Saturday, November 2, 2013

After Oil Tragedy on Ko Samet:
Ao Phrao Beach will reopen for Tourists

See the locations on Ko Samet Google Map

Picture by Tiwa York on Twitter
Workers starting cleaning at Ao Phrao Beach on Ko Samet, where oil leaked from a pipeline spoiled the beach

"Black day for Samet", wrote The Nation. Indeed: On Saturday 27 July an offshore pipeline has released about 50 000 litres of oil into the Gulf of Thailand, about 20 kilometres off the coast of Rayong. From Sunday night on black oil waves rolled in at Ao Phrao, one of the most beautiful white sand beaches of Samet island.

On Monday Koh Samet has been declared a marine disaster area. Rayong Governor Wichit Chatphaisit declared, that action was being taken to prevent the leaked oil from spreading to other beaches on the island. And Ao Phrao beach was closed for tourists. Over 1500 workers and soldiers in white suites started to clean up the polluted beach (see pictures by Greenpeace). It was expected that this would take two weeks according to Sumet Saithong, chief of the Laem Ya Samet Islands National Park.

Also the Tourism Authority of Thailand was on high alert, because Ko Samet is visited by one million tourists every year. Chuchart Oncharoen, its director for Rayong, told the "Nation": "Ao Phrao is on the west coast of Samet, but most of the island's hotels and resorts are on the east coast, which has not been affected by the spill." But locals were very worried. Prapan Sukrachang, chairman of Samet Passenger Bus Service Club, said tourists could change their destinations after the oil leak hit Ao Phrao. "We expect the island's tourist income to halve", he told Bangkok Post. Pariya Tantakasem, owner of Samet Cabana resort, said many reservations have been cancelled and bookings are now down 50%.

The oil pipeline, that leaked, belongs to government owned PTT Global Chemical Public Limited Company. It said the leak has been fixed.

On Wednesday the oil spill reached smaller islands nearby Ko Samet, as Associated Press reported. Marine and Coastal Resources provincial director Puchong Saritdeechaikul said Wednesday that an initial inspection of the coral reef 100 meters (328 feet) from Prao Bay showed that it had not been damaged by the oil slicks. But rough seas and strong winds spread thin films of oil to a rocky bay farther north of Ao Phrao, said Rayong Deputy Governor Supeepat Chongpanish.

Picture by Tiwa York on Twitter


2.8.2012
Diving for corals probably will be banned: The chief of Khao Laem Ya-Koh Samet Marine National Park, Sumet Saithong, issued a statement that 70 per cent of corals were contaminated with crude-oil stains, after he assigned divers on Wednesday to take underwater photographs in unspecified areas near the tourist island, as The Nation reports. Pollution Control Department director-general Wichien Jungrungruang estimated it would take more than a decade for the corals to return to normal condition. Therefore the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said diving would be banned at these coral reefs. It will discuss the proposal with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, which is authorised to impose such a ban, Marine Department director-general Noppol Srisuk said.
Then there are worries about consumption of seafood harvested in areas around Koh Samet. Monitoring of seawater conditions and collection of seafood for inspection are under way according to Deputy Public Health Minister Sorawong Thienthong. And Fisheries Department director-general Wimol Jantrarota said acoording to The Nation: "Don't avoid it, just sniff it first to see if it smells of crude oil." But there are also concerns about the chemicals used to disperse the oil. Sorasak Saensombat, director-general of the Marine Department, said that he had ordered PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) to stop using chemicals since Monday. However, PTTGC has insisted that the chemical it is using to disperse the oil spreading over the Gulf of Thailand is safe for the environment and complied with the Pollution Control Department regulations. "When asked to name the chemicals, PTTGC president Bowon Vongsinudom said he could not remember the exact name", wrote The Nation.

Samet Map & Guide is reporting about the condition of the other beaches on Koh Samet. Blogger Richard Barrow has arrived on Koh Samet and reports here.


3.8.2013:
Will Seefood be affected by the oil spill? Thai state health agency has said it will study the impact of the oil spill on marine life around Koh Samet's Ao Phrao, saying toxic substances from the crude oil may enter the food chain in the next three months, reports The Nation.


