if you have had 2 jabs along with a negative test before you leave and another when you arrive YOU DON’T HAVE COVID!”

    Oh, and you can “repeat” it as many times as you want, but according to Astra Zeneca there’s only a 76% chance that “YOU DON’T HAVE COVID!” compared to someone who hasn’t been vaccinated, leaving a 24% chance that you do.

    All due respect and all that, but I think I’ll take AZ’s word for how effective their own vaccine is rather than yours 😂

  26. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 1:21 am

    “In the West we have detected millions of people with the virus, many hundreds of thousands dead, so a lock down happens and the cases go down to almost zero, then we open up again and another wave of deaths happens”

    Really, James R?

    When was that, exactly, that “the cases go down to almost zero”?

    A quick glance over the number of cases in just the UK over the last 12 months and that’s never happened – maybe on your planet, though.

    “Yet Thailand can carry on as though nothing has happened …”

    Indeed it can, just like Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, and several others that stopped importing the virus either from the start or as soon as they realised what the problem was … maybe not “magic blood” after all, but just enough intelligence to realise that if you stop something coming in … well … it doesn’t come in 😢

  27. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 1:53 am

    “Should a country only do what it’s people want? Most of the time yes, but not always. Sometimes what they want isn’t the best for the country.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Ed V, but that’s generally how things work even here (most of the time) otherwise you really are in a “dictatorship”.

    “Are you honestly saying only 1% of the Phuket population stands to gain from reopening?”

    No, Ed V, I’m not saying anything remotely like that 😂 😂 😂

    What I’m saying is that “those on Phuket” make up 1% of the Thai population and they’re the only ones who “stand to gain” and “those elsewhere” make up the other 99% and they’re the ones who “stand to lose”.

    Sorry if that wasn’t clear 😢

    … glad we’re agreed, at least, that it would have made more sense to have tried it on Koh Samui first, but it does indeed seem there’s something “bigger driving this towards accepting a larger risk” but who knows what that is? Influence, greed, panic, hope, prayer … take your pick.

    … and, yes, inevitably different people have different views on how well or how badly the economy is doing, but if those who are supposed to be doing the worst, namely Phuket’s unemployed, aren’t protesting en masse and clamouring for the borders to be opened ASP – and they’re not – then just maybe it’s not a risk they want to take …

  28. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 3:13 am

    “according to Astra Zeneca there’s only a 76% chance that “YOU DON’T HAVE COVID!” – Isn’t that AZs efficacy? I haven’t seen any immunity studies with AZ??? I know the CDC just released a study that shows Pfizer and Moderna offer 90% immunity from catching Covid. That’s in line with early studies out of the UK and Israel with those two. Opening up Phuket is certainly a risk, and a strange decision from a country so cautious the past year.

  29. Avatar

    LondonAl

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 5:39 am

    John the mistake you continously make is assuming this 24% are all going to contract Covid and carry it asymptomatically, firstly there is zero evidence to suggest that is happening, and secondly something around 95% of the UK population haven’t had Covid, and that was pre vaccine, so it’s not quite as easy to catch as you make out, and it’s now even more difficult to catch with numbers decreasing and so many people vaccinated.

    As for your expertise on the UK situation there were around 57,000 new cases at the start of the year and 1,800 deaths, today there were 4,654 new cases (mostly youngsters) and 23 deaths, if that not plummeting I don’t know what is, I also don’t know why you have such a problem with good news.

  30. Avatar

    Reb0101

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 7:26 am

    Exactly 2 weeks ago from today, I had the Johnson and Johnson Covid vaccine shot.
    Unlike all the rest, this one is only 1-shot, not 2.
    I have a small Index card with my Name, the Date, the word ‘Janssen’ on it (the actual vaccine name)
    some 7-digit number and the Initials of the nurse that stuck me.
    I tend to doubt that if I show up at Thai Immigration and whip out this Index card that will be sufficient ‘proof’ I am in fact vaccinated.
    Even if I were to bite and try for Samui in July, and even if my Index card was accepted …it will be over 3-months since I got the shot, so I do not believe they would consider me still ‘vaccinated’.
    So there’s that.
    BTW; a nurse told a co-worker that got the shot same day as me that it is only good for 6-months.
    If any of these 1,000 people that go to Samui, or even Phuket have ever been to either before, they are going to be incredibly disappointed when they get there.
    It will be NOTHING even close to what it was like before.
    “Sealed routes”, “tour guides” ….screw that.
    When the day comes that I can fly into Bangkok with acceptable proof of vaccination (and I doubt my index card is going to cut it). Negative PCR test and more than willing to take another PCR on arrival.
    Happy to check in a 5-start quarantine hotel in Bangkok for 24-hours for arrival PCR test results to come back.
    Assuming it’s negative, I’m out. Free to go anywhere in the whole country, no tracking bracelets, guides, sealed routes or other nonsense.
    Until that day comes and I sadly accept it will not be by October and certainly not July, then I just won’t return

