Over 2,000 tourists leave Koh Samui by plane amidst huge waves

Koh Samui waves, photo by MGR Online.

Over 2,000 tourists left Koh Samui by plane yesterday amidst the ongoing huge waves wreaking havoc on Thailand’s waters. Waves were up to 4 metres high in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao. Boats were banned from leaving ports on Koh Samui yesterday, and a total of 2,400 tourists left the island by plane.

People leaving the island had to change their plans by leaving via Bangkok Airways at the Samui International Airport instead of by ferry.

Red flags have now been posted on many of Koh Samui’s beaches. Ferries and all boats were also being banned from leaving ports in Surat Thani, The Phuket Express reported.

Just days ago, officials were optimistic about the recovering tourism sectors as another cruise ship arrived in Koh Samui. The arrival of the cruise ship, the Mein Schiff 5 cruise liner, had Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-0-cha expressing his happiness as Koh Samui would welcome nearly 2,500 European travellers for a one-day visit.

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Officials on the island excitedly met the arriving cruise passengers with a welcoming reception. They made arrangements for sightseeing trips around Koh Samui in order to make sure that travellers could see all the best that the island has to offer while attempting to evenly distribute tourist cash from the cruisers’ pockets.

The Mein Schiff 5 cruise liner is only the second to stop in Koh Samui since the pandemic, with the first arriving on November 27 to great fanfare.

The cruise industry was hit hard by the Covid pandemic where ship’s tight quarters and poor ventilation made the industry one of the first martyrs of an airborne virus. Cruises are now finally beginning to pick up steam again worldwide.

But with huge waves raging across the Gulf of Thailand, let’s hope there aren’t too many interruptions to people’s plans to travel by boat.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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