5.8.2013
Ao Phrao Resorts to reopen - but swimming not allowed: The sea off Koh Samet's Ao Phrao and nearby areas, affected by the July 27 oil spill, has almost returned to normal following the clean-up operation, Rayong governor Wichit Chartpaisit said acoording to Bangkok Post. Ao Phrao and other resorts in the area were expected to reopen next week. However, swimming may not be allowed, due to pending sea water inspections.


6.8.2013
The Pollution Control Department (PCD) will test the quality of seawater and air around Khao Laem Ya-Mu Koh Samet National Park for one year, reports The Nation. PCD director-general Wichien Jungrungruang said tests of seawater samples collected from Ao Phrao showed that the seawater did not have any contaminant. "But we will conduct tests at 18 spots around Koh Samet too and the results will come out by August 13." Starting from mid-August, the PCD will collect samples from affected beach and sea areas to determine whether they are contaminated with total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). "These tests will continue for one year," he said.


8.8.2013
Corals, marine life destroyed in oil-spill areas: The state marine-watch agency has found that some coral reefs in the oil-slick-affected Ao Phrao area of Koh Samet have been killed off by bleaching, and some marine life had been reduced by up to 20 per cent. The team's report was released by the Marine and Coastal Resources Depart-ment director-general Noppon Srisuk. Read more: The Nation. See video on youtube.


13.8.13
A test by the Pollution Control Department has found that the level of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon (TPH) in samples of seawater in Ao Phrao and Ao Look Yon, collected on 10.8.2013, exceeded acceptable standards, reports The Nation. Visitors are being told to avoid swimming in these two areas. Saturday 12.8.2013 Inspectors wearing white biohazard suits collected sand samples from the 400-metre-long beach. Ao Phrao Beach.


24.8.2013
"It is still not safe to swim in Ao Phrao," Wichien Jungrungruang, Pollution Control Department (PCD) director-general, told the press according to The Nation. He did it after the fourth round of tests. The hazardous chemicals detected include arsenic, cadmium and mercury as well as traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH). The PCD will continue conducting tests at least until October. Seawater samples will be collected twice a week and the results will be revealed to the public at least once a week. For other beaches on Ko Samet there is no warning against swimming.


29.10.2013:
On Friday November 1 Ao Phrao Beach is reopened for tourists, as The Nation reports."The seawater started to return to normal at the end of September," Udom Kraiwatnussorn said in his capacity as secretary to Natural Resources and Environment Minister Vichet Kasemthongsri. What does this mean exactly? Seawater-quality tests have showed that Petroleum hydrocarbon has dropped to less than 1 microgram per litre of seawater, and mercury has plunged below 0.1mcg/l. Chote Trachu, permanent secretary of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, said monitoring of the oil spill's impacts on marine and coastal ecology would continue for at least one more year.


2.11.2013
Questions remain after reopening of Ao Phrao Beach: "More detailed tests are required to determine if the bay is really fine," Assoc Prof Renu Vejaratpimol of Silpakorn University said accoprding to The Nation. "Occupancy rate at local resorts now stands at 20 per cent, compared to this period last year when all the rooms were booked," Pisanu Kemapan, chair of the Samet Restaurant and Resort Operator Association, said. Rayong Local Fisheries Association's chairman Jaturas Iamworanirun said he still found huge numbers of razor clams dead on a Samet beach last week, which was proof that the environment on the island had not fully recovered.