  31. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Good on-ya LondonAl, IJ would argue the toss at lords cricket ground.

  32. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 10:48 am

    “according to Astra Zeneca there’s only a 76% chance that “YOU DON’T HAVE COVID!” – Isn’t that AZs efficacy?”

    Yes, agreed absolutely, Ed V – it’s the efficacy.

    AFAIK if you DON’T have Covid you can’t pass it on other than by physically transferring it from, say, a contaminated surface which is relatively rare and if you DO have Covid then being vaccinated doesn’t reduce the likelihood of you passing it on …

    … hence my suggesting that if the efficacy is only 76%, then it’s 24% not effective at anything other than reducing symptoms …

    … and as you can transmit the virus just as effectively regardless of whether you’re symptomatic or not, then “24%” seems to be the operative figure.

    If there’s some flaw there and you can point it out I’d be only too happy to be corrected.

  33. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    “John the mistake you continously make is assuming this 24% are all going to contract Covid and carry it asymptomatically…” etc.

    Sorry, London A1, but nothing could be further from the truth as I’ve said REPEATEDLY and very clearly that all 24% are NOT “going to contract Covid and carry it asymptomatically.”

    Where, for example, I’ve given numbers based on a tenth of 2019 arrivals so some 10,000 per day I’ve also given the number of likely carriers as being a quarter of the current numbers testing positive on arrival / in quarantine and also allowed for many of those being Thai returnees who don’t need to be tested pre-flight (at least with Thai airways).

    OK, a quarter is 25%, not 24%, but that still leaves plenty of probable cases everyday however you spin the figures.

    That’s the complete opposite of what you’re claiming I’ve done.

    “around 95% of the UK population haven’t had Covid, and that was pre vaccine”

    I’ve no idea where you got the figure of “95%” from apart from plucking it out of thin air but according to the UK ONS, who are probably in a better position to know than either of us, in mid-January 1 in 7 in the UK had contracted coronavirus, up from 1 in 9 in December and 1 in 11 in November.

    That’s over 15%, two months ago.

    According to Edge Health, which is independent but peer reviewed, the figure on 3 January was 22%.

    There are plenty of sensational reports of 30% or even higher several months ago, but the ONS’s figure of over 15% nearly three months ago and so at least 20% now (that’s allowing a very generous 50% decline in the previous increase since vaccinations began) seems not just reasonable but very conservative.

    That’s at least three times higher than your figure, even taking the ONS figure in mid-January.

    No offence, but rather like taking AZ’s view on their own vaccine rather than yours I think I’ll go along with the ONS figure rather than yours.

    “… if that’s not plumetting I don’t know what plumetting is …”

    Apparently you don’t know what plumetting is, since the latest report from the ONS this month states that “Overall, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus appears to have levelled off in England … there are signs that a decline in new covid-19 cases across the UK as a whole is slowing.”

    Gov UK also shows in their latest release (15 March) that “the UK’s R number – the average number of people each coronavirus case infects – is between 0.7 and 0.9, up slightly from between 0.6 and 0.9 the previous week and from between 0.6 and 0.8 two weeks earlier”.

    “Levelled off” and “up” isn’t “plumetting”.

    Again, no offence, but I think I’ll take Worldometer’s figures over the last 12 months rather than one you’ve cherry picked, as well as the ONS and Gov UK.

    They could, of course, all be wrong but it doesn’t seem very likely.

  34. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    Shut up IJ, nag – nag- nag, it’s all about you……….

  35. Avatar

    DERRICK

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Herd immunity? Total rubbish. Samui is far far from that and vaccination access very limited.

