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Monday, 10 November 2008

Possible location of new Marina on Koh Samui

Another month has gone by and there seems no end to the political turmoil in Bangkok. Whist the demonstrations are confined to specific areas the world media gives the impression that any visit to Bangkok is fraught with danger. The reality is of course that Bangkok is no more dangerous than it ever was and by comparison with many cities around the world including Europe, a lot safer. As in any city with which you are unfamiliar it is a matter of being aware of your surroundings and using common sense. These reports are part of the reason that tourism is down although the world economic crisis has also had a big hand in this with no easy credit and people hanging on to their cash. Nevertheless for those who still wish to travel beyond there own shores, Thailand is still a very attractive destination and cheap in comparison to many tourist destinations. With hotel bookings down in most sectors there are some good deals available to those willing to look. Talking to some of the hotel managers in the five star range I have been getting a slightly confused story. One hotel is telling me that their bookings are down at the present but they are full from Christmas through to March. Another was telling me that their advance bookings for next year were so low that they have dropped the seasonal rates and now have a single mid range rate for the whole year.

There was a meeting in October at Wat Plai Laem to inform the public about possible plans for a Marina adjacent to Big Buddha. It is still in the consultative stage at the present time but the estimated cost is Baht 644.5 million. The Marina will, if approved, be accessed from the land bridge connecting the main road by BBC CafĂ© to Big Buddha. There will be a total of 111 berths of different lengths with fueling facilities. There will also be a Marina Building which will presumably have the Marine Office but other facilities are not mentioned. The meeting was quite well attended with about eighty people, mostly Plai Laem residents and four or five foreign residents. One of the local residents I spoke to at the meeting was in favour of the Marina but would prefer it on the other side of the Koh Fan peninsular – nearer his house!

Thanks to Mark at BBC for the image.

This is one of five locations considered and currently the preferred option. Other locations considered were Bophut, Koh Som, Tong Krut, and Phang Nga.

Someone had a good time eating street food on Koh Samui and you can read their full report here.
Latest news of the wires is that Samui has at last been upgraded in status from a sub district to a town municipality, not City status as many had hoped, but a positive step for Samui. City status was always a forlorn hope as Samui just did not meet all the requirements. However, with a step up the ladder so to speak, Samui reports directly to Bangkok now and not through Surat Thani. For anyone interested in how the Thai regional government evolved and where we are to day follow this link.

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