Please contribute to the accuracy of this report: Anyting wrong? Has something to be added? Send E-Mail to hasmartin (at) bluewin.ch. Thanks for your help!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Three resorts are going to be destroyed -
after illegally run in a National Park

Muk Samet (Ao Noi Beach), Unseen Resort and Phloi Samet: Three resorts on Ko Samet will be torn down: They have been built in Khao Laem Ya national park. The owners had filed for court protection according to National News Bureau of Thailand, but in the end the court refused to review their cases. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation is offering the owners two possibilities: They dismantle the resorts by themselves or department officials will carry out the task and the owners pay for the expenses.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ko Samets rare bird
















The oriental piled hornbill, picture by primitiveculture.blogspot.com

This bird often remains unvisible. But if you know, where to look, you will detect the oriental pied hornbill (nok gaek), who is up to 70 centimetres long. As The Nation reports, on Koh Samet there are only a handful of these birds left, but some islanders have founded a Hornbill Conservation Society. Thani Sukrajang, the owner of Ao Noi Na guesthouse, takes guests to watch this bird. And Samet Resorts are engaging for this project. Locals say, construction workers are shooting the birds. But there could be other reasaons for the disappearing: Certainly 300000 tourists, coming to the island every year, harm the ecology system of the island. But Samet Resorts want to intensify the green image of Koh Samet. Let's hope, this creates an engagement, that really helps the oriental piled hornbill.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Discover Ko Samet

Here we have some links:

Baywatch Bar at Wong Deuan Beach, with internet café and speed boat service.

Ko Samet






















The Southeast Coast of Ko Samet


What you discover
Beaches with very fine white sand. Ko Samet (also Samed), 6 kilometres long and 3 kilometres wide, is part of the Khao Laem Ya-Samed National Marine Park in front of the Eastern Cost of Thailand, which includes the islands Kudi, Kruai, Kham and Plai Tin. Therefore you pay a 400 Baht entrance fee, when you arrive at the island. It's close to Bangkok, so it can get crowded on weekends. In the 1970's Thai teenagers and young couples discovered Ko Samet for weekends. It's the driest island in Thailand and can be visited all year. The rainy season goes from May to July, but even then it has less rainfall than the mainland around Rayong.

Ko Samet and the small islands nearby are surrounded by coral formations in shallow water - good for snorkeling. Other water sports as sailing, parasailing, skiing and fishing can be arranged. The best places to see coral reefs are sited off the island's southern tip and along the eastern coastline near Wong Deuan beach. Tropical jungle dominates the hills inside the islands, populated by monkey, birds ans snakes.

There are three ATM.

There are mosquitoes on the island - so take care of bites, because malaria and dengue fiever can happen.

How you arrive
The ferry for Ko Samet leaves in Ban Phe at Chok Kisda Pier (see map). from 8 am to 6 pm.

From Bangkok Air conditioned and regular buses leave to Ban Phe from Eastern Bus Terminal on Sukhumvit Road, Ekkamai. Aircon buses leave every hour from 5 am to 8 pm. The trip takes 3.5 hours. There are mini buses too, leaving Bangkok from Victory Monument from 7 am to 6 pm (every hour). Book by phone: +66 8 4769 1702, +66 6 4761 1772.

From Bangkok Eastern Bus Terminal you can also take buses to Rayong and change to Songthaews (Mini busses) to Ban Phe.

From Bangkok Airport Bus Terminal you take the 9906 bus to Rayong. It leaves at 05.40, 08.40, 09.10 09.40, 10.40, 13.40 16.00, and 18.40. In Rayong, you take a songthaew to Ban Phe.

More details about busses here: Thailand Transportation

About getting around on Ko Samet: Taxis and motorbikes

Hotels, Bungalows and Beaches on Ko Samet

Beaches West Side


Laem Noi Na แหลมน้อยหน่า

Baan Ploy Sea Resort: From 2500 Bath. 16-room boutique resort. There is a nice seaview, but no beach. "The view from the first floor suite in the main block is superb you can get this for 3-4000 baht a night. The views from the sea villas, accessed by boat from main block are also great, but priced at double or more....", writes rathin100 on tripadvisor.com, where you find very good reviews. See pictures on flickr.com.


Mooban Talay Resort: From 3400 Bath. Located on a 200 meter long private beach at the end of Noi Na Bay with white powdery sand beach. 21 bungalows surrounded by lush tropical garden under the shade of trees. See also Mooban Talay on Facebook. Showers are an issue for the guests: "Showering in the open air with the trees above was WOW especially hearing the birds and geckos", writes simhop on tripadvirsor.com. But Aurelie G. see's it the opposite way: "Shower outside can turn out to be a nightmare. No one can see you, however, if you go there at night, you feel very vulnerable to any animal deciding to "attack" you (e.g. mouse or rats)."