  36. Avatar

    LondonAl

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 12:12 am

    John I’m using the UK official government numbers and unlike you I do actually live here, today there were 4,040 cases, 25% down on last week, 4,153 in hospital, that’s 24% down on last week, and 56 deaths, that’s 50% down on last week, maybe my math isn’t as sharp as yours but I’d call that a significant reduction.

    I’m glad you think highly of Worldometer, they have a total case number for UK of 4.34m out of 68m population, which means 94% of the population haven’t had Covid, I said 95% and stand corrected, your doomsday estimates as ever are wildly out.

    You’re entitled to your opinion but if I were you I’d stop posting on this subject because as it unravels you’re digging yourself a deeper and deeper hole, you’re going to look so stupid and I don’t want that for you.

  37. Avatar

    James R

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Yet another perfect day in magic blood Thailand, no deaths due to the virus, they are so confident there is no virus they do not bother to test for it in any meaningful way.

    It is a good technique though which I have adopted as I don’t bother checking if the grass has grown in my back garden that means I never have to cut it as it can have not have grown surely.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

25,000 people injected with Covid-19 vaccine this week in Koh Samui

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25,000 people injected with Covid-19 vaccine this week in Koh Samui | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย

This week, 25,000 people in Koh Samui have been injected with the Covid-19 vaccine. The island plans to vaccinate 70% of its population by July to reach ‘herd immunity’ and reopen the tourist destination to vaccinated travellers, following the Phuket ‘sandbox’ model.

The vaccines were offered to the general public, including expats, at Rajabhat University, Bangkok Hospital Samui, Central Festival and Koh Samui Hospital. Yesterday was the last day for this round of injections, according to a post on the Koh Samui district Facebook page.

Reports from late last month say 50,000 doses were allocated to Koh Samui and a recent report from Pattaya News says another 50,000 doses would be distributed this week, vaccinating another 25,000 people on the island.

One expat, an English teacher on the island, says he waited 12 hours to get a vaccine at Rajabhat. He says luckily his school registered him and set him up with a queue ticket. But things were hectic, the queue numbers were called out in a random order and little to no information was given in English, he says.

The Tourism Association of Koh Samui plans to open up the island to foreign visitors in July, if everything goes to plan. Ideas for promotions are still up in the air, but the latest plan called “Samui Silk” would welcome vaccinated tourists who undergo a 7 day quarantine, the president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui said, according to Pattaya News.

“Both tourists and locals can be reassured that the reopening is safe under the Samui Silk route. The plan will allow foreign tourists to arrive in Koh Samui and to perform state quarantine for 7 days.

If the tourists are proved negative, then they are allowed to leave the local alternative state quarantine and to travel at designated locations in Samui while locals can be reassured that all tourists are disease-free.”

สมุยครบแล้ว 25,000 คน
ฉีดวัคซีนโควิด 19 รอบที่ 2

7 เมษายน 2564 เวลา 17.00 น. ณ โรงพยาบาลเกาะสมุย อำเภอเกาะสมุย…

Posted by เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

SOURCES: Koh Samui City Government | Pattaya News

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Tourism

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan’s Full Moon Party?

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Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan’s Full Moon Party? | Thaiger

A full moon used to mean a full beach of party-goers along the Haad Rin strip on Thailand’s Koh Pha Ngan. But it hasn’t been like that for a year now as the Gulf of Thailand island waits out the restrictions and border closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The crowds of backpackers and revellers aren’t flocking to the monthly event and the shops, bars and cheap accommodation along the tourist strip are shuttered and locked – some of the shop owners and staff will never return.

What started as a back-packer and hippy off-the-beaten-track adventure in the 1980s, in recent years attracted a broader clientele. It’s still a difficult place to get to – either flying in to Koh Samui on the monopolised flights of Bangkok Airways and catching a ferry, or catching a ferry from the mainland of Surat Thani. Koh Pha Ngan now has a lot more to offer than just it’s monthly party of bass-thumping beats and buckets full of…. well we don’t really know what’s in them (neither did the people who drank them).