Picture by Riemer Palstra

Picture by Riemer Palstra


Samed Club Resort: From 2700 Bath. 30 bungalows and cottages and a swimmingpool. Mixed reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by M0les


Samed Seaside Resort: From 1800 Bath.


Pandora Resort: From 2000 Bath. Opened in 2013.



Laem Phra แหลมพระ

Ao Kham อ่าวขาม

Ao Prao อ่าวพร้าว

Picture by newformula
200 meters long beach, the sunset side of the island!

Ao Prao Resort: From 2145 to 13860 Baht. Far from the more populated side of Koh Samed. Mixed reviews on tripadvisor.com. Interesting review also on virtualtourist.com































See more pictures by wanderingjew


Le Vimarn Cottages & Spa: From 7000 to 9000 Baht. Deluxe cottages and villas with a private spa. Read the reviews on tripadvisor.com






















Villa with private spa























Lima Coco Resort: From 2590 to 6990 Baht. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com













































Pictury by k.j., more on bloggang.com


Laem Rua Taek แหลมเรือแตก

Ao Kiu Na Nai อ่าวกิ่วหน้าใน


Beaches East Side

Ao Wiang Wan


Ao Noi Na อ่าวน้อยหน่า


Mooban Talay Resort: From 4700 to 9000 Baht. 24 luxury bungalows. Mooban Talay Resort tells a story, an illustration of the legend "Pra Apai Manee", the Prince and the Mermaid, written and set in Koh Samed. Each bungalow displays a specific part of the story, illustrated by 13 paintings. It has a Spa. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com

































































Pictures by Firesky


Samed Club: From 2470 to 3990 Baht.
Close to Sai Kaew beach and Na Dan village, if you want to explore restaurants, bars and shops. The beach is very small, you can read in a review on tripadvisor.com

Picture by MOles












Baan Ploy Samed Resort: From 3200 to 8000 Baht. 14 rooms. Very special: Wooden bungalows on a platform on stilts over the sea in the middle of the bay, also some rooms at the beach. You reach the platform by boat. In the restaurant holes under the table, where you can let hang your legs down. Read the review on travelfish.org























Picture by jayen



















Picture by Aunyarat


Samed Cliff Resort: From 1700 to 3400 Baht. Read review on travelfish.org



























Samed Resort: From 500 to 600 Baht.


Ao Klang Resort: From 300 to 800 Baht.


Baan Seefaa: From 600 to 1000 Baht.


The Beach House: From 1200 to 2500 Baht. 6 rooms.


Tha Na Dan

Nadan Pier

Tiny village around the pier.

Marco Polo: From 600 to 900 Baht.



Ao Luk Yon อ่าวลูกโยน

A very quiet beach - but just 5 minutes to walk to busy Sai Kaew Beach

Pineapple Beach Resort: From 1500 to 2000 Baht. Read
review on travelfish.org


Had Laem Yai แหลมใหญ

Laem Yai Huts: From 1100 to 2500 Baht.


Had Sai Kaew หาดทรายแก้ว
Also: Had Sai Khaeo Diamond Beach

With 780 meters the longest beach and very popular.

Lima Bella Resort: From 4590 to 11900 Baht. Not at the beach, you walk 300 meters. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com



















































Sai Kaew Beach Resort: From 4700 to 16000 Baht. Two resorts in one. The Deluxe Section nestles on a quiet, scenic and sandy beach with clusters of rock formations, while the Superior Section sprawls along the main bathing beach bustling with activities. Bars and restaurants nearby. Read
reviews on tripadvisor.com

Picture by Eternal Vagabond

View from Sai Kaew Beach Resort

























































Saikaew Villa: From 700 to 2550 Baht. Read review on travelfish.org

Samed Grand View Resort: From 2500 to 10000 Baht. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com



















Tonsak Resort: From 2200 to 5000 Baht. 30 bungalows and villas.
































Skyhigh Resort: 2000 to 3000 Baht. 7 rooms.