The sound system was loud, but not very good, security is almost non-existent, good DJs are patchy and there’s a general “it will be OK” attitude that pervades the organisation of the Full Moon Party. There have been different proposals put to the organisers over the years to bring the event up to international standard beach parties, but they’ve fallen by the wayside as the organisers argue “it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Koh Pha Ngan’s monthly beach rave had its own special attraction despite any perceived or real quality lapses.

The south-east corner of the island actually has 2 Haad Rin beaches, one facing east for sunrises and the more famous, and longer, beach that hosts the monthly beach party.

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by ThaigerThere’s still a hippy vibe on the island with its numerous yoga and spa retreats but the businesses that remain are barely hanging on without the feature act that would book out most of the accommodation for the BIG night. The Full Moon Party attracted more than 50% of the one million visitors that headed to Koh Pha Ngan every year.

The party has also attracted plenty of bad publicity, as any huge beach party would – illicit drugs, alcohol abuse, sex crimes, the garbage left after each event. And even some cases of violence. But the vast majority of visitors to Thailand’s Full Moon Party just had a damn good time!

A year-long break has allowed some reflection after nearly 4 decades of growth and popularity of the party. Locals and local businesspeople are wondering if there could be a Koh Pha Ngan without the Full Moon Party. Has the island outgrown the one-trick-pony that WAS the monthly beach rave? Could a more sustainable economy be built around wellness, spas and diving?

The island is part of a trio off the coast of Surat Thani. Koh Samui is the largest and most popular. But Koh Tao and Kho Pha Ngan have had their own share of publicity. Koh Tao with its diving and, latterly, some bad world publicity surrounding a high profile murder case and other mysterious misadventures to tourists. Koh Pha Ngan had its big party, and in the last decade or so, some excellent retreats concentrating on wellness, yoga and relaxation.

But the three islands all suffer the same core problem – an airline monopoly that makes trips to the archipelago expensive. Sure, there are ferry services but they are not 100% reliable and can take day out of your itinerary with delays, blah blah. The 3 islands have thrived despite the tyranny of distance and inconvenience. But they could have become much more mainstream if there was an open skies policy for flights to the island or the ferry infrastructure was improved. Perhaps one of the allures of the 3 islands is that they ARE hard to get to?

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by Thaiger

MAP: Google Maps

But despite the retrospection from townsfolk and businesspeople on Koh Pha Ngan, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – the island simply cannot survive without the monthly tourist invasion, despite the challenges. Cutting off 20-30,000 monthly visitors, who usually stay for a few more days either side of the party, would be a fatal blow to the island’s economy in the long term.

But the 12 month’s rest for Haad Rin and the organisers will certainly bring some changes to the event. In the short term there will be mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines, a challenge for any alcohol-fuelled social gathering. And the problems of getting there will remain. But Koh Pha Nganians are sure that the event will not only survive but thrive once the tourists start coming again.

The locals are also sure there will be a greater appreciation for the island’s natural beauty and the other tourist assets that need the same amount of investment and attention as the monthly beach party. Cutting off the island’s main economic lifeline proved that Koh Pha Ngan needed to diversify its economy.

For now they’re not sure when the tourists will start flowing back and the party resume, maybe later this year or 2022, but the beach will still be there.

And the full moon will again set in the Gulf of Thailand as the partygoers glance westwards.

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Koh Samui Travel

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Koh Samui

Foreigners charged with DUI teach English to Koh Samui probation staff

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Foreigners charged with DUI teach English to Koh Samui probation staff | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ กระทรวงยุติธรรม Ministry Of Justice, Thailand

Foreigners on Koh Samui who have been caught driving while intoxicated are now teaching English to probation officers as part of their community service.

Those with a drink driving charge are ordered by the court to complete 24 hours of community service. The foreigners have been teaching probation staff basic greetings and conversational English as well as grammar and legal terms.

A 70 year old German expat with a DUI charge says he was excited to teach English for his community service hours. The staff at the probation office also say the foreigners have been enthusiastic about teaching.

Teaching English to staff at the island’s Department of Probation is a useful community service plan and also fun, probation chief Witthawan Sunthornkhajit says.

“สนง.คุมประพฤติ เกาะสมุย” ดึงเมาแล้วขับต่างชาติ ช่วยงานสังคม-สอนภาษา เสริมทักษะเจ้าหน้าที่

Posted by กรมคุมประพฤติ Department of Probation on Friday, April 2, 2021

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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