Ploy Talay Resort: From 1000 to 1500 Baht. 30 rooms.


Ao Hin Kok

Picture by Prince Roy Beach outside of Jep's Inn

Good for swimming.

Tok's Little Hut: From 300 to 800 Baht. 38 bungalows climbing up a hillside. With beachfront bar. See a picture of one bungalow . And see overview.

Naga Bungalows: From 300 to 900 Baht. Bungalows very basic, bar quite lively in the night.


Ao Phai อ่าวไผ

Very popular white sand beach, good swimming.



Silver Sands: Around 1000 Baht. Around 20 huts, a pub and a beach disco. "The" late night party spot with music until 4 am. If you are not a party animal, it's not the right place for you. Read reviews on tripadvisor.com




Samed Villa Resort: From 1400 to 5000 Baht. Read the review on travelfish.org





























































Tutu Bungalows: From 600 to 1200 Baht. See review on travelfish.org


Ao Phai Hut: From 350 to 1200 Baht. 70 rooms.























Picture in 2003 by John Lamb


The Lost Resort: From 500 to 1000 Baht. Set back around 200 meters from the beach. 10 rooms. Read the review on travelfish.org


Sea Breeze bungalows: From 500 to 1500 Baht.


Ao Tubtim อ่าวทับทิม
Also called Ao Phutsa

Good swimming beach.

Tubtim Resort: From 1000 to 2000 Baht.


































Picture by Ed, see more







Pudsa Bungalows: From 600 to 800 Baht.


Ao Nuan
















Picture by Antti
See also picture of the beach by James Fenn

Ao Nuan Bungalows: From 600 to 900 Baht. On a small hidden away beach, "where you're more likely to hear the song of birds and the drill of cicadas rather than the noise of families or party-goers", writes travelfish.org


















Picture by Idy



Ao Cho อ่าวช่อ

Good for swimming south of the pier, according to travelfish.org.

Ao Cho Grand View Resort: From 3500 to 5500 Baht.

















Ban Tongta: From 2000 to 2500 Baht. 3 rooms only.


Ao Wong Duan หาดวงเดือน
Also: Deuan

500 Meter long halfmoon. Many jetskis and speedboats on this beach, seafood restaurants and bars.

Vongdeuan Resort: From 2000 to 3500 Baht.









































Vongduern Villa: 50 rooms in bungalows.

Malibu Garden Resort: From 1550 to 7000 Baht.

Samed Cabana Resort: From 3200 to 7500 Baht. 16 beachfront rooms, 14 sea view rooms, 6 superior rooms, and 2 family suits.

























Blue Sky Bungalows: From 700 to 1200 Baht.


Vimarn Samed Resort: From 1300 to 2900 Baht.



Ao Thian อ่าวเีทียน
Candle Light Beach

Good for swimming.

Ban Keang Talea: From 800 to 1300 Baht.

Candle Light Resort: From 800 to 2500 Baht.

Picture by mookE
Candlelight Resort bungalows


Horizons: From 800 to 1200 Baht.

Sang Thian Beach Resort: From 1800 to 4000 Baht.

Ban Thai Sangthian: From 2000 to 4000 Baht. Read the review on travelfish.org

Viking Holiday Resort: From 1500 to 2500 Baht.



Ao Lung Dam
Also Lung Dum

Picture by mookE
Sunrise at Ao Lung Dam

The bar at Apache Garden View is quite popular. The restaurant is on a dock, over the sea.

Lung Dam Bungalow: From 700 to 1000 Baht.


Ao Wai อ่าวหวาย


Samet Ville Resort: From 1180 to 13900 Baht.



Ao Kiew Na Nok อ่าวกิ่วหน้านอก

Paradee Resort: From 12500 to 71500 Baht. A resort for couples, not fit for children. Two beaches, one aboundant with coral. The Suite Villa has Butler Service.













Garden Villa with pool













































































Bedroom of suite villa


















Pool of suite villa


































Ao Karang อ่าวกะรัง

Nimmanoradee Resort: From 2500 to 5500 Baht. 15 cottages.